When I moved to Germany, I kept seeing a book series with cool hipster graphics and titles like "How to Be German in 50 Easy Steps" everywhere - at the library I worked at, at friend's houses, even a bookstore in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere, Bavaria. My first birthday in Germany, a friend got me my very own copy.
The books were a humorous take on German culture from the perspective of a British guy who moved to Leipzig. The 50 steps were presented in little snippets that were insightful and funny, and the book was in both English and German. It became part of my bedtime routine to read at least one snippet per night, first in German, then in English then again in German. It was part of my rigorous routine to learn German, and while most of my other language learning attempts felt like work, this was something I really enjoyed doing.
I flew through "How to Be German" and moved on to "Make Me German." Similarly hilarious and obersvant, this book followed the author along on his attempts to do certain things to make himself better integrated into German culture and life.
At a time when I didn't know much about Germany, it was so cool to read these. I'd feel proud when I realized I got the jokes, because that meant I DID know something about German life. There were also several times where I hadn't encountered the thing being described, only to have it pop up in my life months later, and I'd remember I had heard of it before.
So, you can imagine how thrilled I was when I got to interview the man behind the books himself, the author Adam Fletcher!
Adam Fletcher was bored in his UK hometown when a job opportunity popped up in Leipzig, Germany. He said, "Sure, why not?" When his blog article about Germans went viral, publishers called him up, asking if he'd like to write a book. He said, "Sure, why not?" He got the chance to become a German citizen. He said, "Sure, why not?"
The King of Happy Happenstance shared his story of how he went from bored college graduate to bestselling author to certified German, with plenty of detours along the way. Adam is still a writer, now publishing a series of travel books about visiting unusual places. And he's still in Germany! In the interview, he shares why he feels so at home in Berlin.
It's one of my favorite interviews I've done yet. Listen here!