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Saturday 30.Aug.2014

StarStar (4)   Why are you unhappy today? by batchfile
I've spent most of this year in the UK looking after, with the help of my siblings, my elderly parents. I had planned to be back in Germany full time from October onwards but that seems ever more unlikely. I am sad. I hate seeing my parents deteriorate. I hate the fact that they won't acknowledge that they can't cope. I hate the abysmal, disjointed health care. And I really, really miss my husband.
StarStar (3)   Hygiene in Kindergarten by batchfile
Whilst hand-washing is the nice thing to do before eating I'm not convinced that the best efforts of small children would result in much more that the displacement of the largest lumps of grime. Isn't one of the sub-texts of kindergarten the sharing of revolting germs and building up of immunity?
StarStar (3)   Legal insurance declines claim by PandaMunich
The Notar may process it, but if you have any siblings they will ask you for a reckoning of what you did with our mum's assets during her lifetime. If you're an only child then of course the old adage of "Wo kein Kläger, da kein Richter" (= if nobody complains, even illegalities will not be punished) stands, since you will not be affecting anybody else's inheritance. Though the Finanzamt may take a dim view of such unzulässige Rechtsgeschäfte (= not permitted actions) if they think that you are trying to evade inheritance tax by instead transferring her property to you by doing tax-free gifts of up to 400,000€ every 10 years, just saying... I suggest you read this section in the link that arunadasi posted: Bei einer Befreiung von den Beschränkungen des § 181… (another 188 words)

Friday 29.Aug.2014

StarStarStarStarStarStar (12)   Why are you unhappy today? by smeeks
This morning we discovered a small doe next to our neighbor's house. It was hurt and couldn't stand, just those big doe eyes staring at you. Traudy talked to it in a soothing voice but no activity except trying to stand up. I decided to call 911 and did. I asked them to send animal control and they did. A female with the animal control truck came. However, she was accompanied by two of our finest cops in two patrol cars. After studying the situation. she put one of those noose things around the doe's neck and pulled her out into the grass. After studying the situation and talking things over one of the cops pulled out his pistol and shot the doe. After the animal control officer felt for a pulse, he shot the doe again. She again checked if the doe was alive. It was, so they… (another 183 words)
StarStarStarStar (8)   Why are you unhappy today? by mlovett
I went to my doc appt yesterday, only to find a note on the door that she's dead. She and her husband died in a horrific accident. I really, really liked her. Then I spent all day looking for a new doctor. I hope I will like her.
StarStar (4)   Why are you unhappy today? by LostinLuneburg
Killing animals is one of the main tasks of animal welfare officers. Sometimes to prevent an animal pain, sometimes to prevent the spread of disease. If the animal was injured, but otherwise healthy, the meat may well go to feed carnivores. That said, there is no excuse for doing it with a pistol! It needs to be done cleanly and as quickly as possible!
StarStarStarStarStar (9)   Salary not paid for a couple of months by PandaMunich
Attached imageGo to the Arbeitsamt, since you haven't received your salary for more than 2 months, they will give you some money immediately to live on. Please see here for a case similar to yours, the lawyer told him exactly that. Going to the Arbeitsamt is anyway what you are obliged to do, within 3 days of the day that you received your Kündigung. This is laid down in the law, §38 Sozialgesetzbuch III: Personen, deren Ausbildungs- oder Arbeitsverhältnis endet, sind verpflichtet, sich spätestens drei Monate vor dessen Beendigung persönlich bei der Agentur für Arbeit arbeitsuchend zu melden. Liegen zwischen der Kenntnis des Beendigungszeitpunktes und der Beendigung des Ausbildungs- oder Arbeitsverhältnisses weniger als drei Monate, haben sie sich innerhalb von drei Tagen nach Kenntnis des Beendigungszeitpunktes… (another 602 words)
StarStarStar (6)   Being asked for money from beggars in DE by El Jeffo
In my experience, nearly all the "woe is me" beggar types are frauds. I mentioned some time back that there's a swarthy-looking guy who canvasses my neighborhood, walking with a cane and a severe limp and shaking his paper coffee cup at everyone he passes. I've watched him on several occasions as he'd turn a corner and, (incorrectly) assuming he's not being observed, straighten up and walk normally. One time the idiot even gave his cane a little Chaplinesque twirl as he poured the (round metal) contents of his coffee cup into his blazer pocket. I had another encounter a couple of weeks ago, when I was having lunch at an outdoor cafe with a friend, and a bent-over woman in a saree and headscarf - holding hands with a young child - approached us and gave us a highly… (another 93 words)
StarStar (3)   Being asked for money from beggars in DE by razorsandroses
Those fuckers are even worse at the Brandenburg Tor and the Bundestag Dome. I will never forget the time I stepped off the U-bahn and saw the Brandenburg Tor for the very first time, and pulled out my phone for a picture. Within a grand total of 5 seconds, I had some twerp get directly in my view and hand me a clipboard with a paper claiming to be collecting signatures and donations for some bogus society for hearing impaired patients. I just about wanted to backhand her out in the street for ruining the moment like that. I've also discovered they operate in droves, with at least 5 or 6 (mostly teenaged girls) of them splitting up, and then getting back together again after growing tired of the area. My personal favorite is to follow one of them after being approached, and enjoy the defiant… (another 61 words)
StarStar (3)   Being asked for money from beggars in DE by nina_glyndwr
The first guy was probably just interested in talking to foreigners and practising English The second guy was only trying to be helpful. If I hear people talking English and looking a bit lost, I ask if they need help.
StarStar (3)   Being asked for money from beggars in DE by randy
I guess about a year or so ago, what I assume to be a professional group installed themselves in front of each supermarket in my immediate neighborhood. One person dedicated to each store, all with similar characteristics: a cane, a cup, a smile. Given the similarities and the complete saturation of the neighborhood at the same time, I just assumed they were a business. I don't give money to businesses for free. :\
StarStarStar (6)   Cancelling a gym membership by sarabyrd
Yes. It doesn't if you entered the premise voluntarily and received the contract for your signature face to face after receiving instruction on the content of the contract. The two week cooling off period refers to contract made via the internet, on the phone or with a door-to-door salesperson. You didn't ask but still, you will hear this fairly often: Don't sign anything that you do not understand. You mean you signed someone else's name to it? Hmm, that could be considered forgery. Correct, in this case. Contrary to popular belief, people in Germany are not on a default setting to take advantage of the ignorant foreigner. Save your money for Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. Please have all legal advice you receive here verified by a legal professional.
StarStarStar (5)   Cancelling a gym membership by friederike
There's no such thing in Germany as a general 14-day cancellation period for contracts. It exists only for contracts made on the phone, via fax or online (Fernabsatzgesetz). You signed the contract, you're stuck with it. Plus your idea with the fake signature tells me you signed it planning or at least considering to trick them so forgive my lack of compassion. They have your address. In what way your fake signature might help you, I don't know. If I were you, I'd seek advice from a lawyer or Verbraucherzentrale. PS: Sorry, didn't see that sarabyrd had already replied.
StarStar (3)   Cancelling a gym membership by sarabyrd
No see above No You are supposed to read a contract before signing it, not afterwards. The banking information is only one of the clauses, its breach is easily mended and does not effect the validity of the contract as a whole. The content of the contract is: The gym provides you with services, you provide the gym with money. It's called Capitalism 101.
StarStarStar (5)   Renouncing US citizenship by Hazza
This is incorrect. The fee could very well be enough to allow US citizens to take on German citizenship without losing their US citizenship. As long as the fee is more than a month's net income or at least €1280, it is considered unreasonable to expect someone to pay that much to renounce their original citizenship. Details here
StarStarStar (5)   Legal insurance declines claim by arunadasi
My mother-in-law died on Monday. It came very unexpectedly. Last I saw her was two weeks ago, when I went to pick her up and brought her to my village to visit my husband, who is very ill (another story). She was in fact fitter than him. Then her grandson went on holiday, she went into a care home for the duration, and two days later she died. Funeral was yesterday. I was actually quite sad at the funeral. I have grown very fond of her. Totally ignored the grandson. Afterwards, I went to a cafe with the cousin, cousin's wife, MIL's Goddaughter. The cousin, who used to manage her accounts up to four years ago, told me that the amount my dear stepson has taken amounts to about 55k. Nice. Just two weeks ago MIL told me she wants to withdraw some more money for my daughter, but according… (another 79 words)
StarStar (4)   Bastard or bitch of the day by Porky Pine
To the nameless thieving bitch or bastard who stole my friend's rollator on Wednesday: You defy description. You stole my friend's rollator that he is dependent upon to get around because he is much too shaky on his feet to walk without it outside. And yes, he has to get out and walk because he needs some exercise, even if it's only walking around a couple of blocks twice a day. My elderly friend lost his beloved wife some months ago, which is a hard enough blow after being married for eons. He now also has heart problems and blood pressure issues. I find his attitude toward life amazing after all he's been through recently, and yet he still manages to get out and walk a bit, even though it isn't easy for him physically. He had an important appointment yesterday that he… (another 231 words)
StarStar (4)   The Vent by loz_adele
omg WHY are you trying to tell me what type of wall you can and can't paint and how 'clueless' I am with DIY if you have NEVER PAINTED A WALL IN YOUR LIFE. No, I will not go to the trouble of stripping off the hideous wallpaper in our nice new flat just to replace it with that hideous woodchip (what is it with Germans and woodchip anyway?! This isn't the frigging 80s!). Just cos I left it up in the old flat doesnt mean I like it, I'm not crazy enough to try and strip that when it's already there but I'm certainly not gonna put it up in areas it isn't! Just what is your problem with flat surfaces?! A smooth painted wall is so much nicer than painted woodchip! Man alive I hate that
StarStar (3)   Kids spend all their free time with computers by LostinLuneburg
I think we need to define gaming. I personally see a big difference between gaming (in the sense of complicated, challenging, age-appropriate games) and random surfing or flash-style games that require little-to-no thinking. The first can be a hobby like any other, as it can be done together with online and real-life friends and requires learning, thinking, and skill. Like any hobby, it usually is fun and healthy but can become obsessive. The random surfing/flash games are heading towards zombie-territory which is fine for every once in a while brain-clearing session (with a "depending on age" caveat - for instance, I think that Angry Birds is great for practicing fine motor skills in small kids and zombie material in anyone older). Unfortunately, I can't imagine the step-kids… (another 68 words)
StarStar (3)   Seeking functional medicine physician in Munich by ruapehu
What, you mean it's easy to find specialists in the US who work in a foreign language? Because a quick google of "arzt für autoimmunerkrankungen münchen" actually brought up quite a few, it's just not clear whether they offer their services in English.
StarStar (3)   Seeking functional medicine physician in Munich by sarabyrd
storymuse, one man's kosher is another man's treif. Just because I get on well with a doctor and agree with the treatment doesn't mean that everyone will have the same experience. Since you seem to have a very definite idea of the kind of doctor you are looking for you will probably have to visit a few of them found by ruapehu to find the perfect match.

