British Expat… that’s not what the Germans call me!

I was in the bank asking about how to set up a bank account.

I was asked where I was from. I replied: “The UK”… Cue the woman serving me to give me a pity smile, the man serving someone else saying “the UK’s not quite in the EU” and the woman next to me at the desk saying:

“Ahh, ein Brexitflüchtling.”
 – A Brexit-refugee

To be honest, I struggled to keep my composure. I wanted to say that there are so many other reasons for me being here in Hamburg; that Brexit actually never figured in my decision to leave the UK, it merely expedited it; that my career and my life had and would benefit from moving, regardless of this geo-political mess…

But my German is “nicht so gut” and so I smiled, said “ja” and smartly left, having made my appointment.

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4 thoughts on “British Expat… that’s not what the Germans call me!

  1. Unlike many of us here in the UK that are now being referred to as “Re-moaners”, you are taking control of your future. Bravo and keep flying the flag (the union one that is, as well as that blue one with all of the stars!)

  2. When I was living in Frankfurt right after the Referendum last Summer, as soon as anyone new realised I was British I was bombarded with questions and commiserations…

    ‘Ach, wie Sssschhchade…Es tut mir ECHT leid’

    ‘Willst du hier in Deutschland Lebenlang bleiben?’

    ‘Bist du enttäuscht?? Bist du traurig??’

    and most commonly

    ‘Was denkst DU an der Brexit?!’…

    It got pretty old pretty quickly…So, I feel you- although I political engagement on the whole is much higher in Germany, so perhaps that’s a factor, too.

    That being said, i’m yet to be called a Brexitflüchtling!

    Naturally your decision (like anyone’s decision to move abroad) wasn’t determined at the drop of a hat by the xenophobia of many at home (though I have to say it has solidified my desire to move, too.) Hope you’re enjoying being back!

    1. Hallöchen 🙂

      It must have been surreal being in Germany during that awful day…

      I’ve had much more nuanced political discussion since the episode described above, but it was a little shocking to have such a reaction at a bank!

      I’m loving my life back in Germany right now. It’s exactly what I needed/wanted.

      There are, of course, some teething problems, but that’s true with any big change 🙂

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment!

      1. Gude!
        Glad to hear it- both on the politics and settling back in fronts.
        I’m coming back (more permanently this time) in early June. I look forward to following your progress! It’s always fun to read about the experiences of other expats, other Brits especially. 🙂

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