Voice of America in Germany

Foster Village 019-A

Photo of my neighbor’s plant (called “Bird of Paradise”) in Hawaii.

From mid-December 1969 to early February 1970, I lived in Munich, Germany.  An elderly German friend, whom I had met at the German Embassy in Thailand, had given me his address in Munich, and he told me to look him up if I ever got there.  That’s what I did.  Long story short, he met me and my American friend, Andrea, at a restaurant in Munich for tea and biscuits and then he gave us tickets to the opera.  Meanwhile, he suggested that if I were interested, I could study music at the Goethe Institute.  But, to study there, I would need money.  So, I began to look for a job.

First, I applied for a government job as a clerk.  No response.

Then, I applied at Voice of America.  I had taught English at Voice of America in Thailand, so I thought I would have no problem getting a job teaching English at Voice of America in Munich.  I was interviewed by a German, who was the director there.  I told him that I had lived in Thailand for ten months, teaching English at Voice of America, Thammasat University, and AUA Language Center.  I also told him that I held a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Hawaii.  After twenty minutes, the director said that he could not hire me, because I had insufficient experience.

Oh, that made me mad.

I thought to myself, “What makes him think he is qualified to work for Voice of America?  He speaks English with a German accent.  This is not Voice of Germany.  This is Voice of America.  I am an American, and he is not.”

Of course, being a nice little girl from Hawaii, I kept my composure, smiled, and thanked him for his time.  But, if thoughts could kill, he would have died on the spot.

Later, I applied as a nanny for an American family, but then decided that I should just call it quits in Germany.  It was so damn cold, and I was sick of sausages and sauerkraut.

So, I took the bus from Munich to Frankfurt, spent the night there, and then rode the bus to Amsterdam.  From there, I flew to New York City, where I lived for 5-1/2 years, studying music at Columbia University and supporting myself as a secretary.

6 Responses to “Voice of America in Germany”

  1. Olga Says:

    This account of your time in Germany made me laugh out loud. You are one feisty lady and I guess you always were even though you showed restraint around that German Voice of America director.

  2. anonymousinthemainland!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Says:

    Since Hitler adored Germany and murdered so many people including my husbands polish relatives, I have never liked Germany at all..Cold and damp is what many have told me no thank you..I find the german people kind of okay but they still deny the Hitler and the Nazi movement and lots of ISIS live there among their people and their people NO THANK YOU..way to go with being the way you are people can not give you a wooden nickel and get away with it!!!!!!!!!! Aloha in true paradise..!

  3. Linda Reeder Says:

    I enjoy reading about your exploits as a young woman. You were one gutsy young lady.

  4. honoluluaunty91 Says:

    Had to laugh at your being sick and tired of sausages and sauerkraut! My son lived in Berlin for 2 years and loved it. It was a place of young techie people. He ate homemade pizza all the time.

  5. Christine Says:

    Unfortunate what happened in Germany, guess you were destined for New York.

  6. DeniseinVA Says:

    What a fun tale, love reading about your earlier life. Thanks Gigi!

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