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Posts posted by alderhill

  1. Not sure why you didn't lawyer up the first time your spidey senses tingled that something was amiss. Not sure why you are still asking here for advice and not lawyering up. Lawyer up already! Pay the darn costs and get a nicely worded letter from a lawyer to send back at the Staatsanwalt.


    Germany is a democratic state with a free press, there is no penalty for going to the press (as long as you don't libel, slander, etc. but even that has some wiggleroom at times). The police or public prosecuter's office will not show up in the middle of the night with a gang of goons to mess up your apartment, threaten your family and point laser rifles at your chest. Quite why the Staatsanwalt is being so obstinate here is a mystery (or perhaps I underestimate German obstinacy, to a degree even I thought not possible!). If the Arbeitsamt and your employer agree there was no fraud and never was, and you have the paperwork, that should really be the end of it. 


    I would agree with the advice to not pay (further) until a lawyer has advised you and this has passed through the courts. Indeed, you will not go to prison for 3500€ baselessly (incorrectly) fined against you. 


    I wonder what is missing from the puzzle here..


  2. 1 hour ago, klingklang77 said:

    I really do think they know the examiners.


    Of course, absolutely they do. They see each other on a weekly basis. Long story, but I had to do my license from scratch here. (I did it entirely in German, because I could I guess, and I found the English translations truly horrible to the point of confusion and unclear meanings.) I failed my first drive test, even though I already had over a decade driving experience. Well, after the guy failed me, my instructor said wait a minute and went over to talk to the TÜV tester guy. They spoke for several minutes, and I could see lots of hand-waving and gesturing on the part of my instructor. He came back and sighed and said I really should not have failed, everything was just fine except a couple minor points, but I got unlucky because Herr Solala is the strictest tester they have. He tried to convince him to change his verdict, but no dice. 


    I passed the next time. My instructor and the tester also chit-chatted, talking about their wives at one point, so they obviously know each other. Not friends exactly, but clearly friendly


    OP, If you have passed the theory test, you have the paperwork. Get a record of what you have done with the driving school so far, driving hours, with all the boxes you have to tick, night/tunnel/autobahn, etc. They have to provide them. Then just switch driving schools for the final test. I'd tell him straight up you aren't happy with your current person, who is too non-chalant, etc. etc. Maybe pay for a practice lesson or three to sweeten the deal for the instructor, gain some confidence. It'll be the same TÜV people testing you, but at least you can maybe find an instructor who gives half a shit.


  3. How is your German? 


    As your sense of German legality is low, I'm guessing the landlord can smell "naive" all over you. And yes, there are no shortage of slimy landlords who will rip you off, lie, cheat, stall, stonewall, mislead, casually omit information, or wiggle out of responsibilities (assuming they even understand or care about those), all the more so when they sense Johnny Ausländer doesn't know any better. Been there myself, thankfully now many years ago.


    I currently know a friend of a coworker who is new-ish to Germany and being hosed, strung along and lied to by his landlord, re: malfunctioning gas heater that apparently hasn't been serviced in years (very illegal). Other electrics (plugs, switches) were not working when he moved in, and the landlord managed to convince him that he had to pay for both parts and labour to get them fixed. (I advised how he was being hosed, steps he should take, etc. but you just can't convince some people.)


    So yes, Mietverein first of all. Second, don't be so quick to pull out your six-shooter and shout laywer, because that only results in yet another gun draw on the other side of the saloon. Of course, threatening to charge you more for "commercial" because you have two screens is hilarious. He can't. He's trying to spook you out. Frankly, rather than a senseless legal battle, I'd just look for a new flat/room that's not rented out by a sleazy douchebag. If this is the beginning, what else do you think is waiting for you? Save yourself the aggro and move on.


  4. I certainly remember when e-bikes were not common. On the one hand, I suppose it's good more are out and about in places, getting some of that good ol' fresh air and exercise they might not otherwise. But the downside is lots of people who very obviously haven't sat on a bike in 40 years are now doing so. Too many do not seem to have a "cyclist mentality", much less etiquette. But they are also pretty handy sometimes, I've rented them on holidays.


    The grey-haired ebike gangs are a real thing (with no disrespect to any grey-haired cyclists here). Worse are those who travel at top speed in all situations and expect everyone to instantly make way, as if they were on Autobahn left lane. I have a child seat on my bike, and my son often in it, and still I have been ding-ding-dinged with classic German impatience by some (usually!) old fart directly behind me, even at points where the bike path narrows due to trees, driveways, fences, etc. 


