#2 Episode – Life in Germany as an international student – 2 cents from Millennials

Welcome back to 2 cents from millennial. I'm your host Jarvis. And today we have a cohost Ashwin he's also studying currently in Munich. We are non-native English speaking, millennials that are either studying or working abroad. So in this episode, we will share our 2 cents regarding the latest war between Russia and Ukraine, how it is affecting us, living in Germany. Also some experiences regard how it is like to find an internship or job in the current moment. And lastly, we're going to share our craziest culture shock experiences when we just started the life in Germany. So if you are millennials or if you're studying or working abroad, join us, grab a beer and let's have some good time. So How's going Ashwin. It's going pretty good. How are you? I'm fine, man. I remember let me share this with you. I remember the first time the first day, not the first time, the first day of the special operation from Russia. And this is the meme you send it to me, which is hilarious. And right now is like the 14 days of the special operation.

We call it the war. But apparently if you are citizen of Russia. You can not say that word. It's pretty similar. Like what? I know if you are Chinese people, right? This is kind kinda ironic. Let's put in this way. The audio only listeners, I'm sorry, but you then have to tune in to the YouTube channel. Yeah. You can check in our YouTube channel or even Patreon.

We're going to share this in the video form so Ashwin. Do you find anything that's affected you or what news that you notice just after these t wo weeks, almost two weeks of war. Any, anything you've find out? Well, Hey, I mean, nothing directly affecting me, obviously, cause I'm not Ukrainian or nor Russian. That's true. But, um, the one thing I have been hearing about the most is rising energy prices here in Germany because as you probably know, um, Germany imports, like about a third of the energy from Russia by Nordstream.

Yep. And they're not cutting back like the US and the UK, the US and the UK have pretty much cut ties with Russia in terms of importing energy, but Germany hasn't because they're super dependent on Russian energy. And also because the gas pipe was already built up for years and yeah, so that's like the cheapest and the most efficient way they could come up with, but nobody think is going to be a potential problem to be too dependent on the Russian supply. So it's kind of screwing us right now as we are expected to have double the heaters price. Like at the end of this year, I saw that a news today. And to be honest, I don't know, what's my rent pays going to see next week though.

Is it the fact that your rent paid? Does your landlord tell you anything about that or no, I don't think you'll see the effect. Now maybe in a few months, but we will definitely see the effects in terms of, um, feel in terms of gas prices. Yeah. Yeah, for sure That's affecting everyone. As it already is yes. Gas prices is phenomenally high Also. Oh. So I noticed that, um, Putin actually bring this war at the very bad time, because we were kind of at the stage where we are about to come back from the COVID quarantine, because, you know, since 2020 we were studying here and basically everything is online.

We've been locked down. There's no activities out there. And now we comes like another devastating situation It's going to be, another hit for our future price tag, I would say. Yeah, just when you think it's going to get better, you know, this comes along, there's like another hit. So, I don't know, man. I feel like this is going to be reflecting into the taxpayer in Germany in general, because as long as there's an increase in the money supply in Europe central bank during the COVID, we all know that the Germany government, they actually have so much support for the local businesses.

For some reason, despite Germany's huge amounts of government spending. Yep. We're not seeing insanely high inflation, like the U S right? Yeah. The U S is like, what? 11% now? Also the unemployment rate of the Germany is like 3.2%. As I remembered this, I checked that earlier today It's actually the lowest in the well developed Western country the most impressive part of Germany is low unemployment rate. So yeah I remembered last time you were talking about you are also looking for some green energy job or internship, right? Yeah. And now that everything goes backward, like we are back to the oil supply, massive demand situation. That's true. I mean, I do remember reading about this article where essentially it said that Germany intends on becoming a hundred percent renewable by 2050. Exactly. Now, because of this whole fiasco, um, this whole war I think they've shortened it to 2035. So their new goal is to be energy dependent by 2035. What do you think about that? Well, if they have to fix only if they could fix how to make sure there's no shortage of the supply from, the current gas pipeline.

I remember one of my German friends before the war actually started, there were terrified and they were saying this is going to be a big problem in Germany and as a German citizen, It's not, it's not going to be good. It's going to hurt their income It's going to hurt their saving. They're going to spend more. And my friend is actually at the age of about to retire.