Thursday 28.Aug.2014

StarStarStarStarStar (9)   Germany vs. Yorkshire by Insigna
Hi, IF I may share my own experience. I am French but married an English Man from Yorkshire, my daugher was also born in Yorkshire and we lived there for a while as well as London and Plymouth. I am now since 2000 in Munich and having had the chance of experiencing living in 3 different countries, I can safely say that Munich is the place for me and i have no intention of living my little sanctuory. Bavaria is a great place for families as life still holds its fundatemental such as family and respect. It is great to be able to let your child play outside and your windows open without fearing anything. Munich still holds this country flair which is refreshing in the world we are living today. As a teenager, my daughter was able to go out to Munich in the evening with her friends and come back… (another 598 words)
StarStarStarStar (7)   Being asked for money from beggars in DE by ruapehu
BullsFanCly, you seem to be trying to turn the thread into a comparison of the number of beggars in Germany vs. the number in other places, such as the USA (and also comparing your experiences living in the USA with those as a tourist in Germany...where you get different impressions). That's not what this thread was originally about. The OP was asking a general question about German residents' experiences with beggars in Germany.
StarStar (4)   Being asked for money from beggars in DE by Isenburg Runner
Being that I have lots of experience in this area, I think I can point out a few things or agree or disagree with alot of people. • First, I fully agree with the last comment by Mapleleafdude. • Second, I was working as a Socialworker by the Diakonie in the Bahnhofviertel in Frankfurt for 2 and a half year as a replacement for a socialworker that was beaten by our clients. I worked mainly with (prostitutes, substance abusers, homeless, psychological sick, and all beggers) • Most of the clients or beggers that were my clients, I either see in the Bahnhofsviertel or on the Zeil begging people for money, about 60 percent of them were Romanian or Bulgarian. And most of them when they went on the Zeil or walked the streets, they acted like they had a legitamate handicap. One of them got 10… (another 147 words)
StarStarStar (6)   Bastard or bitch of the day by bubli
The bastard of the day is one of the instructors in Kletterwald (high ropes park) in HH-Volksdorf. I was on one of the medium-difficult courses when a 8-9 ys old kid climbing right before me got stuck in front of the next obstacle. Poor guy, he was really afraid, almost tears in his eyes, and couldn't (or wouldn't) continue, so he had to call the instructor for help. The bastard came to the platform and as he was getting his ropes and gadgets ready to pull the stuck kid down, one of the other kids climbing somewhere else in the forest called at him "Hallo trainer!" (that was agreed-upon signal meaning "I need help"). From then on, it went as follows (loosely translated): " #33; Every five minutes, one of those snotty kids calls 'Hallo trainer!'.… (another 137 words)
StarStarStar (5)   Renouncing US citizenship by Straightpoop
The US State Department will shortly announce in the 28 August 2014 number of the Federal Register its intention to increase the fee it charges Americans to renounce their US citizenship from the current $450 to $2,350. As justification for this rather extraordinary jump, the notice cites several factors (some of which are clearly bogus) but one of which clearly is not: "Since [the current $450 was set in 28 June 2010], demand for the service has increased dramatically. So, if you've been dawdling about getting free of Uncle Snoopy and expect to live off the reservation permanently, CLNs (Certificates of Loss of Nationality] are going to get real expensive, real soon.
StarStarStar (5)   Shoplifting and student visa application by Lavender Rain
He's shoplifted many times before and today had to resist the urge to steal even after being caught yesterday and being so afraid of the repercussions than he already has a serious problem that's persisted without help. Without the proper intervention, this problem can completely ruin every aspect of his young life and dim his prospects for a bright future. Kleptomania is the inability to refrain from the urge to steal items. I suggest he considers finding a therapist as soon as possible for his deviant anti-social behavior if he's truly interested in changing this long-standing behavior. People with this problem will not only steal from stores, they will steal anything they can conveniently get their hands on which makes them a danger not only to themselves, but also to… (another 1 words)
StarStar (4)   Health insurance problem, non-EU by Starshollow
ok, without being able to see what your insurance says or writes it is all a bit guesswork here.... getting legal advice is certainly something you should consider asap. I would imagine that with a degenerative auto-imune illness like MS the insurance suspects that you were ill before or new about this condition and based on this reject payments as this would be considered a pre-existing condition and thus excluded in most insurance policies. Btw: you might want to get involved in some PALEO group and see how changing your eating habbits (especially exclusion of any grain related food) can help you slow the MS process. There is a so-called "autoimune protocoll AIP " developped by others with MS and similar autoimune disturbances where a number of inflamatory foods have been excluded… (another 90 words)
StarStar (4)   Getting a passport for a German child by techgirl
Actually, she automatically has US citizenship by virtue of you, her mother, being a US citizen. It's not anything you have to apply for. The passport, on the other hand, you will have to apply for. Your daughter is already a US citizen and you may have trouble trying to bring her to the US without her having a US passport.
StarStar (4)   Getting a passport for a German child by Conquistador
Think about this- you're her mother and you're going to enter on a US passport. At the very latest, I'd assume that it sends up an immediate red flag when you try to clear immigration in the US- do you have any particular desire to be held up for hours while jet-lagged, or perhaps having her denied entry, or you fined? Your daughter has an automatic claim on US citizenship, which means you can't avoid the requirements of citizenship simply by failing to register her birth with the consulate.
StarStar (3)   Getting a passport for a German child by liebling
Yes, a full adult-style German passport is required for USA travel for German citizens. Thousands of people do this every day. Call your local Bürgeramt. They issue passports. Normally a non-present parent has to sign a form in advance saying they agree to the issuance of the passport but since you have sole custody this may be different. They can tell you in advance, and they (or their website) can list everything you need to bring with you for the passport, which must be applied for in person and with the child present. You have to have the child's birth certificate, parent's passport (US in your case - just to prove you're who you say you are, and match your ID with the birth cert). Also bring money (ours takes EC cards, too) to pay the passport fee (IIRC it was 38 EUR when… (another 30 words)
StarStar (3)   Getting a passport for a German child by westvan
As an American citizen your daughter would be required to enter the U.S. with a U.S. passport so it would worth applying for one sooner than later if you do plan to travel with her in the near future.
StarStar (4)   Moving to Germany, pregnancy, insurance etc... by john g.
Good evening, Blue Sky! First of all, congratulations on your coming status in life as parents! The posters on here have advised well - IF you just arrive here and IF your wife hasn´t been publicly insured in an EU country for at least 2 of the past 5 years despite being an EU citizen, she has no access to public insurance and nor do you. IF she is currently publicly insured and can prove it in an EU country, she can come to Germany and (ok, bureaucratic ) apply as a so-called voluntary member of public insurance to start with and you can be co-insured free of charge IF your earnings are not over 395 euros a month. Take a deep breath!!! IF none of this is the reality, do NOT take this move here lightly UNLESS you are guaranteed this employee job you mention for 1,500… (another 150 words)
StarStar (3)   Washing machine broken after two years by Krieg
As far as I know there are two main reasons why the bearings will wear, the first one is too much water when starting to spin, this can be because the water does not flow out properly which can be caused by a dirty filter (you never mentioned if you are cleaning the filter regularly). And the second one because of an uneven floor and the machine is not sitting properly.
StarStar (3)   Personal data for Techniker Krankenkasse by pog451
Coming back atcha. TKK is by far, BY FAR, the best KK I've had (as a customer/patient). I have an extremely serious, potentially fatal condition that I've been dealing with for a good three years now. They haven't hesitated to pay for, allow, even support any aspect of my treatment (including a Reha ;-) ). Admittedly, sometimes they do need chasing up on stuff and things work a lot smoother if you can get one name and always deal with that person but as far as supporting my treatment goes, I really cant fault them. they are even pretty good on off-the-wall/esoteric treatment elements

