This week's top-rated posts
If I were you, I wouldn't rely on free anonymous advice from the Internet. Since you have multiple concerns, find an specialized attorney to help you deal with these issues and write a will.
Welcome to Toytown jewjew4731
Hopefully the price you negotiated reflected the fact that the property had a sitting tenant, although the idea that you presumed the tenant would be willing to move out at all suggests you may not have had the best advice at the time of purchase. Unfortunately, (from the point of view of those who buy such properties), in Germany tenant's rights are very well anchored in law as the others already said. Except for limited time lettings, the minimum notice period required to revoke leases of living space is 3 months (if given by the 3rd working day of a month then effective at the end of the 2nd following month). This period is extended by a further 3 months if the tenant has held their lease for 5 years and by a further 3 months if they have done so for 8… (another 830 words)
Wow excellent answer 2B!Unfortunately your not the first person to run afoul of this, the good news is once you understand how the system works you'll find there are a lot of positives here. For example hands down it's much better to be a landlord here than in say Ontario, Canada where my sister in law owns several places. Anyways a few you can do in the meantime, while none will help short term you will be at least be able to feel like you're in control
[list=1] spend time searching TT is a phenomenal resource for all things German, and somewhere in the middle of an 80 page long thread you'll find the information you need Join the Landlords Association (google vermieterverein) they offer very inexpensive legal services. If your currently renting a property join the mieterverein.… (another 258 words)
O.K. first off: background for any expertise in this area = I have a family member on dialysis here in Germany. The same family member suffered kidney failure in India years ago, and underwent dialysis and a transplant there in India at that time. (After about two decades that transplanted kidney has stopped working, which is why the dialysis again now.)
1) herbs, herbal treatments, special foods such as parsley are all a con. People will grasp at straws when faced with a difficult medical situation, and there are plenty of predatory types out there who are all too willing to try to make a profit out of other peoples' misery. Heck, maybe they truly believe in it themselves, but that still doesn't make it work. Don't waste your money on such treatments, because it IS nothing but… (another 296 words)
When my mother, who was on dialysis for 10 years, flew from the UK to Munich for her one and only attempt at a short holiday whilst on dialysis, she took her dialysis bags with her. At the time she had peritoneal dialysis. She got a big peritonitis infection, likely from the risks of travel and returned to the UK on an emergency flight back and went straight to hospital. After this she could no longer have peritoneal dialysis and had to switch to haemodialysis. I would NOT advise putting your parent on a flight whilst they are already dialysing as the risks of infection are too high. If she was sent back home in an emergency, could you see that she would get the best care to get her out of a bad situation if she did pick up an infection?
To be honest, the above threads are correct. I don't… (another 100 words)
If the foods you mentioned would cure kidney disease, there would be no dialysis centers.
Please do not try to bring her here. She would likely die without the treatments.
I am very sorry for this heartbreaking situation and wish you all the best.
I am not a doctor.
Anzu has very good points there. It is a stressful situation you are in but it helps not to jump to conclusions and take decisions in a haste.
My father had kidney failure due to diabetes and he was on dialysis for almost 6-10 months until we found a matching kidney. Til his death (from some other cause) 8 years after transplantation, his donated kidney was still perfectly functioning. I believe you should try to focus your energy on getting a donor as soon as possible. Depending on her blood type, it can be very fast to get a donor. IMO, transplantation can become a one-time thing and is way better than routine dialysis in terms of quality of life. Some bodies reject perfectly matched kidneys after transplantation and it is a risk one needs to bear. I am no doctor. Consult a good nephrologist.… (another 118 words)
I just wanted to update the situation, maybe it helps others. As I said, I was caught with a non German driver's license which was expired. The next week I have received a letter from police department and I was given a chance to explain my situation. So I wrote a letter with my friend (my German was not enough to write it alone) and explained that I was not aware of that 6 month duration rule, and I have applied at a driving school and I was going to take exams for German driver's license. And gave the letter to police department in hand. After 7 weeks I received a letter saying that I was 'free', so I did not pay any fine or anything. I did not contact with any lawyers by the way. Just a letter and 7 week patience solved my problem. Till receiving that letter… (another 32 words)
I sympathize as I am currently going through the maze that is German grammar.
There are several books that I have found good value, including Hammer's. Another two are German: an essential Grammar by Bruce Donaldson, and Basic German: a grammar workbook, by Heiner Schenke. All three of these books are in English and are pretty clear and straightforward.
As cost appears to be an issue, then google "german grammar book pdf". These first five or so hits contained pdf versions of the latter two books that you can download. There were also some others but I have no experience with them.
Viel Glück mit Ihrer deutsch lernen.
TT is not a language school
This applies equally to random Germans who - for whatever reason - choose to join this site of English-speaking expats and to random Americans who find this site and hope to brush up on their German.
Contact building management immediately. If there is a leak inside a wall somewhere, your building insurance will cover it. If a water leak in another apartment is to blame, then that person (or their insurance) is liable to pay for the repairs.
1. - you still need to get health insurance, if Careconcept will no longer cover you - have you contacted them to ask about back-payments/starting a new plan with them, etc? If not, then do so, as you are still required to have health insurance if you live in Germany.
2. - start counting your pennies together to pay the hospital bill - if you cannot pay it in one lump sum, contact the hospital to make arrangements to pay on a monthly basis.
3 - any communication from the hospital will be in German - do not ignore it!
4. - never ignore communication from your health insurance company - whether it is written in English, German or Chinese, they do not send you post just to say "hello, how are you?" - if you cannot deal with the language, ask for help, but be sure to find out what… (another 55 words)
Foreigners with study permits are expected to demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to cover their expenses in order to be issued study permits and the study permits generally explicitly exclude eligibility for welfare benefits (which makes a payment plan that has already been suggested your only option).
You'd be surprised how often professionals can miss something that your average, run-of-the-mill TT member will notice. Case in point, a friend got legal advice on how to deal with a landlord and it was a friend who pointed out that he was wrong, she called him back and he sheepish admitted she was right. Second case, years ago, our steuerbreater told us how to claim retraining expenses, but again a friend pointed out that we were eligible for full rather than half (if memory serves me correct) of our expenses.
