The city would massively benefit--both economically and socially--from making available more cultural space to independent artists, crafts-people and designers. In many ways Hamburg is one of the most beautiful places that I have ever lived in, and there have been many to compare it to!In addition, Hamburg has a creative spirit and is extremely enterprising in certain directions, which really does make you feel that it is the ‘Gateway to the World’.Before I moved here, I had visited Germany a few times before, without any of the different places I had visited leaving a particularly strong impression on me – with the possible exception of Berlin, because it is so iconic and steeped in many different histories.

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1 comment Name: James Powell Nationality: British City of residence: Hanseatic Hamburg Date of birth: 03 April 1979Civil status: Engaged Occupation: Shamanic Counsellor ( for moving to Germany: My fiancée was head-hunted for a research position in HH.

Lived in Germany: nine months What was your first impression of Germany?

It enlivens the spirit to be a part of a very cosmopolitan and international setting, connected to the large international community, and you feel that that pluralism and worldliness is something that Germany is very receptive to, and encouraging of.

At the same time, Germany is also encouraging of ‘localism’ – that is, it provides, in my experience, very good services to assist cultural and linguistic integration.

What I miss most, or at least what is most missing, is a good English country pub!

How does the quality of life in Germany compare to the quality of life in other countries that you’ve lived in?

Any social system also has to be able to accommodate and integrate fluidity, individualism, innovation, personality and personal responsibility.

If a society is not holistic in this regard, then some of the (undesirable) consequences can be that people are afraid to express who they really are and what is important to them.

What do you find most frustrating about living in Germany?

If you go in to a supermarket here, it can be very difficult to physically get out again without buying something, as there are a wealth of barriers and obstacles to getting out empty-handed!

As such, one of the great things about living here – as well as about living outside of one’s native culture – is that one can be British, international and also still deeply involved in Germany life and society – and, because to a certain extent one is always a ‘foreigner’, you can live without being bound by the cultural and social beliefs, expectations and limitations that every society consciously and unconsciously projects on to its natives.