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About alderhill

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  • Location Niedersachsen
  • Nationality Canadian
  • Gender Male
  • Year of birth

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  1. Brexit: The fallout

      Go back to selling duty free cigarettes and being a haven for shady online gambling websites, money laundering and quirky tourism. Fantasy border drawing: They should hold a plebiscite, leave the UK, join Malta. Both microstates with similar economies, and even some shared history.   But realistically, its fate is sealed, just a matter of time. Ceuta and Melilla likewise.
  2. Who do you think will actually win?

      IMO South Park summarized it pretty well 16 years ago:     You can even watch the whole ep for free: (the cocoa bean looking symbol is actually lips, and there you can change the language)   The 'Goobacks' ep in the same season is also probably one of the best of the whole series. Dey took err jeeerbs!
  3.   This happened to me in India, like a lot. Especially outside the tourist parts of the better known cities, lots of people have never seen a foreigner (white or otherwise) IRL before. Little kids, teenagers, adults, old people... If you thought Germans stared! Every other day or more, someone would stop me, ask me a bunch of questions, sometimes invite me to a meal or come play with them (the kids), often asking for a photo 'snap', then they'd tell me I look exactly like so-and-so. A couple dozen various Western celebrities -- which I really really don't. I did get compared to one particular Australian cricketer (no idea who) a lot.     Obviously none of this was coming from a nasty place, and of course I really was a foreigner, but it was def a strange experience.
  4.   Indeed it depends on the intent... When we asked as kids, I can say that it really was about background, national belonging was still kind of an abstract concept at age 6 or 7 or whatever. And really everyone got asked, even the cakers (comes from Italian immigrants, who noticed the local Anglo-Saxons sure loved to eat cake). When the assumption is you're not local, it's of course annoying, alienating and can even be discriminatory. For visible minorities especially of the Nth generation, I can understand how this gets real old real quick. (A microaggression in modern lingo). I would never ask someone I just met or didn't know well. I think it's OK for little kids to ask, so they can navigate social contexts of their own generation in their own way, but parents/teachers should explain how it can be misunderstood. I suppose the UK is the European country with the most immigration experience, due to Empire and all (France, Portugal and Spain runners up). But in settler societies like Canada, everyone bar indigenous is an immigrant, so the question about background is not always quite as loaded. Everyone's ancestors were from somewhere else, and that's generally understood (though not by racist idiots, it seems). Where it gets messy is if you're a Nth generation mixed mutt, which is more common than not. I just say Canadian usually, even though I know my various ethnic roots going back many generations (8th gen Canadian) and we still have relatives we speak to in one European country.    Many years ago, I did a few international travels with one of my best friends, who is (India) Indian background, but grew up in Canada. In many places, this clearly boggled the minds of many, who'd ask us where we were from. (However, even in India, they often knew right away he was an FBI, foreign-born Indian, even though he was actually born in India. Clothes and manners too Western, people would say, and I guess cause he was walking around with me.) We always made people guess. In many different places, we got Brazil a lot (obviously no one thinks about Canada). I suppose because it was somewhere people could imagine a white guy and a brown guy could both live. That was actually a convenient guess, because touts can rattle off quite a bit of English, French, Spanish, German, Russian, Chinese... but apparently not Portuguese.  Uhhhh, sim siiiiiim, o Brasil! Fala Portugues? Nao? Nao? Oh desculpe, eu nao falo Inglis. Sorrrry, bye bye.  
  5.   Born and raised, want to see my birth certificate? My grandmother was born/raised in Cabbagetown when it was still a literal ghetto. My mom grew up in Mimico. My dad is from a small town, but has lived in TO since his late 20s (almost 50 years now). You're talking like an uneducated redneck clueless about the actual people he is bitching about. You surely don't view yourself as an ideal representative of Canadian culture that immigrants should model themselves on. If you're living in an ethnic bubble yourself, you're doing the very thing you're whining about. Project more.   BTW, you forgot to blame Justin Trudeau for everything bad.
  6. Gardening advice wanted    I think this year has been especially good for ants. Not quite enough rain, dry dirt, so loose soil, etc. Our yard and raised beds have also been very ant-y... I wish I could rent an echidna or something.
  7. Gardening advice wanted

