Here is the second part of our "Just arrived" blog series - you can read the first part here. Cat has just moved to Berlin, Germany, from none other than Ireland and she's giving up her experiences for all to read.... (you can follow Cat on her own blog at catchapigeon.blogspot.com)
A big fear for me arriving was the U Bahn, because I was completely clueless about the geography of Berlin. I had visited frequently in the past few months, but instead of taking the opportunity to find my feet a bit, I followed blindly (and more often than not drunkenly) behind whoever the party person was. Despite my misgivings, it is actually very easy, although I would recommend getting a small U Bahn map for consultation. On the U Bahn you will see people who look like they belong in fairy tales (and not only the princesses trust me, there's plenty of goblins too). I'm really not kidding- I have seen examples of extreme beauty and extreme horror on the U Bahn, but thats why (until summer at least) it is my favourite form of transportation.
I was really worried I might find it a bit lonely in Berlin, but unlike London, I have found that everyone is keen to make friends. Within no time at all, I was flooded with invites to places- the real problem became trying to fit it all in. No matter what you are into, the options will be there. Trust me, there seems to be no limits at all here....
My internet was a bit slow in being set up, so when I decided I probably should email home, etc., I found that the cafe at Betahaus (off the U8, get off at Moritzplatz) or Sant Oberholz at Rosenthaler Platz are great, cheap cafés which offer free wifi. Both are favourites of the start up community, so chances are, you'll probably be quizzed on what you think of some new business idea. I also have made a few new friends in these places as well, which is always good for branching out.
On Facebook, I would recommend joining the Berlin Start Up Jobs page, as new positions are posted there hourly. Not all of them will be applicable to you of course, but some will. Some of the start up guys can be a bit wobbly- if a deal seems too good to be true, or you aren't getting paid anything...well... use your discretion. It’s not a cowboy free place, but there are many legitimate offers there as well.
I am still a new citizen at this stage, but have had continued help from myGermanExpert with queries about banking, taxes and basically all the horrible stuff you don't want to burden your friends with. I would recommend it one hundred percent to anyone moving to Germany- unlike so many other companies, it provides a really personal service, which is a godsend!