Der Grenadier aus Aachen

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About Der Grenadier aus Aachen

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  1. Der Grenadier aus Aachen added a post in a topic: Tips for US military newcomers to Germany   

    I dunno anything about the USAEUR or whatever it's called, and whether that requires an IDL, so I won't comment on it.

    However, the idea of an IDL or anything else being necessary to drive in Western Europe on a US license, or vice versa, for some reasonable period of time that I am sure can be easily looked up, is complete non-sense. I am a German citizen, and I live in the US. I've driven in Germany, Austria, France, Holland, Italy, and the Czech Republic for months at a time on my US license, rented cars, been pulled over a good many number of times, and never had an issue. The same is true for the other way around, with both German and Austrian driver's licenses. Nobody in the US or in Europe has an interest in making things that difficult for people from <anywhere else in the western industrialized world> to drive around in <some other place in the western industrialized world>.

    So, if your XYZ guidelines for ABC job require you to jump through specific hurdles, that's completely fine. But otherwise, this is all completely pointless. The one and only issue I've ever had is that sometimes, they read the date format the wrong way round on my birthday, but that usually occurs to them themselves in a second or two.
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  2. Der Grenadier aus Aachen added a post in a topic: Pumuckl - I want to kill him   

    I am pretty sure that Pumuckl is responsible for my overeating as a child. It's a work of the devil, and it needs to be exterminated.
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  3. Der Grenadier aus Aachen added a post in a topic: Bavarian cornfield swastika stokes fears of neo-Nazi resurgence   

    Oh no! It's a swastika! What ever will we do!
    ...personally, I am going to go ahead and not give a damn.
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  4. Der Grenadier aus Aachen added a post in a topic: London congestion charge for foreign cars   

    This thread makes me want to drive through downtown London in a tracked vehicle that spans 2 lanes, and dare them to try to collect a congestion tax from me.
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  5. Der Grenadier aus Aachen added a post in a topic: Tips for US military newcomers to Germany   

    Complete non-sense about the IDL. Germany isn't even a signee of the IDL convention. You can rent a car and drive around fine in Germany with your US license for up to six months, can get another 6 month extension after that, with your US license, or drive indefinitely on an EU-nation license. I should know, because I do it on a regular basis. And yes, I've been pulled over.

    This is more inline with reality:
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  6. Der Grenadier aus Aachen added a post in a topic: Need advice: Bring car or leave it here?   

    This is a more general piece of advice, and doesn't necessarily apply to the Altima, but I haven't seen it mentioned before.

    If you're bringing a car over to Germany, especially if it's an american car, and especially if it's an automatic, check your gearing!

    Most American cars, especially ones with clunky 4 speed automatics, are geared to get their best fuel economy at 40mph and 70mph, respectively, since that is the speed that most people drive at on a regular basis. Residential speeds in Germany vary more greatly, and you'll of course be going a lot faster on the autobahn than 70. Add to that the fact that most american cars do not have a variable valve system, and you could end up regularly driving above or below your peak efficiency RPM, with your valves half open, just spewing unburned fuel out the back of your exhaust pipe, which can cost you a fortune.
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  7. Der Grenadier aus Aachen added a post in a topic: Customer service positives in Germany   

    I went back home for a couple of months recently, and I needed a local phone line, so I went over to the Vodafone store.

    Got in, said I needed a prepaid SIM, etc not a big deal. Went to go pay, they asked me for my address in Germany; I gave it. Then they asked me for my Personalausweis. I handed them my D.C. driver's license. The guy said that wasn't an ID. I explained to him that, yes, I am aware that they are separate documents here in Germany, but in the US, the driver's license doubles as ID. It took a little convincing, but he accepted that. Then he said that the address didn't match the one on the ID. I informed him, that yes, the sky is in fact blue, and the address couldn't possible match since my ID was from the United States, and this being Germany, it's unlikely that they would issue me a driver's license for here. Sarcasm was, in fact, starting to creep into my voice. I also noted that they had a responsibility to collect an address, but not to prove it.

    He considered this for a moment, and decided to call his regional manager. I waited while they spoke for about 10 mins. I spotted a T-Mobile store across the road, and decided that I waited enough. With a wave, I walked out and went to the T-Mobile store. Roughly five minutes later, I walked out of the T-Mobile with a prepaid SIM for voice, 50 EUR in topups, and friendly advice from the clerk that I should get my 3G USB stick's SIM card somewhere else since T-Mobile's rates aren't the best by any measure. He mentioned that he liked Fonic for that in this area, and gave me directions to a privately owned cellphone store that carried their SIM cards. He also sold me a 3G USB stick unlocked so that I could use it with the Fonic service. Best. Customer. Service. Ever.
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  8. Der Grenadier aus Aachen added a post in a topic: Picking a place to live...   

