Plane ticket is bought, notice has been given, and non-essentials are being donated. I will be in Luxembourg by November 1st!
Any advice or stories from other expats in Europe? Suggestions on what to do, where to go? Any hiccups along the way? Things you miss about the US? Things you're glad you'll never see again?
All comments and suggestions appreciated, even the several I am sure to get from the nasty, viscious cunts who will say things like "good riddance" and "I hope your plane crashes."
They amuse me.
Get ready to pay more for everything, except maybe public transport.
Also, depending on where in the States you're moving from, invest in a UV lamp, because the weather in Luxembourg is crap.
Otherwise, welcome to the civilized world!
I lived in Portland for five years and spent the last year in San Francisco. So I am prepared for the gloom and the expense (Luxembourg is actually cheaper than SF!).
Will I moss blue jeans? Should I stock up? I do love my dungarees!
Moss = miss.
Damn my ipad typing.
Luxembourg is boring enough without PPSM
You will still be able to amuse us with your wit while in Europe?
They do have computers in Luxembourg......don't they??
PPSM, how did you pull it off? What did you need to do to qualify for residency? Are you able to work there?
Keep me posted. I start a new job in Germany in about 6 months.
You'll miss having enough ice in your glass to actually chill your beverage!
Ex-pat in the UK here. Do stock op on Levi's..they are horribly expensive here. But be prepared to travel cheaply to places you never dreamed you would be afford to visit on Ryanair, Easyjet, AirBerlin, GermanWings, etc.! If you like Kraft Dinner, stock up and bring it with you...otherwise, enjoy your free health care!
Yes, OP and R10, how were you able to do this?
Fuck. You'll be even MORE insufferable.
My partner got a promotion and transfer with his job. I resigned from mine, but have an English degree and TEFL certification. So I will be teaching English. I had wanted to do that for a long time, but felt obligated to stay in my job because of the higher salary.
Now I have the chance to do what I've wanted, and to do it in Europe. Woohoo!
So no, not a trust fund baby. I grew up poor and worked my ass off to save for what I have.
But haters gotta hate, right! Let them, if it's all they have.
Now I'm out to buy jeans...and white socks. :)
I feel sorry for he nice people of Luxembourg
I would love to be an ex-pat. How do you do it? The mechanics of doing it not the financial aspect. You have to have some sort of resident visa right? And a job there? Or not need to work?
And I feel sorry for you, R14.
Luxembourg is tiny. Hope you won't feel claustrophic soon. ;) It got a French touch and is really close to a lot of nice places in Europe. The Mosel area is beautiful. Lots of good wine. Good food, but quite different to American nutrition. And way of life. You'll get used to it.
Keep us posted, what you encounter and welcome to good old Europe!
Where are you living? Luxembourg City? Learn German and go to Frankfurt or Strasbourg for the weekend. Skiing must be great. But LC can be...dull. And expensive.
Do you know much about Limpertsberg, R17? That's the neighborhood in which we will live.
Good for you. I'd love to live abroad.
Blog. Start one. For drama purposes reject all new things. Cling on to the old stuff first and then, like in a Lifetime movie, use a catlyst moment to change and adapt.
I am fluent in Spanish already (my minor in college), and so will opt for French instead of German, but will give German a shot eventually (it is fucking hard to keep track of all those cases and their articles!),
I actually have relatives around Frankfurt (Weisbaden, in fact), so that is already on my list.
In Luxembourg they've got their own dialect 'Letzebuergesch'. Guess, you'll pick up some of it. French and German are languages of government. Guess you'll pick up on all three of them eventually.
[quote] I am fluent in Spanish already...
OMG, you're Gwyneth!
You will be living on land liberated by the Allies in The Battle of the Bulge.
A courtesy call to the people who made your move possible should be one of your first undertakings.
Any resident of Luxemburg can tell you how to get to the American Military Cemetery.
Thank your lucky stars you can drink the tap water.
congrats and hope you'll have a stress-free move and all the best in your new adventure!
[quote]Luxembourg is actually cheaper than SF!
No it isn't. Are you a liar or just ignorant?
Teaching English to the English. Oh, to be you.
I moved to Tristan da Cunha a few years back and love it here. I thought it would feel isolated here, but it really doesn't.
So you've lived in both cities and know this, R28?
