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Posts posted by MBell

  1. A great book for these types of examples is called "Speak.You English?", by Günther Bischoff. He's a native English instructor whose German parents emmigrated to the US many years ago. He wrote a few books back in the '70s or '80s but this is one he personally recommended to me (we attend the same church and knows I teach English) as it was a best-seller. I'm sure you can locate it on Amazon. 


  2. Hi Jayden,


    Welcome to Tornesch (note: since my initial post we, too, have moved to Tornesch)! I'm always down to meet new people. As we now have a 4 year old and a 15 month old, other parents are ideal. If you're interested, maybe we could all meet up for a coffee or something. I think our weekemd is pretty busy, but I'm sure we can arrange something in the near future. 




  3. Hi Hassoo,


    Sorry I just saw your post a bit late. My wife and I live only a few km outside Elmshorn (and I work in Elmshorn). We had our daughter at the Pinneberg facility and it was great. The Pinneberg hospital is a great birthing place, as there are many types of births offered (i.e. natural, water, private rooms available, etc.). The problem is that you are very late. I'd suggest you talk to the hospitals as soon as possible and make the proper arrangements. 


    My wife said that while there are no baby stations, if your pregnancy has been relatively straight-forward (with few complications) then hopefully the birth will be the same. If there IS a problem, then Pinneberg works closely with the hospital in Altona that has baby stations. 


    Lastly, I'm sorry, but I do not know any English-speaking prep classes, but again, you're late for that. I do not know how long you have been in Germany, but this is the land of excessive pre-planning. Ideally, you would have been registered for the prep class around your 3rd month. :-/


    Please feel free to contact me with any questions or if I can help. 




  4. My German is conversational but not completely fluent, by any means. I'll be in Denmark for the Easter Holiday anyway, but maybe soon afterwards when the weather gets better I can swing out there. I only live around 8 minutes away from the airstrip. 


  5. Hi TTers, 


    I had been moderately active in Hamburg since moving to Germany, but after moving to Schleswig-Holstein a couple years ago I really fell off the radar (mostly due to a new baby and too much work). That said, I was wondering if there are any other native English speakers (or others that speak English) in or around Elmshorn/Tornisch/Uetersen area. Just looking for anyone interested in hanging out (starting a stammtisch, playing tennis, doing a movie or game night now-and-again, etc.). We have a 2.5 year-old daughter, but we can plan things with/without kids accordingly. 

    Anyway, let me know if you're interested. 




  6. With how many scams there are like this, it's amazing they still exist and people still fall for them. That said, I had a coworker back in the US that got one of these emails claiming to be a future bride from Nigeria that was going to be sharing her millions with him if he paid for her airfare. (Yes, it was odd that she supposedly had millions and relied on him buying the ticket.) He was very computer savvy and not an idiot, and convinced the person on the other end of the scam to prove that this was true by asking for several gifts. He got like 4 shirts and a PS2 before the scammer stopped communicating with him. He had them shipped directly to our office. That was pretty epic. 


  7. You see, mankind has created different types of chicken, just like different types of dogs have been created. That's called breeding.

    Sensing a slight tone of smart@$$, I'll say one good turn deserves another. Actually, "breeding" is the simple act of reproducing offspring. Controlled breeding is called "husbandry". Also, chickens only have the capacity to lay one egg per day (per my friends that raise chickens), unless they are mated and lay fertilized eggs. In that case, I'm not sure how often the turnover is - so maybe it is "like crazy".


    That said, I openly admit I had no idea that the way the chickens are used makes such a difference to the outcome. Really, thanks for the lesson, and thanks for pointing me in the "Poularde" direction. :-) 


  8. Hello culinary TTers, 


    As someone that prides himself as being a pretty good cook, I have to ask, does anyone know what the heck is up with Suppenhuhn? Don't get me wrong, I know they are for soup (my German isn't THAT bad). However, I often buy Suppenfleisch and slow-roast it in order to make it soft and tender. I've never had a problem doing this. Moreover, I understand the fact that different cuts of meat have different textures (due to the use of the muscle, amount of fat, etc.). But today I bought a Suppenhuhn to roast. I did this over the "normal" chickens I get here in DE due to the size - it was like 1/2 again bigger than the tiny things offered here. (Yes, I know my American chickens are pumped full of hormones and crap, but I miss having a chicken actually big enough to stuff (please save jokes)). Well, I cooked it like I normally do; this included regular basting and even use of a syringe to inject juice directly into the meat. The result was a juicy bird that was practically rubber! Seriously, halfway thru cooking the skin "snapped" like over-streched elastic, and the meat was chewy like a tough steak.

