My new life in Nürnberg

I’m sitting in the Starbucks near Hauptmarkt in Nürnberg, sipping a heiss schokolade mit soja milch, a drink I ordered at every Starbucks I’ve ever been to. I can see the river outside, the German folk walking around merrily in the nice sunshine from marketplace to marketplace, and I’m reminded that this isn’t like every Starbucks I’ve ever been to, this is Germany and nothing is quite like the way it was for me.

You would never guess this place was nearly destroyed in the 1940s the way it looks now. It’s old and beautiful, whereas most establishments in NYC, most iconic ones anyway, haven’t been destroyed in the last 70 years yet they are always under construction like the rest of the buildings and importantly, the people. Germans aren’t works in progress, they have a firm confidence in who they are as a nation. They are German, and in America we are all different people from different places with American attached to the end of our ethnicity. And being American in Germany, I haven’t figured that out just yet. I know who I am as an American from Boston, being half Irish and half black, being educated a certain way, and working another certain way. But just American? No idea yet.

Not knowing the language as well as I would like makes me a bit unsettled. I struggle to do normal things like buy a bath mat or a bedroom set. I feel like it’s not just a foreign language, it’s a foreign state of mind. And maybe that’s because I’ve been here for 5 days, the last 2 of which have been alone. I have to get used to things, practice my German and gain a bit of confidence. No one can do that in 5 days. I’m pushing myself to remember that this is a new life, a new start, and not everything can be perfect straightaway. And that’s ok! When the scariness has faded away and the audacity of my decision to move here comes, well then I’ll be a rather happy!

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10 thoughts on “My new life in Nürnberg

  1. Hey there, I just wanted to congratulate you on making the big move! Please try to be patient with yourself. I love it here in Germany, but it took a good couple of years before I felt like I could function with any semblance of confidence.

    There’s going to be a meetup of Expat Bloggers in Germany in Köln in late October. If you’d like to join the message board (whether or not you want to attend), go to expatbloggersingermany.com/meetup or go check out our (new, empty) Facebook page. It might be a good way to find people in a similar situation and how to deal with all of the new experiences coming at you.

  2. Welcome to Nürnberg and I hope you enjoy the city with all of us crazy Germans around you! 😉 If you have questions or need something feel free to ask. I moved to Nürnberg almost three years ago and I love the city.

    1. Thanks for your kind words Sebastian! I love this city, I think it is amazing and gorgeous, although I feel a little lost not knowing the language or where everything is yet. I am looking up jobs and things to do, and of course, places to eat. Do you have any awesome recommendations??

      1. Judging from the picture on top you’ve already discovered the castle. 🙂 I will try to list a few things I like but I’m sure there a many more.

        I don’t know if you’ve already used the public transport in Nürnberg, here are their homepages: http://www.vag.de/index.php?l=2 or http://www.vgn.de/

        Do you have an iPhone? If so I recommend the “VGN” app which will help you to plan your trip with the VAG.

        For eating/drinking, a few of my favorite places:

        Near Cinecitta is the O’Sheas Irish Pub: http://osheas.de/
        They have surprisingly good food, if it is warm outside you can sit at the riverside and most of the staff speaks English (or Irish ;)).

        A typical tourist place but in my opinion they have good food: Bratwurst Röslein http://www.bratwurst-roeslein.de/

        If you like freshly squeezed juices (not only orange or apple) I recommend http://www.mischbar.com/ . It’s located near the Hauptmarkt and also has very tasty currys (not only chicken curry).

        If you like Sushi you can go to “Sushi Glas”: http://www.sushi-glas.de/
        A bit pricey but very good.

        There is the “Anderland”, in the northwest of Nürnberg: http://www.das-anderland.de/
        One of my favorite pubs. They have many local beers and the most crazy pizza creations (also locally themed). A bit “alternative” and it has a nice courtyard in the back to sit outdoors.
        You can use the tram (line 6) to get there. By the way, in which part of the city is your apartment?

        Places to visit:

        There are so many events taking place in and around the city it’s impossible to list them all.

        For a large list of events and places you can visit, the official homepage of Nürnberg: http://www.nuernberg.de/internet/portal_e/index.html has many hints about what is going on in the city.

        For example you just missed our “Classis Open Air” events: Picnic and classical music from the Nuremberg Philharmonic and Nuremberg Symphonic Orchestras, for free. These take place every year so next year visit them if you can, I highly recommend it.

        There is the Zoo (Tiergarten Nürnberg): http://tiergarten.nuernberg.de/ including the dolphin lagoon they just finished.

        As the homepage states: “Germany’s most famous artist, Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) was born in Nuremberg.”
        We have a Albrecht Dürer Museum in the heart of the city and he is buried at the oldest cemetery in Nürnberg, the “Johannisfriedhof” which is also in the northwest of the city.

        If you want something more “underground” there are old cellars deep under Nürnberg, and you can visit them: http://www.felsengaenge-nuernberg.de/en_index.htm They have guided tours in English.

        If it is warm outside I recommend to just stroll trough the city in the evening. Many things to see and many different people around.

        If you’re interested in the darker role Nürnberg played in WW2 you can visit many places, for example:

        The documentation centre at the former Nazi Party Rally Grounds: http://www.museums.nuremberg.de/documentation-centre/

        The courtroom where the Nuremberg Trials took place:
        http://www.museums.nuremberg.de/courtroom600/

      2. Thanks for the list. I live on Nunnenbeckstr., it’s near Osteria and Mr. Sub lol. I don’t know if you know where that is, hmmmm Rathenauplatz? I cannot wait to try out the places on your list though, thanks for sharing!

  3. Arrrg.. I think wordpress just ate my big comment about all the places you could go. If it doesn’t show up tonight I’ll type it again.

  4. Btw. my GP studied in England so if you need an English speaking doc, I can give you his address/phone.

  5. And also, regarding jobs- I have my Bachelor’s in Baking & Pastry Arts, my Master’s in Library Science, and I’ve worked as a preschool teacher this last year. So I’m hoping I can get something in one of those areas. I’m a bit crazy with backup plans, can you tell?

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