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  2. Brexit: The fallout

    The UK will face exactly the same issues on November 1st as it does now except its negotiating position as a 3rd country will be much weaker.   The UK cannot escape geography. It is not because of the EU that the UK exports more to Ireland than to China. It's geography. The UK will continue to trade largely with its neighbours as virtually every other country in the world does.   The UK will therefore need an FTA with the EU more than any other FTA. Even an FTA with the US will not be a replacement for one with your immediate neighbours.   The UK will, upon asking for an FTA with the EU, be asked how it intends to handle EU citizens' rights, the "divorce bill" and the Irish border. Except now it will have 0 FTAs with anyone and will be "trading" on WTO rules alone with the entire world. It will be under immense pressure to get the EU FTA agreed and it will agree to whatever the EU wants. It loses any shred of bargaining power it has on Novermber 1st.
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  4.   Why would you assume that? You may not be trying to be mean but you definitely come across as crass.   Perhaps you could take off your Munich centred rose tinted spectacles and look at the situation at hand when assuming you know more about the logistics of other peoples family lives than they do themselves. 
  5. Cool stuff worth sharing

  6. Definitions game

    Pyrrhic - Dragon hiccups   inferno
  7. Opinions on MMR vaccinations for children

      Unless you insert the letters M, A and L just before the word "practice".
  8. There are lots of cultural programmes (food, architecture, nature, science) on the TV channel Arte with good simple subtitles in German. You can look them up via the internet on the Arte Mediathek.    Big life changes involve courageous steps. Make sure that you adjust your stride to a pace you can keep up and still have a liitle in reserve. And be kind to yourself. Things will come together if you give them time.
  9. Mobile roaming charges on the Channel ferry

    You could go to your local Verbraucherzentrale first and ask for advice.
  10. What made you smile today?

    @john g.  
  11. First World Problems

    I'm still kicking myself for throwing out a teaspoon by mistake in 2016. It was part of a 24-piece cutlery set I'd had for over 20 years. Now minus one piece. Who knows what happened to it. Crushed and destroyed probably. The poor poor little teaspoon...
  12.   I'm not trying to be mean, honest, but that sounds strange and possibly very limiting.  I assume you could actually travel just about anywhere public transport could take you, right?   I have had similar problems developing my German skills, understanding far far more than I can say.  It's very frustrating.  I'd encourage you to NOT take more classes at this juncture but to focus on speaking German more often.  dstanners offered some good tips for that but I think a tandem partner is unbeatable as you're both in it to learn (no guilt about wasting someone's time with your bad German ), and there is still a social aspect to it.  Even just writing in German helps a lot.  The key is you need to strive to PRODUCE German language and not just absorb it.  Alternately, you might be able to find a conversation practice group/meetup, or consider starting one yourself?     my favorite german TV show (it's on netflix and probably elsewhere) is Tatortreiniger.  love love love it.  But I have to worry that many tv shows use very stilted, strange language that doesn't translate to real life. I get your point about soap operas being fairly easy to follow but I also think of how silly I would sound if I spoke like that.  I do think documentaries can be helpful as they cover a really wide range of topics and there is often more natural/unscripted speech included when they interview someone or similar.  Lots of weird accents too has a huge library of video/audio resources for learners too.  also a few good training courses.  But really you should focus on speaking.        
  13. Mobile roaming charges on the Channel ferry