Wednesday 27.Aug.2014

StarStarStarStarStar (9)   Shoplifting and student visa application by 2B_orNot2B
You turned those into the most expensive carrots in your city today, cbeans You'll probably get another fright when you start reading the implied threats in the quoted legal paragraphs on the letter from the police, so don't panic. The letter will say a report has been made by *name* the manager of the REWE store that you committed an act of shoplifting and that, prior to sending it on to the public prosecutor, you are required to respond to this police enquiry. The law requires you to confirm (or correct) the details of your personal identity ie. name in full, age, place and date of birth, nationality, passport or id card number, address and occupation and hourly or monthly income. You must check those boxes and/or fill in the blanks. German law specifically does not require… (another 246 words)
StarStarStarStar (8)   The Vent by aqua_minie
Fucking Feminazis get on my nerves. How does a tool that can be used for self defense by young women promote rape culture? They go as far as accusing these young entrepreneurs of profiting from the rape culture all the while pointing out they're all 'notably males'! Huh? Why the even point this out? They say that we need to teach people to stop raping. Fair enough. So what are these feminists doing about that? Do they ever step away from their tablets and fancy first world comforts, and actually get involved in the community that they're so concern about? I doubt. It's like they're detached with the reality; that we live in an imperfect world where unfortunately women still get assaulted. Till the problem in resolved from grassroot, it is reasonable (and smart!)… (another 96 words)
StarStarStarStar (8)   Payment dispute with DB Call a Bike by Simonst
Update on this topic for those who were interested. After many conversations with DB as the issue was escalated through their customer service process, they actually treated me very well and let me off with a €20 fine. - for improper return of the bikes + 1 days rental. Waived the outstanding rental altogether. What's more they were very friendly and most people I spoke to had good English. So in the end very happy with how they treated me.
StarStarStar (6)   Kids spend all their free time with computers by emkay
Dear Bubli. I was very interested to read your post as I'm also feeling that my daughter, 13, is spending too much time on her iPad. She's not so much into games but watching YouTube young ladies sharing beauty tips though some of the content is about baking and charitable stuff. My first feeling is of guilt that we aren't engaging her in anything else she would be interested in. And yes, those famous words "why don't you go out on your waveboard and play with the kid across the road" do get aired often. I too remember my mum chucking me out of the house come rain or shine without a clue of my whereabouts until dinner time. But, things are different now. It seems society has pushed parents to keep our kids closer to home for their safety and parent's peace of… (another 367 words)
StarStarStar (5)   Getting a different license plate or... by 2B_orNot2B
Hi Surviving Germany It varies marginally in one or two states but, when you change address, you're supposed to re-register yourself and your vehicle/s within x (~7) days, not weeks. It's not a hanging offense but you might get an administrative fine if you leave it too long. ="Verdana, sans-serif" ="Verdana, sans-serif" ="Verdana, sans-serif" ="Verdana, sans-serif" ="Verdana, sans-serif" ="Verdana, sans-serif" ="Verdana, sans-serif" ="Verdana, sans-serif" ="Verdana, sans-serif" ="Verdana, sans-serif" ="Verdana, sans-serif" ="Verdana, sans-serif" ="Verdana, sans-serif"
StarStarStar (5)   Germany vs. Yorkshire by don_riina
I'm somewhat well known for disliking pretty much every aspect of Germany, apart from their super cheap awesome beer. I've been here about 12 years now, and frankly, the longer I am here, I just find more stuff to dislike about the place. The bloke that stocks the drinks fridge at my local Edeka for example. He's an arsehole. 6 different types of bloody lager in the fridge, and not one weissbier?!?! Should be fired for that if you ask me. Anyway. We had to move here because my (German) wife has certain medical needs, and the health service in England is simply appalling; and getting worse by all accounts. We have since had kids here. That's is where everything changes... Me? I am a grumpy English arsehole. I want to go back home to my country, to sit in a pub with… (another 162 words)
StarStarStar (5)   Germany vs. Yorkshire by Keefy
Had to attend a meeting in Leeds some years ago. It was held at the Royal Armouries Museum (which is actully a quite brilliant place). Searching around for somewhere to eat, I found a restaurant with a quite excellent "Eat All you Can for a Tenner" Indian buffet. Then your friend arrived - the Leaderine of a Hen Party. "'Ave yer got owt that's not spicy, like?" sez she. For some reason, the place became hushed, so that everyone could hear the waiter's answer. "Well, you know, there is a McDonalds just up the street, isn't it?" At which point just about everyone in the restaurant was convulsed with laughter.
StarStarStar (5)   Moving from private health insurance to public by Starshollow
No, this is, I am afraid, not possible. As self-employed you can't register as "Arbeitslos"/ALG I, because this is open only to employees as it entitles you to unemployment benefits. As a self-employed you can only register as "Arbeitssuchend". But that does not change or alter your status regarding your private health insurance, because as "Arbeitssuchend" you'll not receive any state benefits nor will you get compulsory public health insurance thru the Arbeitsamt. There are only two ways for self-employed to get back into public insurance: - you need to become compulsory insured as employee (but before you turn 55 years old only) or - you stop your self-employment for at least a months, better two months and have yourself registered as dependent family… (another 36 words)
StarStarStar (5)   Being asked for money from beggars in DE by Keefy
Berlin - most likely points where someone can be "hit" seem, in my experience anyway, to be around major tourist sights. Checkpoint Charlie is particularly bad in this respect. Reference has been made in previous posts to the "you spik Eengleesh?" ladies - I either ignore them and keep walking, answer in Polish, or give a blank but fairly hostile stare. Around where I live in southern Schöneberg, I'm rarely bothered by anyone, apart from some Jehovah's Witnesses who once managed to get into the apartment and proceeded to annoy everyone in the building. They weren't that difficult to get rid of, either - didn't need to resort to nastiness. All in all, I prefer living here to the UK. In Bristol, it was rare to walk along any shopping street without being… (another 193 words)
StarStar (4)   Being asked for money from beggars in DE by Mapleleafdude
I guess people are more surprised in Germany because by law everyone has the right to an place to live and gets money for food etc. through the government. In the US there is no safety net quit like the Northern European one. As a Canadian I was always surprised(devestated?) by the large amounts of homeless people south of the border. The USA is Canada's Mexico. :-(
StarStar (3)   Being asked for money from beggars in DE by BullsFanCly
I know I'm not in Germany, but I get the point you guys are making and wanted to splash some reality your way (from across the big pond). I live in Los Angeles. I encounter 10-20 beggars per day. And I drive to and from work! If I walk anywhere, that number goes up. They are on the Freeway exits, at every major intersection, under overpasses, grocery stores, pharmacies and of course liquor stores. And don't even think of going downtown, the number will go up to 50 or higher, depending on how long you are there. If you happen down skid row, you could see 100's. Yes, many of these are (just) homeless, but the ones I'm counting have signs with their plight asking for help. So, while I know it feels in some way more "in your face" in Germany (we can just look the… (another 25 words)
StarStar (3)   Being asked for money from beggars in DE by GeoJet
The most annoying are those who bother you when you're eating. I give them an upraised palm (the 'stop' kind, not the 'Hitler greeting') and a firm 'Nein'. If they persist, they get a sharp ' #39;. I had a rather amusing encounter yesterday afternoon. A healthy, able-bodied Romani-looking type - a bit corpulent, actually - approached me and raised a worn take-away coffee cup in my direction, apparently hoping the loose change would fly out of my pocket and into his receptacle. I just shook my head and continued. After another couple of metres, I heard a clearly Eastern European voice admonishing the young beggar to "geh arbeiten".
StarStar (3)   Munich Curry Night by MadAxeMurderer
Stop dressing it up Sara. Walmerroad the curry dictator was deposed in a vindaloo coup. Guvnor took over, until driven insane by the recent curry war. Enview has bravely stepped in, but we expect him to be a bhajee casualty in the near future. It's like "Defenses against the dark arts" teaching. Noone survives longterm.
StarStar (3)   Moving to Heidelberg from the U.S. by kato
Well, technically you can bike in from anywhere If you or he plan to bike at night, i'd rule out Dossenheim (or beyond that, i.e. Schriesheim). The route going that way isn't particularly a safe thing - unlit for at least one kilometer, and going either through an underpass and by some halfway decrepit old commercial buildings or through dark, only half-open fields with people busy stealing fruits and crops or cars taking illegal shortcuts at high speeds. I'd rule out Ladenburg for similar reasons - which would be an easy 20 minutes by bike along the north shore of the Neckar otherwise. Doing it the other way around, districts from which biking isn't really possible would be Ziegelhausen (uphill; the areas by the river would be okay), Schlierbach, Emmertsgrund and Boxberg… (another 100 words)