So imagine you are at the age about the retirement and this, all the costs is starting to pile up and you don't have more income resources and pension funds of the German government is just limited let's say, yeah, this has the potential to crush all your retirement savings and your retirement plan It's devastated. Oh yeah. This is also pretty funny because I remember, I think it was 2020 when Donald Trump was the U S president. He was talking about a lot, the NATO expenses millitary expenses in Germany is not enough. And that kind of triggered him to.

Um, pulled off all the troop of US from Germany. Do you recognize that or have you came across that topic before? Yeah. Yep. They pulled out the troops from Germany. Yeah. I remember that Do you think that's the right decision or it's um, it's just because Donald Trump is too egoistic to do the right things. What's your 2 cents? Um, I'm not an expert on this, but yeah, I think it was, it makes sense. I don't really see the need for so many US soldiers to be in Germany, felt like they could be in different places or no places. So this is the news from 2020, twleve thousand troops. Twelve thousand troops donald Trump called it strategic move, but. Um, what he has in mind is that screw everyone here.

The taxpayer in US government is spending way too much to protect the people who are dependently on Russia's gas supply. And I think that's his intention. I might be wrong but this is what we found out that, um, Trump says, you guys are being controlled. You guys get hostile by the Russian, but you didn't notice that. And we're spending our taxpayers' money to send troops in order to protect, protecting you guys. And that kind of doesn't make sense. So, so I mean, it's kind of controversy to talk about Donald Trump in general, but what do you think? So I remember I showed you that video of that podcast, that Donald Trump, oh yeah. It's like two days ago. Let me just give, let me just set the scene for the viewers. So about two days ago, there was a podcast.

Yep. And it was done by these pranksters. Yeah. These pranksters somehow got Donald Trump himself to come on their podcast. Like they have never done anything like this before, you know? So it was a big deal for them. Yeah. And Donald Trump started talking about, good old fashioned Donald Trump things, but he did mention something that was kind of a peculiar. So I think back in 2019, 2018 Donald Trump had essentially told that Angela Merkel to stop importing so much of Russian gas and Russian oil and Angela Merkel essentially brushed the whole thing off. And I can not confirm this part because you know, Donald Trump said it, but according to him, he gifted Angela Merkel a white flag. Yep. And then she was like, yo, what, what is this supposed to, what does that mean? And then he said, oh, this is when, when Russia gets hostile, then you can use this, I, I hate to say it, but I feel like he was, he kind of hit the nail on the head because now we are so dependent on a country that no government, perhaps that we don't want to be dependent on.

Exactly. So you don't have the national defense the military that you supposed to guard your home country plus that your economy or your necessary resources is being controlled by the people that you don't want to be controlled. So that's the situation. Yeah. It's just really risky to be dependent on a government that you really don't. trust or trust. Yeah. Or you're just not morally compatible with, or just that you don't have enough knowledge. Like what the hell Putin is thinking about in general. Yeah. The whole thing is very volatile and that feels sorry for the Ukrainian people. It's so devastating to see the kids and, you know, the hospital is being bombarded by the air strike. So to be honest, I feel the biggest problem. Cause last time, on the first episode, when I was having the conversation with Ivan, he said about, during the war time, there's no right or wrong, but if media say someone is right or someone is wrong, then that guy becomes the right or wrong.

What do you think about that take? Um, yeah, I agree. You agree? Media writes the narrative and they run with it forever. It's really hard to change something. Once they've kind of set a particular narrative. So you are saying we should not trust the media because there's only one side of the perspective? No I would say it's better if you get your information from yeah. From multiple sources, you know, so at least, uh, you can be informed , even if you are wrong, at least you're informed. You have more well rounded understanding. So that's one of the reason I remember last time when we were having discussion in Ivan's point of view, he said back in the days, 1999, Bill Clinton, when he was the president of the US, NATO was bombing Serbia, just because they think there's terrorists, there's a nuclear threats, this and that, but media is saying nothing at all.

So nobody is actually, care because as long as the media started to pointing fingers or labeling someone and majority of the people that don't have either don't have time or resources to reach multiple resources It's easily to be manipulated. In general, I think, you know, a Western media with a few exceptions, like Al Jazeera or guardian. Yeah. They pretty much dominate what you look, what you hear and see. Oh yeah. So I guess that's also the reason why Donald Trump get banned across all the news and social media because, he has some problem, but you know, right now, if we look at, look back into this situation, it made some point that's obvious it could be the potential problem, but I guess people doesn't take it too seriously or just think that's not going to happen.