90% of the time you'll get confirmation 10% you'll find out something new. Plus asking informs the rest of us, which is the real benefit. Easy mistake to make, any normal person who hasn't lived in Germany in the last 2-3 years would assume that would be enough. The… (another 37 words)
I don't know if it makes sense to respond to individual posts or not, I'm realizing that I don't actually have the time for it! But I do want to say, thanks so much for all of the responses, and that I've enjoyed all of them. It's cathartic to hear a few stories, and to have some clarification of my point of view. It's a good story, thanks. There's a bit of a connection between that story, and how I ended up here. I was hired based upon accomplishments and not appearances. But, I've skipped into a new industry, and for whatever reason, every job I get is always located in a very trendy place. It makes my life feel bipolar, all at the same time I'm receiving the message that I both should and shouldn't be here. As my finances balance out, I guess that… (another 398 words)
The last time I was in Germany for vacation I bought a replacement part for a pressure cooker in Karstadt, with the help of the Fissler lady there. When I was home (canada) I realized it was not the correct part and wrote an email to Karstadt about it, saying I even asked the lady there to make sure it was the correct part, and unfortunately I can't exchange it easily since I'll be back in Germany 7 months later. I got an email back saying I can come exchange it the next time I'm in Germany, so 7 months later I go back to Karstadt and they even had my email printed out and the correct parts set aside for me.. the lady I spoke to wasn't even the person who helped me the last time but she knew about it. Thanks, Karstadt!
I can understand your feelings about not wanting to use that money for your move, but how about a compromise solution:
Maybe you can use the money as a loan to yourself? By this I mean set-up a bank transfer into a new savings account or similar and rather than paying a bank back for a loan, pay yourself an affordable amount each month until all the money is 'repaid' (to yourself). You can even repay yourself the interest that the bank would have charged so you make a little extra on this and not them.
As long as that´s in fact the case I´m sorry to say (regardless of the effect on my rep score) that in my view there is nothing wrong with checking people who are more likely to be illegal immigrants more intensly. Everything else would simply reduce efficiency even further. I understand that it is a hassle for those affected, but it isn´t the same as racism, is it? If there is a better and at least equally efficient way to decide who to check, I´m all for it, but how should that look like?
Here's some generic info, tips and links for finding a general or specialist medical doctor in Germany using online searches:
Most of the following information was translated from the websites of the Kassenärztliche Bundesvereinigung (KBV or National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians) the Kassenärztliche Vereinigung (KV or [regional] Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians) the Bundesärztekammer (BAeK or German Medical Association)[size="3"]="Times New Roman, serif"[/size]="Times New Roman, serif"="Times New Roman, serif"="Times New Roman, serif"Terms used in most Doctor search forms: ="Times New Roman, serif"
="Times New Roman, serif"="Times New Roman, serif"="Times… (another 327 words)
So, the narrowing down has begun:
1. International, not local (Africa seems to be a destination where all the world's ills take place, at least to a 10 year old).
2. Children (because "they have their whole life ahead of them and more to look forward to in life")
3. Animals (no preference for one single animal compared to a whole species in general, sea animals such as whales and dolphins seems to be a theme).
Now the searching begins...
Wow - somehow this thread turned from "watch out for this scam X" to "lets bash various other movements/races" pretty quickly.
"gypsies / turks" trying to get at your money...?
Two side notes:
Anyone coming to live in Germany would be well advised to read up about the German/Turkish situation in depth...there is a long history and it is a difficult and many-layered relationship...and be aware also that the Turkish population here is not a minority; there are far more Turks here than most other groups of foreigners.
The hare krishnas never died out in NZ (not quite sure why...I practically never see them anywhere else, but they still regularly dance about in downtown Auckland)...and while I always have to smile at their group behaviour, in NZ at least, they… (another 54 words)
I just received your PM - thank you - and answered you to send an email before I read this on TT. After reading this, I am sorry to say but you can spare sending me an email now because there is really nothing me/anyonelse can do, I am afraid.
I won't even start going into how it is unbelievable that you would not have fully noticed that you have not been paying your premiums for the obligatory health insurance you had to obtain and hold under your Visa. It may have happened that way, I am not disputing, but it won't give you any legal leverage, I am afraid.
Your information is a bit unclear because you say once that you stopped paying your "old" Careconcept insurance and on the other side you claim to have enrolled in a new plan starting May. Not sure if I understand… (another 167 words)
@ Yourkeau: CareConcept are not a regular health insurance under German laws. They are special kinda travel health insurance under § 195 Abs 3 VVG and can be cancelled anytime if you do not pay your premiums. this has nothing to do with the situation where normal German health insurances can't cancel because of non-payments.....
The 50%+1 single vote-system is IMO not the way to come to a decision of such importance.
Scots (or any other group of people in a state) live is the current form of state since long times. And changing this with all the effects this has on everybody's lives needs a real , overwhelming majority. Like 2/3 .
Otherwise it's just having turned upside down.
That's not feminism, that's so called positive sexism which is just as bad as negative one.
Do you really think that if Sarah Palin were the president of the USA instead of Obama there would be less wars? No, you can't think so. The reason why women should be in power is that there is no reason why they shouldn't, that's it.
Actually yes, I would prefer to buy loose apples, bananas, celery, corn rather than over packaged stuff.
Maybe people have been coughing, and sneezing into it. But if it's bio it's already had animal sprayed on it, and if it's not bio even worse
The secret is to clean/peel/cook it. Not package it.
I understand that a point of principle is at stake, but at € 1.39 a pack I would just cut my losses and get on with my life. Wouldn't be worth my while to remonstrate.
That said, if there was a problem with an entire batch of produce, a centralised customer service system - i.e. not just a hurried cashier telling you to exchange the item and then throwing your old package in the bin - would actually be able to trace it.
A couple of weeks ago, we saw an advertisement on the internet and booked a table at a restaurant which was advertising a seafood buffet on a Wednesday evening.
When we arrived there, there was no seafood buffet to be seen. The cook came and said they had stopped doing the Wednesday seafood buffet two weeks ago as most of the customers ordered fish dishes from the menu during the week and the seafood buffet is now on a Saturday evening. He must have seen how dissapointed we were because he apologised and offered to do a three course seafood buffet with a bit of everything just for the two of us for the same price as the said buffet and also said two glasses of sekt were on the house.