Tuesday 26.Aug.2014

StarStarStarStarStar (9)   Being sized up for income/assets when dating by dessa_dangerous
You'd get asked about what you're paying in rent in DC because people are interested. In New York, San Francisco or anywhere else where rents have skyrocketed in recent decades (including my hometown Seattle) it's not an uncommon question and is genuinely unlikely to be a way of finding out how much you make. People are curious about rent fluctuations in their area even if they are not currently looking to move house. I think most people assume that a foreigner working in DC is earning good in the first place... the US is not a place where you often find Europeans working at Taco Bell and in DC/the East Coast even less so. Men have been choosing their partners based on her looks, sexuality and willingness to clean up after his messes since the dawn of time. Now we live in the era… (another 23 words)
StarStar (3)   Being sized up for income/assets when dating by Metall
I've been sized up by German *mothers* of partners within weeks after dating started. When I was a poor student, a wealthy mother ordered me to come drink coffee with her at the Bayerische Hof, one the top hotels in Munich. She verbally created a sort of Excel sheet balancing my and her child's assets and weaknesses against each other. I barely squeaked through to have permission to continue dating, based on what I was studying. Shoot.
StarStarStarStar (7)   Being asked for money from beggars in DE by PES
I hate to judge beggars, but I seldom give them anything. But when I see someone rummaging through trash bins for returnable bottles, I often give them 5 or more euros. They must really be struggling, but at least they are trying to make it. Again, I shouldn't judge.
StarStarStar (6)   Being asked for money from beggars in DE by nina_glyndwr
In a similar fashion, if I see them going through bins/trash cans for scraps of food, I give them a 10 euro note and hand it over with the word, "Kaufen Sie sich etwas Warmes zum Essen." Also, if they are begging for a euro or two to get into an overnight shelter, then I usually cave in and give them something like 2 or 3 euros. I think how I would feel in that situation. But often, I give stuff to the monks who feed the homeless. I gave them my fridge-freezer last year - too big for me. Now they can keep food in their for their evening bus. At Christmas time, I go to somewhere like Kik and buy socks, underpants, scarves and hats and drop them off to the monks who then hand them out to the homeless. When I do this, I feel that I needn't hand out money to every single beggar. Edit:… (another 18 words)
StarStarStar (5)   Being asked for money from beggars in DE by Anna66
How often per day? It depends on where I am. In Darmstadt, Approached maybe once or twice during the day Frankfurt, more often- More than twice Berlin, more often than in Frankfurt Where most encountered? Train Station Outside shops Tourist Areas Most annoying? In Berlin, near checkpoint charlie. A rude woman who tried to play on sympathy by making out she was from Bosnia and a refugee, when she clearly wasn't. She had a sign written in English clearly written for tourists who had no idea about the Bosnian war. Strangest place? Whilst eating outside a shop by a cafeteria a woman approached me. I normally am quite generous giving to charity etc... and often I buy beggars food or drink. I am reluctant to give money as many may sadly just buy drugs or alcohol. The saddest case I saw… (another 168 words)
StarStarStarStar (7)   Kids spend all their free time with computers by LeonG
I grew up before computers and I used to stay in and read books while all the other kids played outside. As long as they are not staying up all night on the computer and flunking out of school, is it a problem? You say they sometimes misbehave and get a computer ban. Sounds like normal kids to me.
StarStarStar (5)   Kids spend all their free time with computers by rodisi
Extremely sad but yes, that's how it is. Drive through any village during the holidays and see how many children are out kicking a ball or how many are on the swings in the playgrounds. IMHO it is the parents' fault. What a great idea to give them these lovely 'toys' (approximately €1,000 each in your case) where they can sit in a corner and leave the parents alone. So often the excuse is given that all the others have them - well, we don't want ours to be any different, let them be zombified also. Recently, my nephew was given an iPhone against the father's wishes. He thought that the boy spent enough time playing games on his laptop. Now, he can play games wherever he is. My son (a long time gamer) disagreed, he thinks that computer games have many positive features.… (another 68 words)
StarStar (4)   Kids spend all their free time with computers by Mapleleafdude
I spent a lot of time I front of the computer back in the day and still do today. The trick is to learn(or show) that designating times is important. My kids (7,9 and 10) currently get 2x30min per weekday for "electronic" toys that includes a wii, Xbox, iPads and PC. Naturally when they get older we will expand the time. I love playing games with them and sometimes my wife also joins in My approach might be a little loose but we are in the 21st century and nothing is as it was. Edit: and each has a 3DS they play a lot of games together with all platforms. I have also taught them chess and we also play board games.
StarStar (3)   Kids spend all their free time with computers by sosarx
No, it's not normal. A minority does, about 10-15 %. An even smaller group though joins the boy scouts. You won't find many boy scout groups in Germany. Their (changed) behaviour can have many reasons, depending on the general family situation, depending on the parents. Could you tell us how YOU, the parents spend your time. What is your daily schedule. What do you do on weekends? Because, IMO, children's behavour is always reflecting parent's behaviour.
StarStarStar (6)   Moving to Germany in next few weeks by pog451
Despite my gut feeling that Im feeding a troll here, you do realise you cant just roll up in Germany, pitch a tent any old where and live in it? Living in a tent will only be rent and/or hassle free if you pitch it in a friends garden (and then you could borrow their sofa). Any decent sized city will have a hostel or Jugendherberge (youth hostel) which will be nearly as cheap as (and much more comfortable) than living in a tent on an official campsite. You could even try something like air bnb. Living rough anywhere in or near a city in Germany will expose you to hassle from the other people already living rough there, hassle from the police and the risk of not impressing future landlords by turning up for a viewing looking and smelling like you live under a bridge. Oh, and the summer is… (another 14 words)
StarStar (4)   Marrying a German - advice for an American by mkwiede
It's important to learn the language and the culture but I am not German. I have my own culture and language that I want to keep alive as well. So I hang out with expats from my home country to discuss American things, I read this website to discuss and learn things in English. I try to keep up with my OV shows and movies, I also speak to my child in English and do activities in English to make sure she has a great command of her mother's language. I really wish I could be one of those people who totally integrate and do all things German but I can't. I moved here when I was 36. I had a life and a career that I lived and loved. I met a man that I loved and like the Canadian when he asked me to go to Europe I said yes. Did I think about the fact that learning German would be hard?… (another 159 words)
StarStar (4)   Tips and discussions on training a dog by miinerva
Before trying to give some advice I have a few questions. You say that your dog stays alone without any major problems. Can you please add some more details in this regard? How is he kept when being alone (running free, closed in a room, crated etc) and does he show any sign even the smallest signs of discomfort or anxiety when he is alone? Many times, urinating can function as comfort for a dog that has separation anxiety. Sometimes this may also be the only sign he will give. One way to try and figure this out is to look at the "urinating pattern". Does he urinate when you are at home or only when you have left him home alone. Does he urinate if you close him into a room and leave him alone there for a while? If so, it could be separation anxiety that is the root cause of his urinating… (another 710 words)
StarStar (4)   Personal data for Techniker Krankenkasse by arunadasi
Is this the "rant about Techniker Krankenkasse" thread? If so I'll post this here as a general warning, rather than start a new thread or post in the Vent. TKK is supposed to be one of the best KKs, and in most cases it probably is. But once you start to get old, with all the accompanying risks of needing new joints, or heart attacks, etc., it might not be a bad idea to switch, just in case you might need/want a Reha. I work in a hospital; we arrange Rehas for all kinds of patients. I do the orthopedic and cardial departments. And whenever I get a patient with TKK I groan. And all three of us are pretty much fed up. No other KK makes such a drama out of a simple Reha application. For instance: -- They take days to approve. Barmer and AOK, for instance, do same-day approval;… (another 231 words)
StarStar (3)   German Integration Course in Bonn by 2B_orNot2B
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StarStar (3)   Annual Toytown Oktoberfest Party, 100 seats by sarabyrd
Attached imageThere have been considerable developments in the last few days. If you are on the waiting list keep an eye on your PMs, chances are that you will get a payment request. Change of rules, because I am fed up with chasing down people, waving vacant seats like a Frenchman waves a white handkerchief, only to have them not react: Starting 1 September it's first come, first serve. The waiting list will be dissolved, any available seats will be posted and the first to claim the seat/s (providing s/he doesn't already have two seats) is in and liable for payment within 48 working hours.
StarStar (3)   English and American studies by aqua_minie
I'm not sure why it baffles you that an ESL teaching institute prefers a native English speaker? BTW, I did mention in my post that some employers clearly mention if a teaching post is open for non-native speakers. And again, it isn't demonstrably a German habit, rather a standard hiring policy worldwide for a job that calls for a special language skill. I agree, however, that several people who learn a new language at a later stage in their life can achieve a native level proficiency. I know plenty. Mind you, there is no such thing as a 'NATIVE Indian English speaker'. Sure, there are exceptions if they're born and raised or lived for several years in a native English speaking country. But attending school in India and receiving instruction in English is far from being… (another 113 words)
StarStar (3)   Getting an Asperger's/autism diagnosis by boondoggle
NoBullJim, Thanks. No need to be sorry. Finding this out about myself has been a great thing and has already improved my life and important relationships. I'd already done a search when I posted and there are some threads, but none dealing with an autistic adult looking for a diagnosis. The process varies from country to country, and in the US, there aren't even common standards. Any idiot can proclaim themselves an Asperger's/autism specialist and start a practice. I'd like to find someone who both knows their stuff and sees the strengths and weaknesses. Thanks for your wishes and taking the time to respond. MadAxeMurderer, Thanks. It is pretty unusual, but it's not certain whether it's because (1) there are fewer autistic women than men, (2) because autism presents… (another 59 words)
StarStar (3)   Getting an Asperger's/autism diagnosis by Beuel
Where are you going to live in Germany and do you speak German? Gernan Asperger information The link above leads to a list of addresses. They can point you in the right direction to get a proper diagnosis. If you are in Germany you need health insurance, and the insurance will cover the diagnosis. There are a couple of disorders that look like Asperger's syndrom, and a lot of adults think they are Aspergers after doing online tests or reading about it, so it's really important to get a proper diagnosis.