    When God parceled out beauty among the world's continents, he spent extra time in the Rhineland, and made it his dwelling on earth.

    With the possibly exception of Vienna, if living there is an option.
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  9. Der Grenadier aus Aachen added a post in a topic: Tips for US military newcomers to Germany   

    Here are some things that friends of mine have experienced in the past when they first came to Germany:

    1) Don't screw around with the german police. The police around your posting area are probably intimately familiar with every US soldier's first experience with german beer, and they may or may not be extremely annoyed with the situation. I knew a guy, barely 20, who decided to make an issue of it when the police pulled him over for driving inebriated, took a punch at them, and was swiftly beaten down, with several teeth missing as a result. They will be nice to you if you're nice to them. They are just looking to do their job.

    2) Learn the local bus and rail maps. You don't need a car to get around in Germany.

    3) We're a culture of favors. Make friends with some germans at a bar. We regularly ask our friends to help us with all sorts of things; just be prepared to return the favor.

    4) If you're near a village, behave very well in the village. You will be judged solely by your behavior as described by third parties, and they can really make life uncomfortable for you if they don't like you.

    5) Don't bring your pickup truck, your SUV, or whatever else giant thing you might have. While we might not say it straight to your face since you're obviously in the land of the ignorant, most germans are very conscious of the environment, and will secretly hate you for bring that 5.7L monstrosity into their country. Put it in storage, or better yet, sell it. Buy a small, used city car for your time in Germany. VW Golf and such are great. Big enough to be useful, but you can still fit them in urban parking spaces.

    6) The Wiener/Frankfurter out of the can are just as good as the ones out of the glass.
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  10. Der Grenadier aus Aachen added a post in a topic: Salary expectations in the German IT industry   

    So, since this thread is here, I thought I might as well go ahead and ask. I've been working for a US company for a while, and have been getting paid in US dollars, and I really have no idea what I'd be earning from a German company in Euros. Hence, a summary of me is below, and if anyone has any idea what I might fetch, please do chime in.

    Currently as Vice President of Engineering (formerly Senior Engineer) at a smaller bespoke software development company. My core competency is highly scalable web and network applications (including mobile), with our usual core platform being various UNIX derivates. On the nerdy side, I regularly work in development with PHP, C#, C, Erlang, MySQL, MS SQL Server, and various other related technologies. I have about 9 years of related experience.
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  11. Der Grenadier aus Aachen added a post in a topic: Diplom vs. Bachelor's degree   

    This is all so completely irrelevant. There are smart people, and when you tell them something, it sticks, and they think about it, and they get something out of it. Then there are stupid people, and when you tell them something, they try to memorize it, and they will probably not have a single enlightened thought on the topic their entire lives. There's not a single degree in the world that can tell the former from the latter, because academia is largely a matter of persistence, not intelligence.
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  12. Der Grenadier aus Aachen added a post in a topic: Can we expats integrate into Germany?   

    Well; you're still in Germany mate, so I don't think it's unreasonable that you're expected to act a we bit German. I generally try to act like the natives do when I'm abroad, and it's always much appreciated. However, it's been complimented a number of times that my manners far exceed average expectations.
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  13. Der Grenadier aus Aachen added a post in a topic: Can we expats integrate into Germany?   

    I don't think that integrating into Germany and retaining your national identity are mutually exclusive things, especially if you come from another nation in the western world. We're in the center of Europe, as such, we're pretty used to foreigners tromping around. Your average rural dweller in the backwoods of XYZ might not be, but that's really to be expected, isn't it?

    I think life in Germany is what you make of it. I think it's entirely possible for an Englishman, or a Frenchman, or an Italian, to make themselves a perfectly comfortable home in Germany. Americans may have more trouble adjusting, since they have that consumer-centric way of thinking that most of Europe doesn't share. But, that is all a question of personal thought on the issues. If you're open-minded and willing to accept another culture, you shouldn't have any problems. You just have to remember that you're the guest, not the landlord, is all.
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  14. Der Grenadier aus Aachen added a post in a topic: Are you scared of death?   

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