Ursula is a woman who broke all my stereotypes about Germans. First time I’ve met her she gave me a warm hug and kisses.
Ursula, as a rule, Germans keep their distance and do not immediately turn the soul inside out. Have you always been like this or is this how life experience in different countries influenced you?
I always loved people. I’m not such a serious type and I love life. And coldness is only a stereotype about Germans. They can be nice, they are friendly and warm. On the other hand I must say I’ve met different types of people living abroad and I learnt a lot about coping with life. Everybody has something to give to you.
Let’s go over your life story. Tell us about your experience living abroad.
I always followed my husband. He is an engineer with a second master degree in tropical engineering. Due to my husband’s work we had to move from country to country. So our journey into married life began with Saudi Arabia when I was 26 years old. It was such a shock to be in a country where women can not do anything on their own. After that we spent many years in Nigeria. In the Philippines I had my third child so Philippines is my second home and whenever I meet a Filipino my heart opens. We also lived four wonderful years in Vietnam.
After many years of living in Asia and Africa, Moldova was our first Eastern Europe country.
A lot of people are dreaming to have such an experience.
You know, on the one hand you have big advantages of meeting new people, your kids have so many international friends. On the other hand, as an expat woman very often you can’t get a work permit in the country where your husband is. I was lucky because I have a happy marriage. I am very grateful to my husband for opportunities he gave me. Of course, you can come and visit any of these countries as a tourist but it’s not the same at all.
If you could change the past, would you change something?
I would study an international subject like education or medicine so I could find a job anywhere. But I wouldn’t change all the rest: the choice of husband, having children, living in different countries, staying together no matter what. If you as a wife stay in your home country how you can understand what your husband is going through. I believe being together is the only way a family can be strong and happy.
I know it’s your third year staying in Moldova. What was your first impression of this country?
It was really such a nice surprise for me that this little tiny country would be so wonderful. No one of my friends had ever heard about it. When I’ve read about Moldova they wrote that this is the poorest country in Europe. But when I came to Moldova I was pleasantly surprised to see Chisinau did not look at all like the capital of the poorest country. I saw well-dressed people in the streets, fancy cars, good restaurants. Only later I saw the reality of Moldova.
What is your favorite place in Moldova which you are going to miss in Germany?
Definitely, I’m going to miss Stefan cel Mare park. As I don’t have a car I walk a lot. Whenever I come to this park I love everything that is going on there: people walking, kids playing, some bands singing. I love it when on Sunday people dance
there. And I’m really going to miss it.
What would you add to Moldova to make this country a better place?
Moldova needs good governance. From all my heart I wish the new government success. And ideally it will bring back hope to the people. A good and trusted government will attract investors to Moldova. Hopefully young people could find a job here and won´t need to leave the country for a better future.
Blitz poll questions
- "Andy’s" or "La placinte"?
- "Ryshkanovсa" or "Botanica"?
- German beer or Moldavian wine?
- Moldavian wine
- Favorite Moldavian restaurant?
- A lot
- Favorite festival in Moldova you’ve attended?
- I’ve been to many festivals. I loved a lot of them. But City birthday holiday was something incredible. So many young people were dancing and singing. We had a lot of fun
- What do you prefer to do on the week-end in Moldova?
- Stay in City center
- Cozy evening at home under a blanket or going out with friends?
- Cozy evening at home
- Summer time or winter time?
- Winter time
- Your three favorite writers?
- Jane Austen, Alexander McCall Smith, Dörte Hansen (especially the book «Altes Land»)
What would be your message to all the International Women’s club of Moldova
Being a part of the IWCM gives you plenty of benefits: you can meet local people, see different sights of this country, you can do charity and simply have fun.
Born and raised in one of the most developed and stable countries, Ursula had to live in various parts of the world, facing different cultures and traditions. I believe this woman is a great example of how you can live, work, communicate with people of different languages, traditions and views, remaining in harmony with yourself and others.
Written by Svetlana Shishkina