Monday 25.Aug.2014

StarStarStarStarStar (10)   Watching the beheading video by NoBullJim
Really? Do you not think the training involves this. They stopped showing the videos of peeling potatoes a long time ago. They are no longer afraid of KP, but IED's.......yep, very afraid....beheadings?...yep, very afraid. But brave, give credit where credit is due. Sometimes I wonder if you write random on the white part of a deck of cards, and deal yourself those random cards when you post here. But on the other hand, I'm not convinced you have a full deck.
StarStarStar (6)   Visa invitation obligations by Krieg
If you signed a VE (Verpflichtungserklaerung) then it is serious business. You are financially responsible for the invited person so long he/she is in Germany. If the person does not have appropiate health insurance and becomes sick, you will pay for the bills, if the person damages other people's property you will pay, if the person engages into buying goods or services and does not pay you will, etc, etc. You get the idea. Plus a VE can't be cancelled, it will be valid so long the Visa is valid. That's why you NEVER sign a VE for a person you are not really close to. P.S., And the most serious headache, if the person overstays the Visa and refuses to leave the country you will have to pay for all costs for sending him/her back home.
StarStarStar (5)   ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by sarabyrd
Attached imageDamp, yet triumphant. My toes are still tingling. Our office (app. 30 people) did the challenge in front of a monument in the center of Munich, meaning that about 70 tourist cameras were trained on us as well. EDIT: The office was very kind and provided crushed ice instead of ice cubes
StarStarStar (5) won't accept passport as ID... by kthy
I can assure you that ticket controllers do not care one bit whether you are legally in Germany. They care about people buying one ticket online and then printing 20 copies for all of their friends to travel on.
StarStar (4)   Being sized up for income/assets when dating by mako1
If they are not impressed by your ability to get an unbefristet research position at a german university as a foreigner, then I am not sure what would impress them. There are perhaps a handfull of such positions at a uni, unless you are a professor (in which case I would out of professional jealousy act unimpressed).
StarStar (4)   Being sized up for income/assets when dating by Keefy
My new album The Fuckups I've Made is due to be released shortly.... Was screwed over in the UK by a second wife who thought: "Hmmm! He works for a University! His parents have a villa in Spain! Yummy, yummy, yummy"...... (the UK expression for such a person is "gold-digger")... Well to cut a long story short, having gone through the throes of psychotherapy following the painful break-up of marriage No 2 to Her Mentioned Above I moved to Berlin on my own. Just loved the place since my first visit (1979). 18 months down the road having finally moved here in 2007 I met J... . First and foremost, we rather liked being in each other's company. I had no idea what she "was worth", and all she knew about me (financially speaking) is that I owned… (another 28 words)
StarStar (3)   Being sized up for income/assets when dating by HEM
Thats possibly just a little too late in the sequence - after all if two people are throwing their lot in together you will both want (or should want) to know if there are any major liabilities etc that one is "buying into". When I met the girl who 25 years ago became my wife I was living in Germany on a UK university salary with a rolling 3-year contract. That wasn't a lot! I could take care of myself but not very much more. She had a limited contract at DESY (öffentliche Dienst) and thus was also not wallowing in the money. Of course we did not ferret in each other's salary slips but we knew we could afford our plans - which included my looking for a job in German industry.
StarStar (3)   Being sized up for income/assets when dating by Joe
Couple of observations (will probably get negs but who cares its the truth) leaving aside the usual boy/girl stuff: 1 - There is a sizeable portion of the local population (as in any country) who assume foriegners are by definition worse paid or else tend to be only comfortable with foriegners as long as they are worse paid.... 2 - Many germans are just plain rude when it comes to this kind of discussion. Many southern germans (from the villages) tend to be very direct. However its not a cultural thing as such its just rudeness/tactlessness and probably the best put down is too point out that it is rude in polite society (since self same are usually also terrible snobs but also self conscious)....
StarStar (3)   People called these photos "Pornography" by dessa_dangerous
I'm not sure what should be so much more shameful about it than a picture of you as a kid in the bath. Like, literally every human born in the industrialized world from the second half of the twentieth century on has at least one, maybe a few. Husband liked to run around without pants until he was three or four, there are considerable records testifying to his affinity for running around in a shirt and sandals and nothing else, but they are German, and he doesn't even seem particularly mortified when his mother shows them to whichever vague acquaintances happen to be in the immediate vicinity. Sure, in this day and age it's not a great idea to publish photographs of your children--regardless of their state of dress--in any place where they can be accessed by anybody other than… (another 117 words)
StarStar (3)   Finding friends in Hamburg by farmerandy
How freakin paranoid are you, esham? Lookit, if you have had a bad experience at the Hamburg meetup, then that´s a real shame. But I would suggest it is, as you regularly display here on the boards, because YOU are a total twat. Not because of any of the people involved in the meetup. @simplyme13 - The hamburg meetup has been going for years and Tor has been organising it for ages. It is good fun with good people. Get out there with an open mind and have fun. If you follow esham´s way of thinking, that bus driver is going to get real sick of you real quick. My only regret about the hamburg meetup was that me and lilplatinum missed out on catching up for a night out on the town by a handful of minutes. That would have been atomic
StarStar (3)   Pleeeze help me by GeoJet
Hi everyone I'm arrivin in berlin in several seeks but have a question about slimming. I've been smoking crack for three months and have lost 16 kilograms while smoking it. I have a crack free period coming to an end and want to do another course. Is there anywhere in Berlin where I can buy crack legally, such as a weight loss clinic or slimming club? Thank in advance for any help or advice geojet
StarStar (3)   Poor customer service in Germany by Smaug
Anna66, sorry to hear about your bad experience. If you've done an "Überweisung" you cannot reverse it. The most you can do is ask the bank to ask the recipient to return the money. I'd just wait until the online store complains about you not having paid (assuming they think you haven't because they couldn't match your order with your payment on account of the wrong reference number). Fax them or email them a print out of the transfer with a note indicating that the reference is wrong.
StarStar (3)   Tourist visa extension for visiting family members by engelchen
If your mother overstays her visa she faces a fine and will probably never receive a visa for Germany again. Change her ticket to make sure she leaves before her visa expires.
StarStar (3)   RIP Lord Attenborough by ginga
This is from the Chelsea FC site: Chelsea Football Club is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our Life President Lord Attenborough, CBE at the age of 90. He led a long and successful life and always found time for the things in life he loved most, one of which was Chelsea FC. Renowned throughout the world for his work in cinema which honoured him with awards for acting, directing and producing, football - and Chelsea in particular - was never far from his thoughts. His personality was woven into the tapestry of the club over seven decades. He was a consistent force for good at the club, even in dark times. He was a club director during the glamorous, trophy-winning seasons of the early 1970s and a decade later helped keep the club at Stamford Bridge when our stadium came under… (another 795 words)
StarStar (3)   Love, politics, beer & oblivion by NoBullJim
Ha! Your killing me. You are really not all that. To discount normal tourist's trying to enjoy the sights of Germany and comment about their attire is sad.....actually, you are sad. In a small nutshell, I think your a total ass hat. Get over it and bring your stories back where they are welcome . Not saying other's here are as opinionated as me, but you hit a serious negative nerve of mine, So your comments judging and basically disrespecting the very much welcomed tourists of the world is unacceptable. Hell, you're one yourself eh? Don't be a total Ass-munch. I wonder what they think of you? Maybe you should ask? Oh wait, don't. Edit: do you own Virgin Airlines? If so, why do you have your picture taken in the Men's room?

