Portraits series

“Come with an open-mind & depending on what you are looking for, rest assured that you will find it.”

The Berlin Expat portraits series aims at putting in word the realities of being a foreigner here. Sometimes, a biased opinion is needed to get a clearer picture of what Berlin is like.

Second post of our series “Berlin Expat Portraits”, we meet today a Canadian guy that just can stop traveling and loves Poutine. (the dish, not the President)

Introduce yourself in a few words

My name is Matt. I am from the Texas of Canada : Alberta. I work at a game company doing tech support. I like to do woodworking as a hobby. The last thing i build was an arcade machine.

Why did you move to Berlin and why you stayed?

I was to suppose to open a hostel business in Berlin with my friend. Unfortunately it never happened. The friendship ended together with the business as you can imagine.

Since i don’t accept failure and i love Berlin. I decided to stay here.

IMAG0631

 

When did that happen ?

October 2011.

What did you expect in particular when moving here ?

I have Turkish heritage and Berlin has the highest Turkish population outside of Turkey so i was expecting to experience the typical stereotypes by Germans despite me being a Canadian by heart. I also knew that the art & culture scene was very big.

Were those expectations fulfilled ? Did you regret your decision ?

Absolutely fulfilled except the Turkish stereotypes part. 🙂

I never regretted my decision to move here and i would do it again anytime.

Sum up your life in Berlin with one animated gif :

Berlin is like an hadouken in your face

Would you have done some things differently to settle here?

I remember that when first coming here, i tried to go through every administrative hurdle on my own. This has been especially challenging since i didn’t speak German at that time. It was quite stressful.

For example, i applied for the blue card at the Ausländerbehorde in Berlin. I had already emailed all the necessary documents l before presenting myself in their buildings for a short interview. One of the requirements of the visa was to have a bachelor degree. I had graduated in Turkey.

The lady in front of me made a problem out of that and for this reason didn’t grant me the visa although it was said nowhere that my diploma shouldn’t be Turkish. I could have probably fought to get it but since i couldn’t speak German, i had no means for negotiation.

I felt helpless.

So please please, learn at least the keywords of bring a German-speaking friend with you.

IMAG0291

One of the artworks i saw on my urban expeditions

What sort of advice would you give to someone who would like to move here?

Come with an open-mind & depending on what you are looking for, rest assured that you will find it.

What is your favorite thing about Berlin ?

I like the teenage-like state of mind in the city because nothing ever really gets old. Things are always renewed. It keeps things fresh and interesting.

IMAG0075

Fresh & Interesting

IMAG0075

What do you dislike the most ?

The rudeness and the constant staring. German people somehow like to stare at people and the loud ambulances !!!!! How loud do they have to be !

How long would you like your love story with Berlin to be ?

Until i miss the Canadian Rockies, Berlin is too flat for me. 😉

More seriously : i do have permanent residency which means i will be here for at least a few years.

Best bar ? Best brunch ? Best club ? Best neighborhood ?

I can recommend the best hummus in Berlin: Azzam on Sonnenallee.

I really like the “Rixdorf” in Neukölln, great bar. I love how it’s layed-out.

Do you have plans to reopen a hostel or any other business?

Not a hostel. Berlin has too many hostels as it is. Something else in the works for me.

 

We thank Matt a lot for this interview and wish him well. He has a cool blog on all his travels around the world and his passion for visiting abandoned places. Check it out : http://www.matttheroamingcanuck.com/

 

 

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Privacy Preference Center

Necessary

It's helping to track performance and user behavior on the website to improve on it. Preserves users states across page requests.

Google Analytics, PHPSESSID

Advertising

Analytics

It's helping to track performance and user behavior on the website to improve on it.

Google Analytics

Other