I would say . Yeah. You know what a few days ago, I, I heard this quote from Denzel Washington. Do you know Denzal? Very famous actor. Yep, absolutely He said basically, if you do read the news, you're misinformed, but if you don't read the news, you're uninformed, so I guess that's pretty much sums up what's happening with media today. That's a really good put so better to get more information in multiple resources and don't believe whatever you see on the internet or on the TV. It just, it might screw your life because we're living in a world that propaganda fake news is everywhere. So this is especially in the war time, a lot of misinformation saying this and that a lot of people, trying to make a statement, not only going to catch people's attention, but doesn't care about whether it's facts or whether it's going to hurt people or not. And this kind of sad. Yeah. We don't know how this is going to development at the time when you are watching or listening to this video, I hope everything is going to be all right.

But I would like to share a piece of information that might be very helpful for Ukrainian people. If you are leaving or try to relocate find a new job, this is what I found on LinkedIn earlier today. This is, a initiative I think is hosted by some guy who know how to help the Ukrainian people trying to find a new job and especailly. Right now, a bunch of people are open up vacant, just because if you are actually trying to find a new job outside of Ukraine, they will probably come to Germany or other countries. These are the company that you can look it up. So the website is called www.uatalents.com www.ualatents.com. If you have friends, or if you have any family members, friends that really need this piece of information, please share to them.

And that could be a good help. And that's I think the minimum we could do to support the people are suffering right now after this war. So speaking about this finding jobs situation, how's your career finding or internship finding right now in Germany Ashwin oh, I keep coming very close. Tell me something more. Yeah, I guess I'll tell you. By my experience trying to job hunt, How long have you been keep searching for internship or job hunting I've been doing it on and off. Been trying 2019 and the end of 2019. That's where I kinda was trying a really bad place to start trying because a few months later, you know, COVID hit. But actually in 2019 December, I had gotten a three month internship in in the states in Santa Fe and I was super excited, but then March came along and they essentially canceled all of Visa's going into the U S right. So that was a bummer. Is that the end of the 2019 before the 2020, Right? So I think that's a time when the COVID is just started.

Yeah. I was scheduled to go and start working in the summer in June or July. And then I remember the day, I think it was March 15th. Yeah. When the US finally conceded, okay, this is might be actually serious. And then everything goes to [ __ ] And then everything went to [ __ ]. They started canceling visas and all the appointments that I had for like the whole visa process was, was canceled, canceled. And then I was like, oh, okay, well, screw it. I guess I'll just try to find an internship in Germany. Right. So I did a short, quick internship in marketing around September in 2020.

It was all completely online from home. How does it went though? It was not bad, but I just found the marketing tasks that I was given kind of boring. Okay. So from then on, I stopped applying for marketing jobs. And when I say jobs, I mean, working students slash internship positions. Yeah. Because that's really all I'm going for at the moment. the biggest challenges you are facing while you're either getting the intern, getting the interview or during the interview so far. I've actually had a few decent interviews that I've gotten, but yeah, I guess it really just boils down to your personality in a lot of ways, especially if you're in business, because there, what a lot of teams are looking for is a good culture fit. Yep. So let's say you're in tech, you're a programmer that doesn't really matter because they're looking for someone with a certain set of skills, like hard skills. So it doesn't really matter what type of person you are.

You could be extremely introverted or whatever, but as long as you have the skills that they need, they will hire you. But in the whole business field, it's completely different. A cultural fit is very important for them. Yep. And this is what I've noticed. Cause I've gotten the second interviews a few times. Okay. And they still like me. I like, they were still pretty outgoing Chill And they were like speaking to me as if I was already a part of the team, but at the end it didn't go through because someone else, you know, Yeah, was a better fit and that's the word they keep using a better fit. I know right They will not really tell you, oh, you know, this person had, something better, this and that.

Yeah. I mean, this is also my personal experiences because I'm currently also finding an internship or working student before I actually graduated. So , I just keep receiving rejected later. They say, which has always have a better fit. And so we're not going to process the current application process. But in Germany, probably if you're listener to outside of Germany, you probably didn't know that, um, in Germany you have the right to request for the interviewer to ask them what didn't go well, and why was the reason I was not being considered? And so I actually did this. And the funny thing is like multiple vague messages. That's how they give out to me. They say this is because the situation fits into more other people's profile instead of yours. So that's the reason you are not qualified. But I guess in this situation is more about, I want to know what are my shortage and what could be improve in general for the future application, this and that.

