So, where were we? After a lot of deliberation and long pros and cons list, the decision was made. Govind accepted the offer for an unlimited permanent contract in Germany. We were excited but also nervous….
At 30, and with about 10 years of work experience in India with a good salary and a super comfortable life, it seemed like a very big decision for us to take. However somewhere deep down we also had the realisation that it was now or never. We knew that as we’d have gotten older, we’d be far less accepting of such opportunities or far less willing to move our lives from one continent to another. It’s not that we’d not have been up for it later. It’s just that we thought that the inertia of staying at a place for a long time, the comfort level of home, job, city etc. would mildly discourage us from taking such a life altering decision later in life.
Another thing that was very clear to us was that we would not move to Germany together. How or when I would move and whether I would resign from my super stable and fulfilling central government job at ISRO was nowhere in the decision pipeline yet.
Nevertheless, with this decision began the paperwork. The first thing we did was book an appointment for German National Visa at the German Consulate in Bangalore. The visa formalities required a lot of paperwork to be completed but the process went fairly smoothly. Govind got the the visa in about 3 weeks of appplying and left for Germany in December 2018.
The first few months were undoubtedly tough. Long distance relationship was nothing new to us. We were pretty used to it for 5 years before we got married and even one year afterwards. However the transition to long distance after having lived together for 3 years was rough. And then there was the time difference too, making communication more challenging. Anyway I am glad that the difference was just 3.5 to 4.5 hours and we got used to it in a couple of months.
With Germany another thing not making the move very comfortable was the language barrier. When Govind came here he could not speak a word of German and it’s really tough for me to imagine how he managed everything alone wonderfully. One of our friends from India helped him with temporary accommodation immediately after reaching Hamburg. This is the first step after comimg to Germany as all residents are required to do a city registration or Anmeldung withing 2 weeks of moving. Then one of his German friends helped him find a permanent apartment, a place we called home for about 2 years. Until I came here I never really understood the hype around apartment search in Germany. But it is real. It is so unbearably difficult to find an apartment for rent in Germany. And not knowing German makes it ten times tougher.
As soon as Govind came to Germany and started feeling a bit settled, we initiated the family reunification visa process for me. But more on that on the next post.
Bis zum nächsten Mal!