In Frankfurt I stayed with three really good-hearted, hardworking souls.
They are currently sharing a spacious two bedroom apartment 20 minutes north of the city center by U-bahn. They made me feel very welcome.I was so grateful for the little things that they shared with me, material things and also their thoughts and understandings. They shared with me their fruit, bread, juice, coffee, and shower. They gave me recommendations on where to go in the city, where to shop, and suggested I go to the gym with nice features close-by.
Thanks to them, I learned less about German culture and more about Moroccan culture during my stay in Frankfurt and relied less on my German and English skills and more on my Italian and Spanish. I’m not at all complaining; on the contrary, I think it was a special experience!
From what it seemed, it looked like fun moving to a new country, working, and being immersed in a new culture. They all had such a positive and optimistic feelings that it was hard to believe that they were some of the few who had moved to Germany to find work and had stuck it out longer than a month or two…
It hasn’t been until after I moved back to the USA and watched a comedy called “Off Course” that I understood the reality of the situation my friends are in. The movie is about two Spanish recent graduates who move to Berlin to find work. Even with their university degrees they are unable to find jobs that utilize their skills. They need to have mastered a certain level of German before they can be immersed in the workforce. So, they end up working as waiters at a small mom-and-pop restaurant where other Spaniards are working, too. A theme in this movie is that immigration has been around for generations and that the immigration that is happening today is no different. The movie left me with a great admiration of the courage of my Frankfurt friends.