This is my interview with Justin Dow. You can see his blog here. He has been waiting to be interviewed since May. Thanks for waiting, Justin.
Where do you live? What is it like where you live?
I recently moved to Munich, Germany. Munich is in the Southeast part of Germany, about an hour away from the Austrian Border and about two hours away from the Czech Republic. I love the weather. It is a mild climate, similar to that of Western Oregon or Northern California, except a little colder. Munich is a beautiful city with a lot of culture and a low crime rate. It is a huge city, but if feels like a small town.
Why made you decide to move to Germany?
I lived here when I was younger, and my father still lives here. I decided to move back here after I graduated college. I found a good job here as a software developer. I really love the lifestyle here. People are very honest. People that you don’t know will seem rude and not caring, but once you get to know someone, they are very nice. People work hard during the week, but take their free time very seriously. Virtually nobody works on Sundays and all stores are closed. On Sundays you can take a walk in the park or just hang out with family or friends with no worries.
Have you ever been on the Autobahn? What is the highest speed you have ever driven?
Yes. The Autobahn is similar to an interstate highway in the USA, but when you are on a straight stretch or out in the country, there is no speed limit. You have to be very safe, though. The fastest I have driven was 220 kilometers per hour, which is about 135 miles per hour. The scary thing is when you are going that fast, and some Porsche or BMW passes you like you are standing still. Germans like to drive fast.
I know that you have a cat. What is your cat like? How big is your cat? Has your cat ever bitten you?
I’ve had my cat for about 2 months now. Her name is Molly and she is about 4 months old. I love her. She plays a lot and loves to purr. She bites a little when she is feeling playful, but it never hurts.
What does your house/apartment look like?
My apartment is pretty nice. It is small. It is just a 1-bedroom apartment, but it has everything I need. It has a balcony and is on the 5th floor of an apartment building. It overlooks a small park and playground and is about a block away from the subway station, which I can use to get anywhere in town.
What is your favorite room in your house?
My favorite room is my living room. I use it as an office, also. I work from home, so I spend most of my day sitting at my desk working. But I have a nice stereo system and a projector that I use to watch TV and movies after work. It is comfortable in there, so I like just hanging out at home.
Why do your friends call you Jabba?
I have an older brother named Travis. When we were both little, I used to jokingly call him Trabba as kind of a cute nickname for him. He didn’t like it much, so he started calling me Jabba. After a while, all my friends started calling me Jabba, and even my parents and my fiancé call me Jabba sometimes. When I still lived in Oregon, I had license plates that said Jabba.
What is your favorite type of flower? Why?
I like the Edelweiss ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edelweiss ). They are hard to find, but pretty when you do see them.
What is Germany’s official flower?
As far as I know, Germany doesn’t have an official flower. Their official animal is the Golden Eagle, though.
What is the worst tasting food you have ever had?
Well, there is a long list of food that I don’t like. My friends make fun of my all the time because I am hard to please when it comes to food. I think the most disgusting thing for me is cheese. I don’t like any kind of cheese, except for Mozzarella cheese on pizza.
What is your favorite color? Why?
I like blue, but when it comes to choosing a color for things that I buy, I like black. I had a black car in the States, and here I have black dishes, a black table, a black desk, and black bed sheets. And of course I chose a black cat.
What are you afraid of?
Elementary Schools and people that I don’t know. I don’t know why, but every time I go to an elementary school (my fiancé is an elementary school teacher) I get a weird, nervous feeling. It is kind of strange.
What would you do differently if you could be a kid again?
If I were a kid again, I would probably work a little harder in school and listen to my parents more. Everything they told me when I was a kid, even though I didn’t believe them at the time, turned out to be true. But one thing is sure: Don’t ever worry about the future, or try to plan your life. It won’t turn out anything like you expect, and things always tend to turn out positive somehow, even if it isn’t as was planned.
What is the funniest word you have ever heard?
The word “loofah”. The weird little spongy thingy that people use in the shower to apply soap to their bodies. That, and most German words are funny. Mostly because Germans tend to have compound word, so if you need three or four words to describe something in English, you would just put them all together in German. Example: to write out the number 364 in English, you would write, three hundred sixty four. In German, you would write, dreihundertvierundsechzig. So you can imagine that sometimes words can be infinitely long. It always makes me laugh.