But apparently I guess you could never find out, you can never finding out, like, what is the real problem not impressed them, right? Yeah. They will never be a hundred percent honest with you. They will just give you a vague reason just so that you can leave them alone. I feel also sorry for this HR people, because. In this situation, this HR person, they cannot either just completely ignored the request nor he could just say something harmful into your face. So this kind of like the alternative. Right. And that's all they could do. So if you are not quantified, if you're not being accepted, I'm just going to like, copy and paste all the same stuff. I guess that's the strategy. Yeah. So a lot of the times the HR department will do the dirty work.

Yep. They just get the feedback from the upper management and then they give you the rejection letters. Yeah. Whatnot. Based on the timeframe you are, keep applying for internship or working student, have you find anything that's unique or special or funny? Any stories? Yeah, I mean, I just do have a few stories. Well, it really just boils down to this just bad luck and bad timing also because of Corona, but there's this one time. I had secured a second interview with SAP and this was for project management internship. Okay. So the first interview it went really well. Yep. I had gotten confirmation for the second interview in just a few minutes. So once the first interview concluded, I got the next invite link in my email. Just a few minutes later just a few minutes yes. I was so excited. I was like, oh my God, this is perfect. And then I did my second interview about two to three days later. And then that interview, it also went good.

Not too bad, but the people who had interviewed me were from Canada. Okay. Based in Germany, but the position was for Germany, obviously for for Munich. yep. So that interview finished, and then they told me that they're in a hurry to conclude this whole hiring process and they will get back to me as soon as next week. Okay. That's fast. They never did. They just completely ghosted me. I called the HR person a bunch of times. They said, oh yeah, we get back to you and just give a bunch of shitty excuses.

But I guess, I don't know if that was like a loophole, because as you mentioned, if like you have the right to ask why you were you were cut, but does it really apply for someone in Canada? So yeah, Yeah I feel like that was complicated. I have a similar stories, cause I remember I was also applying also working in student position as well. And the people says, I'm very interested in your profile. So let's set up a web meeting, a short web meeting. So we know each other together. And I say, cool. And he asked me like, which date you prefer, what's the time I gave her my timeframe and which date. And then she just ghosted me like until the day and until the day after what we supposed to have the meeting. And she was like, oh, sorry, you know, we are holding this position right now for whatever reason. I can't really recall.

Also, I have another one, which is also really frustrated is that just because the start the Ukraine and Russia beef and he says, oh, I got a hiring freeze right now. So we're not able to expand any further hiring process. So this is, I don't know, this is just it's so weird for me, but I dunno, man, Ashwin, let's say, if you are the HR of the company, especially in Germany company, what would be criteria you're mainly looking while finding working student or internship? Um, well, I did mention how the HR does look for a good cultural fit. They will kind of gauge your personality. I wouldn't say get rid of that completely. Not just hire the most qualified person. I do think, especially in business roles, your personality does play a huge part, but I think sometimes from at least in my experience, I noticed is they like to belong to their little club and they like to hire people just like them. Yeah.

So they will set aside some of the qualifications if they really like you personality wise. Yeah so you're suggesting kind of having the balance between not just having the club, but also qualify more about the skillset? Yeah, they should put a little more emphasis on the skills. But again, this is just my experience in the working students slash internship positions that I've been looking at.

I actually have I actually found out something that's also quite interesting is like currently a lot of the job has been transforming to only the working student or internship position instead of full-time position, probably because the algorithm [ __ ] me up on LinkedIn or something, I don't know. But this is based on my experiences. It's just, when you search internship, you could probably get like 200 to, even up to 500 results based on what you're looking forward the field you're looking for. So if you switch it to like full-time position that that's probably going to be less than a hundred. And this is, I feel like because the unfavor of the labor law or hiring an employee here in Germany is way complicated. Because if you hire someone who has the contract, especially a permanent contract, then you are not easily to get rid of that person.

So now company or HR is kind of, they're just using this loophole, trying to just keep hiring something that's temporary for six months and they can just keep the business running. Meanwhile, they have like new, fresh graduate students will apply for all these position, they do the same stuff. What do you think about that? Yeah. Yeah. I agree. It's also a way for them to save on costs, you know? Cause they can just hire an intern, do the same job for much cheaper.