Sunday 24.Aug.2014

StarStarStarStarStar (9)   Why are you happy today? by Mellyco
Today is my second wedding anniversary! We still like each other, and although we were a couple for 7 years before we tied the knot, I'm glad that we took the step and made it formal. It was a gorgeous day 2 years ago, in Canada, with just my GerMann and I, my Mum, the Justice of the Peace and her husband (who acted as both witness and took some pictures for us), on their farm. Both families were delighted for us, we didn't have to spend money or stress on a party, and we enjoyed our relaxing day. I am feeling more at home in Germany, I have friends and my pets (and the kitten and cat are getting along wonderfully now, I'm so pleased), and a new job that I started 3 weeks ago, specifically in my field, and nice colleagues. My German isn't stellar, but functional and getting… (another 6 words)
StarStarStarStarStar (9)   Why are you happy today? by hooperski
As you get older and some of your mates pass on, it makes you think you must do things on your wish list. At the start of July I had an idea of getting a motorbike, as a young man I always wanted one, but my parents persuaded me not to get one. On 10th of July I took the first of four tests needed to get your full bike licence. Seven weeks later and the tests are out of the way, I picked up the bike yesterday and have been burning up the tarmac ever since. As I had never even sat on a motorbike before makes the achievement even more sweet. Proof that you can teach an old dog new tricks.
StarStarStar (5)   Do an MBA in Germany (Ops+Supply Chain Management) by Czdude
It boggles my mind why so many people consider random, mediocre schools for graduate education. I am not sure if these places exist because there are people like this or vice versa. You go to graduate school to obtain a specific skill that outweighs the opportunity cost of going to school. It is an investment, and when you invest in anything, the idea is to make good choices that maximize the return to that. Going to Joe's North-Southeastern University of Business (and Tanning Salon) is not a good investment. You go somewhere good with a global reputation, or because there is a specific high-quality niche that a regional school might have. If you can't get in or afford it, you don't go. Don't make compromises - it is NOT worth it, especially as Nateo mentions if you are doing… (another 61 words)
StarStar (3)   Do an MBA in Germany (Ops+Supply Chain Management) by Conquistador
Perhaps it's that a lot of people don't understand the implicit value provided by top schools and try to cut corners, i.e., be "penny wise and pound foolish". The world is increasingly "winner-take-all", or, more accurately, focused on perceived superstars.
StarStarStar (5)   How to get kid a dad that functions like one by mkwiede
What does this mean?If there are special circumstances where one parent cannot attend you can apply for special permission to obtain a passport. Why can't you do your 'financial planning' when your kid is asleep at night? Why can't you find a bilingual school for your child if you are worried that working will not allow her to keep her English? There are a lot of single parents and parents where one stays home while the other is works at ton here on TT that don't seem to have the child rearing issues you have.
StarStar (4)   Finding a job in my field (Logistics + Bus Admin) by Namu
Maybe there is no need for HR people to think outside the box because they have enough qualified people? I never understood the cries for more immigration because of Facharbeitermangel. I think the lack of qualified personal is limited to a few specific areas while in most jobs there are enough German qualified workers. That said I knew one American who found a job in logistics in Hamburg without having any formal education in logistics. So there are companies out there that can think outside the box. Anyhow, I can't really understand why OP would chose 3 years of unemployment and low chances of finding a job when he could easily find a job in the US. I think both the US and Germany are great countries to live in, free, democratic, and rich. I lived in the US for 6 years and never experienced… (another 21 words)
StarStar (4)   People called these photos "Pornography" by sosarx
I don't find them provocative. Nor are they porn. IMO. Abuse is the word for me. A person of that age doesn't understand what is going on, what it means to have a piece of yourself exposed to the greater public, not just close friends or people you (she)know(s) anyway, With due respect of one's right of self-determination /which as child has just as an adult) this wouldn't be possible. Even more so as these are no pics from the playground . For our little one we had to sign a paper at the Kindergarten permitting photos being taken and shown(in the Kindergarten alone) from here, What sounded a bit exagerrated at first to us turns into appreciation when I see what happened here.
StarStar (4)   Marrying a German - advice for an American by LeonG
I would also question trying to use your spouse as your language teacher too much because it's a bit too close to home. Maybe you are having an argument with your spouse and they start correcting your grammar. It wouldn't go over well. I had a cousin though who spoke Icelandic to his wife and she would answer him in English. They sometimes got strange looks in town but it worked for them.
StarStar (4)   Toytown website improvements/suggestions by robinson100
- I would like to add that holiday times are also very "quiet" and some people look to TT for "company", so maybe the posting average then could also be looked into(?) As regards going over the limit, I would like to be told that I cannot post any more before I go to the trouble of writing a post and hitting the "add reply" button - it's really annoying if you write what you consider to be a super, helpful post and then cannot post the damned thing!!! (and after hitting "add reply" you no longer have the opportunity to "save" it to post again later...!) BTW Derek - thanks for you helpful reply above! (#402)
StarStar (4)   Where to buy Phentermine by RedWingsRule
Phentermine, a contraction of "phenyl-tertiary-butylamine", is a psychostimulant drug of the phenethylamine class, with pharmacology similar to amphetamine. It is used medically as an appetite suppressant. It is approved as an appetite suppressant to help reduce weight in obese patients when used short-term and combined with exercise, diet, and behavioral modification. It is typically prescribed for individuals who are at increased medical risk due to their weight. I doubt VERY much that it´s available here
StarStar (3)   Where to buy Phentermine by dessa_dangerous
No clue what those are but my gut says no. German doctors will prescribe a cup of tea and a scarf for actual illnesses until you've got a tumour that can't fit through the subway door, so it doesn't seem likely you'll get a legal chemical alternative to increased water consumption and moving your ass half an hour a day. Illegally, there's no end of readily available cheats, and I'm not convinced they're that much more foolish. Ride a bike and take the stairs, Berlin makes you be sporty even if you try to resist. Stay off the döner and cheap beer and you'll probably keep losing anyway.
StarStar (3)   ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by Tap
Jeez andy, you couldn't have left the camera roll on, only for another few seconds, just for us!!! Well done to you. I have a group of friends in Dublin planning on doing the challenge this evening, to show support to our friend.
StarStar (3)   Moving to Germany, with U.S passport by engelchen
Apply for a passport at your nearest German Consulate. Make sure you provide a copy of your Beibehaltungsgenehmigung. If you don't have a Beibehaltungsgenehmigung, you are most probably no longer a German citizen.

Saturday 23.Aug.2014

StarStarStarStarStar (10)   ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by Moondancer
My adoptive father died of ALS 47 years ago when I was 12. It is a horrible disease to watch. First it was his feet, making him stumble, so he wore leg braces. Then moved up to his hands, then his breathing, then swallowing, then speech and at the end, all he could do was blink. It moved rapidly, taking just 4 years after his dx, which was 2 years more than what the Drs. thought. He was their guinea pig, as they truly knew so little about ALS. Hopefully some of the things that they tested on him were helpful to others. He would go to medical seminars where they would poke and prod him. He tested a new, portable iron lung that he slept in at night. Kind of like a giant plastic bag with a cage over the torso. I got good at helping seal him in. A group of men from his church got together and 2… (another 186 words)
StarStarStarStar (7)   ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by Tap
For those of you who don’t know much about Motor Neuron or ALS, as I didn’t until a couple of weeks ago, let me tell you a little story. I’ve just come back from a holiday back home in Ireland where I had a wonderful time with family and met up with lots of my old friends. I didn’t get to see one of my friends, Esther, mainly because she’s not doing too well at the moment. I learned that Esther was diagnosed with Motor Neuron disease in February of this year. In her case, it started in her mouth and she has already lost her ability to speak. Her doctors have told her that her swallow will be the next thing she will lose and as she is still relatively healthy, they have put a feeding tube in her stomach in preparation for that. Her prognosis is 1 1/2 to 2 years. I’m sure there… (another 146 words)
StarStarStarStarStar (10)   Marrying a German - advice for an American by ruapehu
Wow, JasmineStar, I don't quite get all this superior wisdom about language learning, considering your recent thread where you asked a multitude of questions about how people managed to get to B2 in German. You didn't seem to be at all sure about how to go about learning a language. Nothing wrong with that, but it somehow doesn't match with your posts on this thread about languages and your command of them. As a linguist myself, I know plenty of them, and by the time people are learning their 2nd foreign language, they have pretty much figured out what methods work well for them, given that there are different learning styles which work for different people. How… (another 47 words)
StarStarStar (6)   Marrying a German - advice for an American by ruapehu
I think maybe you should look back over some of your posts made on various threads. Maybe you will figure out for yourself why you have managed to put so many people's backs up in such a short space of time, and why the above claim of yours doesn't ring any truer than your wild claims about languages.
StarStarStar (5)   Marrying a German - advice for an American by Anna66
Ditto. I also have a bachelor degree as well, I have never been able to use it here, probably never will. It was a huge sacrifice. I love my family, but if I went back and did it again, I would definatly stay in an English speaking country. Nothing can prepare you as well for the huge culture shock here.
StarStar (4)   Marrying a German - advice for an American by rob2011
Wow, reading all these answers I realize that I don't really have any ties back to America and that I was able to speak basic German when I came here over ten years ago. I have really adopted this country s my home and I have really taken on a German way of life. I did move here for a relationship but I also wanted to live here when before I got married and was taking the steps to do so. Even when I had relationships back in America, including another marriage, I realized that my not having parents who were still living made a big difference. I could see that most women are really attached to their families. maybe it's the same for men, but I was a tumbleweed for a long time. It was easy for me (will not really) when I found someone patient enough. Even so, if you are going to move… (another 67 words)
StarStarStarStar (7)   How to get kid a dad that functions like one by jaycool
Do you want a new dad for her, or for you, or for both? You are absolutely all over the place here, and I actually think I feel more sorry for your husband than I do for your daughter. It sounds like your spouse is "not consenting" to all of your ideas, because he realises you're a whack job and wants his daughter to grow up in some semblance of normalcy...
StarStarStar (5)   How to get kid a dad that functions like one by Mapleleafdude
@sonazeit: I have the impression you are very dissatisfied with your life/situation. I doubt it would be in the best interest of your child to constantly change the environment she lives in. Especially young children needed a stable, calm and protected environment to grow in. Changing kindergartens and looking for "men" seems very unstable to me. She is happy with YOU! You are currently the center of her life and she trusts you. Believe it or not but she also realizes that you are also creating a lot of uncertainty just by the aura you project or she has heard you talking about your constant doubts with someone else. God forbid you told her directly. Anyway, your dumping all this emotional baggage on her, possibly without knowing it and it's gonna screw her up. Children… (another 160 words)
StarStar (4)   How to get kid a dad that functions like one by jaycool
What I find probably the strangest part in all of this is, "My husband and I are both unemployed, and we need someone to spend time with our daughter"... Finding someone to spend time with your daughter seems to be a central theme in your posts, but as far as I can tell, neither of you, at least in your opinion, is willing to do so yourselves.
StarStarStar (5)   Watching the beheading video by jaycool
Obama is damned if he does, damned if he doesn't. The Republicans have blocked him at every turn, are suing him for doing anyway, then tell him he should just get done. It can't be easy being the president, and it definitely can't be easy being the democratic (let alone first black) president. The past three elected democratic Presidents (Clinton, Gore and Obama) were impeached, had the election stolen from them by a republican Supreme Court, or were sued for doing I hate America sometimes.
StarStarStar (5)   Looking to learn German, but taught in English by Stun Lee and win
I couldn't possibly recommend trying to learn an L2 language in L1. One of, it not the hardest parts of learning a language, is the listening comprehension of which one would get absolutely no practice at all. Indeed, if the students were given permission by the teacher to speak in English, I would expect there to be all but no German spoken in the lesson, as the members would get to something they couldn't explain and then imediately switch back to English. Hopeless. This even happened in C1 courses of mine. Sure, one may learn to be able to order a beer but one wouldn't be able to understand anything said back to you. As for spending 80 euros an hour on a private tutor, crazy. ?? I have known personally children (of about 8 and 10) who have lived abroad for a year and have come… (another 45 words)
StarStar (4)   Looking to learn German, but taught in English by RedWingsRule
so if my kid starts school a 6 years of age she won´t fully comprehend the language being taught until she´s 16-18 years old? (facepalm smiley) do you happen to belong to mensa?
StarStar (4)   English and American studies by ruapehu
I do agree with many of the comments about how difficult it is to find a specific career with a BA (Bachelor of Arts, which is the common meaning; I don't know of the Bachelor or Attendance). Also, the person being discussed has the additional issues of visa, and of not speaking German. ...and Germany doesn't have an easy market for generalists since the market here likes to put people in "matching" fields. But as a general rule, I believe generalists' degrees are underrated. With brains and skills it is of course possible to forge a career for yourself in a totally different field - during a course of study, whatever it is, people train a lot of skills which are not so easily measured - research, memory, communication skills, filtering and processing of large amounts… (another 229 words)