    As mentioned, I understand that other meats like beef might have a tougher texture based on the cut, but are these "chickens" entirely different species? How can a chicken vary so much from another chicken? Sure, I've overcooked a bird now and again making it dry, but I've never had one rubbery like this. 

    Any input?


  9. What I meant to say in my last message (before it got cut short by a crying 2 year old), was that your best bet is to try to network through your husband's contacts. You said HH is his home town, so surely he knows people here and likely a few of them have worked their way to middle or upper management positions. It's really not easy to get a job here as an Ausländer unless you have something really different/special to offer. Much like in the rest of the world "it's not 'what' you know; it's 'who' you know". I'd suggest asking your husband to reach out to old friends/contacts to see if anyone knows of a position you might be able to fill. 


  10. I like Marc and Stefan, but don't forget Jeff - his Bavarian Ale is fantastic (although I think I like Stephan's Indian Ale better). I was blessed a few months ago when my wife went to Edeka for some of these. I collect beer glasses and there was a big display set up. She asked the Edeka worker how much for the 2 glasses from the brand, and the worker was like "Just take them". Awesome! (Sad I can't upload a pic.)


  11. Many people think that because Hamburg is an International city that it will be easy to get a job based on English. I can tell you, that's sadly not the case. It's not to say there's not jobs out there - there are. But they are not easy to get and I would suggest focusing on your other strengths (i.e. project management experience or child care). There's often positions available at International Kitas (day care centers) like Froebel. My daughter goes there and there is only 1 native English speaker from like 15 workers. They like to be able to appeal to International/English-speaking families by saying they have a native English speaker. 


    Good luck to you, and welcome to Hamburg! (I hope you brought an umbrella.) lol :-)


  12. I see New Castle at Rewe all the time. Usually the ones with the Getränktmarkt. It tends to be a bit expensive compared to better German beers. Don't get me wrong, I love New Castle. But I wouldn't spend like 2€ for a bottle of it when I can get a Paulaner Salvator or a Zwikl Aktien for less than 1€. Also, Graeff Getränke at Am Osdorfer Born 28, 22549 Hamburg has a ton of stuff. It's aways out there if you don't have a car, but they have great Belgian Ales and stuff. Also a bit expensive. 


    Last thing on beer - if you haven't tried the "Maisel and Friends" that showed up in HH about a year ago, I highly recommend them. I've only seen them at Rewe and Edeka. They're also a bit more expensive and there's only 3 types; a Chocolate Bock, an Indian Ale, and a Bavarian Ale - but they are three of the best I've tried here in Germany.


    Happy hunting. 


  13. For what it's worth, my daughter has been going to the Kita at Elbe Einkaufzentrum (Froebel, http://elbwichtel.froebel.info) for about a year. She is just under 2 and absolutely loves it. The people are super friendly, and there are a couple of native English speakers, although most are German. We provide the diapers and such, and there are fees, but I forget exactly how much as we live outside of Hamburg and don't get the 5 hour voucher. I don't believe we are charged for an English-speaking caretaker, but food, yes. Altogether we pay around 700 Euros per month, so if you're looking at 225 Euros I'd call it a blessing. 



    Young men tend to lose their viginity and then some of them learn how to deal with women later on...


    Nobody ever truly learns to understand or deal with women. :P My point was just that I haven't seen too many young German men that are shy/awkward towards females, and a lot of that has to do with the losing of one's virginity early on.


  15. It sounds cliche, but don't go through life looking to "fall in love" - when it happens, it happens. Do German guys date American girls? Of course. It works just like everywhere else - if you have something to offer that they like and they have something to offer that you like then there's a connection. I highly doubt anyone will jump at the chance to date you JUST because you're an American. But, if you pique the interest of someone (through looks, personality, etc.) then maybe you'll connect.


    Also, for what it's worth, German guys are not shy. I think they do lack romance, as you said, but definitely aren't shy. They're not typically as "loud" or blatant as American guys, but they're not awkward with the opposite sex. I recently read that the average German loses their virginity around 13-15 now (creepy), so they know how to deal with women without being shy or coy.



