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Elizabeth Ortiz-Ulbricht (Mexico)

»Dresden, where all cultures are at home!«

In August 2001 I applied for a voluntary social year at an international organisation of UNESCO. When I found out that I had to come to Germany I thought … Oh God! Germany - too cold, too grey, too many potatoes, and very reserved and uncommunicative people. Just after my arrival in Dresden I went for a walk along the Elbe. I had already read a lot about Dresden's architecture, but reality surpassed everything, I found everything so beautiful, so impressive and unique... The Altstadt old town with the opera, the Brühlsche Terrasse (Brühl Terrace) with its perfectly looked-after trees, the fantastic view from the baroque city really captivated me … I think I had fallen completely in love with this city!!!!

At that time I could not speak German, and for the first few months I had to take my little yellow dictionary with me everywhere I went. The people on the street were not necessarily very patient but they were always very friendly, and when I asked with a smile, I was always given a smile back.

Over time I got to know a lot of really nice people, and I was always meeting people who were interested in Latin American culture or my language. Hmm, is this typical of Dresden? Well yes, the people of Dresden are nice and friendly, and maybe as open and outgoing as Mexicans. They do not open up as quickly, but when they do, they do it with all their heart and for ever.

Now when I go walking in the Altstadt I always think about my first day here, when everything was so strange to me. Now I have been here almost 7 years and I am happy in this city. I have a job as a lecturer at the Dresden Technical University, I have good friends and I have found my one true love, and therefore a new home too!

Foto: Elizabeth Ortiz-Ulbricht