Friday 22.Aug.2014

StarStarStarStarStarStarStarStarStarStarStarStarStar (26)   Being sized up for income/assets when dating by poohsan
We American men are far less materialistic and we could not care less about how much you earn. Instead, we are much more interested in a woman's personality and instead of asking about your salary we like to find out more about you as a person with questions like "How big are your boobies?", "Are your boobies big?" and "Can I see your boobies?"
StarStarStarStar (7)   Being sized up for income/assets when dating by nina_glyndwr
There's a guy in our walking group who is trying to find a girlfriend, too. He's German and is trying to date German women. He says that when the women find out that he works for the railways (in an office, freight trains), they think he can't earn much. Then he tells them what he earns and they are interested in him again, but he doesn't care for them any more. Now me... I've dated mostly non-German guys and I can see the way they think (especially when I lived in a flat half the size of this one): "Hmmm.. she works a lot teaching*. She lives in a small flat, doesn't smoke or drink or buy designer clothes, doesn't have a car. I wonder what she does with her money? Where is it? And can I get my hands on it." Believe me. I've seen this. I can sometimes… (another 38 words)
StarStarStar (6)   Being sized up for income/assets when dating by greattoucan
One is tempted to ask whom the poster goes out with. An entire dating pool which scoffs at a €55K salary indicates to me that she eliminates those from the eligibles who don't drive Ferraris. I could be wrong, and I hope I am; I just can't imagine breaking it off over a salary that big. Anyway, what goes around comes around. As for me, I would walk out on anyone who even hinted that they would like to know how much I made, unless they had already popped the question. That's just such a venal way to look at dating and people. It's nobody's business how much money you or I make unless they work for the Finanzamt or your bank. Or they've given you a ring.
StarStarStarStarStarStarStarStarStarStarStarStarStar (25)   Watching the beheading video by ruapehu
Afaik, the video is banned in many places: 1) out of respect for the family 2) because the killers themselves are so keen for everyone to see it, so the decision was made to stop them getting what they wanted in this case 3) so that unsupervised minors and other suggestible people don't get to see it These reasons seem to me in this case to be sufficient to curtail MY right to see anything and everything. Child porn is also mostly banned - do you insist on your right to see that too?
StarStarStarStarStarStarStarStarStar (17)   Watching the beheading video by Sampa
Actually, comparing it to kiddie porn is not a strawman argument at all. The reason viewing child porn is illegal is that by viewing it you create demand for the product, which ultimately leads to more of it being created. The law exists to protect children, including the potential future victims as well as the already existing victims. Not to protect paedophiles from themselves. Exactly the same logic applies to the Foley video. The more people view it, the more successful it is for the people who produced it, the more they are likely to try and repeat the trick. YOU are not being protected from anything, but the remaining hostages and other journalists and workers in the area are. It may not work, but that isnt really the point. But this is reality. That's the whole point. Well, if you'd… (another 60 words)
StarStarStar (6)   Watching the beheading video by NoBullJim
I didn't hear you........But AFAIK, it was available on youtube. I have no desire to see such crap. This ISIS group is the worst ever in the world of terror. This will get bigger than we imagined.....on an international scale.
StarStarStarStarStarStar (12)   Why are you unhappy today? by Malt-Teaser
It's been so long now, my dear wife was doing so well ......... Then she just fell over this afternoon after waking and trying to walk too soon whilst still sleepy. I guess when you're afraid of falling it makes you more vulnerable. She's now in the care of the ambulance and emergency medics on her way to hospital. Damn that effin' brittle bone disease (Glas Knochen). I guess I'll be spending my first fully-free weekend for some months visiting the local hospital. OK, so maybe the timing is right as I'll be around to do things, but still not nice.
StarStarStarStar (8)   What made you laugh today? by HEM
Minor detail: there has never been a Royal Navy aircraft carrier called HMS Britannia. Previously the "story" had involved a Canadian lighthouse & a very large US aircraft carrier...
StarStarStarStar (8)   Marrying a German - advice for an American by westvan
But that's just your personal situation and has little to do with your spouse being German. I do agree that both need to be on the same page about goals and expectations even before a child is born.
StarStarStarStar (8)   Marrying a German - advice for an American by rmaetzing
Yes. When I thought back to all of the struggles I've had, I realized that if I had spoken German it would have made all the difference in the world. Sure, the other people might have been the same, but I would have been different, stronger and less frightened. Also, one of the most traumatic events (a two year feud with my mother in law because she willfully misunderstood something I said, refusing to accept that my German was poor), would never have happened at all. Now that I speak German, relatively, I can handle her diplomatically. I am quite the politician with her now and choose my words carefully. So, if the OP or his friend have time or can make time, taking intensive German courses BEFORE coming or at the very least an integration course immediately upon arrival is something… (another 254 words)
StarStarStarStar (7)   Marrying a German - advice for an American by mkwiede
Some true words have been spoken in this thread. I love my husband but if I would have know about Toytown before moving here.. I would have insisted on staying in the States or England. I have accepted that my career is done and my family is worth it, but there are days that green-eyed jealous monster starts to set in. I try not to complain but an US education is not cheap which I think makes it harder to swallow somedays. And then being a SAHM is hard here if you have neighbors that hate kids and noise, going to the grocery store and your kid has a meltdown and the comments about how you dress your child.. This statement needs to be a wall poster...
StarStarStarStar (7)   Breakup after a month of dating by jaycool
If that was her reasoning, it seems like a good decision to me. I have had many, many distance relationships. It works for me and my wife, but I'm home every weekend. It has never worked in real distance relationships. When I first started in the IT business, I was working in England, Wales and Italy, and only traveling back and forth every other week. That was already too much for our relationship to handle, and I suspect we would have separated if I hadn't caught it in time and changed jobs. If your month of absence made her realise that she could live without you, rather than that she couldn't live without you, why string yourself along any longer...
StarStarStarStar (7)   Breakup after a month of dating by farmerandy
It´s been a month, dude. You hardly know the girl. Head out with your mates and get absolutely tanked. Hit on anything that has a pulse. Embarass yourself completely Hell.... You may even score a sympathy .... Wake up tomorrow, make a bacon sandwich and strong coffee. And then move on Trust me, I´ve had my share of heartbreak.... But never after a month.
StarStarStar (6)   Breakup after a month of dating by aqua_minie
Why would you think this way? It's not that you're a better judge of what this girl wants in a relationship or her man. These decisions are not made overnight and I bet she knew couple of weeks into dating you that you guys aren't compatible for a long term relationship. So even if you ask her out for lunch in next few weeks, chances are she isn't going to see you in a different light all of sudden. Best is, you should move on and date someone else.
StarStarStar (6)   Why are you happy today? by jaycool
Last year I put it in the unhappy thread, so this year I'm going to put it in the happy thread. I kissed my wife for the first time 22 years ago yesterday. The unhappy part is that today is the 2 year anniversary of my brother's death, and I do wish I had made things better with him before he kicked. I guess that is also why I keep trying to make things better with my parents. When I mentioned that to his widow yesterday, she said he needed to be confronted before he died, which is way different than her take on it when he was still alive, and made me feel a little better about it. I'm going to be a lot happier next week at this time, when I should already be at our hotel in Kotschach-Mauthen, where we will stay the night, before making the rest of the trip to Bibione and… (another 2 words)