      I also wouldn't use it. Most pond liners are PVC, which is carcinogenic and bad for both you and the critters that live in the dirt. 
  8. Very disingenuous. First of all, no one asks that. Being Canadian is just the given assumption. Toronto is so multiethnic, no one assumes nationality just by looking (unless you're a racist prick). A give away might be very poor English, but that alone is doesn't mean anything. The common question is what's your background, or ancestry, etc. When someone answers Polish, Indian, Chinese, etc. what they mean 99% of the time is ethnicity or ancestry (or parent's, grandparent's) and not nationality. We rarely say hyphenated Polish-Canadian or Chinese-Canadian in every day speech. It's just Polish, Italian, Jamaican, Vietnamese, etc. as the -Canadian part is inferred. You might see the hyphenated names in some official contexts or for politically correct clarity, and some people use it themselves, but it's not common IME. Some people might use Afro-Canadian or Black Canadian in certain contexts to distinguish themselves from more recent West Indian immigrants (Afro-Caribbean), i.e. as being descended from Canada's earlier (smaller) Black populations from anywhere over the last 400 years. Again, most people mean ethnicity or ancestry and also understand that as the meaning when they say a 'nationality'.    I was born and raised in 416, and you're talking bullshit.
  9. Sprachrassismus at Work

      My sister lived in Ireland for several years and there met some Germans (she had studied it in uni, so for the practice, etc). One of her friends was a young German woman who only ever learned English 'for real' in Ireland. She spoke English with a strong Irish lilt, but with a still noticeable semi-thick Tscherman zing go-ing on too. It was pretty odd to hear, but kinda cool too.  
  10. Illegal Subrenting

      If you leave Berlin and that happens, you will have earned it. It is madness to take a holiday with the uncertainty of this lingering.
  11. Illegal Subrenting

      Even still, they can't just turf you out on the curb one day to the next. I would approach them as if I had been duped by the main tenant (which is kind of true, even though OP was ignorant of the laws and customs). But again, that's mainly if I thought the main tenant were going to try any fast ones with the rental company. It wouldn't look good if you knew, got caught, but had said nothing.    To the OP: I hope it is clear that you should be looking to move out ASAP.
  12. Bürgerbüro in the US? What's it called?

      Necessity is the mother of invention, isn't it?
  13. English teaching, Rentenversicherung and a big mess

      That's nice. Lucky for you!    Good luck.
  14. English teaching, Rentenversicherung and a big mess

    The background explained is a little confusing, partly because I think you are confused about how it works.     You damn sure bet they will.    You always owe tax/pension contributions as a freelancer, it is simply that you do not have to pay them -- upon first starting freelance work, as the line you quoted says -- until three years later. This is a grace period to get established, etc. You do not get an extra three years later, no. But you do still owe them 100% for that first year, and technically up until the time you left Germany. You never de-registered as a freelancer and presumably never filed a tax return, so how would they know otherwise? They will send you a bill (if not already) for those freelancer contributions every month since September '17 (minus the months you deregistered and were gone), probably running into 10,000€ or more.    What you will have to do is prove that you weren't freelancing past whatever date you stopped. A work contract or pay stubs, for example. (Or, y'know, tax returns...) Possibly bank records. Depends how strict your Finanzmat wants to be. Again, you still owe contributions from the time you did freelance.   You can only claim back 'your half' of pension contributions if you are gone 'permanently', which is considered at least (IIRC) 24 months. Since you are back, you cannot have that back either. If you left next month, you'd still have to wait 24 months years before applying.    If I were you, I would start working on filing tax returns for the last 3 years. 2017, 2018, 2019. Freelancers must file a tax-return anyway (Anlage S). Since your income as a freelancer/part-time cafe server were probably pretty meagre, you will likely get something back. Possibly more than what you contributed to the pension system. This would be better investment of your time than asking for those pension contributions back -- which you cannot/will not get. If you're not up to it language-wise, I would probably get a Steuerberater at least this one time. There is English-language software these days, but for a lost newbie, that alone may not help as much. I can/would recommend TT's own @PandaMunich   Long story short: In Germany, file your taxes! This is win-win, then everybody's happy.