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  1. Past Hour
  2. What made you laugh today?

    At a crowded city bus stop, a beautiful young woman wearing a tight leather skirt was waiting for a bus. As the bus stopped and it was her turn to get on, she became aware that her skirt was too tight to allow her leg to come up to the height of the first step of the bus. Embarrassed, she reached behind her to unzip her skirt a little, thinking that this would give her enough slack to raise her leg. She tried to again take the step, only to discover that she couldn’t. Once again she reached behind her to unzip her skirt more, and again she could not make the step. A large guy who was standing behind her picked her up by the waist and placed her gently on the step of the bus. She went ballistic and turned on the would-be Samaritan. "How dare you touch me! I don’t even know who you are!" The guy smiled and drawled, "Ma’am, normally I would agree with you, but after you unzipped my fly three times, I kind’a figured we were friends."
  3. When I joined the forum, it only gave me the option of Marburg.  I actually live 35km from there. And as I said,in our ten years here, I've never cleaned the electric kettle and have never put salt in the dishwasher and get perfectly clean dishes and glasses. So, whether lime scale or whatever you call it, I don't have it.
  4. Converting a US driver's license to a German one

    So, thats my situation:   I arrived in Munich on Feb, 1st and my driver license expired on Feb, 13th. I went to the Führerscheinstelle on the Feb, 12th but they told me that they don't accept walk-ins and I should schedule an appointment.   On July I traveled to IL and was able to renew my driver license until 2023. Then, I got back to the Führerscheinstelle to replace this for the german driving license and they refused to do that because they said my license was renewed after I was already leaving in Germany. I tried to explain that my license was valid when I entered the country, but there were not dates available to book, but I had no success in my discussion. The old lady just gave me a paper saying that I have to prove that my id is a renewal and not a new one, even with me showing her the old driver license with the same number. Anyone in the same case or that now if its possible to change the driving license to the german one in this situation?     Thanks, Thiago
  5. Brexit: The fallout

      I am pretty sure all Boris Johnson is thinking about is winning a majority in Parliament.   By negating the Lib Dems and the Brexit party he might just have a chance.
  6. Recommendations for a 3-6 month stay in Germany

      Sadly, he didn't post the end to his story, but I assume his cataract surgery went well, otherwise he wouldn't have been looking 10 months after the "cataract" thread into how to replace his UK driving licence by a German one:      
  7. Travelling with a 2.5 month old

      Perhaps you could contextualise your advice with an indication of the timeframe of your experiences as a first time parent. The decade should suffice. 
  8. 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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  10.   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. 
  11. Cool stuff worth sharing

  12. Definitions game

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

      Unless you insert the letters M, A and L just before the word "practice".
  14. 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.
  15. Mobile roaming charges on the Channel ferry

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

    @john g.  
  17. 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...
  18. Today
  19.   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.        
  20. 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. 
  21. 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.
  22. 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.   
  23. 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.     
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