To begin with, the waiter brought a large silver platter to our table covered in mussels and various pieces… (another 142 words)
No, you will definitely be liable for German taxes. The $90K amount you're referring to is probably the foreign earned income exclusion threshold (form 2555), although the threshold is actually $97,600 (2013). Essentially as long as you earn less than that amount and live overseas, you can exclude up to that amount of income from US income tax (although you still have to declare it to the IRS). If you earn more than that, you may be liable to pay tax in the US as well. None of that changes the fact that, as a resident of Germany, you would still be liable to pay tax in Germany - as an American citizen, you simply have the pleasure of being liable to pay tax in 2 countries. The price of "freedom"...
I think you'll find that you will be paying taxes to either the US or Germany. If your expenses are going to be in euros, it would seem to me to make more sense to have your salary paid in euros into a German account. Also read up on FBAR and FATCA.
I hate to burst your bubble, but you definitely will be paying taxes in Germany, since you will be residing here. And being a US citizen, you will have the pleasure of also filing US taxes - read up on FATCA and FBAR for more info.
EDIT: What Conq said.
With all due respect: if you could earn 90k by living in Germany and being employed (having a contract) in the US - don't you think that about 60-80 Million Germans would all seek employment in the US (and 200 Million US-citizen would volunteer to live in Germany and work for US companies) ?
Sometimes it beat me how people cannot use really rather simple reasoning to figure out that if things sound too good to be true, they are?
Tax facts: Germany taxes you on worldwide income. Always. Anytime. Never has been different since Germany had an emperor or so. So, regardless of if you get your money in USD or EUR, you'll be taxed on it with normal income taxation in Germany. You being a US citizen, you might also face some tax reporting (but probably not paying) in the US, too.
there… (another 74 words)
Had a very nice running sesh today. Lovely weather, but I'm so chuffed about two adorable lil' pups that (literally) ran into me
All in a space of about 15 minutes of so. And owners were really nice and chatty too.
Didn't take any pics of cute puppies, but here's the view that made me very happy!
Tell him to find the exact replacement and then buy it. Then you will know what it was worth. If it is impossible to find the exact table, ask to see the receipt of the old one.
I guess you didn't take pictures of the furniture and its condition when you moved in.
Yes, true, and I would have never just gotten rid of it if we didn't ask. We both (my husband and I ) remember asking specifically about the table and a couple of other items before we moved in (the table is the only thing missing), except we are now the only ones that remember this conversation. Otherwise, I would never have assumed it would be okay, I know the rules on renting furniture. We are fine replacing it the best we can, I just want to know if there are any guidelines on replacement costs whether it be usage or age or anything.
this is what that means...
Evidence of general linguistic knowledge of German proven by means of a testing certificate that meets at least the requirements of stage B2 of the Common European Frame of Reference (GER) or: [a testing certificate] corresponding to an equivalent linguistic standard - Proof of participation is not sufficient
However, anyone who is struggling to understand this level of German is probably not yet capable of passing the B1 test leave alone B2.
Without intending to cause offense I have to say, that unless one takes time to mentally correct your errors, your English is extremely difficult, even for a native speaker, to follow. I would not wish to even try explaining my symptoms to a doctor who used this level of English (or German) and I certainly would… (another 15 words)
It is not enough that you pass a B2 course, you also need a B2 exam. Furthermore, if you want to increase your chances of finding a job (and more importantly want to be able to communicate with your patients), you should continue with German lessons.
So, a noteworthy experience today when, early this morning while I was on my way to work, a Buddhist monk approached me on the street—I assumed he needed directions.
But this monk didn't ask me for directions. Instead, he bowed and offered me a little gold card with an image of Buddha on the front, and on the back it said WORK SMOOTHLY / LIFETIME PEACE. I thanked him. He then opened up a little notepad with a picture of a Buddhist temple, pointed to it and said, "Temple, temple." His English skills were monosyllabic at best. I asked him where he was from. "Taiwan," he said, and again pointed to the picture of the temple.
Next thing, he took my hand and started to put a little beaded bracelet on me. It was right about now that I sensed something OFF—lots of things… (another 541 words)
The Frankfurt press seems not to have twigged yet, but this article from Berlin describes the scam. Anyway, good on you, UltraDeb, for calling out the rat, even if you didn't get your ten Euros back. Fake charity scams are really low. May the fleas of a thousand camels infest this dude's armpits and especially of those running the scam.
It good to see that someone has the time to put up a "Vote Yes" for Scotland Independence, yet don't have the time to investigate why all of our emails got leaked and give us a decent explanation.
I'm getting multiple emails a day now from spammers addressing me as "Hutcho" being sent to an account that has only been used here. An explanation of how this happened and assurance that the problem has been fixed and won't happen again would be good.
My bit of earned wisdom is that people can sense insecurity and go for it like blood. When I first got here as a scared and insecure young woman, the nasty people seemed to be drawn to me like a magnet. Old ladies would scream at me for taking up too much room on an empty train and religious freaks would harass me about Jesus, drunks would tell me to learn Bavarian or go home, etc. Now that I'm older and assertive, they leave me alone. A hard look in the eye, and even the staring is discouraged. Like the others said, it really does seem to be all about how you carry yourself and nothing at all to do with your clothing.
I agree, as a young nerdy geeky person with trouble understanding other people's intentions, I was constantly harassed - by colleagues as well as complete strangers - to the point of tears. To this day, I notice that people are attracted to having a bad day/being weak like sharks to blood.
However, this is not restricted to Germany, it's just very obvious here.
These days, I immediately bite back as hard as I can - after a brief eruption, peace ensues. Doesn't need to be logical or well thought out, just loud, hard, and *fast*.
[A recent anecdote - one of my bosses likes to harass us during group meetings with crude haha humor.
During one of our management sessions where we had to say what made us happy that day, I mentioned my significant other was returning from a prolonged… (another 53 words)
Germans are laughing at you for your appearance?!?! GERMANS?!?!
If Germans don't like what you wear, you should be relieved and happy. Imagine how terrible it would be if a German told you that you looked really good?
Anyway, if you really really wanna fit in with the locals, just do some google image research on words like mullets , double denim or the old favourite, socks with birkenstocks, I'm sure you'll find loads of good inspirational ideas.
