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Living in Germany: Settling in as a foreigner, dog days and Currywurst

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Living in Germany: Settling in as a foreigner, dog days and Currywurst
A plate of Currywurst and chips in Berlin. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Jörg Carstensen

In our weekly roundup about life in Germany we look at the difficulties of settling into the country, snacks and cooling down on hot summer days.


The difficulties of adapting to life in Germany

With a new culture, language and way of life, settling into any foreign country can be a hard process, and it’s no different in Germany. Even though parts of living in this country are brilliant, there’s no doubt that it can be tough. Many of you shared your experiences with us this week. One thing that struck us was how difficult it can be to find a place to live. Some respondents spoke of facing discrimination. “Flat finding in Berlin is traumatic, especially if you aren’t European or American,” reader Muzaffer told us. Even with a decent salary, Muzaffar said he had had to apply for more than 500 flats before he managed to get one. Others told us of their struggles with cumbersome bureaucracy, the stresses of getting an appointment at the immigration offices, and the lack of understanding for people who can’t speak any German. With Germany unable to fill many jobs, the government wants to make it easier for internationals in the country, including through relaxing citizenship laws. Hopefully some of these things will get better in the coming years - they will have to in order to encourage more people from abroad to build their lives in Germany. 

READ ALSO: 'Nothing is easy': How foreigners struggle to get settled in Germany


Tweet of the week

We kind of admire this German take on sushi involving gherkins, salami and cheese spread. Mahlzeit!

A dog in the water Photo: DPA/ Lukas Fortkord

Where is this? 

In these heat-drenched summer days, spare a thought for our furry friends. It must be a real struggle for them when the heatwaves roll around. This little guy called Miko had the right idea. Here he is cooling off in a pool of water in front of the Viersen rail station in North Rhine-Westphalia on July 19th.


Did you know?

When it comes to fast food, there are two big contenders in Berlin: the Döner and the Currywurst. Today we’ll talk about Currywurst, a delightful dish that has just the right amount of grease and tangy sauce. But did you know how it came about? The meal of sliced and grilled pork sausage in a sauce made of ketchup and curry powder (and often served with Pommes) is said to be linked to the presence of British soldiers in Berlin after the Second World War. The (now sadly defunct) Currywurst Museum in Berlin said the snack was first created on September 4th, 1949 in the Charlottenburg district of Berlin, on the junction of Kantstraße and Kaiser-Friedrich-Straße by a German woman called Herta Heuwer.

At the time, the area was under the control of the British. In the post-war period, Allied soldiers were introducing new food habits to Germany, such as eating tomato ketchup with steak, US-style. This was adapted to eating sausage with ketchup. Curry powder was brought over by the British (who were influenced by their former colony of India). Frau Heuwer is said to have traded with British soldiers for the key ingredients of ketchup and curry powder. She then combined the tomato sauce with the curry powder and served it with pork sausage. What she used in her sauce recipe remains secret to this day, and she patented her “Chillup Soße” in 1959. However, there are other theories. Author Uwe Timm says Currywurst actually emerged in Hamburg in 1947. Whatever the truth, we’re glad this yummy snack exists. 

Thanks for reading,

Rachel and Imogen @ The Local Germany 

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