It is no exaggeration to say that my life changed completely when I moved from Moscow to Bonn. Although I had visited Germany on business for the first time 10 years earlier, and in my previous job I had worked closely with German colleagues, I had never before lived outside Russia.
For a start, there were fewer people around me: 300,000 instead of about 12 million! Also the pace of life seemed much slower – in Moscow I was used to running here, there, and everywhere each day; in Bonn things seemed more relaxed. And I had a lot more time on my hands because my daily commute to work reduced from one hour each way to just a short walk. By my calculation, this alone has given me back some 40 useful hours per month.