Bye Berlin! Hi Cologne!
My wife Galja and I have immigrated in Germany almost five years ago. All these years we have lived in Berlin and I was working in Nokia’s mapping department which later was branded Here. We are not with Nokia since December 7th, 2015 when Here was sold to a syndicate of auto makers. And now my work for Here and our life in Berlin have ended as well.
We quite liked Berlin in comparison with Moscow for its comfort, calmness and positive attitude. But one gets used to this quickly and soon we were taking it for granted. Then the smaller drawbacks became more visible and more annoying. Unfortunately Berlin’s years as a divided city not only made Berlin a poor city, but also soaked its culture in poverty, so that people here started taking pride in it.
This is a matter of taste of course. People who enjoy that culture come here to find a lot of like-minded ones and develop this style further. However when you don’t like it and don’t feel the power to change the flow, you can either lock yourself up in one of the respectable areas, or suffer, or move away. We didn’t feel like locking up, so we suffered for some time until we found a place to move to.
Germany is far less centralised than Russia. I can only think of one alternative to Moscow – St. Petersburg. Maybe also of Novosibirsk and Ekaterinburg as secondary options. Here in Germany we were looking at way more cities, so even choosing one was a task in itself. At first we were liking Düsseldorf but it did not pass the practical test. So we visited different cities and liked Cologne the most while Frankfurt came close second. And now I am writing this entry in the ICE express train that carries my wife and me to our life in Cologne.
I have found a job there in the IT department of a big chain of expensive shops called Galeria Kaufhof. They have relatively big team of developers who handle the online shop and the internal back-office databases. Unfortunately the living cituation is less defined yet because renting a permanent apartment via internet is quite difficult. So we got ourselves a small temporary furnited apartment to spend first several months in, and we will use this time to find something more permanent.
All that is going to be interesting!