Trina's North Germany

A glimpse into an ordinary German life


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Starting over with my blog

I have neglected this blog terribly. Well, not just this blog, but my German ones as well. Somehow, this year has been busy with family things:  a wedding, a christening, a 80th birthday, a confirmation and serious sickness. Many weekends were spent away at home, in Lüneburg and Heide, where most of my family lives. There were some trips with our new camper van, the one my partner built himself out of an old delivery van.

Yes, I have taken many photos, so during the winter I will show you, where we have been and give you some more impressions of North Germany. North Germany includes the three federal states Schleswig – Holstein, where I live, Norther Saxony, where I grew up and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern which used to be in the German Democratic Republic.

When I started this blog I was very optimistic about getting involved in the community life in the small place I am living in today. I wanted to show you the places I visited and share my everyday life with you.

Since having this blog I have not found it so terrible difficult to show you places I visited, but sharing everyday life has been a challenge. Simply, because I am still not rooted in the community here. I am working in Hamburg, commuting, usually being away from home 12 – 13 hours. Coming home there are chores to do: walk the dog, fix dinner, read the mail. And being in a relationship it deserves a bit of attention too.

In the countryside life stops around 08:00 pm. The shutters on the houses around us go down. Sports courses at the local club start long before, the baker, the butcher and the pharmacist close at 06.00 and when I get home, only the supermarkets are open. Weekends are busy with cleaning up, shopping, doing the garden and the only time I meet the neighbors is when I walk the dog. Our friends are either living in Hamburg or further away.

If you want to be part of a community in the country side you have to either be born into the place or join the voluntary fire brigade (still a man’s thing) or the football /sports club or the church. All three don’t appeal to me and not to my partner either.

This is the reason why I haven’t been writing much about everyday life. It is a weak excuse, I know. I will try to better myself, which is one of the reasons I joined this Blogging 101 University.

I still want to show you North Germany. It has always irritated me a bit, that most non-Germans think of South Germany and its traditions when thinking about Germany. I love travelling and catching glimpses into other people’s lives, at the same time I have very strong roots here.

I will still write about everyday life, about things that are typical (North) German. And now and then I will write about things that are on my mind and that I would like to share with others.  Maybe I will even let you catch a glimpse into my work life, and I would very much show you some of Norway, which I have come to like an awful lot.

You know, when sharing these things publicly they become something special for me. I am trying to find aspects that might be new or unusual to others, while they are commonplace to me. Last, not least, blogging in English helps me to keep my knowledge of the language active and meeting many people from around the world. And that, I feel, is a true enrichment.


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Introducing myself and the blog

When I was a little girl, my grandfather called me Trina.  He didn’t like the name my parents gave me and would have prefered a traditional North German name. I hated the name ‘Trina’. It seemed to represent everything I didn’t want in my life: homeliness, tradition and boredom. I wanted to have an exciting life, I wanted to see all the big capitols in this world, travel around, meet interesting people and, if possible, settle somewhere far away from home like New Zealand, Australia or South Africa.

The place I was born and raised in, Lüneburg, is nowadays a lively and interesting university town, full of architectural treasures. In the 60ies and 70ies when I grew up it was much smaller and more  quiet. Everybody knew everybody else, at least by sight, or so it seemed to me. As soon as I finished school I found a place as an Au-pair near Washington DC. I loved it. I visited New York, and Baltimore and the East Coast of the US and found it fascinating and inspiring. However, I didn’t want to spend my life as an Au-pair, so I returned to Germany to study social sciences. At that time one couldn’t choose one’s university but was placed by a regulating chamber (ZVS – Zentrale Studienplatz Vergabestelle). I ended up in Bamberg, a town only slightly bigger than the one I came from.

As soon as I finished university I moved to Hamburg.  Finally I had arrived in a big city. By then I was married and not soon after moving to Hamburg my sons were born. My husband and I decided to  settle in Hamburg and we found a nice apartment in one of the livelier quarters, with old Jugendstil buildings, small shops, bars and  restaurants, where  people of all ages and with all sorts of backgrounds mixed. We agreed that we would travel as much as possible as soon as the boys had grown up.

Life didn’t turn out as planned, my husband and I split, and after living happily in Hamburg for almost fifteen years I decided to move to the countryside with my new partner.

The first years in the countryside were busy. There was a house and a big garden to look after, the boys needed me as chauffeur and due to commuting every day I had much less time than before. Then the boys started to move away to go college. I turned 50 and slid into a kind of ‘midlife crisis’. I regretted having bought a house instead of spending the money on travelling and I began to miss the  diversity and liveliness of the big city,  Because of personal circumstances moving back to Hamburg was out of the question and I grew more and more discontented and  frustrated.

After being unhappy for a few years I decided to stop complaining and to start looking at all the good things in my life, instead of moaning after the things I felt I missed out on. I started to take a closer look at the places and people around me and found a lot of unexpected and interesting things. Slowly I began to realise, that an interesting and fulfilling life does not depend on the place you live in, but on what you make out of it. Wherever you live, it is possible to find inspiring and interesting people, places and events.

Of course I would still like to see the world. I am dreaming about travelling to Hong Kong, Sydney and Tokio. To Canada and South Africa. And who knows, maybe one day I will be able to see all these places.

In the meantime I am living in North Germany and I have decided to explore the area I live in and the area I come from and to get involved in the life and community around me.

I have just started out on this journey and I would like to share my experiences with you.

I will show you places I visit and I will  tell you about everyday life here in North Germany.

My articles reflect my personal views and feelings, some things I write about might  be  trivial and superficial,  but I hope I will  give you an  insight into (North ) German life and the things tourists usually don’t see.