    Some neighbours in our building recently bought new expensive e-bikes (€5000 range when I googled the brand/model -- they already had a pair from a couple years prior that were still fairly new-looking IMO). Thicker-than-average frames, thicker-than-average wheels. I've had to scoot my bike around them in the bike shed, moving their bikes an inch here and there, and they are bloody heavy. There's no way you're going very far without the e-motor, nor pushing them. They use them on the occasional nice weekend Ausflug (loading them on to the car), or sunny weekday task, but not on any regular basis as far as I can tell. The husband does bike to work sometimes on a standard bike, in fair weather... but really, these expensive things basically just sit there unused 90% of the time. They recently bought a second car, too. What pandemic economy, right?


    13 hours ago, keith2011 said:

    Yesterday I saw an e-scooter(one of the rental ones I think) riding on the footpath with 3 young teenage boys on it, no problem when there is no risk of getting nicked!


    There are now a few points in our neighbourhood where those stupid things are essentially permanent litter. Idiots leave them anywhere, jutting right out on (cycle or foot) paths, flopped and knocked over at bus shelters, blocking glass containers. I am clearly biased, and they seem particularly lazy and dorky to me, so I am not sold on the concept. You'd go faster and at least get a smidge of cardio on a bike, non? This weekend, there was one sticking out randomly in middle of a paved 2-way path, next to a stream where old folks often stroll. On my bike, I came up behind an older man with a walker. He looked panicked,"pinched" between me and that bloody scooter. I could see he was calcuting how he'd have to go around it, but look around and behind him, then go for it, shuffling. No quick task when you're using a walking in the first place. I got off, waved for him to go ahead, then shoved the thing onto the stinging nettles on the side. 


    5 hours ago, pmd said:

    I walk my children to school and Kita every day. At every sharp street corner, it's got to the stage that we have to stop and I have to cautiously poke my head around the building checking for cyclists on the footpath. They don't ring their bells, don't slow down and all ages do it. 


    Some years back, on a morning cycle to work, late summer, I passed by a residential intersection and saw a little boy of about 4 years old (seemingly alone, no parent) bawling and wailing on the sidewalk corner, with a face full of blood, and soaked all over his shirt. A gash on the forehead, and probably bashed up mouth, as I clearly remember his totally reddened teeth. Pacing sheepishly nearby (not helping!) was a pot-bellied man in his 50s or so, with his e-bike propped against a fence. I didn't witness it, but from the scene, with hedges and fences as they were, there would be no visibility round the corner. So I assume the e-biker took the corner at speed (on the sidewalk!) and hit the kid who was playing. The kid had some sort of toy truck or tractor on the grass (and I assume lived just there, there was a short driveway and house just behind him -- maybe the parents ran inside, I still wonder at that...).


    It must have happened just a minute or two before. I stopped for a moment, but two other adults also did just before me, and one said she was calling an ambulance, and the other took out some kind of cloth to hold to the kid's face. I wanted to help and felt angry too, but rode on as I had a meeting to get to, and there wasn't much more to do just then. It's pretty ghastly seeing a small child's face literally covered in blood, but from a glance the cut did not seem large or deep... just an unlucky spot.


  5. 22 hours ago, jeba said:

    That basically newcomers shound´t be able to tip the scale when the locals are in disagreement is another.


    Who better to be deadlock breakers. That's the basis of UNFICYP, for example.



    To give an example relevant to Cyprus, where I live: There was a referendum about reunification of the Turkish occupied part of the island and the areas under the control of the government (in which the Greek Cypriots voted against it). Should strangers like myself  who have no idea of the background and the emotions involved have been able to tip the scale? I don´t think so.


    If you have been living in Cyprus long enough to acquire citizenship, then your one vote on the matter is as valid as any Nth generation local. Political enfranchisement based on such a 'nebulous' concept as loyalty is so 19th century. It is not a zero sum thing besides, and your exceptional 'what if' examples still don't sell the concept. Your professed cluelessness on your adopted home is your problem (clearly among many), but don't project that on to others. 



    Or a fictitious example: had there been a referendum on German reunification - should immigrants have been allowed to tip the scale (and btw I´m not sure about what such a referendum would have resulted in)?