I agree with those who suggest that if you do want to change your look, make use of the sales associates. I have no natural sense of fashion, and I have found the associates here, even in the cheaper stores, to be quite helpful. You can go in and say something like "I have X EUR, help." If you have any luck, you will find someone who likes a challenge and helps you put something together within a budget. For example, if you have 2 or 3 T-shirts and a pair of jeans and a pair of chinos, you can mix and match and add to it later. And if you don't like what the associate suggestions, you aren't obliged.
I'd do the same thing about your hair. Don't go to a barber - go to a decent salon (men's cuts are still much much cheaper than women's at a salon), and put yourself… (another 122 words)
Noone works anywhere without a Berufserlaubnis or an Approbation. Without it you are in effect not a doctor but someone who has graduated from a faculty of medicine. The Berufserlaubnis is being phased out in favour of fully Approbiert candidates.
Topic of foreign doctors has been extensively discussed. Check these threads Pakistani doctors in Thüringen and Getting medical registration in Germany . Your first step with a non EU degree is to see if it is recognised in Germany. For this check Anabin. All the others come afterwards. Periods required to make your degree equivalent to a german one are not counted towards a speciality.
Furthermore a Hospitation is another way to call an internship for doctors, and has nothing to do with the Approbation which is the German medical licence. During… (another 30 words)
In the name of balance, it should be noted that a squad of Scottish ex-rugby players have backed the NO campaign.
It should also be noted that these guys spent their sporting careers banging each other's heads together and drinking pints of piss for larks.
Regardless of what happens, it's been good to see so many Scots who have never been involved in politics suddenly become full of hope for the future. My brother was in George Square in Glasgow last night and posted a picture on Facebook. When I mentioned that he'd never been interested in politics before, he replied saying 'there's never been any point up until now'.
Regardless of the vote, I wish my fellow countrymen all the best.
You are already "imposing" your values on her by suggesting she make a donation! Now do the follow up and provide the guidance a 6-year old needs to donate wisely!
The suggestions given by others are great.
And charity begins at home.
Maybe you could choose two or three charities and ask her to choose between them.
I am keen on children's charities and as they are children, I would suggest you choose some charities that help childen. How about local initiatives? A local organisation that helps poorer children have a holiday or buys presents for Christmas so they don't feel left out. From talking to some people here, I know that there are plenty of children in Germany who are lacking in things.
So.. choose a couple of children's charities or initiatives and ask her to choose between them.
Sorry, but if you think you can wiggle out of this because the contract was not in your name due to clerical error, you're most likely wrong. The only way you can escape is if the building management company can't prove that you were responsible for the consumption. But given that they have your name on the lease for the apartment for the time in question, and the electricity meter number is tied to that apartment, the paper trail seems fairly damning.
If you refuse to pay, they will either sue you to collect or pass the bill on to a collection agency. Either way, you'll end up paying significantly more later, either in court costs or collection fees.
Yeah, it sucks that you thought you were getting free electricity the whole time, only to find out you weren't. But I'm… (another 90 words)
Ratingen is between a couple of Autobahns, railway lines and the flight path to/from the airport.
NRW publishes noise maps that show how loud road, rail, air and industrial noise is.
Put Ratingen in the box at the top of the map and check the different noise sources using the box on the left. Click the "Legende" tab at the bottom right to see what the colours mean.
You can zoom in to street level and see just how noisy it is where you are looking to buy.
My 13 year old son went to the Schullandheim for the weekend. Sunday evening (when he had to pack his bag) I got a photo message on whatsapp - a pair of underpants with the question - "Are these mine?"
Just over a year ago I had some good advice from a German nutritionist (Ernährungsberater)and since then I have lost a significant amount of amount of weight.
Now I never drink juice as it contains a lot of natural sugar, better to eat fruit in small portions. If you feel like orange juice eat a tangerine or half an orange. I no longer buy muesli - it is usually loaded with sugar. Instead I either add a handful of oats to natural yogurt for breakfast or have a bowl of my self-mixed muesli, you can find bags of oats and other grain mixes in any Reformhaus or in DM or Rossmann - I just mix in a few sultanas, sunflower seeds and nuts and shake it up in a big container. I am also adding flaked linseed and dried cranberries at the moment, the possibilities for custom made muesli are endless.… (another 244 words)
I have to agree with most of what has already been said. Cook your own fresh food, don't touch processed foods and cut down on the white stuff (sugar, flour, bread, pasta, rice and potatoes).
I have oats with a handfull of seeds and some blueberries for breakfast, although having read a post above, I'll be trying dried cranberries any day now (thanks!). Lunch is a bit difficult because I'm out and about, but I sometimes bring peppers with hummus or a salad, and in the evenings I usually cook vegetables and a little meat or fish.
There's so much bad food out there in supermarkets, it's good to try and avoid them as much as you can. I heard recently we should be shopping around the edges of supermarkets only and avoiding the centre where most of the processed food is… (another 2 words)
How about starting with questions that can quickly limit your little girl's options? Help in Germany or abroad? Animals or people? Children or everyone? Medical help? Environmental support? Charities that loan to small-business owners?
Of course you're influencing your daughter's choice, but that's all right. She can change her mind as she matures and becomes more aware of what a gift it is to be able to help others.
I have two daughters aged 6 and 10. The youngest one's birthday back in May was a real problem in terms of guests to her birthday party asking about what to bring her. She shares her toys with her elder sister and clothing is out as she wears her hand-me-downs as well. It got to the stage where we were literally stalking the shops for ideas on where to get others to spend money...awful!
Anyway, the eldest one (being happiest with her nose in a library book and wanting for nothing major) read about a girl in England who donated her Christmas presents to the local orphanage and we came upon the idea of leaving a money box by the door and people dropping in something for charity in lieu of presents for her birthday last month. It worked remarkably well, though some of the parents thought… (another 335 words)
I just want to reassure the OP, who I cannot see, that from his posts he sounds like a very nice, grounded, not superficial person. And that is much more important than the way he looks. Take a friend shopping and stay conservative and monochromatic if you don't give a hoot about fashion and just want functionality.
Yup, you greet 'em all. Guten Morgen, guten Tag, guten Abend, or maybe Berlin has local phrases, someone will come on and tell you.
Smiling is dodgier in Germany, I think some of them are a bit freaked by smiling, possibly it shows you as shallow, maybe they think it is a prelude to cannibalism... had some odd reactions to smiles myself.