    I have finally received the itemised connection breakdown and it does tie up ... but €300 for 11Mb would be very easy to do it you forget to disable your data roaming when boarding a ship! The €59 ceiling only applies within EU I think. Boats are not included if I recall. Very convenient. I am now asking them to provide proof that they sent a warning sms, which I am sure that they didn't send. I'm not sure if it's Winsim or the ferry operators fault. Does anyone know if it is possible to make a complaint to the 'Bundesnetzagentur für Elektrizität, Gas, Telekommunikation, Post und Eisenbahnen'? I expect I won't get any joy from Winsim. 
  14. Hi Everybody,   I hope someone can help me with this issue.   From June of last year, until July of this year, my husband has worked in UK with one year contract. My tax advisor told me that is possible to do a combined tax declaration if we get the EU certificate (  validated by the tax office in UK, for the years 2018 and 2019. The point is that my husband has already left the UK, and we have no idea if there is the possibility to get these info by post or email. Moreover, we have no idea who should we contact.   Can someone, that has already done it, help me for that? Many thanks.
  15. Today
  16. While there is no fixed deadline for a return of the kaution, a landlord has to formally tell you what amount of kaution he is holding back and why by giving you an outline of his claims asap after the lease ends.  Legitimate claims are (generally) expected nachzahlung for nebenkosten, documented damages, unpaid rent and similar.  The point is they cannot just keep the kaution in full for an unlimited amount of time without stating any claims with the associated estimated costs.     because you paid nebenkosten as pauschale, no there is no comparison with actual use, you can not get anything back, but the landlord cannot ask you to pay more than you already have.  He cannot hold your kaution against a nachzahlung.     because the landlord has not claimed damage to the apartment for which you are responsible, I daresay he can't withhold money for that either.  The fact that he has not inspected the apartment is rather immaterial afaik.  He has no documentation to prove you caused damage, and HE is the one who has to show you caused damaged if he wants to keep any part of your kaution.     note that at most the landlord has a 6 month statute of limitations to first claim damages.     I assume you have paid your rent through the end of the lease so forget that.   My take on this is that he has waived his right to claim material damages from you since he didn't inspect the place before a new tenant moved in, you can't possibly owe any nebenkosten, and therefore he owes you a full refund immediately because he has no legitimate claim. Join the mieterverein and get their assistance in writing a letter that makes the point.   and stop communicating with him by phone.  Everything should be in writing - by post is best, but email, text, etc are all better than phone at this point.  if by post make sure you send it via einschreiben einwurf (which does not require a signature!  ie he can't refuse delivery)  then print a copy of the delivery confirmation.   
  17. Thanks so much! It is not easy at all...   My kids are in high school, so still at home. The oldest speaks German, the youngest refuses to speak German in my presence, but has good grades in school...   I took language courses at the Pedagogium in Heidelberg (Neuenheim). I can understand some German listening and reading (at B1 learner level or professional stuff with familiar vocabulary) but I just cannot speak. I'm missing a lot of words or forget the ones I know when I struggle to built a sentence with the der-die-das and accusative/dative and the right prepositions. I will check what the VHS in Heidelberg offers (I think that's the closest one to me).   I don't have a TV but I have internet... any recommended movies or shows I can watch? When I studied Spanish many years ago watching Argentinian telenovelas really helped me because of the simple story line, limited vocabulary and repetitions. Someone recommended "Sturm der Liebe" but I couldn't find it online with subtitles.   I actually really like my life here - it feels peaceful and safe. I feel, at least at work and among the few Germans I know, accepted for who I am. Though most of the people I know here are well traveled academics so might not represent the majority of Germans.  And I love using ground public transportation to go to other countries!    I just feel so lonely all of a sudden.      optimista - the square dancing sounds wonderful - they have an open night for beginners next month so I'm going to give it a try!   And if anybody wants to organize a get-together of forum members in Heidelberg or Mannheim, I'll gladly join.     
  18. Hello there. If anyone has the code to share I'm in! Thank you! 
  19. Brexit: The fallout

      Johnson wants to hold a General Election and he wants to hold it on the 1st November. By holding it on the day after the UK leaves the EU, he is effectively negating the Lib Dems and the Brexit party. The Lib Dems will then have to campaign for Article 49 (no more second referendum) and the Brexit party will be finished (UK has already left).   Whether Parliament allows this is a different matter but I would guess the most likely scenario now would be a General election on the 1st November.   The letter to the EU is just a smokescreen to give him more time to run down the clock and to show to Parliament he is trying.
  20. Shop window monitor...suggestions

    It's all a matter of opinion and perspective.  A 3D hologram is not commonplace and hence a bit over the top.  A small, flat, LCD screen in the window is acceptable and rather commonplace as people have them in their homes.  I also have to consider my customer base.  A 3D hologram would appeal more to people under 30.  Not necessarily new technology, but does have a wow effect that is appealing.  My customer base tends to be over 40.  They either live here or are visiting or sport minded.  Either way, life here is not rushed and not complex.  It's rustic and quiet.  A 'wow' effect in a shop window would not go over well and doesn't suit the environment.  The flip side of that coin is what I do does not fit well in larger cities as I have been informed by numerous customers.  In larger cities a 'wow' effect might suit.  Not here and personally, as Zwiebelfisch rightly points out, does not really partner well with certain artisan works like leather, iron and jewelry work.   It all comes down to understanding one's client base and the type of work done.  Too much technology can push people away in this industry. 
  21. Brexit: The fallout

      What a bloody awful letter, why use 6 words when a dozen will do, was he just trying to confuse 'johnny foreigner' with bullshit?
  22. Brexit: The fallout

      Interesting perspective. Mr Johnson has invested a lot of time cozying up to the  DUP and pandering to their interests.   Perhaps it is a case of keeping your friends close and your enemies even closer.   Food for thought. 
  23. Shop window monitor...suggestions

    But then even a TV would be overkill.
  24. Brexit: The fallout

    May got herself a shite deal. The EU proposed an NI only backstop which would have allowed GB to go on its merry way, leaving NI effectively within the SM and CU of the EU and thus preventing a hard border in Ireland.   May thought she had a super lead over Corbyn (polling data told her that) and then Nick Timothy advised her to call a snap general election to improve on her slim majority. She lost that slim majority and was then reliant on the nutters in the DUP -> no chance of an NI only backstop after this.   May then asked the EU could she extend the backstop to the whole UK, to which the EU agreed (but some EU leaders did not think this was a good idea).   It never was an EU construct to trap the UK in the EU. It was an extraordinary offer from the EU to allow a region the size of NI to be treated specially by the EU. Out but not out. Most NI business would leap at the chance. It's DUP ideology that prevents this.   I believe Johnson wants to hold a general election and regain an overall majority and throw the DUP under the bus by resurrecting the NI only backstop.  
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