    Ah, there's your classic xenophobic take. If you live somewhere long enough (for Germany: 8ish years give or take) and jumped through all the hoops so that you acquire citizenship, why is your prior (and still-held) citizenship any special limit on your ability to understand and make decisions on local matters? It isn't. Locals don't always agree on things, and don't always make "the best" informed decisions either (plenty of evidence there). I don't see why those born outside should be arbitrarily excluded (after a long enough waiting period, some proof of understanding language, civics, etc.). You can't really express any other reason either, from what I've read, apart from literal xenophobia, Blut und Boden. 



  6. In my opinion, they should all (Krippe and Kita workers) receive a permanent salary/wage top-up from the federal government.

    1. They need and deserve it.

    2. It's affordable (if priorities are set!) 

    3. It will make the profession just a little more attractive, and help staff retention and improve adult-to-kid ratios.

    4. Related to point 3, it will hopefully spur more realistic operating hours (for Kita at least) that will allow Germany to finally move its concept of "appropriate" working hours for mothers out of the 1950s. And maybe it will stabilize the plummeting birth rate and allow women to both follow their career aspirations and be mothers. (In whatever permutation and combination suits a particular family best.)


    On point 2., let's explore it. There are apparently 442,387 (year 2020) "Erzieherinnen und Erzieher in Kindertageseinrichtungen beschäftigt" (pasted wiki link kept in for your convenience). I suppose some Krippe/Kita staff, perhaps directors or senior 'queen bees', may do 40ish hours a week. But, IME that is not the norm. Let's assume 30 hour work week for all, which is certainly inflated because not all those 443 000 (rounding that up for fun too) in the profession work that much on average. At least, I think it's less but let's go with 30 for the sake of argument. And finally let's then propose a modest 3 euro per person top-up on their current hourly wages. 


    443 000 * (30 * 3) = 39 870 000, or a €39.8 million top-up. But gasp! you say, how ever will the country afford that! Well for a country like Germany running surpluses in the double-digit billions for a while now, that really is chump change in budget terms.


    Let's also take that the average wage (google told me) is currently €21 per hour. So let's make it €24 now. (24*30) * 4 weeks = 2880 brutto. Using and plugging in some average values for tax class, let's say 1 child, no church tax, you get €1940 netto. Which is still a bit below the average in Germany , but much more comfortable than 1200 (as written above). (I know, calculating this with average wage is a bit faulty, as many make more or less, but you get my point I hope in that it's a modest but fair increase).


    Play with the numbers as you like. I'm no mathematician, so this is just back of a napkin stuff. 


    Anyway, it's fun to think about although I know this will never happen. Why not? Because let's be real: it's "women's work" and it's not taken that seriously. Germany will drive off the cliff before it releases its death grip over its attitudes on this...


  7. 6 hours ago, CincyInDE said:

    I see what you did there. nice. 


    Freudian slip? lol, but I like it too! Actually, even more shameful to admit... I am so used to using a German layout keyboard for work that when I switch back to a proper corn-fed American one, my umlaut keystroke game is off.


  8. 4 hours ago, theGman said:


    Well, just to be clear, once you have German citizenship, they cannot take it away from you. If you go on to collect multiple citizenship around the world afterwards, they cannot stop you. The only thing they can do is withhold giving you citizenship in the first place.


    Not true, as @engelchen says.


    I knew an ex-German citizen who had 'fled' (GDR) just as the wall was coming down. He was a fresh teenage sailor, and this was his freighter's first trip outside Eastern Bloc borders. He fled at the first opportunity, got asylum. Travelled all over, lived in a few countries, never returning to Germany, and eventually ended up in Canada. Lived there for the next 15 years or so, and acquired Canadian citizenship. He never told the German side, and once his passport expired, he by then had Canadian passport, so didn't bother to renew the German either. 


    Later, he took a volunteer job in Brazil, ended up living there for a couple years. Met a local lady, had a child, and thought to introduce them to the aging German grandparents. Went in to the German embassy to get a new German passport, and they discovered his black, wicked truth: that he was Canadian too!! On the spot, they asked him to decide, and he chose Canadian (which he said he never wanted to give up), so they served him "you are no longer a citizen!" papers.


    When I met him here in Germany, he was now living here, and had a temporary work visa on his Canadian passport and had to go through the Aliens line at the airport, deal with the Ausländerbehürde, etc. which was a bit of a mindfuck for all involved, but he loved telling stories of flabbergasted German bureaucrats. He could probably get his German citizenship back if he wanted, but that's a process to, and not without losing Canadian again.


  9. On 9/15/2021, 8:49:46, MikeMelga said:

    Norm MacDonald died age 61.

    One of my favorite comedians!



