Five Questions: "We’ve been here for five years and we are planning to stay"

Five Questions : "We’ve been here for five years and we are planning to stay"

In this new GA-English series, we talk to members of Bonn’s rich and engaging international community. Today, César Evaristo tells us about his life, what brought him to Bonn and what he likes about living here.

Part of what makes Bonn so incredibly unique and attractive is its large and engaged international community - of which we are all a part. During our time here, short or long, we are all keen to learn what we can about German culture and habits, and maybe even learn to speak the language – if we can get our tongues around all those syllables. Of course it is more fun to go out and explore with others and many of you have already met up with transplants from your home countries, or made friends with your German neighbors. What’s always amazing is that one can talk to ten different people from ten different countries or backgrounds and their perspectives will always be different.

In this new GA-English series, FIVE QUESTIONS, we hope to give you a little glimpse into our diverse international community. This month, we talk to César Evaristo, who was born in Portugal and lives in Bonn for five years now. The 40-year-old is a scientist in the field of Cancer Immunology, and has previously lived in France for eight years and for five in the US – always following science and research. He likes spending time with his wife and kids („They are really cool.“), and enjoys music, biking, swimming, movies, escape rooms and adventures. Asked what his favorite destinations are, he replied: „Places that surprise me, teach me something new, or provide new experiences to share with my family.“ He likes Italian and Japanese food, and his favroite drinks – depending on the occasion – are Mango lassi, wine, beer.

What brought you to Bonn and how long do you plan to stay here (or how long have you been here already)?

My wife. She was offered a position as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Bonn. We moved from the US to Bonn, and I had the privilege of experiencing the life of a stay-at-home parent for a few months. It’s much harder than I had originally anticipated… Now we’ve been here for five years and we are planning to stay.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I like music - I sing in two choirs and a rock band. I like to go out with my family for… well… anything fun, really: Laser Tag, Escape Room, Kletterwald, Cinema, Swimming pool, bike rides along the Rhein, hikes, Phantasialand, shows... And sometimes I really like to enjoy my couch and binge-watch Netflix.

What part of the lifestyle here has been easiest or most challenging to adapt to?

It was very easy to start with being able to go everywhere by public transportation or bike. Also, I find the healthcare system to be much easier to navigate in comparison to the US system. It was also easy to adapt to the fact that stores are closed on Sunday, which “forces” us to have quality time with the family.

The most challenging aspect of life here was the navigation of the German School system. In particular, going through the transition from 4th grade to the tier-based 5th grade.

Which season of the year is your favorite in Bonn and why?

Summer! :) It’s warm(er), outdoor pools are open, Biergarten, local strawberries, the sun, longer days… Although Christmas is pretty cool too...

What’s your best insider tip for people living in Bonn?

I don’t really feel like an insider in Bonn yet. I would advise people discover the “hidden” gems around Bonn. Waldau, Drachenfels, Brühl.