Yeah. Although they're not legally bound to have you forever or Exactly. Yeah. And they could get rid of you, especially if. They are short on the monetary, because imagine if you are like a full-time permanent contract employee, you have at least, I think 30 days holiday, and the, if you don't have enough holiday in one year company will try to make you to take as much holiday as you could, because if they don't make you to have the holiday and they have to pay you as a compensation. So this is like a big disadvantage for Germany company, especially in the startup theme. You know, most of the people who just started business, doesn't have a lot of resources. And you imagine that you got to follow this law requirement, which is kind of outdated in the current world.

So it's complicated. We didn't talk about the importance and I believe if you're in Germany, you have to face this , which is the language skill, the German now, what do you think about the importance of, speaking German to either get you a job or, be fit into this culture or to fit into this country so, yeah. So if you come over to Germany for for studies and you don't speak a word of German, my first advice would probably be to start learning German ASAP, because if you're looking for a position or a full-time position or an internship, or just, you have want to have a better life in general. Quality of life yeah. You're competing with everyone who speaks German, so you're kind of handicapped and you can only look at positions.

Which require English. Yeah. And it's much fewer it's much less than of course positions that require German In common sense. That makes sense. Because most of the business will probably just serve their own domestic country. International company is less in general. There's just way less international companies than there are local companies. But I do feel like it is changing. I also agree. I feel like a lot of the company are starting to shift into, embracing more international talent, which has fit into our situation.

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So what was your biggest culture shock? when you just come to Germany though. Have you encountered any biggest culture shock, when you just arrive here? So a lot of the stereotypical culture shocks. I had already read about it before coming here. And things like, Germans like to be on time. And I feel like even a minute late, it's a bad look for you. So things like that I kind of expected and they were all true. You think it's all ture?I kind of disagree on that though in my experience, obviously, but you know, it, it really depends on the setting. If it's a professional environment, obviously you want to be on time.

Oh yeah. I mean, in the business environment, I agree on that. But what I find funny or ironic is when, um, we always say German always on time. And when we arrive here, we will always see the train or, you know, the, oh, okay. That's what you mean. Oh, U Bahn which is the, how does that call it a subway station. Subway. Yeah, the subway it's like sometimes just delays sometimes just not coming sometimes for this. And that reason is just hilarious. Oh yeah I mean, yeah, but I was really talking about business-wise in the because in my country, I'm from, in Dubai and in India, it's, if you're a late, it's not exactly the best look, but you know, it's, there's not a huge stigma behind being a few minutes late for a meeting.

If you are in a professional setting and say you come five minutes late to an important meeting, you know, it's just not a good look. I agree. I agree on that. So being professional being on time is also another way of showing respect and discipline I agree on that. But have you ever have any culture shock or, something that you are not getting you are not used to it like in the first week? Putting aside all the stereotypical culture shocks that the average person faces in my first week, I was getting a phone, a SIM card for my phone. Okay. Yeah. And I remember going into Vodafone. Yep. So basically once you come to Germany and you get a SIM card, you have to identify yourself. I think it's called post ident. I haven't done that in ages, but that's one of the things you do. And for some reason I couldn't do it to my phone.

So I had to go into the Vodafone store to confirm my identity. Yeah. And for some reason, the guy at the Vodafone place he didn't know how to do it. And literally all he told me was, you know what, you should try going to O2 They know how to do things. And I was like, what? So that was the first time I realized that customer service here is pretty bad. Yep. I've heard a lot of people. Yeah. I have very negative experiences with the customer support. And a lot of times they will think that, you know, the, the customer support is racist, which I don't agree with.

I just think that they're not wired like American customer service or Asians. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Cause over there it's like customer's king yet over here in Germany. They're more of, um, They are like they don't give a [ __ ], they're like facilitators. They are just like, I do my job and at the time I'm about to leave and I'm going to leave, yeah. So they do their job. That's on their job description and nothing more. And what's the most famous phrase that I continuously hearing in Germany is, um, "Das ist nicht meine aufgabe", which is that is not my business that is not my work.