    Likewise. Everyone has their tastes and all, but his oddball, meandering, deadpan delivery (of sometimes intentionally corny jokes) was, for me, hilarious. There are few comedians who could roast and cut to the bone like him. His appearances on Letterman and Conan were always highlights, and I generally followed his podcast and Netflix stuff too (now I will finish them!). I don't care about celebrity much, but Norm MacDonald's death is a big hit. RIP.


    There are endless clips to reminisce with, but here he is, earnestly discussing his take on disease publicity -- at a time when was deep into his cancer:


  10. On 27/08/2021, 10:33:17, MikeMelga said:

    Just heard yesterday that a catholic priest refused to marry someone because his/her name or surname was not Christian...


    Many years back, I was travelling with a good friend of mine. He is Indian (india) background, but Christian. In fact, his family have been purely Catholic for 400 years or so, from Portuguese influence and intermarriage (Goa and a few other places). They all have Portuguese last names, and some of his relatives (I've met a bunch) have quite light skin, and blue or green eyes are not unheard of either. (I'm technically Catholic and had to go every Sunday, no missing, till I was about 18, but just about fully lapsed these days.)


    So we were in Istanbul. I'd never go to a Mass/service by my choice, much less on holiday, but my friend was back then kinda semi-religious. We figured we could check out on old (Roman) Catholic church that is otherwise not open for tourism, the icons and frescoes and what not, so eh, fine. I normally made a point of not taking communion even if I were dragged into Church (yes, my parents hated this when I was a teen, lol). My friend nudges me into taking communion so he didn't have to go up alone. So, our turn. In goes the body of Christ. Next my friend... but the priest hesitates and shakes his head. My friend has brown skin, and many people in Turkey assumed he was a Gulf Arab. Well my friend is just kind of waiting, awkwardly, and then nods. The priest again is hesitant and after a few more seconds makes a sign of the cross and a questioning kind of gesture with his hands, also glancing at me, as by then I had stopped to the side too. My friends nods and says 'yes yes Christian' and signs the cross too. The Priest is still hesitating, and then whisper-asks very unsure, 'Christian??'. My friend nods again and finally gets his communion, though the priest looked very unconvinced. We laughed about it after.


  11. I barely watch TV, except for news or a docu or (passively) little kid cartoons. Most of what I want I find on youtube, when I have time. Yes, there is loads of crap on YT, but also plenty of high-quality niche programming... outdoors stuff, DIY, travel, science, etc. I have found it a lot more rewarding and informative than the paint-by-numbers watered down versions of everything on the classic 'terrestrial' broadcasters. Even on my actual TV screen, I 90% of the time watch youtube channels. 


    There are a few gems from German producers now and then, and I also liked Deutschland '83 (though I think it followed in the coat tails of The Americans). But German TV never does anything out of the mold IMO, it's only ever following the main trends. I know that is an accusation that all advertisement-pushing mainstream broadcasters can take, but with German TV, it's especially so IMO. 


  12. 1 hour ago, dstanners said:

    it has been a good 30 years since the days when British players didn't dive, and I can't think of any international team which doesn't have a good share of players who do exactly the same (or worse)...anyway, just a few more hours. Come on England. 


    This is probably why I can't take football/soccer seriously. A sport (or let's say, particular leagues, i.e. most European and Latin America ones, and in North America too, not as sure about elsewhere but probably...) where faking injury and general dramatics is not only tolerated but widely expected and celebrated is, to me anyway, just kinda pathetic. They might as well don big bouffant powder wigs and stick a broom between their legs making clip clop sounds when they jog around with runny coke noses, it's just as ridiculous. I can't explain just how much it totally deflates the (televised big league versions of the) sport for me.


    There, I said it. 


    But if you're into it, cool, enjoy, I don't begrudge anyone else. 


    26 minutes ago, alexunterwegs said:

    I've ordered pineapple on pizza in fully authentic Italian restauarants many a time.  Didn't realise there was some kind of tabu. 


    Ditto. Also in Italy. I once asked an Italian pizzeria worker (young guy working the till, who spoke very good English, at a small town "traditional" sort of pizza place) what he thought about pineapple on pizza, because in the Anglo world at least it was a popular badge of pizza snobbery. He shrugged and said basically even if it wasn't traditional, he had no problems, except he would prefer not to use low quality canned stuff but fresh actual sliced up fruit. 