Wear your normal clothes, have your earphones in, grunt a greeting as you pass, and in a short while you will have become scenery, and life will be serene again.
You sound lovely, as others have pointed out. Plot your defensive moves, and carry on.
"year group" or age-cohort doesn't exist in Germany as much as it does in other countries -- here the children in any particular school class may be up to two years apart in age (sometimes more), given differences in starting age (based on birthdays and parental choice) as well as the relatively common occurrence of children repeating a grade here or there. So your 10-year-old's year 6 class in Germany may have 9-year-olds or 12-year-olds in it, some kids still playing with Barbies and others with budding moustaches. Moving your child back two years of school might make her among the oldest in the new class, but there may be others who are the same age or even older.
In addition to after-school tutoring in individual subjects (German language in particular) by private providers… (another 144 words)
You might also like to look through some of my old posts in Family Life.
We moved here two years ago with children aged 13, 12 and 8 who already spoke some German and had a pretty hellish first 18 months. The system is extremely different and completely lacks the holistic approach of the British education system. It's very much survival of the fittest, with little to no support given by the school.
I am also in Hesse. In our borough you cannot choose your primary school, nor do you have any choice when it comes to which class the child is put into. My 8 year old went into the smallest class, not the class consisting of local children.
Here it is also compulsory for children arriving from abroad to go into an intensive German class initially, usually for one year.
Best of luck. Please… (another 29 words)
MACAL, our experience of the school system is scattered around TT though I'll piece it together again.....
My daughter and I moved here 3 years ago from the UK when she was 10, class 5 in primary school. She had no German language knowledge and mine was limited as I hadn't spoken German since my teens.
We too were in the catch 22 situation of where to live and where she should go to school. My husband also works in Frankfurt so we needed to be within reasonable commuting distance. With so much to organise, we stayed in the village where he had lived, east of Frankfurt near the Bavarian border. My daughter started primary school locally and that was the start of what in hindsight, was quite a traumatic time for all of us. As others have mentioned here, the school system relies quite… (another 843 words)
I can only second what everybody else has said.
I live in Bad Homburg and use to live in Frankfurt so I can give you the run down for Frankfurt and Bad Homburg. I have a 10 year old. She and her friends entered Grade 5 Gymnasium this year. In the UK she would be in Grade 6. If your child has no German I personally would not enter her into Grade 6. Depending on her birth date s/he will in fact be younger than the rest of her class and that coupled with no German might not be the best combination. The cut off entering school in Hessen is June 30th of each year. So most children in Grade 5 now will turn or have already have turned 10 between July 1, 2014 and June 30th 2015. There are of course children who have started school early, skipped a class or have been put down a grade. Don't forget… (another 454 words)
Welcome to Toytown, Marama
It sounds like you're going to have to get someone to turn off the building's supply at the water main overnight to prevent internal flooding from causing building damage and/or requiring the fire brigade to pump out the cellars in the morning.
Berlin Wasserbetriebe probably don't want such quantities of water being wasted anyway.
That'll be why their Stoerungsdienst is listed in the city's Berlin.de website under Notdienste.
The number to call is 0800 29 27 587 (gebührenfrei)
If they answer you could say something like this:
Hello, I am a tenant of Herr X in Y Strasse number Z in Berlin district XYZ. We are currently experiencing a major water leak but the landlord and our building janitor cannot be contacted. Can you please send someone… (another 237 words)
I go to the grocery store, see, and I'm in the produce section and pass by this big orange-coloured machine that has a bunch of oranges on top and a button to press and some bottles big and small of various sizes and shapes, but I can't figure out which button to press and even if I did press the button, wouldn't it just give me juice that's filled with sugar? This is Germany, right? Pleeeeeze help me...
I was stunned to read this in the Süddeutsche Zeitung - article appeared in yesterday's paper (unfortunately only in German).
Gist: German woman moved to Austria, de-registered and closed her bank account here, settled in Austria and paid the Austrian equivalent of GEZ. After seven years, she's now moved back to Germany - and the GEZ are making her pay seven year's worth of fees, since she didn't specifically cancel GEZ. This is apparently a little-known clause, and the bastards are holding her to it and making her pay.
EDIT: She did of course consult a lawyer, who recommended that she pay before the GEZ impounds her bank account and salary.
It never ceases to amaze me, when a person has not experienced the hardships of a fellow human being to whom they would not immediately refer to as a friend or relative, their capacity for empathy is often zero.
Humans, we're a truly remarkable species.
I, a U.S. citizen, was given a hard time at the Philidelphia airport on arrival because the U.S. border guard was missing some entry stamp into Germany in my passport. I pointed out that the passport was issued in Germany as I have been living there for several years. After some irrelevant back and forth he then - for reasons unknown to me - thought it proper to ask why I live in Germany. With a eating grin, I informed him that I have been working for a U.S. law firm in Munich for the last ten years.
I don't think that my passport was ever handed back that quickly.
Border guards are pocket-sized tyrants who consider their powers to grant entry god-given. Treat them politely but don't let them walk all over you.
It will stop someday when you start to look and behave like the locals (speak better German, wear Jack Wolfskin jacket, sandals+socks, or whatever that shows you are integrated). I was in your shoes many years ago, immigration entering Schengen was a nightmare and embarrassing when traveling together with colleagues (sometimes they brought a microscope the check my resident permit was no a fake), I was "randomly" controlled on the street, etc. Now I don't even remember the last time it happened.
Indeed, whites gets stopped. But racial profiling do happen.
Travelling with 3 Germans and a Bosnian from Budapest to Mannheim, we were all sitting together and the border police came around and asked for my passport - just mine. My co-passengers were more irritated than I was and said it was racial profiling. The Bosnian - a white girl - said that she could be an illegal immigrant as she also needs a visa and was surprised she was not checked.
so, FFS - get over your imagination that it is all dandy! It is different to be looking different here.
Teenagers waiting for the Green Man.
Kids walking/biking to school.
The possibility of spotting a wild boar in the woods. The woods that stretch on and on (from a UK perspective).
Strong social contract.
Trains that are clean and run on time. The fact that most Germans seem to think DBahn is crap. Hello?
Not having the car nicked regularly (previously lived in Sunderland).
Posh people using local schools.
Oldies out on their zimmers and trikes until they drop dead.
Sausages with meat in. Surprisingly delicious.
