All posts by Jenni Koivumäki

Grüsse aus Germany!

Greetings from Germany!

I have been in Essen now almost five months. Four days left and I’ll be back home, finally. I have done my practical training here in Essen and it has been amazing. I have learnt a lot about working life for an example about team work. I have also learnt so much about myself and I’m very proud of myself that I had the courage to come here.

I work in a Finnish company and all my co-workers are Finnish as well so I haven’t really learn anything about German working culture. So I can’t really compare those. I am working as a management assistant and this job has been very nice, fun and challenging but also quite hard and stressful sometimes. In our office there is three interns, all from Finland, and we have become friends. This training period would have been quite bad without them!

^ me and my dear co-workers

On my spare time (during the week) I usually cook, watch Netflix, read or just chill. After work I’m so tired that I really don’t want to do anything special. On Saturdays we (me and my co-workers) are having an adventure day. We have travelled to different cities like Köln, Dortmund, Venlo and Roermond (in Holland), Mönchengladbach and so on. We have visited in a zoo, museums and spent hours in Primark. I have also been in football games! Saturday is the best day of the week. On Sundays I also just chill because everything (shops and supermarkets) are closed. On Sundays we have visited museums and went to restaurants.

^1) FC Köln vs Bayer Leverkusen, amazing atmosphere! 2) Ready for the game in Düsseldorf.

^1) Duisburg Zoo 2) views from Düsseldorf tv-tower

Like I said I can’t really compare Finnish and German working life but I have note some differences in everyday life:

  1. Everyone uses cash!! This was quite hard to understand first because I’m so used to pay with card. It was surprising that even in big cities like Düsseldorf some restaurants took only cash.
  2. Alcohol is super cheap and it’s okay to have a bear at 10 am. When I went to a restaurant/bar on Saturday to have a nonalcoholic drink the waiter looked me like “why don’t you drink alcohol?” 😀
  3. Almost in every house there is a bathtub instead of regular shower. At least all the houses that I have been.
  4. I still don’t understand how I should recycle. You should put everything recyclable in one bin and all rest in another except paper/cardboard. But when I take a look in yellow and in grey dumpster they look exactly the same.
  5. Normal pillow size is about 80×80 cm which is enormous!! I can’t sleep with those.
  6. In supermarket you have to be very fast in checkout because the checkout line (kassahihna) is so short. If you are too slow you get angry looks. It is easiest to put everything back in the shopping cart, go to those side tables (which are meant to packing) and pack your things.
  7. There is no pick and mix candy.
  8. All the movies and tv-series are dubbed which is annoying sometimes. Like I could have watch Simpsons but I didn’t understand what they were saying in German. We went to movies once (also dubbed) and it was nice feeling when you understand what was happening!

+1. Many times locals have asked us what language we are talking. People are very interested to know why we are in Germany and everybody seem to like Finland.

^The most beautiful place EVER! Köln Dom.

All in all I haven’t really noticed many differences. But maybe I’m so “used to” live here already that I don’t noticed those. And I’m always with Finnish people so I haven’t really noticed any local habits. My roommate is German (she is amazing too) but I haven’t noticed any big cultural differences at home either. I have to say that the public transport works very well!

^Food is life, best burgers in Düsseldorf (@bob and mary)

All in all this trip has been amazing and I will never forget this spring. Still I’m more than ready to go home. I haven’t see my family in five months and I can’t wait to spend a summer in Finland!