  13. 10 minutes ago, LeonG said:


    I've haven't had a Vodafone salesman so far but I have had two sales ppl rock up in person in the past two years wanting to sell me some type of contract for one or the other.  The first wanted to sell some type of contract / insurance which would get me a free helicopter if I ever got injured in the boonies.



    Holy crap, I was just telling that story. Same thing! I used to live in BS and that is where it happened. 


  14. Some years back we were visited by "air ambulance insurance" door-to-door sales-teenagers. My alarm bells were quickly triggered though. Both guys looked 16, one was extremely pimply, and the other mumbled softly and slurred so bad when speaking I had to ask him like 5 times what he had said. (I later saw he had a tongue ring.) Both were wearing oversized pilot jumpsuits with a logo on it, but the first thing they had said after opening the door was "do you care about street children in Africa" (just mumbled and slurred). Umm, what? 


    They kept trying to invite themselves to sit down and talk at my "kitchen table" (we didn't have one then, as I told them once I started toying with them, lol), but were unspecific about what they actually wanted. It was all very weird. I finally told them to make their case on my doorstep or get lost, that's when the bit about signing up for an air ambulance inusrance package arose. I reached forward and helped myself to the badges dangling on their necks, but both were generic, no specific info, and the flipsides were blank. I asked them for their IDs, which they then got defensive about and made excuses for not having (ya, sure). Finally, I (a bit uncharacteristically) got aggressive and told them to fuck off (in English) and get out of our building. I hectored them all the way down 4 flights of stairs. At the time, about half the building were elderly singles, and I figured some may fall for the trap, plus we had had a break in about a year prior (two guys posing as some sort of officials tricked a 90-year old to open her door, the holed her up in the bathroom while they robbed her.) I assumed they were casing the individual apartments. 


    These two kids had clearly answered some sort of shitty job ad, or were roped into it by their conman uncle, because they were terrible cons. I looked up the company later, and no surprise, it has lots of warning about scamming, and that if you ever did try to call on their services for an air ambulance transfer, they'd weasel out any way possible. Also, it is a weird entity, registered as a for profit charity. 


    As for OP, cancel the contract. You can also try your local Verbraucherzentrale, or Complain on social media, too, althought they may just as well delete your complaints and go back to botox smiles and sunshine clip art. You got scammed, but you signed a binding contract. Vodafone surely knows it happens, but it's money into their accounts, so it's your problem. And yea, German customer service here is often like this, a "fuck you, whatchya gonna do about it, loser" kick sand in your face mentality. 


  15. 2 minutes ago, Anna66 said:

    Here is a good fake one.


    All the bees/wasps/Hornets have been replaced with nano cyber technology bugs. They look like bees/wasps/Hornets, they behave the same they pollenate like  bees/wasps/Hornets but inside them is the latest cyber nano technology to keep an eye on all citizens. The world is "bugged"


    Give that another 20 years for the tech to perfect itself.  



    On that note, I saw a real hornet the other day walking around a pond. Holy crap. Huge, yellow, brown. Not very inconspicuous. 


  16. 19 minutes ago, cb6dba said:

    Wasn't Rumsfeld the guy who said that there are things we know, things we don't know and things we know we don't know?


    Yes, although ancient Greek philosophers toyed with the idea, right down to legal scholars and psychologists of the last few decades. (It is kinda profound when you really think about it -- but he should have taken it one step more: you also don't know what you don't know). I suppose Rumsfeld was trying to channel his inner Socrates, but just ended up a slightly more polished, Dubya, sneering rather than goofy.


  17. On 2/1/2021, 9:52:52, klingklang77 said:

    Dustin Diamond (Screech from Saved by the Bell). 44. 


    As I was reading aobut Rumsfeld, google popped up other deaths in 2021. I know this one was months ago, but didn't notice then. Dustin Diamond's death eclipsed by far more prominent people. I wasn't a huge fan of Saved by the Bell as a kid, but my sisters were so I watched it a zillion times. Always found it tragic the way the geeky Screech's real-life wound up, and then to die of lung cancer so young. Yeesh. 


    But back to Rumsfeld... I'm sure plates of complimentary sweets are being passed out, with lots of horn-honking in Baghdad today.


  18. Yea, most definitely I will not be doing any shopping or "big favours" for her. It's pretty clear that it would be a trap, once sucked in. I am sure her daughters would say the same thing, to be honest. I suppose the neighbour is trying to share the "burden" which I totally get, but I have zero desire or capacity to take that on. I can imagine her mental a bit, but not much I can do... It's just especially the pitiable "I should just die already" comments that are hard to deal with. Partially I think experience from a past relationship long ago that was full of that kind of emotional blackmail, I just nowadays have. none. of. it. My primary instict is to quip back: Na dann...   