    Tax Class 3 is exactly for married people , and one is not working (or doesn't qualify for Class V , so max a 450 basis work)Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, financial advisor, or anything related, but I'll be damned if I am wrong on this one


    Thanks Alex, that's good to know. Like I said, when my wife started work and before I had a job, she was taxed pretty hard. I wonder if she was assigned the wrong class. After I started working we switched to 4/4 and she got a decent boost in netto income.



    Not planning on throwing any Playboy parties on the near horizon.


    You don't always "plan" to throw the Playboy parties, they just kinda happen naturally. :lol:


    As for the pay, I don't think you'll be able to claim Lohnsteuer class 3 if your wife is not working. I think if there is only 1 income you will have to be at class 5, which means roughly 42%(?) of your gross/pretax pay will be docked. That's what they did with my wife and me. We were able to change it to 4/4 when we both started working. Or, if one makes substantially more than the other, you can change it to 3/5, with the higher earner claiming class 3 and therefore taxed less. I'd suggest clarifying this with the Finanzamt before budgeting your rental amount.


  18. @yourkeau above,


    Horns are included in cars as a means of communication - not just an alarm. One of the primary uses is to notify a driver of such things as when a light changes and they did not notice, not just emergency situations. Today, I didn't lean on the horn - just gave a quick beep to make them aware of my presence. Nothing wrong with that, and I'd gladly do that in front of a cop and doubt I'll be accused of committing a crime. As for the rest of your response, you seem a bit D-bag-ish in this one. Odd, because I've enjoyed a lot of your previous posts if/when I check in on TT. Then again, maybe you're right, and maybe I had managed to offend 'ze Germans'. ... Still, I don't think I was out of line in my comment of Germans seemingly not respecting the presence of others.


  19. I'm having a semi-similar issue with e-Plus at the moment. I've used them since 2010 and had no problems. My wife and I had a plan thru them that ran 70 Euros per month. Then, in December of last year I got a bio for 90 Euros. I paid it. In January, a bill for 120 Euros. I asked them why it was getting higher, and they said that they could only see it once I pay the bill (as my access to my account online hadn't been set up and they claimed it "couldn't" be until the bill was brought current. So, I paid the 120 but never got a solid answer - only that there were calls made outside of Germany. Then, in Feb. I got a bill for 140. I didn't pay this one and told them I wouldn't until I knew why it was so high. They said they couldn't tell me until the bill was current, so I told them we were at an impasse. Well, a month went by and I got a different plan with another carrier (as my contract was due to expire in Feb. anyway). In April I got a bill from them for 450 Euros. Same BS when I called customer service: they can't see until I pay and I won't pay until I see. I was told someone would contact me regarding this, but never heard from them. THEN, in July, I got a bill from a collection agency for them for... wait for it.... 1,400 Euros. Of course, they can't seem to tell me why it got so high from e-Plus, and e-Plus claims it's out of their hands.


    Long story short - as the OP asked, does anyone know a good lawyer for this type of matter? Any other takers wanna get in on a little class action? <_<


  20. Not knowing the woman in question and seeing everyone jump on the bandwagon to say she is in the wrong, I'll only offer an argument for argument's sake. Of course, there is the chance that she might be a bitch or protective of her daughter, or that she is an uber-national Deutsch Frau that wants her daughter to be with a German. However, it could also be that she was raised strictly and is only conveying what she knows onto others, as you said she does this to her whole family (and is therefore maybe not singling you out - it just feels like it to you now).


    My (foreign) colleagues and friends always talk about some of the weird proclivities and attitudes of the Germans we encounter. One such thing is the German tendency to be direct. So much so, that often they come across as rude, although they are just being themselves. If you ask a German a question with a negative response, they'll likely say "No", rather than sugarcoat it with something like "I don't think so" or "I'd prefer not to." Again, to an American/Brit that may come across as rude, whereas to the German it is just that simple - the answer is "no".


    All that said, maybe your gf's mom is just direct and wanting to "shape" you into what she was raised as acceptable. If she is, as you said, very conservative, the chances are that she is just trying to help and does not realize that she is coming across as mean, rude, or controlling.


    Than again, she could just be a bitch.