Vitalina Gertie (aged 35)
loves Berlin as a melting pot of different cultures.
Where do you work?
I work as the Housekeeping Trainer at the Hotel Palace Berlin. The Hotel Palace is a privately-run hotel belonging to the Leading Hotels group - a global alliance of luxury hotels, resorts and spas. We look after our guests on an individual basis and make them feel as though they are at home.
As the Housekeeping Trainer, I currently work in Housekeeping and train up our employees. For example, I’m charge of the appearance of the rooms, and am responsible for continuously improving work processes. It’s also my job to train up new colleagues and to ensure that the hotel’s standards are adhered to.
Why did you choose Berlin?
I was born in Russia. However, my grandma is German. She was taken prisoner in Russia during the Second World War. It was always her dream to come home. That’s why we decided as a family to move back to Germany. I was 13 years old at the time.
And Berlin? In Russia, we also lived in a city and we are true urbanites. Berlin was the best option for us – a large, cosmopolitan city with lots of people and opportunities for work.
What do you love about Berlin?
Its varied nature. The city is extremely multicultural. Everyone is welcome here – no matter where they come from. It’s easy to make friends and there’s so much to see and do. This city is a melting pot of different cultures.
Who or what helped you to settle in when you first arrived in Berlin?
My family already had friends here who helped us a great deal. But I also met my best friend just after I moved here. She lived next door to us. We would often set off to catch the S-Bahn together and we discovered Berlin by foot. That’s how I got to know the city for myself, bit by bit.
If you could give someone who’s new to Berlin one tip, what would it be?
Don’t be scared of speaking German! Berliners are very nice people. Just talk to people here! Language barriers are no problem in Berlin. Get involved in something and make some friends!