    I have had private words with her daughters now and then, usually in the bike/bin shed out of her earshot. If necessary, will do again. I am sure the neighbour told them about our convo, because they also told me (later that afternoon) thanks for XYZ which I had only mentioned to the neighbour. (While on her cure, a cloud of moths in a little pantry closet off the kitchen feasted on open packages of pasta and cookies and whatever, so I tossed all that shit out.) On that note, there was also a large tin of peaches, upside down, that must have breached the seal as a slick of funky sticky black syrup was pooling on and down a shelf. I tossed that too (expiry date was 2017), but the streaks are still there. 


    Thanks for all the feedback, primarily needed to vent! 


  19. Came here for grad studies, thought I'd maybe try a bit of work after so as not to come home totally empty-pocketed.


    11 years later...


    Well I found a nice job, and also met my now-wife, so here we are. We've shifted a few cities over the years... and added a child (my favourite 'souvenir'!).


    @kapokanadensis I sure do not miss the 401 though, and I grew up pretty near it. I have some critique of German driving, but everytime I go home I think how shockingly bad everyone's driving is. I would not move back to TO either, simply because it has become so stupidly expensive (rent/property). Even though I miss the city a lot. My old neighbourhood has morphed massively, with condo towers replacing almost everything I remember from childhood. That's the way of it I guess. And it has gentrified to hell, too. The city I know and love is still there, though shifting as always, but at the prices involved, I dunno, meh? I need to win the lottery, 


    The issue then is... where? If I back to Canada, I want to be close enough to family and a few old friends, but the options (mid-size cities near TO?) in Canada are so suburban and car-dependent. Equivalent cities here are bike friendly (forget about that in Canada), and often have their own unique traditions, etc. Even though I'm from a big city, I've gotten pretty used to less grime, sirens, towers and crowds. A population around +/- 300k is pretty cozy. 


    My wife is open to moving out of Germany, and she has visited where I'm from. There are definitely pros and cons, but among them I don't know how well she'd cope long-term with stripmalls, 6ish months of winter, and realistically needing a car to go everywhere. I also don't think my current job would be easy to get in Canada, especially outside a big city, and I doubt it'd be quite as well paid. Ditto for my wife in her field. We'd probably find something, but there would be re-start... 


    Germany is where I live, but it's not home, in the "where my heart is" sense. My wife is from another part of Germany too. Even weeks where I'm content here, I never really feel like a local. I've adjusted after over a decade here, but in some key ways mz mentality is definitely not German. But yea, I am used to living here, and there are lots of things I like and genuinely appreciate. I know if I moved back, I'd probably compare with what's better here. Homesickness comes and goes, even if it is through rose-tinted glasses. Unlike Brits and Yanks though, there's also no massive fuck-ups at home that affect liveability. Just the usual political theatrics. I even do miss real winters sometimes. Four utterly pathetic months of grey skies and cold rain is a lot worse IMO. Besides, Canadian summer and fall is spectacular. For outdoorsy stuff (which I like), it's no comparison. I also think Canada is a better place to grow up for a kid (although funding and payments are way better here). 


    What it comes down to mostly though are jobs... 


  20. 22 hours ago, MikeMelga said:

    Yes, it's full of crooks. Starting with the alternative medicine shit.

    Once I asked one doctor if he believed in that homeopatic shit he had on the door sign. He said: "No, but if I don't have it at the door, I lose most of my patients".

    A while back I went to a pharmacy, asking about a complaint my child had (then a year and a bit). Nothing too out of the ordinary, but enough that he couldn't sleep and was cranky, etc. I was pretty shocked when they offered me sugar balls and wondered if I had stepped into some naturopathic drum circle and incense sort of place. I mean, homeopathy is all about placebo effect, so how the f*ck is an infant supposed to believe that? How is that sponsored by a pharmacy?


  21. As overpopulated as China is, for example, it will actually experience a demographic crisis in the next few decades. The one child policy and decades of abortion of female fetuses has led to a 30 million or so sex discrepancy, and the population is rapidly aging. I have read this is part of the reason for current Chinese military sabre-rattling and expansionism (HK, Taiwan, so-called Nine Dash Line), basically: to do it now while it still can. There is also a similar sexist workaholic culture to Japan and Korea (also rapidly plummeting and aging), where the women are faced with an even starker choice than Germany presents, between career OR family. An unmarried, childless woman of 30 (often well-educated) is an irredeemable 'old maid' in China, and cultural attitudes make it hard for them to start families even when they want to. Not to mention, single doctors, lawyers and businesswomen from first-tier cities (look it up) don't usually want to marry 22 year old construction workers from the countryside. There are lots of jokes, memes and cultural explorations of this in China.