Christmas markets. The gorgeous ones and the local tatty ones.
Yes, what teen needs team sports and social contact? All they gain from that is physical fitness and an understanding how to get on with, talk to, and organise other people from all backgrounds. People like that never get anywhere in life.
Sometimes people think it is bad just because it is a computer or a TV. I gave a ride to a parent+kid from our son's kindergarden and she criticised that our kid was using a tablet in the car. Funny thing is the boy was "reading a book" from it, one of those apps that read books for kids and show on the screen where in the text you are reading. This has become one of his favorite techno-activities. I guess if the boy was "reading" a real book it should be all OK but since it is a book from an evilish device then it is wrong.
Before limiting their time on the computer you should check what they are actually doing.
Interesting that you left the Republic of Ireland off that list STB.
After almost 100 years of independence, we still have very close economic, cultural, diplomatic and legal ties with the UK. For example, no passport required for travel between ROI and UK.
It's an example of how an independent Scotland could - and almost certainly would - remain very close to the rest of Great Britain.
Cut two oranges in half, press and pour into glass. OJ without added sugar. Simplez. Eating the oranges as is would be better for you though.
Of course, there's still approx. 9 g of sugar in 100 g of orange, but I assume you mean *added* sugar.
Anything processed will have sugar or salt added - you'll need to go back to the roots if you're really serious about trying this diet.
It's not that hard to do, unless you normally depend heavily on processed products. Personally, I cook from scratch about 90-95% of the time, but I do eat at our firm's canteen for lunch most working days. It's fairly good for canteen food, but I'm sure they use some processed stuff.
It's much healthier to eat an orange than to drink a glass of orange juice. So the advice is pretty simple: prepare your own food from raw ingredients and drink-wise stick to water and tea/coffee. I would however advocate that you reduce your sugar and salt intake rather than attempt to cut it out completely. Everything in moderation.
Don't know how old you are mate (I reckon the 1945 YOB listed in your profile might not be very accurate), but I can give you one advice: don't give a crap of what others think of how you dress. Of all things, dress style is the most superficial one. If they can only see up to that level, sod 'em, they're probably not worth exchanging a word with them anyway.
Let me tell you a story of days long gone by (well, not really, some ten years ago): I somehow managed to get a nice position working for a nice company in my hometown. The company couldn't care less on how we dressed at work, as long as we weren't facing actual customers - wasn't my case. Anyway, at some point, we wanted to hire a few entry-level persons, so we put out an ad - got literally hundreds of responses.… (another 355 words)
I find it strange that you should be laughed at and insulted.. in Berlin of all places.
I also come from a very uncosmopolitan area in North Wales (Great Britain), where the biggest town I had in my life had 20,000 inhabitants. I visited Berlin from childhood onwards as my maternal grandparents lived there and no-one ever commented on me or the way I dress.
I did notice that Germans dress differently. I mean... when we went shopping in the 80s, I noticed they had different colours and designs in the shops. I mean 'Thermohosen'!!!??? (A sort of padded trousers for the winter!) And what is with all the Karohosen? The checked trousers. And the colours - so much more colourful than what we had in North Wales.
Recently, I was walking into town here in Dusseldorf, and… (another 466 words)
There are enough people around who are unhappy with their situation and use making fun/insulting others to try compensating for this - it's their problem and not yours!
Have you thought about trying to change the route you take to get to work? Maybe a simple detour would ease the situation?
On the other hand, I have seen kids wearing great big earphones to listen to their MPs players with - maybe you could get yourself a set and simply block out any "interference"?
You say that you "recently" moved to Berlin - give yourself time to settle in and explore the city - there is plenty to see and plenty to do, even if it is not what you are used to.
Could it be that you are going through a phase of culture shock?
It takes time to get a feel for a new place, and to actually… (another 11 words)
I find it hard to believe too, and yet it happens. People seem to be competitive or something, so alternative lifestyles are apparently invalid if not done properly. To be fair, I would like to dress nicely, but I don't actually know how. My pathetic attempts would be at least part of the issue, if not the whole issue. I really don't know.
To provide a little context: one of my highschool friends moved to France a few years ago. After he made some friends out there, they took him aside and told him "you can't dress like that here." He's actually the only person I know who's sympathetic to my situation, but he tells me that he still doesn't "get it". Bemused stares, from all ages. Sometimes someone says something in German that I don't understand.… (another 292 words)
Thank you to those who replied to my original post.
I would just like to let people know that we appealed against the AOK decision and they have agreed to begin the family insurance from 01.01.2013.
They have also given a refund of payments backdated to 01.01.2013. It was a hard process reading up on all the law relating to GKV but ultimately worth it. Thanks again to those who replied to my original post.
New flummox about the new 'English for complete beginners with various disabilities' course is that the manageress herself announced she was coming up with them and then staying. "Oh, you needn't stay with them, I'll be fine!" says me double-quick - being a solo artist at heart, and knowing that the lesson plan was 'faff about and try to sort out where they're at'.
She is in fact part of the new group, maybe she had already mentioned it and I hadn't understood. Who knows. So now I now I have the hardest group in history with the manager watching. Super.
At least this morning she thought it was great and my manner was charming. Better get the preparation up to scratch.
Not being able to access German Prime with smartdns is a PITA for me as I have to have smartdns setup on my router to get chromecast working. Overplay support just suggested I turn off smartdns.
Anyhow, I started watching Netflix today set to Germany, officially installed on my Samsung Smart TV, and continued to watch Breaking Bad, Netflix oh so smart already had my next episode lined up, but for the life of me I couldn't turn off the german audio and english subtitles. I checked my smart tv app, tried on android and chromecast, restarted. It just so happened it was the one opening scene in Breaking Bad that actually had Germans in it.
What you have:
1) You didn't pay, because you used a debit card without having covering funds in the account
2) Ikea doesn't send you letters. They don't even know who you are, nor where you live. You received two letters from your bank. What more do you expect?
3) That's to be expected.
To answer your questions:
1) Ikea is right.
2) Not any more. You should have contacted (and paid) them as soon as you got the first notice that the debit failed. They seem to have tried to debit your account twice, two weeks apart, which is one more then they had to do.
I hope you're not studying finance.
I failed miserably.