I'm waiting for your response...
If PPSM is this needy in a country where his neighbors speak his language, lord knows how depressed he'll get when his partner is barely speaking to him in a foreign land. This is going to be epic!
Don't be "The American" of your village. I.e. don't go to every tourist trap thing imaginable and don't start every sentence with "Back in the States". For the first while don't speak, just listen instead.
Also PPSM, you have a partner?! Does he know you're a notoriously despised blogger?
Bon Voyage PPSM
Be polite and discreet. Say bonjour, how are you, excusez-moi, please, thank you, monsieur et madame. Europeans are jarred by Americans' habit of running up and barking out "What time is it? Where is the station?" and so on.
R33, PPSM has mentioned his partner numerous times. In this thread and others.
I must have blanked out knowledge of the partner. Hard to believe.
I agree with R37, it's hard to believe such an insufferable cunt has a partner
I rather prefer PPSM to the usual pond life only capable of low level bitchery- they are to bitchiness and wit what K Mart is to quality homes.
Since all of your blog photos feature cheap ugly clown shoes, perhaps you could make an investment in some quality footwear.
You could take baby steps with Frye and Cole Haan. Then, work your way up to big boy shoes as money permits.
BTW, each of the four people I've known who transferred to Europe/London lost over ten pounds. Perhaps, you should put off purchasing clothing that goes around that waist.
Go to Qshit or the other Datalounge knock-off board.
Graysh, we just can't WAIT to hear all of your insufferable expat updates on your fabelhoft Euro lifestyle!
Luxembourg?! What, Andorra rejected your visa application?
This could turn out to be more exciting than the time Mrs Patrick Campbell went on that search for Madeline McCann.
Oh, you guys.
You should know I am somewhat of a contrarian.
The nasty remarks only make me want to post more.
You will never in a million years run me off this board.
Your jealousy is as transparent as it is ugly.
To the well-wishers and those dispensing actual advice: thank you!
Why the Fuck will you go to Luxemburg, OP?
Learn to read R46.
"viscious"? Oh, dear...(unless is a European spelling...)
A grammar troll
That's the best you can do R8? Find a random typo caused by typing on an ipad?
It has nothing to do with grammar, you nasty cunt.
R48, of course.
Have fun with that one too.
Good riddance to bad rubbish!
A "PPSM", accent on the "school marm", should know grammar, non?
I lived in Munich three years and Stockholm for a few months. You will enjoy the experience, op. There will be the honeymoon phase where you notice all the things that are so cool and better than here. Great social programs, mass transit and the like. Then you will go through the realism phase, where you miss things like a real side by side washer and dryer, shopping selections, certain foods, American holidays.
In Munich I lived in an apartment building with an expat neighbor from New York. That was helpful for me. Amerika Haus was an organization that helped with lots of USA connections.
Living on another continent will open your eyes to so many things, here and there. Infinite personal growth potential.
Thank you, R53. I am definitely in the pre-honeymoon phase. I am sooooo excited to get there. I have friends in the UK and Greece and family next door in Germany, and have joined some expat groups online. Did you do that? Was it helpful? I am also living in an expat-heavy neighborhood, so that will help with the transition as well.
Apparently it will be hard to find decent Asian or authentic Mexican food (both are commonplace in San Francisco). But I am a pretty good cook, so can whip that up if I crave it.
Anything else specific you missed?
Oh...and I know this sounds cheesy...
But would it be a good idea to start a book group? I thought that might be a good way to get to know other expats.
As long as none of them suggest Finnegan's Wake, we'll be fine. ;)
I lived in Stuttgart for awhile and their holidays afforded plenty of time off so there was no missing of American holidays at all. In addition to the great public transport, I loved being able to get on the autobahn for weekend trips up north and to Switzerland, Austria, and France. Day-long hikes in the Alps were great.
I lived there for a number of years but it was a long time ago and things have probably changes d a lot. You don't have to worry about dairy prodcts because they have LuxLait which was set up by American G.I.s during WWII and has American standards of cleanliness. Good milk etc and even ice cream. Clothes are very expensive. Movies were cheap and most had English subtitles. The people were very conservative mostly Catholic. We lived in the village of Bridel and we had 2 gas stations, a bakery, a restaurant, 3 small pubs and a grocery store. No post office but you could buy stamps at the grocers. The nearest grocery store like we have here was 10 niles away. We went to downtown Luxembourg. Pity for all doctors dentists etc. There was one Tv station that broadcaster from 6pm yo 11pm but you could get stations from Germany France and Holland. The Dutch one sometimes had shows in English.
