Who am I and what is this all about?
Updated: Aug 26, 2020
My name is Michali Henig. I live in Germany for alomst 7,5 years and work as a relocation consultant. In normal days, I work with corporate companies, startups and individuals on relocation projects of highly qualified workers to Germany. Unlike many other Berliner-rerlocation agancies, my main focus is on Blue Cards and work visas.
I have a cute little office in Prenzlauer Berg, where I do my work and run meetings. On normal days, I accompany people to the immigration office in Berlin (which is now called: Landesamt für Einwanderung) and to Bürgeramt in order to get their errands done. In winter I try to always take public transportation (since I love the environment as the next person), in summer I enjoy riding my bike to work.
I have been working as a relocation consultant for 7,5 years, during which I have seen Berlin change: along with the increase in rents, the startup ecosystem grew tremendously and Berlin became much more international. Our financial situation was very very good. There was no unemployment (well, according to the official numbers there is a low percentage of unemployment, but in reality - every person looking for a job managed to find one). I myself was working very very hard ever since I came to Germany, investing a lot of time and efforts into learning German, integrating myself and building my business.
And then Coronavirus came.
Since I read news in three languages, I understood that this is more serious than what we think. I understood that this might not be a good time to travel and therefore did not make any travel plans (even though I wanted to travel to Amsterdam to see the tulips in spring, I know this is super touristic, but I never did it before!). But I never expected it to hit us as harsh.
Luckily, Germany is a strong democracy with a good health system. But of course, we must act in solidarity and must not overwhelm our health system. Therefore, we need to slow down the spread of the virus.
My entire reality changed within days. I never used to think of touching door knobs or elevator buttons or stuff in the U-Bahn. I never washed my hands as frequentely as I do now. I haven´t heard or used the word "disinfection" so many times in my entire life. I never found taking the U-Bahn, shaking hands or giving hugs to other people, hanging out with older people or just having a beer in the park in a nice, sunny spring day to be a danguorous or an a-social thing to do. Those used to be just completely normal things. And of course, I never thought I will live in a reality in which the airport is empty and there is no toilet paprt/ hand-soap/ yeast / pasta /canned foods in the supermarket.
To put all of this aside, my workload decreased drastically. It is not possible to bring people to Germany right now. This crisis brings a lot of financial uncertainty and damages many industries. My industry is also damaged, but I try to stay positive!
Since I am not the type of person who can just not work (not just financially but also mentally), I have brainstormed with myself and my business consultant, and have decided to shift my focus and to provide the services that I still can.
I also decided to write this blog in order to share information, give tips and share my routine with other people.
In this time of uncertainty and crisis, the most important thing is to stay united, help each other and act in solidarity. We will go through this way better together.
Thank you for reading my story. Yours truly, Michali