Yeah. But naturally, you know, this thing doesn't exist everywhere. It's just much more prevalent in Germany. So I've been, the Vodafone guy told me to go to O2. I was like that was so strange because you're so shocked. Most countries like you don't get customers who, other people like two other competitors. So yeah. He told me to go to O2 and I've been having an O2 SIM card since that's so weird, but that's a good one.

I never expected like people. will literally introduced you to their enemy unless they have commissioned there, probably, I don't know, probably some underground stories, but in my experiences, I feel like the most cultural shock and situation is when we go to the government, which is handling our visa situation. This is the pain in the butt situation. So we have to extend our visa. Based on how much time we have left. We have to apply that a month earlier or even two months earlier because the bureaucracy here in Germany was just, insanely slow.

But slow is not the problem. The biggest culture shock I have is that those people work in the government authority and they're handling the visa. They know that you probably are "Ausländer" which is. People are forigners. So what I understand from Asia or in general is that, if you are in the authority of the government, then you are dealing with the foreign visa application or any task in general, you are more or less likely want to apply in English or in language that they understand, because you understand that when they are not local people.

Right. But here, even the government people, we're not talking about average person because average person, they have the preference, they has their 2 cents. They don't want to speak English totally fine. Right. But in government, they insisted to try to talk to you in German. They know you could only speak English, but they will still insist and reply you in German, which you could not understand in the first week when you just landed here, if you don't have the German skills already.

So I was super shocked when I was trying to apply my resident permit in in the KVR, which is the authority of the government that handled the visa application. They are like, I keep telling her in English, she reply me back in German. I don't understand stuff. I don't understand [ __ ]. And then I asked her, do you speak English and she keep reply me in the German we were just kind of, but I, I noticed that she understand what I'm talking about.

So it was just keep saying her German. I'm keep saying my English because I'm trying to be friendly. I want to like, okay, make sure everything is done properly. At the end of the day, at least it is done, that's kind of shocking to me. But you know what, I will say something positive of, well, this is completely my experience. So if you're, you know, of, thinking about coming to Germany for for a university now there's two things you will need to do.

And th there's two things that you'll need to be doing often, at least in Germany, if you want to come over. First is registering your address. Yep. Yeah. And the second thing is renewing your residence permit. So these two things are the most annoying. And it involves you going into the KVR, which is known for their completely [ __ ] customer service. There's no customer service involved. Yeah. It's just service in quotations. But for me know, I think I've been 100% lucky or maybe it's the new changes they have made, but this is in the Munich KVR. So if you're a student, you will be going to the student office. Yeah. You won't be going to the regular "ausländerbehörde" the, or like the international office, you'll be going into the student section. And the people there usually speak English from my experience, they all spoke in English to me and everything was smooth.

And I went to them. I go there at least once a year for renewing the resident's permit. And because I move out of my place once a year, I go there also for registering. Yeah. So all those times, except maybe one out of like, I don't know, six, seven times I've been there. It's been pretty much great. Yep. I do remember this one time I had failed to register my one apartment, because I had lived there only for three months but that doesn't really matter because you have to register no matter what. Yeah. So I lived there for three months and I went to my new permanent place and the KVR person. Was like, yo, you didn't register for like that three months. And I was like, oh [ __ ], I'm going to get so screwed right now.

But no, she was, I think she was Japanese based on her name, but she spoke to me in English perfectly. And she essentially registered me in the new place that I, I mean, in the old place that I had stayed and then de registered me So she is willing to help you to do the process. She literally went the extra mile, which I did not expect in the KVR. I thought, oh [ __ ], I got to go back and get new paperwork or whatever. But no, it was fixed right then and there. I remember last time I was trying to apply my visa extension in the KVR Manheim.

And before me, there was a, like a girl, I think she is Chinese. And she cannot speak German as well. And she was standing there not moving. She cannot understand the world from the, the, the German lady behind the glass. And she was just like so frustrating at that moment. She just started crying and I was like, what the [ __ ] is going on. Right. And then at the last moment that German lady says, okay, she, she literally started to use English.

Okay, go back to there. I'm going to come back to you later in 10 minutes. And I was thinking like from the observers point of view, like, why don't you start it in the beginning? Like, what was the point? Aren't you trying to get the work done, you know, like, but I don't know. Maybe it's a cultural thing.