After my 3 hour doctor appointment today, I was planning to take it easy and not do much around the house. You know like those chilled out housewives that you go into their house and hope you do not catch any diseases. Yeah, like one of them! I would sit my ass down till the pain go away! Let me make some lunch for the kid though first and put away the toys. Oh dear, just a quick vacuum, noone can stand filthy floors. Throw away the trash and since I am doing that anyway, let me clean the cat's litter box. I mean he really hates it when it is dirty. Ok, kid finished eating, put dishes away and handwashed the "sensitive" ones. Clean the countertops too, seriously who can leave filthy countertops? Then I collapse on the floor, read five books to her… (another 233 words)
The seller immediately took the conversation to e-mail, trying to circumvent discussing over eBay.
Today she also phoned and gave a dozen reasons why I should accept a replacement. I said I simply wanted my money back - she balked, referring to her supposed Nachbesserungsrecht, to which I replied about the new EU rules as of 13.6.14 and she eventually capitulated and let me return it.
Thanks Toytown! Saving my ass in Germany since 2003
The German rules were actually more lenient than the new "EU rules" that supersede them - you had up to 28 days to return a product no questions asked under certain circumstances. So this is nothing new.
The seller was trying to pull a fast one on you. I hope you reflect that fact in the feedback you leave for her.
You are being insulted and laughed at because of how you dress? Don't get me wrong, but since Berliners are used to seeing quite a bunch of alternative lifestyles, this sounds a bit hard to believe.
I'm not sure if this thread is going to work, and I apologize in advance for it (sorry for this thread), because it might be a little bit too self-absorbed or emo. But I'll try anyways.
Recently, I moved to Berlin for work. It's a good job, actually, the best job that I could hope for at the moment. And, the only place where I could find a job like this is in Berlin.
Unfortunately, I don't come from a cosmopolitan background, and Berlin is far too "next level" for a person like me. I'm geeky, weird, and not particularly attractive. None of this is helped by the fact that my workplace is situated in the heart of Kreuzberg. With all of these things combined, it's more or less impossible for me to walk to work without being insulted or laughed at (usually both!… (another 181 words)
If you want the police to change their behavior you should contact the press. Journalists can reach relevant police chiefs who can teach their staff.
Reference to Schengen is irrelevant as spot checks are allowed. You are right that mostly non-white people are checked but you are wrong that you are being checked only because of your ethnicity. It's your ethnicity+something else. Your dress, amount of luggage you carry, your face (you look worried etc). While European police are infamous for ethnical profiling it's not true that they only check people of color because of their ehtnicity: so many people travel these days, they can't check everyone.
I was once checked in Iceland because I was traveling without luggage. Tourist without luggage must be a terrorist, of course.… (another 91 words)
Not being able to apologise is one thing, but the desperate need to be right ALL the time is what gives me conniptions sometimes. In the face of all evidence to the contrary, I've still had people insisting they were not wrong.
I'd written about a student mine who freaked out at me because she'd practised what she'd learnt incorrectly, returned to class and found that her timing was off. But it was MY fault.
I get this with my English language students ALL the time. One student won't stop using the present perfect instead of the simple past. She's forever saying things like "When I was 3, I have been in a Waldorf kindergarten..". Even when confronted with written evidence to the contrary, all she could say is "Well, that's not what my English teacher… (another 186 words)
Finally its gone to court, and they have a made a decision about it. He was unable to prove that the damaged occured from me, so that 250 euros from the 500 euros kaution that he hasnt refunded has to be returned(250 was paid back previously). With the 170 euros being the nebenkosten overpayment, they decided that the increase was not permitted, and that he had no entitlement to it, but I cannot request it be returned because of this.
I guess now its necessary to get a new correct nebenkostabrechnung and then claim back anything from this. It looks like it would have possibly cost him a lot more than if he simply returned the kaution in the first place, in response to the letters from the Mieterverein.
No, most foreign graduate students are too lazy to learn German and only look for programmes taught in English. You won't know whether or not you'll be accepted until after you apply, however, you won't even be able to apply for most programmes taught in German without already demonstrating that you already have at least some knowledge of the language. Furthermore, the demand for foreign grads who can't speak German is not very high and the prospects are becoming worse due to the increasing number of foreigners moving here who can't speak German. Knowing German (especially having studied in German) will improve your job prospects. Where are you studying and what is the minimum passing grade? If you really are committed to studying in Germany, start learning German now.… (another 94 words)
Let me cut to the chase. I m a British citizen who has been living in Germany for 37 years now. I am fully fluent in both languages both written and spoken. I have an excellent understanding of German laws and handling and negotiating with the authorities. I have been married to a German for nearly 30 years now. I own and rent out a couple of properties and know my way around there too. I am also a certified financial advisor (but I m not peddling that here). If you would like a general chat on your situation, please feel free to give me a call on 0176 721 43750.
Unfortunately, by quitting your job, you have earned yourself a 3 month lockout period in regard to any benefits. However, because you had medical reasons for leaving your job and you may have been under stress and feeling pressured to sign that agreement, it's definitely worth talking to the job center about it and possibly with your GP as well. You could possibly get that period shortened or even waived if you are lucky.
Them threatening to fire you was scare tactics. If they would have fired you for any reason other than misconduct at work, you could have sued them and they would have had to pay. And they would have had to give you a good reference too. For them, it was good to get rid of you without having to pay you for weeks of sick leave and so they told you what they needed to… (another 6 words)
Pack it nicely and send it back recorded delivery with a nice note quoting the European Consumer Rights Directive.
You have 14 days to just TELL them about a return - WITH NO REASON, and 14 days further to return. It's the Distance Selling Rules. You can also raise the cancellation with Ebay.
Trust me - people do it all the time. I know. I am a retailer. It is the law. Ebay will refund you.
p.s. If you think the retailer is gonna be an arse, also take some photos etc.
YOU DONT NEED A REASON.
Thank you so much for your help, Leon and 2B. I had not thought to contact the embassy in Berlin. I will send an email on Monday and hopefully get this sorted out before any extra charges are incurred. Again, thank you do much for your help.
All the best,
The English politicians don't want to go down in history as those responsible for the failure to keep the UK together.
Meanwhile the Scottish "Yes" politicians are trying to get their names into the history books as those who led Scotland to independence.
Politicians care more about themselves than about anything else.
