Relocating from Hong Kong to Bochum early 2014.

I hope you don't find my post inappropriate as i am a newly joined member, i've been living in Hong Kong for the past 10+ years and will be relocating in February to Bochum.The fact is i am a native French speaker (i also speak fluently both chinese mandarin and cantonese) with very poor German language knowledge and i'm wondering if there is an expat/local community out there that speaks English/French and have keen interest in hanging out for fun or meeting to enjoy the same hobbies. I've perused this forum for a while and couldn't find much info in regards to members/people living in Bochum/Essen area, i fear i'd get bored quickly living in Germany and having no chance to make new friends given my limited ability at speaking German. I have a trading company in HK and will be doing the shuttle between DE & HK every 2 months or so for a couple of days, but will be living in Germany mostly. I appreciate your kind advice and willingness to share some insights.

Many thanks in advance!

While not the most cosmopolitan in Germany, the area around Essen/Bochum is densely populated with a relatively high foreigner quota. You'll surely find like-minded friends if you put in some effort!
Most Germany speak good English, so your limited German will not be a big problem.
What else do you want to know?

Thanks Beppi for the heads up, much appreciated!
I've been several times to Bochum so i'm quite familiar with the ambiance and habits there but have no idea in regards to making friends and meeting people, been to bermuda triangle twice for drinks and i found a sympathetic atmosphere but nothing comparable with HK nightlife, people were a bit reserved and i didn't get a chance to communicate with anyone. I am planning to join a club in Bochum for workout and was wondering if there are some good ones, i've tried OASE once and liked it but it's quite far away from Linden, i've heard there's one at the Bochum Hauptbahnof but can't seem to find its website on the internet.  If you can provide some useful insights in regards to this matter i'd be very pleased, i see you've been relocating in and out of Germany many times and you've been in Asia for a while too. Many thanks in advance!

Kind Regards.

I do not know Bochum well, so cannot help with any specific pub, shop, fitness studio, etc.
Germans are generally more reserved than some other nations and might take some time to "warm up", but they are mostly open and friendly if you make the first move towards them.
If you relocate to Germany, you can import all your personal belongings free of customs duties and taxes (independent of value or how long you had them). You just cannot sell them for 6 months afterwards. Your moving company can certainly help you clarify this and fill the necessary paperwork.
I heavily discourage carrying expensive items personally or under cover, as this is not only an unnecessary risk (especially after posting the intention on the Internet for everyone to see), but also rightly raises official suspicions - after all, this is done only by people who have something to hide! Carrying cash or values over €10000 (or is it €12500 now?) is anyway forbidden and will be confiscated if found.

I think in this case i have no alternative than to leave them behind in my residence in HK, i've brought in my hand carry luggage up to 3 items when visiting Germany in the past 4 years and went through customs with no issues, been stopped only once and asked to open my bag (i had a Nikon D4 & D800 inside too) and the officer only asked me to turn my cams on and off to check it's working (security reasons i guess) then let me go.  i wanted to check that out prior to my trip, thanks again for the useful informations, i'll just keep everything in HK since it's a much safer place.


Hi :)

When you've arrived, please do not hesitate to contact me. I'm in Cologne, but at least it's the same region.

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