Maybe it's just because she doesn't feel right. No idea That was in Manheim? Yeah. That was the Manheim Manheim KPR. Because in Munich, I think that they're putting more priority for these students. Student employees to speak English. Yeah. That's also helpful for reduce the loading of the workers. Because if you just imagine if you always assign the work to one person that want to handle, like all the refugees, international persons, students He is going to burn out a hundred percent. And I guess that's the reason, like the people who on that seat always hating the jobs. So that's why they treat people like [ __ ]. And I believe that it's true because if the employee is not being taken care of, then he or she doesn't care about the job, then he will treat whatever people he's accounting like [ __ ], because at the end of the day, it's the same.

You know, there's also another thing I've been thinking of. Regarding, places like the KVR or embassies, I noticed that a lot of them are super pissed off 24/7 yet. And I was beginning to think like, why, like, why is everyone always like, pissed off and I think, okay, this is just my take, I'm not a hundred percent sure. But I have noticed that a lot of idiots, like, there's no nice way to put it, but like a lot of idiots, like just like walk in and like just troll they forgot to fill up like this form or whatever, even though they mentioned it, like you need this form or just, um, yeah.

Just things like that, th they deal with people like this on the regular. Yes. Yes. So they kind of desensitized decent-sized stem. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, I could totally relate. And I could also feel sorry for those people who are in that position because you are literally, I'm probably in the first three months or six months, you are enthusiastic try and do, you know, make sure people have quality of life.

But after six months of bombarded, like [ __ ], then you're starting to be more part of the culture. Burns you out, Burns out super easy. And that's the employee you get after a few months of working in the KVR. Do you have other culture shock or any things that surprised you like food or, you know, like language, behavior, timing So here is another story yup. Um, first, first month I guess.

Yeah. In Germany. And so from where I'm from in Dubai. Yeah. If you close your doors, it's not closed, you know, it's, you can still open it to. You really lock your door. Yeah. That's how it is. I mean, I'm pretty sure it was like that in many countries. Well not in Asia, I mean, not in Taiwan. I'm from taiwan, Taiwan. It's the same in Germany when you close the door and it shuts for good. Yeah. Like you need a key to open it up again. Is that what you mean? Yeah. But in Taiwan is like, unless you know, the owner of the store or otherwise, and when they closed, then it means close for like any residential buildings, the doors, once they shut, like you cannot push them out again. Yeah. You need a key yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. So in Dubai, it's not like that, in Dubai and even in India, if you close the door, it's not closed. It's not locked. It's closed obviously, but you have to lock it with the key, for whatever, like a number pad or wherever the case.

So, I mean, I knew about this. Like I wasn't used to it, so I locked myself out. Oh yeah. By that, I mean the door shut on me, it just shut was like, oh [ __ ]. So I had to call my landlord and I didn't realize that day was Easter on the day that it was a holiday. So I called my landlord and he was pissed. Like he was so surprised why I would call him on Eastern. Like even told me like in English, don't, you know, what's a holiday. Why don't you call me? I was like, whoa, chill, dude. I would just say, I just want a spare key, but yeah, I eventually ended up getting the key and that's when I kind of noticed, um, in Germany you don't really call your colleagues on the holidays for anything, like work kind of stops.

Okay. Yeah. It's a time for family it's time for you and yourself for a chill too, you know? And I guess he thought that since I called him, it must've been like something super, super important. Yep. But he does like, he, he probably never gets called on on holidays, especially on Easter. So then he picked up and it was me locking myself out. Now he was pissed. So you went to him or he come to you? Um, yeah, he had to come to me, but he doesn't live like far away. It was I think a five minute drive, but yeah, I felt kind of bad, but you know, that was a good lesson to learn pretty early on. I remember the first time I also locked myself out in the first time and I was living in a student apartment, let's say so the first time I locked myself out. I thought like, oh [ __ ], you know, in Germany, if you lock yourself outside and they always say, is that there's going to be a special lock that nobody could, you know, trick it or open it in any other way of force or stuff.

So all you can do is just call the locksmith. It's going to cost them for what? And at least minimum a hundred Euro minimum, Minimum under Euro to come to you and open it. And so the first time I locked myself outside of my own dormitory, I was like, oh [ __ ], it's time to spend the money. And I just did it because what I read and what I learned is like, this is the best way to do.