Thank you R57. I will be living very near city center in Luxembour City, so it will be less of a culture shock than the outlying villages.
I knew clothes were expensive (went on a little shopping adventure to stalk up on jeans and shoes), but heard some things--like wine--are cheaper.
Which is good. I do like my wine.
Isn't there a limit to how many times an desperate attention whore can bump his own thread?
Shouldn't have told us your plans!
Jokes aside, I hope it goes well for you PPSM.
Actually, R59, the adults here are discussing my initial topic of being an expat and what the experience is like.
It is bored, boring, loser, sad, bitter cunts like you that are "bumping" the thread.
Now run along and play, dear.
Thank you, R60/61!
It's "stock up." God bless your English students.
So sad, R64.
Do you scroll endlessly through my posts desperately searching for the least little typo to pounce on? And that was all you could find?
I recently posted to a parody thread about "stalking" just before posting that; hence, "stock" became "stalk."
But go ahead and be nasty. You guys don't seem to get that--if I cared--I would post anonymously.
Those of you who STALK regular posters are far more pathetic than the posters themselves.
I posted before, but here an afterthought.
You'll realize how much you can see driving three hours. You'll be able to see France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany. Lots of different cultures.
I used to live in the US and had a different kind of experience. Living in Illinois you drove three hours and still were in Illinois. ;)
Once I met a lady, that travelled the whole world. She gave me the advice to follow a certain timeline in travelling. Go to Egypt first to see the pyramids, then Mexico for the Mayas, Italy for the Romans etc.
The area you'll live in is a very old part with lots and lots of history. Visit the Eifel to see a landscape formed by vulcanos, go to e.g. Trier to see the Porta Nigra, an old Roman gate, today a World Culture Heritage, go to Belgium and The Netherlands to study the painters of the 15th century, etc. You'll soon get a grip on European history and culture.
Luxembourg is pretty international. It shouldn't be difficult to get in contact with other expats. Remember that the locals live a settled life without the urgent need to meet new people. Don't interpret it as ignorance! Be resilient and you'll make domestic friends, which is so important to really understand where you are living.
I once saw a feature about an American architect living in Berlin for 14 years. She didn't speak one word of German after this long time and complained about a lack of integration due to the ignorance of the Germans, of course. Don't make this mistake!
But most important: Enjoy yourself! You'll learn something new every single day, which is so exciting and keeps you on your toes.
All the best!
I want to hear more from the poster who went to Tristan da Cunha. For real? The most remote inhabited archipelago in the world, and you don't feel isolated?
Couldn't you just move abroad and do things that don't involve you being an expat? Ex-pat book club sounds terrible. Learn the language and meet some locals.
And if you're still abroad 30 years from now, don't write letters to the editor of the New York Times about American culture.
OP, may I ask where in SF you lived? (I lived there total 24 years; 4 in the late 70's, and then from '88 to '08; LOVED it; miss it.)
Your name isn't Roger, is it?
This is what I have been told in advance of my move to Germany.
Remember that the Europeans are much more formal than Americans. Always use the formal form of address. I know you are not planing to learn German right away, but the comedian Gayle Tufts has a great bit about "I want my 'Sie' back".
Europeans do not see manners as being about "making people feel comfortable". Manners are rules to be followed. Your BF has probably been schooled in this by his employer (if not, he should be.), but there are definite rules about who stands when a person enters a room, who offers his hand first in a greeting, etc. While you will not be in a strict business situation, these are rules that are worth knowing.
Do not be too friendly. Europeans find Americans to be grinning village idiots most of the time. Try to stay low key. Europeans are more private than Americans. Do not ask personal questions. You may find that Europeans are friendly to a point and then shut down. I know this is going to sound like a Michfest thread, but they have boundaries.
The honeymoon period goes both ways. You will have a period where the natives will make allowances for you, but within a month or so, you are expected to have learned the rules, or at least be clearly attempting to learn the rules. Also, expect to have a similar experience with learning the language. You will probably go through an initial period where they think it is cute that you are attempting to speak their language which will be abruptly followed with a period of "if you are going to attempt our language, speak it correctly."
