Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Auf Wiedersehen Germany - Hello UK

Germany, flag

Germany and more specifically Berlin became the town where I spent the longest time in my life as an adult. In the end it became almost a decade. I must admit that I am sad to leave.

I did however never really fit in here and if it would not have been for me having my own company then I would probably have left earlier. It is not that Germany or Germans are bad it was simply not my cup of tea. My way of working fitted ok in the Netherlands and perfectly in France but less so here in Germany. It will be interesting to see how I will fit in the UK.

Usually in research and development today there is a lot of talk about optimization, quality control, quality management, GMP, Lean, Six Sigma etc. In my lab I established a concept that I called "Quick and Dirty" or short "Q&D". Sometimes the world seems to forget that new products only arrive by doing new things and part of that process is NOT optimization, quality control, Lean etc. All those things comes afterwards. Additionally, spending time in meetings talking about new products will also not generate new products but five minutes of Q&D in the lab will. These are the kind of things that makes me not really fit into the German scientific world.

Outside of work life in Germany is fine. Food tastes good and you get plenty of it. They have a heavy bureaucracy which sometimes you hate and sometimes you love based on how your current interaction is progressing. German people are kind and hard working savers that unfortunately have yet to discover stocks and the stock market. 

I was on my way to write that Berlin is special but I decided to change it into that Berlin was special. The reason for this is that today there is much less that is special about Berlin than what is "normal" in Berlin. Give it another couple of years and Berlin will be a large München or Frankfurt. I missed the golden era of Berlin which was from the fall of the wall to the millennium and I was here during the intermezzo where some parts where still different and special and other parts had already become completely gentrified. Try to find a place in Berlin today that is not gentrified...

Due to my personality I did not profit from Berlin as I could have. In the middle of the process I also discovered and was forced to start investing which then also caused me to profit less from Berlin because especially in the beginning when you start living very frugal it is hard to find a balance and one very often goes frugally too extreme. I did for many years and only recently have I started to change a little concerning this matter which most likely comes from me tossing out around 15k € for starting our new life in the UK. Much of it will come back but psychologically once you start to toss out those quantities of money it seems to be "easy" to just keep pushing out more money. I will need to step on the break once we are in the UK to regain control of the situation.

I was once told by a french person that I should never say "Adieu" because that meant to never meet again and therefore to Germany and Berlin I will say "Auf Wiedersehen" and at the same time I say "Hello" to the UK!

the UK, flag


Anonymous said...

Smack. Right in the middle of Brexit. Jolly fun, isn´t it.

Wish you all the best with your move. Where will you settle?


Anonymous said...

hahaha, yes it is indeed jolly fun! I guess i should look forward to moving in 2 to 3 years from now but until then I will have jolly fun here!

I am up in yorkshire so a region that clearly voted to leave.

-Fredrik von Oberhausen