    Shengnan is the name for 'leftover men', the 30 million or so men who will never find a wife/partner because there are simply not enough women around. 

    Shengnu is the name for 'leftover women', which is less descriptive and more derogatory term for unmarried women, as explained above. 


    In general, the world is getting crowded, and it's worse for non-human lifeforms, but it's not truly overpopulated just yet. I think the magic figure is 10-11 billion would still be OK under the current global economic system, though a real strain. Much more than that, things will start to go downhill quickly. Climate change and various demographic crises will kick us give us a hard slap to the face soon enough. 


  22. On 22/05/2021, 12:54:56, dessa_dangerous said:

    They're just ingredients.


    So is meat, really. :P And if some want something close to it, in flavour and texture, without it being really meat, so what? These comments are more general than directed at anyone here. But IRL I have also heard plenty of jokes about 'tofu sausages', etc. etc. Not everyone has to like such things, that's fine, but I just don't get the hostility towards their existence (almost always by people who obviously would never buy them anyway). Quite plainly, just look at sales figures, we like the flavours/textures of things without needing the thing itself. 



    I will confess that I eat "veggie" slices daily, but they're made from milk fat,


     Yea, there are different kinds. I think it's best to compare product to product, that was all. Some are over-processed crap with a green label, some are honestly quite fine. 



    people who eat stuff that is manufactured to resemble animal products wind up outing themselves as basically jealous of meat- and dairy-eaters,


    Yea they exist, perhaps a few more in Berlin (and big city hipster scenes anywhere), but they are only a proportion of all consumers. I doubt the majority are like that, either. Like, you don't buy soy milk because you're jealous of those with meatier diets, do you? I buy fake meat now and then, and I'm not vegetarian either. This reminds me I haven't nutritional yeast in a long time, but I do like it too, in smaller doses. 




    when a good chunk of the same definitely consider themselves morally superior to consumers of animal products. 


    Yes, and these are annoying for sure. Even though I am not a vegetarian, I would agree we ought to, as a society, eat less meat. That is all. 



    There are honestly so so so so so many things to eat in the world, being vegan is not that hard as long as you don't have meat-and-cheese envy, or need to "replace" things from your old life. (I purchase nutritional yeast by the kilo--cheaper that way--and consume it daily.)  I love vegetarian food primarily because it doesn't have meat in it, which is (to me, ha ha) objectively disgusting.  And vegetables are just so wonderful. And also cow milk is gross.  (But quark, sour cream, cheese, yogurt are all foods of the gods LOL)


    Agreed, it's easy to be vegetarian. Vegan harder and less fun, IMO. But see? Different strokes for different folks. I like and enjoy (some) meats generally, but I don't (these days) miss it for a few days or so. Not initially my own choice, but what I've got used to living with a vegetarian. Some people like fake meat alternatives, myself included at times, and I just don't see the big deal. (I still think soy milk is nasty, and we probably go through probably 3-5ish litres of milk a week. More soy milk for you, more cow milk for me!) 



    Fake stuff is fine, everybody should do what they want to do, but they shouldn't be surprised if someone fails to take them seriously once in a while, especially if they're big into "vocal vegetarianism." 


    I know the type, and agree they are annoying AF. But they're annoying because of their personality, not only their loud vegetarian/vegan "lifestyle". But there really are lots of quiet vegetarians, etc. 


    22 hours ago, Tap said:

    Of course, there are cultures and people who depend on rice, it’s part of their basic diet, but like everything else, the demand and over-production is causing problems.  I still eat rice, on occasion, but not so regularly.


    This is how rice is hurting the planet | World Economic Forum (


    What about European-grown rice?... With every single thing I buy, I try to see where it's from. Italy and southern France, and Spain (and probably other places) have long traditions of rice-growing, which should conform to EU pollution laws.  


    I read once in a book about artisanal rice grown in the Philippines. A genetically unique landrace with a good nutritional profile, which were grown locally for centuries. Then Western marketeers found them and planting boomed. But it also made prices increase so much that it became foolish for the same locals to eat the rice themselves, and forget about local markets, since every kilo could be seen as $$$$$ from foreign importers.