But the second time I locked myself outside. And my hausemeister which is like the apartment manager was there. I was like, Hmm. Maybe if any chance that he could tell me what's that. And I go to him and he was like, okay, show me your ID. Prove that you are the owner. I'll say, yes, I'm this. And then, okay. And then he just literally having his like secondary key opening lock it's like so easy and I remember also the time when the locksmiths come, he was like, he looked at the door and he just using the really simple, easy key is like putting inside and open it.

And that cost me 99 Euro. I was so pissed. So, so after that I learned one thing, one thing, this is a social hack, be a friend of your hausmeister. Be a friend of your house/apartment manager, because it's going to make life way easier. And I could add another point on top of this is in Germany, most of the time, if you're moving out from where you live, you are supposed to refurnish, let's say you have to paint it. You have to make everything's clean and you have to make sure everything is organized. Nothing is broken. So when they come here, they check everything is going to be fine or otherwise they will deducted a lot of your deposit because they think, oh, you should have do this. You should have do that. This is not working and that. And so I remember the moment I w I was about to move out of my apartment and I talked to my, um, apartment manager and I say, Hey, I know that we probably have to refurnish ourselves.

We have to do this and that. What was the normal process? And he says, okay, there's two options. One, you brush yourself, you do everything correctly. And I'm going to come to check. And if everything is correct, then nothing's going to happen. And the second option is, um, you probably hire someone else out there, come to do this stuff for you. And I asked him, is there any options that I could just ask you to do it for me? And I'll pay you for that. And you're gonna make sure to sign the contract says everything is fine. And he was like, okay. Yeah. There's a, there's also a possibility what I would say. So, yes. Okay. Let's make this deal. I'm going to pay you 50 Euro. That is going to be covered.

The refurnish, the painting, organize everything. I just building a friendship with him. So I didn't lose my deposit because I remember so many, especially international student, they get ripped off, like all the, house manager, because they was just like, they painted by themselves, they spend like two weekends right there painting by themselves. And at the, then they'd always say, oh, this is not white enough. Or this is not gray enough. This part has the dust and this and that, it lose like 500 to 600 euros just because this and that. So for me, I rather like just pay only 50 euro. Make sure everything is fine. And instead of getting a ripped off yeah. So talk to your property manager and make friends, make friends with them. Do what you gotta do. That's the social hack. Especially if you're out here alone, don't try to be, too smart because they always have like something to, you know, mess around with you.

You don't want to deal with that. Also speaking about maintainance in your apartment, how annoying do you find kalk [ __ ]? Well, not [ __ ] kalk. I have to speak in. Is that also in English as well? I think a German. German. K-L-A-K. Yeah. It's yeah. It's everywhere because the water, Do you have it in Taiwan. No, we don't have that. Yeah. So for us, yeah, exactly. That's like once you wash something and then you dry it. There's a white stain on top of it. Yeah.

Th the kalk deposits build up over time and it's pain in the ass to clean. Yeah. You need to new, you need to have lemonade, vinegar and sort of stuff to remove it. Yeah. It just makes maintaining your, and those could actually be the reason why they, you know, remove your deposit. They say, it's not clean enough and you will be pissed. They just say that because you really have to clean it.

Like pretty much every time you take a shower or whatever, and you have to, you just imagine you take a shower and then what you have to do is that you've got to make sure the shower room is dry after you leave the shower. That's pretty much how insane it is. And that's like a lot of German family are actually doing that, especially the older generation. It remove all the water inside the shower so that there won't be the [ __ ] kalk [ __ ] Kalk don't try to distorted my pronunciation.

"kalk" um, on the wall or on the, on the floor in general. Super annoying, "kalk". If you're trying to come to Germany, just remember you gotta get your maintenance game way up. Yeah. Or you hire someone to do that, or you'd be friends with the HausMeister. Yup. All right. So, you know, the time flies actually pretty fast. We could save some of the topic next time because we still have a lot of the topic to , to share since we have been living here and I met Ashwin since 2018 and we are, we started like in a, uh, international university bachelor degree, and then. Now he's studying the master degree, I'm doing an MBA and we have definitely so much stuff to share about with new guys. So thanks for tuning in this podcast.

We would love to share more information next time, when you're tuning in. If you enjoyed this conversation, please leave a like or comment your 2 cents or even share the podcast with people. You probably have the same interest. It will help us build a bigger community and also grow the channel that will unite all the international millennials out there internationally. So stay tuned and hope to you see you next week. Have a great one. See you


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