It’s been 3 weeks since I came back from Germany to Ukraine. I had fun meeting my family and old friends but I also had a hard time adjusting to the life in my home country. I got to experience something that I saw other people talking about on the Internet: “reverse culture shock”. As everyone who lived abroad for a while probably does, I couldn’t resist comparing my home country to my new self-chosen home. So far this comparison was not in a favor of Ukraine. This, however, doesn’t mean that life in Ukraine is much worse than in Germany. It only shows me that I miss life Germany a lot and in particularly these 7 things:
Lack of drinkable tap water was the first thing I noticed in Ukraine. I used to drink around 1,5-2 l water in Germany every day. The tap water in the area where I lived was not very tasty so I drunk bottled water most of the time. BUT it was good to know that tap water was also available all the time if I forgot to bring the bottle to the apartment. In Ukraine, I would rather not drink at all than drink tap water. I have to make sure that I have enough bottled water to drink at home because tap water is not recommended to drink here.
Oh, German bread. If you tried it, you will understand me. I almost stopped eating bread now because I can’t find anything that tastes like German bread. I am pretty sure that the first food item I am going to buy when I come back to Germany is Bretzel!
I don’t like public transport in Ukraine so much that I prefer to walk everywhere instead. I am glad my hometown is pretty small. On the positive note, I see things improving compared to a few years ago. And I must say that I am more happy with Ukrainian trains than I was ever with the Deutsche Bahn! Ukrainian trains might be old and slow but have fewer problems with delays.
Cars stopping on pedestrian crossing
I remember that this was one of the most surprising things for me when I moved to Germany. I still don’t know if it is a rule to let people cross on the pedestrian crossing or the drivers are just being nice? The fact is, many Ukrainian drivers don’t bother to let you cross the street when you are waiting on the pedestrian crossing.
I just had a minor surgery in Ukraine and it reminded me again why I hated going to doctors before. Healthcare in Ukraine is technically free for citizens but every doctor I visited was asking for some kind of donation. I had to buy everything needed for surgery and medical tests. Some hospitals are in such poor state that they don’t have gloves and syringes for nurses to perform blood tests, so you have to bring your own. The money from government is not enough for hospitals to provide a good healthcare and the donations from patients is the only things they rely on. Needless to say, the standard of healthcare in Ukraine is nothing to compare to Germany.
I miss having the option to bike everywhere I want. Bike culture is just starting to develop here. I see more and more people biking and even bike lanes are built. But for now, I am not brave enough to bike on the streets.
Last but not least, I miss German language. Or to say specifically, I miss talking in German. I got so used to speaking German in daily life. Now I can just speak Ukrainian but it is not so exciting as German because it’s my mother tongue. I guess it is actually not the language I miss, but a feeling of connecting with other people through the language that is not your native language.
Would you like to see the post about things that are better in Ukraine than in Germany? Let me know in the comments!