Oh, and according to the Herald the UK Treasury has been briefing RBoS on what to say... Someone is having sweaty baws. Sometimes wonder why the UK (English) government is so worried about Scotland going it alone. Is it because they fear the loss of power? Or that the loss of Scotland will hurt the English economy? Or are they worried Scotland will make it a success and show Westminster up for the bunch of incompetents they are?
(Yes, I do understand the worries of the 'Better Together Scots'... just don't understand the position of the English politicians in this)
The courses manager at the centre where I teach my oldies has set me up with a new group involving a blind chap and his helper, a deaf bloke with his wife and a couple of people who are nervous learners. Oh my. All together in a one-er. Presumably a feely box would be OK.... I am really hoping that 'partially' is missing from the labels she has given these people.
Anyone less flummoxed than me is welcome to chip in with ideas!
There law was changed two years ago and now foreigners who have a permit tied to their employers are required to inform their local ABH if their employment is terminated (see § 82 Absatz 6 AufenthG).
Since (almost) none of us have legal training, particularly in Germany, you really do need to get legal advice from a legal professional who is familiar with the system here.
Of course, we can all give you our opinions, but there is no guarantee that any of them are correct!
Maybe once you have taken proper legal advice, you can post back on here and let us all know what the situation actually is, for future reference?
Thank you so much everybody. I will be sanding stuff with tracking number in future, thanks for tip. The coat is with the buyer now, received a positive feedback today. It took some time to be delivered. Thanks again:)
Lentil and leek quiche with merguez, and a really nice glass of Chianti. Well, actually, two glasses...
Make shortcrust pastry the night before and set it to cool in the fridge. Cook lentils and leek, fry merguez, then combine lentils and leek, add about half a block of feta, about 100 g of grated hard cheese (e.g. gruyère or manchego) and season with salt, pepper, thyme. Roll out the shortcrust and fit it into the baking form, fill the mixture into the form and add the merguez (next time I'll slice the merguez smaller and mix them into the filling). Then douse with a beaten mixture of milk (250 ml) and (4) eggs, bake for approx. 30 minutes.
A woman brought a very limp duck into a veterinary surgeon.
As she laid her pet on the table, the vet pulled out his stethoscope and listened to the bird's chest.
After a moment or two, the vet shook his head and sadly said, "I'm sorry, your duck, Cuddles, has passed away."
The distressed woman wailed, "Are you sure?"
"Yes, I am sure. Your duck is dead," replied the vet..
"How can you be so sure?" she protested.
"I mean you haven't done any testing on him or anything. He might just be in a coma or something."
The vet rolled his eyes, turned around and left the room.
He returned a few minutes later with a black Labrador Retriever.
As the duck's owner looked on in amazement,
the dog stood on his hind legs, put his front paws… (another 187 words)
Welcome to Toytown, Charlie3000, and good on ya, mate, for doing the right thing.
If you didn't arrange to pay the bill then, if inquiries via the hotel fail to help them, it's possible the hospital may eventually seek assistance from the Australian Embassy in Berlin in tracing you. So, in order to save unnecessary additional expenses, you may wish to contact the Australian Embassy Berlin (rather than a German Mission in Australia) and make sure they know how to reach you in the event they do get such a query.
If you were found unconscious then most likely your hotel called the (fire, accident, illness) emergency number 112 who would have sent an emergency doctor and/or an ambulance. As you were taken to a hospital then either the attending doctor or ambulance crew probably chose,… (another 150 words)
I'm really horrified by what Schotte has written above. Those are vile things to happen. Sorry to hear it.
The bottom line in all of this, I think, is that many "Yes" supporters are not so much anti-Union or anti-English (certainly had no sense of that whatsoever on my short visit in July), but anti-Westminster establishment. I share their concerns.
I still have a UK postal vote, and I'm against the "bedroom tax", the privatisation of the NHS, the vilification of the disabled and jobless, MPs subservient to corporations (and who don't give a damn about their constituents), MPs' expenses scandals, the sale of public services to for-profit entities and much more besides. Apart from (possibly) the Greens, who in a First-Past-the-Post electoral system stand… (another 422 words)
Even if you do manage to convince the new company to stand by their initial offer, they can still fire you without a reason (and two weeks' notice) during the first six months of your employment. If I were you, I'd focus on getting the resignation canceled rather than chasing a job where you're apparently not wanted. Not that your future situation in the current job (if you manage to hold on to it) would be much better, but hey, a job is a job and is better than no job.
A degree from Sweden does not give you any special rights in Germany; you are subject to the Vorrangprüfung the same as all other foreigners who have degrees from outside Germany for any positions that do not meet the Blue Card criteria.
If your permit is tied to your employer (and based on the info you provided it should be), you are required to inform your local ABH when your employment is terminated for whatever reason. The ABH will then change your permit at their discretion.
Although I agree with Conquisador that you should speak with a lawyer specialised in Arbeitsrecht, don't expect to be able sue anyone for being "unfriendly and harsh".
According to the OECD, Germany has the most liberal immigration policy of all its Member States. Furthermore, when considering how easily unqualified native English speakers from certain countries can obtain a freelance permit here, I don't think anyone can argue that foreigners in Germany are worse off than those in America. I really don't understand how you think you're bringing business into the country in a way that it would have a positive effect on the country (die Tätigkeit positive Auswirkungen auf die Wirtschaft erwarten lässt).
If it is indeed the equivalent of a GmbH, then the company itself and the profits it makes are only taxed in Bulgaria. Because it is a legal entity (Juristische Person) and as long as the profits remain WITHIN this entity, the taxation takes place where the entity "lives". The game changes when you as owner receive payments of any way or form out of this company. Whether you pay yourself a salary, cash into profits or make profits from selling the company: in each case you have a taxable income from realized gains/income which is then taxable at your individual tax rate in Germany.
5. women without kids but still in their "childbearing years" who might go on maternity leave.
Despite government propaganda to the contrary, Germany actually has sufficient workers in most sectors. Although there are not enough skilled workers in technical/mechanical trades and in the health care sector, there is not a shortage of workers for general admin positions. Employers in sectors where there is a shortage of skilled workers, need to be more flexible, however, those in sectors where there are ample applicants for every position advertised have the luxury of being choosy (I'm not agreeing with it, I just think it is important to be aware of other factors that are at work). What criteria are most important to you? Will you consider foreigners who don't… (another 70 words)