Have a good time.
Can't get enough uncut cock, love it
R70 You were informed wrong. Don't know on what observations your advice giver based its information, but this most certainly isn't true for Germans in general.
It really depends on which part of the country you'll be moving to. (Making generalizations the North is reserved, the West very open and communicative, the East is mixed, some still have the Wall within their heads, the South is mixed, too. A Swabian is a next to impossible nut to crack, even for Germans, South Bavarians are open, East Bavarians are very conservative.)
Gayle Tufts is a great start to get a grip. As is John Doyle.
R72, If it helps, my new job is in Limbach-Oberfrohna out side of Chemnitz. If I am wrong, please offer corrections.
[quote]You'll realize how much you can see driving three hours. You'll be able to see France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany. Lots of different cultures.
Well, you'll see PARTS of those countries in three hours...
Then, when you get bored of the Old World and come back to the States, you'll realize just how huge the United States is.
I lived in France and Germany for a total of 8 years. I might consider retiring to the south of France but I'd never move back to work. I found the endless bureaucracy and but-we've-always-done-it-this-way attitudes absolutely suffocating. Europeans aren't nearly as laissez-faire as some Americans imagine they are. Many Europeans are just as petty, closed-minded, and nosy as the American rednecks DLers like to ridicule.
Didn't we have a DLer several years ago move to France with his partner, get disillusioned, and eventually move back? Lez Mis...or something like that?
A lot of Americans move to Europe and come back disillusioned. Living there is nothing like being a tourist.
[quote]Anything else specific you missed?
Foods: Good beef, good nuts, finding certain baking ingredients can be impossible. Adjusting to the superior dairy products is a good/bad ie, butter proportion in recipes are way less because of it's purity. And, stores are not open on Sunday...only at the train stations.
R70 , you are very correct. I don't know what r72 is talking about being wrong. Believe me, after three years in Munich I can assure you, formality, manners and lack of humor are all part of the culture. Walk on the right, walk at crosswalk only when green. Keep the voices low, No grinning else you will be ignored! And don't touch the produce! Rules will be followed or you will be sternly reprimanded. Once you get used to it, all is good, I do remember after being in Munich for several months and coming back to visit the states, it's like a circus here, were a nation of loud and rude people...I do miss the civility of Munich. I imagine that living in Luxembourg will be a similar experience, although the French influence will be a factorization.
Definitely take advantage of the easy travel between countries.
My question is what paperwork donyou have to move there. Your BF obviously has a work visa supplied by his employer but what did you do to get into Luxembourg? Or Do you plan on leaving every six months and enter as a tourist? I'd love to do an extended stay overseas but not certain of the various paperwork needed...
R73 Chemnitz in the East is difficult. East Germany never really processed its own WWII history, due to the Soviet occupation. The reunification roughly 20 yrs ago opened a floodgate. An exodus to the West of those who longed for a change (but who stayed behind?). OTOH lots of Westerners moved East to help during the rebuild of the economy and help adjust to the alien concept of capitalism.
There are several losers of this situation insisting on 'everything was better' during the times of the GDR. Unfortunately East Germany is also the hatchery of far right wing extremists (due to the ignored WWII past in communist times). The movement is very small compared to other European countries, but still it is there.
Depending on whom you meet, even younger East Germans refuse to talk to West Germans because they sort of feel 'occupied'.
Well, you didn't chose the easiest spot to get to know my country. That's for sure.
So a lot will depend on your co-workers. Good luck.
The book club sounds like a wonderful idea. You'll meet a lot of people that way. You could also consider a cultural travel club to organize trips on weekends and holidays. No doubt, with your ability to charm people from the get-go, you'll soon be on everyone's invite list.
All the Americans here, OP included, who are moaning about expensive European clothes don't know how to shop in Europe.
OP, go to Primark, H&M, C&A, or T.K. Maxx (European version of T.J. Maxx) -- if they don't have those in LC, they will have them next door in Trier, Cologne or Frankfurt.
Cheap clothes galore!
Why does it have to be Levi's jeans, anyway?
