Tales from Abroad: One Accountant’s Journey in Germany – Part 1 “The Arrival”

By Lindsay Boatwright

Guten Tag!  This spring, I’m embracing an opportunity provided by Windham Brannon and a firm in Germany, MTG, to participate in a work exchange program.  I’m very excited to pioneer this partnership between our two firms and will be providing a few blogs regarding my time spent in Germany.
Upon arriving in Munich after a nine-hour flight, I collected my rental car and immediately had my first experience driving on the autobahn.  While I did not drive as fast as many of the others on the road, I tried to take advantage of some of the sections that did not have speed limits posted.  My rental car couldn’t quite keep up with many of the Audis and BMWs passing me by! 
Once settled in my flat, I set out to explore the town I’ll call home for the next few weeks, Regensburg.  Regensburg is a UNESCO World Heritage site and sits on the banks of the Danube.  It’s a fun and interesting place to explore and discover historical landmarks, such as: The stone bridge built in the Medieval times and one of the only bridges to cross the Danube in Regensburg for centuries, with portions of the original Roman wall dating from 179 A.D.; and the Dom St. Peter, a church that looks over all of Regensburg.
After taking in the sights, I make my commute to Kelheim where I’m working with MTG.  I was warmly welcomed and introduced around the office, mostly in German.  The team at MTG set me up in a conference room, which will serve as my office during my stay.  MTG has provided me with a laptop and an extra screen, but I find it easier to use my Windham Brannon laptop, as German keyboards are different from American ones, with many keys in different places and extra letters from the German alphabet.  Additionally, all the information on my MTG laptop is in German, which I’m trying to learn but do not have a firm grasp of yet.  Google Translate has become my new best friend!
The commute to Kelheim from my flat in Regensburg is faster than my commute in Atlanta and involves a lot less sitting in traffic!  The commute back is more like Atlanta since evening rush hour is heavier.  When I drive to work, I must make sure to get to Kelheim before 8 a.m. to secure a parking spot in the public parking lot.  From there, I have a quarter mile walk to the office over mostly cobblestone streets.  I had to ditch my heels and find a pair of flats within the first week!
I look forward to sharing more about my adventures in Germany over the coming weeks!