Hello, this is my blog about moving to and living in Berlin. My family and I relocated here in the summer of 2022 from the United States.
When you are introduced to Berlin as an immigrant, you learn that the beautiful, highly coveted apartments in renovated pre-war buildings are known as ‘altbau,’ literally “old build.”
The name of my blog is a play on this phrase–meant to convey a certain aesthetic. Maybe call it mature or well, at least, experienced.
Unlike the altbau, I am neither trendy nor renovated. Sometimes I question whether, in fact, I am ‘zu alt’ to be pulling up stakes at my age – moving to another country, learning another language – far from friends and relatives and all that is familiar.
But if I have learned anything from the past few years, it is that many things I thought were certain or sound, were not. The things I counted on as guarantees of safety and comfort can vanish overnight. Now I think: If you want to do something and have the chance- take it. At least try – you may never get another chance. Later may not be an option.
And this may turn out to have been foolish. German may really be too hard. Berlin too edgy. The winter too dark. The rent too high. But to quote a favorite Monty Python character, ‘I’m not dead, yet!’
I hope you will enjoy my somewhat unusual take on our experiences as we write this new life chapter in Germany.