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Janina immigrated to America and now she is sober: “Here I am as an immigrant”

“The Emigrants” – Thilo Mishke’s podcast: Janina Moved to America, Now She’s Sober: “Here I Am an Immigrant”

Janina moved to America because of love. “I always wanted to get out,” he says. Despite this, being in America made her realize what it means to be foreign. “Here I am, an immigrant,” says German.

A penthouse on the fifth floor in Washington DC: the Pentagon in front of the window and a huge mall behind the house. American Idol. A clean one Apartment housesPhotos of a happy couple on the wall, a big TV, the silver taste of an air-conditioned apartment.

Janina asks, “Sparking or still”. Carbonated water is very rare in America. Only Europeans drink sparkling water. Janina immigrated to America. Not for country for love, no chance of going from rags to riches, but only for her husband.

On the beach In Spain They met, it was love at first sight. “He was sitting with friends and I knew immediately: I want him.” He is a soldier and she is a student. “Actually, he should have stayed in Germany,” he says. “But now he has been brought to America and is now working in the Pentagon.”

Excited, but just don’t have the time?

“I’ve always wanted to leave,” says Janina

Her husband is not a simple soldier who fights wars and wants to spread democratic values ​​on this planet. She is an office worker, reviewing job applications. He works for a German-speaking company and looks after marketing.

“I always wanted to get out,” he says. America would not have been her first choice now, but the point was to get out of Germany. Janina has always loved traveling and it has been a driving force in her life. study abroad, travel All over the world.

Foreigner was often closer to her than home. She talks about it without regret, which does not escape Germany, on the contrary: the world there is very exciting. In fact, she thought she would go abroad for work, but not for love.

“Here I am, a migrant”

“Of course, that’s a risk,” she admits. To follow a man, to fit into his life. “But if it doesn’t work, I’ll go back to Germany.”

More importantly, she learned to trust herself in love, another insight Janina gained in America. “Here I am, an immigrant,” he says. There was no disdain in her voice, no criticism, just simply: a fact. The biggest difficulty with immigration is fitting in.

“There’s always been this debate in Germany that you shouldn’t ask where someone is really from,” he says. So that’s the situation many children of immigrant parents have to deal with in Germany. parents From Vietnam, of Turkey Or Angola, but the children of Leipzig, Berlin Or Jera. Still, the question remains: “Where are you really from?”

You are reduced to where you come from

Janina thought it was a funny discussion, but the question was completely fair. Now she knew: it wasn’t like that. This question hurts. You are reduced to where you come from. Even if she knew her perspective was a concession on this poisoned question.

“Americans know right away that I’m not one of them, even though I speak English almost without an accent.” Questions about where she’s from and what it’s like to live as a German in America keep coming up. “At first I found it very interesting, but now it hurts me.” She is always German, not a party guest or a conversation partner. Appearance as an invisible barrier.

Thilo Mishke

Thilo Mischke was born in Berlin in 1981. He works as a journalist, writer and television presenter. He has received many awards for his journalistic work, for example he won the Bavarian TV Prize in 2020 and was named “Journalist of the Year” in the “National Reporting” category.

Despite everything, Janina is happy in America

You will get used to it, but you will always remember being a stranger in your new home. “But the hardest thing about America is the huge gap between rich and poor,” he says. It misses the point of social justice, which is often confused here with socialism.

Despite everything, she is happy in this country. “But just of love Because,” she says. Even if she doesn’t believe so, her stay in this country, her new home, is tied to this time of love. “Looks like I’ll be here a little longer,” she pours more sparkling water.

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