  23. On 5/20/2021, 4:11:48, MikeMelga said:

    The Spanish system is simple: south is very hot and sunny, but dry. So they divert water to the south. This gives them great productions. But at the expenses of messing up all water systems in the iberian peninsula. They could shift production further north, but of course it would be less profitable.


    Sounds a lot like California...  



    But they are not just plain beans or soy.  It is a mixture of a gazillion of ingredients with the single purpose of resemble meat texture, flavour, etc, and nowadays even meat "blood".


    I'd agree that generally, the less processed or additive-laced the better, and that can vary from product to product. But read the nutritional info, read the ingredients, judge each product individually. Some are good, some are crap, like anything else. I don't ever buy "vegetarian lunchmeat" for example because their nutritional profile is awul (I don't eat much Tierisches lunch meat either, come to think of it), like are stuffed with palm fat fer crissake. But some really are just 3-4 simple things. People who hate on soy should remember that it fueled centuries of warlord armies in China and Japan. 


    People get their knickers in a twist over "chemical" ingredients, but fakemeats are not nearly as 'bad' as imagined. An evening of boozing is far worse than a textured soy protein 'schnitzel'. Rügenwalder Mühlen Hack for example (we use time to time it in vegetarian chili or tacos) is: water, 26% soy protein, vinegar, oil, salt, flavouring and caramel (colour). That's it.


    More generally, personally, I don't think it is wrong with liking things that taste like other things, or half the food we eat would not exist. When's the last time anyone chewed a spoon of black peppercorns raw, raw cacao beans instead of icecream, or a handful of mint leaves instead of gum? Long live artifice. 


    23 hours ago, Krieg said:

    And corn.   We have indirectly eaten so much corn that nowadays some crazy amount of the carbon building our bodies came from corn.   


    We can go one further and say we are (as Sagan said) all just made of star stuff. We are recycled exhaust of long-dead orbital nuclear fusion reactors. Corn was only borrowing it from a decomposed crow, mammoth, crab, stegosaur and pre-Cambrian bacterial slime sheet.


    20 hours ago, theGman said:

    None of the vegetarians I know like that stuff. That seems mostly marketed at people like me. I likes me meat but I'm trying to cut down. Works too. Beyond Meat burgers are pretty tasty imo.


    My observation too, but depends on the length of one's vegetarianism perhaps. Some don't even like e.g. smokey flavours at all because it reminds of meat. If I buy smoked cheese (drool), my wife will make "ick, smells like ham" comments.


  24. I think the difference, too, in Canada, or its big city regions anyway is that:


     1. Unless it's maybe upper management (...and even then), the vast majority do not care a single bit if you have an accent, or make minor grammatical mistakes. Immigrants from the last 60 years are a huge portion of the population, and a lot of slack is cut. A fair number of Germans IME are completely unable/unwilling to mentally correct the mistakes of foreigners speaking German. I have (in my early days) been toyed with, people running with my mistake and basically mocking, rather than just making the mental correction (or even informing me without mockery -- which happens too and I can appreciate even if the timing is sometimes bad) and moving on. Make a mistake and you may get totally baffled face-scrunching. I do feel that's quite different in Canada, at least in the big cities where 75% of the population lives anyway.  


    OK, such open hostility is not super common here in your average genteel office place, and it decreases in proportion to the quality of your German (especially when you are not a POC), and it's not as if you can't encounter xenophobes in Canada or etc either. But for sure "Leitkultur" is a thing here.


    Mutual understanding is paramount, yes, but the difference is that Germany seems to expect all the adjustment from the immigrant. It's not a give and take, it's mostly take. Fine, that's how it is here, you have to accept it. But that's also why Germany doesn't really get first or second pick of the best and brightest immigrants "brain draining" their own countries... just look at us!! :P 

    2. In Canada, any immigrant can, if they wish, fairly easily find compatriots, work together and work in their businesses -- in their own language. There are tens of thousands of (small?) firms whose daily back-office language is Punjabi, Urdu, Tamil, Tagalog, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Korean, Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Greek, Russian, etc. and no one cares so long as someone can answer the phone or emails in English (or French, depending where you are). I can see that being mostly limited to cleaning businesses, construction, and döner here in Germany.


    Which all comes back to the point that, yes, knowing German is vital to a worthwhile career here. A point that has been made a zilion times in the forum, but there we are. Make of that as you will, @bytex