Die Autorin / The Author

Franziska (Franzi, Franny, Fränzchen, Tooi) Schwarzmann

Ich bin geboren und aufgewachsen in Nordhessens “Perle” Kassel. Nach dem Abitur habe ich Politikwissenschaft in Mannheim und Berlin (FU Berlin) studiert. Schwerpunkt: Internationale Beziehungen. Seit dem dritten Semester bin ich Stipendiatin bei der Journalistischen Nachwuchsförderung der Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (JoNa). Für alle, die nicht wissen, was das heißt: Das sind 100 Pflichtseminartage parallel zum Studium, die eine vollständige journalistische Ausbildung beinhalten. Eines dieser Seminare führte mich in den Kosovo. Auf dieser Reise traf ich Vertreter der Firma Carl Zeiss. Und ehe ich mich versah, landete ich im Herbst 2010 als Volontärin bei der Carl Zeiss AG auf der Ostalb. Hier konnte ich nach verschiedenen Stationen als Referentin für Onlinekommunikation anfangen und in vielerlei Hinsicht war diese Stelle mein Traumjob. Ich hatte eine junge, großartige Chefin, die mich oft gefordert und viel gefördert hat.

Warum geht man dann? werdet Ihr Euch fragen…Ich beschreibe es als Fernsucht, das unbeschreibliche Gefühl im Innersten, dass es das noch nicht ist, als Faustsches´ fortwährendes Irren und Streben – eine Suche nach der griechischen Eudaimonia, der Glückseligkeit. Wer mich kennt, weiß, was ich meine. Wer mich nicht kennt, denkt sich wahrscheinlich: Die hat Hummeln im Po. Egal, wie man es nennt. Auf Mannheim, Berlin, Spanien und Schwabenland (Stuttgart/Aalen) folgt nun Boston. Ich freue mich drauf, habe Respekt davor und möchte das gerne mit meiner Leserschaft teilen.

PS: Ja, Tooi ist mein Spitzname in meiner Familie. Man spricht ihn aus wie die bekannten Toilettenhäuschen, ich lege allerdings großen Wert auf das zweite “o” 🙂

My Guideline: Be the change you wish to see

Ghandis berühmtes Zitat / Ghandi´s famous quote

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The German World – through His Eyes

Be careful what you wish for: When Pouya and I decided to relocate to Germany we were telling our friends that it would be an adventure. It’s surely been adventurous, but maybe not the adventure that we had associated.

  • Schorle!

The first word he perfected was “Schorle”, that is the German’s drink of choice: Juice mixed with sparkling water (that kind of sparkling that makes you burp immediately). After a few weeks in the country of Schorle, he was “Schorle’d out” and now we have been trying to order tab water – something that still seems to be an offense in German restaurants, which is funny given that German water is pretty clean on a world scale.

  • Amt!

The first world within the German world he detected was “Amt”, the public administration. When he registered in the town of Aalen the lady behind the counter asked him if he had already registered for “GOA”. He was a little confused since we will be traveling to Goa, India later this year and he was wondering how that lady possibly knew that. Goa, however, is the local trash agency, also called the trash-mafia. Trash is a serious matter in Swabia.

  • Wochenmarkt-Bag

Last weekend he came home in the morning from the baker. Since we’re living in the middle of town we can watch the crowds walk towards the local produce market on saturdays. He dragged me to the window and told me that he has a hypothesis: You are only an eligible member in the Aalen weekly market when you are carrying a wood braided basket. And he was right, every one was carrying the same bags.

  • No!

No, there is no good customer service here. No you cannot return something after 2weeks. No, there is no services that offer convenience services. No, the concept of good enough is not present: You do or you do not and if it is not built to last forever it shall not be build at all.

We are currently in Canada. At Thanksgiving dinner a family member asked Pouya what he thinks is so different about Germany, how this small country is able to compete on so many levels globally. And he told a fascinating and complex story of a nation that values work-live-balance, efficiency and incremental improvement.

The adventure in my head has little to do with what reality currently provides. Administrative craziness knows no boundaries and I have no more conniption fits to give. Yet, there are also wonderful things: weekends with friends from school, great healthy food, enough time for sports&family

It has been five years in the United States and I slowly understand I have hit a point of no return: I am the one who has changed and now experience the country with a different mindset. It is hard to discuss this with Germans that have not left as they think I am pissing on my home turf or think of myself as deserving more when openly admitting that I am struggling with being in Germany. The concept of home is something many of my international Fletcher friends have redefined for themselves and I am currently doing the same. It certainly helps to do this with Pouya whose eyes are open to the small things that I am sometimes not able to appreciate anymore.

This is us last week at the Munich Marathon where we both ran a 10k race – at freezing temperatures.

MUHD0186-20x30

 

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