And r57 has got to be kidding. Yes, Europe has only had decent dairy products ever since Americans introduced them to us. UH HUH.
Nevermind that France has been the ultimate cheese producing nation for centuries, Switzerland literally invented milk chocolate (as far back as 1820), and Italy is the godfather of ice cream.
But yes, American soldiers taught us how to use "clean milk".
For some broader information on Germany. The Guardian is running a series on the Accidental Empire.
I'm writing from Paris and have lived here almost 4 years..moved to Belgium originally to get married (EASY!) but it was beyond boring and my man is french anyway so we moved to Paris after only a year and a half. [R74] is right about all the bureaucracy especially in France! it's mind numbing. Not to metion learning a new language.
It really depends why you're moving here, if it's to look for work good luck with that. For retirement it may be less of a headache.
There are so many things I miss and I can only carry so much back on my bi-yearly trip to the States! someone metioned Levi's who I worked for at thier HQ in Belgium,. you cannot find of pair of new Levi's here for under 109 euro! AND they they don't believe in 30' inseam here so if you have short legs too bad.
R81 they have tailors in France, quite good ones.
Looks like most of my immediate family I'm close to will retire in Bali so I may end up there too. Very low cost of living.
r81 is another American obsessed with Levi's.
All of Europe is wearing quality jeans, at affordable prices. Get a pair of European jeans, and quit being so selective.
Hmm, since my wardrobe in the USA tends towards Geiger, and Giesswein, I don't think I will have a problem shopping in europe. I don't even own a pair of jeans
Oh like what [R84]? Celio? He by Mango? Jules? Not all of us want to look like eurotrash.
Who gets jeans tailored? [R82] I bet you wear jeans with elastic waistbands, you do don't you?
Try Massimo Dutti, Zara, Topshop, even Primark.
And T.K. Maxx have American jeans at affordable prices, if you insist on American design.
Anyone can get anything tailored. The complaint was that an inseam was hard to find...get the jeans tailored.
I shop at a place that includes custom tailoring of any trouser.
Superdry and Uniqlo also have great jeans.
I like Ted Baker for jeans.
After a while, doing city breaks becomes kind of boring. You get there, look at some really old stuff, drink a lot, and that's it.
The fact that the op created such a thread confirms he is just looking for attention.
[quote]You guys don't seem to get that--if I cared--I would post anonymously.
But you do care about getting attention, you even love being hated because at least you're getting attention.
We hope that PPSM comes to visit us at our home in Barcelona once he arrives in Europe! We will introduce him to our Blatino husbear with the uncut sizemeat and humungous low-hangers!
PPSM will be jealous but he will get no satisfactia from our husband!
R76, his employer sponsored me. I am getting in on a resident Visa as his domestic partner. I will then apply for a work Visa when/if I find employment.
We are very grateful to his employer. They have been great.
R69: Inner Sunset near the 9th/Irving area.
No, not Roger!
Hablo español con fluidez. Me encantaría visitar Barcelona. Le he dicho a mi esposo que debemos mudarse allí cuando hemos terminado nuestra estancia en Luxembourg!
PPSM, thanks for answering. It is cool that his employer sponsored you. Enjoy Luxembourg. I've never been. I flew home yesterday after a month in Europe and miss it already...
¡Nos encantaría que le muestre algunas de las vistas y dónde encontrar los homosexuales magníficos que tienen sizemeat sin cortar!
He escuchado que sizemeat sin cortes es bastante facil de encontrar in Seville. Es verdad?
I spent one day in Luxembourg. The city park was filled with big, glossy black cats that stalked us through the trees. Have always wanted to go back.
You mean the city even has kitties that follow you around???
I love kitties.
You're not the first person ever to live overseas, and you won't be the last. Get over yourself.
Cunt at R104:
I never claimed I was "the first person ever to live overseas." I started this thread to ask for advice from other expats, which is a perfectly reasonable topic for a thread.
If you perceive that as some attempt at acting superior, that's your issue. Not mine.
How 'bout you find yourself a hobby and quit stalking/trolling regular posters?
Oh, PPSM, using hon is beneath you. It makes you sound like a fat queen in Mom jeans.
And you have a degree in literature. Somewhere at this very moment Rabelais is spinning in his grave.
I think I've stumbled across the real reason PPSM is attempting to leave the country.