Thursday 21.Aug.2014

StarStarStarStarStarStarStarStar (16)   My stolen item is being sold on eBay by ducthinh
I catched him yesterday. I asked him for a pick up at Ostbahnhof, then told him I didn't have any cash, so we went together to the ATM inside. But there is a police station next to it, and he was likewhatwhen I ran from ATM to police station, after that 2 guys came out and got him. He got first 60 EUR Anzeige for owning illegal tabacco lol. This was the 3rd time I tried for a pick up. 2 last times I was with hidden police but he didnt come.
StarStarStarStarStarStarStarStar (16)   Being sized up for income/assets when dating by friederike
I totally agree with the others before me. But I don't think these guys want to accuse you of being a lazy foreigner. Seeing that you're in Stuttgart, I can just imagine the type of guy who might say this: a specific type of arrogant, ambitious Schwabe in his thirties, with a job in a large private company ( Daimler and the like), a degree in law, engineering or BWL, believing that working for 12 hours a day is a sign of quality, expectations of pay rises and a career that you can only dream of in the public sector, and lack of understanding for more, let's say, intellectual or academic pursuits (no, I'm not prejudiced...). Weed out those who come across as too condescending about your career and the effort you put into it.
StarStarStarStarStar (10)   Being sized up for income/assets when dating by Conquistador
55K is a good salary, and no decent guy chooses a grilfriend based on her salary anyway. Either you're meeting snobs or they're not being honest with you. Either way, you're better off without them.
StarStarStarStar (8)   Being sized up for income/assets when dating by karig
I’ve been attempting to date German men. (Mistake #1 perhaps) As soon as things start to get serious the fact that I work in the public sector comes up (100%, unlimited contract, uni job), and I’m told disparagingly that I’ll “never earn any more money.” Which is actually not true. The underlying assumption seems to be that I’m just a lazy, money-grubbing foreigner who earns bupkiss. And I even work on the side on top of my regular job and am writing a PhD. What gives? Are these guys just uninformed, or am I fooling myself that 55,000 euros is a decent salary? It seems to be a good way to weed out those who I’d rather not waste my time with, but still frustrating… There can be plenty of reasons why things go south, but I keep hearing this and can't figure it out. Any… (another 1 words)
StarStar (4)   Being sized up for income/assets when dating by modernbird
You're better off without those tools. Just to add, I do think that some men may be more cautious about starting a relationship with someone from another country. But the general consensus on Toytown is that Germans are a strange people to date (not that they actually "date" in the American tradition). Good luck and don't worry.
StarStarStarStarStarStarStar (13)   International Mensa members and friends / curious by katheliz
At Mensa's annual meeting in San Francisco many years ago, a group went to a restaurant for dinner. While waiting for their orders to arrive, one woman noticed the salt and pepper shakers had been filled incorrectly - salt in the pepper shaker and vice versa. She spread a napkin and poured the pepper onto it, then prepared to decant the salt into the now empty shaker. The waitress came by, looked at the pepper all over the napkin, and asked, "Why didn't you just change the tops?" I've never met a Mensa member who thought this was funny.
StarStar (4)   International Mensa members and friends / curious by katheliz
Like the little girl and the snake, you knew what Toytown was when you posted your message. Last Christmas Day two guests came to my house, both Mensa members. Almost as soon as they sat down, one asked of our group of eight, "So, are you all Mensa members?" Well, I don't qualify, but I think everyone else did. And we all felt sorry for someone who needed to define people she hadn't met yet, as if she had to adjust her conversation accordingly. And perhaps other TTers have had similar experiences which color their attitudes. There truly is a life beyond Mensa. Far beyond.
StarStarStarStarStarStar (12)   Marrying a German - advice for an American by LostInEurope01
I did that, in 1991 (just exchange the gender). Am now divorced, 2007. From that experience I would say that 'the.frollein' and 'LeonG' have made some valid practical points. My divorce proceeding, however, made it clear that, in my case at least, 50/50 is indeed the case for all assets acquired during the marriage. A "Gütertrennung", something like a marriage contract, removes that and in my case meant a very major financial setback that I am still trying to recover from (I invested in her property, but had no paper to prove it). I also have children and personally think the child support thing is fairly well regulated here (my experience and I am the payer). As of 2005 (I think), the priority for the financial support suite when divorced is: 1.) child support, 2.)… (another 479 words)
StarStarStarStar (7)   Marrying a German - advice for an American by sosarx
In Germany , divorce rates of couples from different nations are lower than that of german/german couples. Significantly, 1/3rd. In general, people will be more considerate before jumping into a marriage , and will have more mutual understanding when things don't go well for a time. And cultural differences between people from western nations? No proper UK-like queueing? Americans talk too loud? In laws in bum-f++cked Bavaria are more boring that inl aws from Dodge? The partner who moves to a foreign country is certainly under more stress. For a long time, usually. And much more depending on his/her spouse as if she or he were back home. Sooner or later the question "was it worth putting all that strain on me ?" arises. If you have a loving and mature partner you will get… (another 27 words)
StarStarStarStarStar (9)   English and American studies by zwiebelfisch
Dont take this the wrong way, but most likely unemployment. I dont know about the rest of germany but at least in berlin, any of the scandianvian, slavic, american or similar studies qualifications is more or less unemployable. The people I know who have these types of qualifications are mostly unemployed with the exception of one who works in sales and one who works in a library. From talking to them I did not get the impression that there is any great market for these skills anywhere in germany.
StarStarStarStar (7)   English and American studies by polexa
Have you heard this song before from Avenue Q? "What can you do with a BA in English?" But in all seriousness, you can do a lot of things, if you're proactive and try to do some interesting internships and maybe even start something yourself. Even though Germany is much more into credentials and doing what you studied (less Quereinsteiger stuff), I've met people who end up in journalism, marketing, copywriting, non-profit of all kinds, management, startups, etc. While it's easier for people who study math or physics, it's basically the same question. No one is going to pay you to write esoteric math proofs (or write cultural critiques of obscure 20th century film), but if you look at how the fundamental knowledge and skills you have could fit into a business / organizational… (another 32 words)
StarStarStar (6)   Temporary move to Germany with spouse (non CS) by Conquistador
Even if you do get a residence permit from Germany (and I have no idea on what grounds you would since he is the one with income and isn't eligible to apply for residency), you almost certainly will not be permitted to homeschool (as you may have heard, it's generally banned here). How long is his TDY?
StarStar (4)   Taking approved holiday directly after sick leave by sarabyrd
Tell Mr. emkay to calm down and stop stressing out. The only reason to refuse a vacation request to begin directly after an illness-related absence would be found in our good friend Section 7 of the Bundesurlaubsgesetz.(my bold) The employee's preferences are to be considered when granting vacation, unless urgent internal requirements within the company or other employees' preferences with social priority cause a conflict. This latter bit means that employees with school-age children are preferred when they request vacation during school vacation. From the internet:If, however, the vacation has been requested and confirmed and the employee falls ill after the confirmation the employer is not entitled to revoke his consent, not under any circumstances. (from the above link) Disclaimer:… (another 26 words)
StarStar (3)   How to get kid a dad that functions like one by Krieg
Why is your 5 y/o daughter writing incorrectly due to LdS? A 5 y/o would not be writing anything more than their own name when going to a vorschule. AFAIK. Here in Berlin we sent both our kids to a Kita that do TONS of physycal activities, they spend half day outdoors when the weather allows it, they organize swimming classes, football camps, etc, they have theater and multimedia classes, etc. But it is not the Kita around the corner, the kids get a 25 minutes ride in the car each way every day. At lest the place is close to our working place. P.S., You made me laugh when you said you and your kid have a common language thanks to you stopping working. I work and my kids speak decent Spanish with me all the time, pretty decent English with the mother who works as well and they speak German… (another 23 words)
StarStar (3)   Meet up for newbies, anyone and everyone. by mbamps
I am not joining, but one important thing is to set a time and a SPECIFIC place. Outside train station is messy (3 outsides) and a bit rough. You should meet in front of some place in the station, for example in front of the main information point in the main corridor in front of the tracks : P And someone should take an object or dress specifically to be the reference point. Otherwise one one will find anyone.