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About Prosie

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  • Location Baden-Württemberg
  • Nationality British
  • Gender Female
  • Year of birth 1964
  1. Psychiatry and Medication-New to Germany

    General practitioners, in my family's experience, don't particularly like prescribing antidepressants but will do so at a pinch, e.g. to tide you over while you are on a psychiatrist's waiting list. They might want a copy of a diagnosis/medication plan from your previous doctor. Venlafaxine has been quite difficult to get hold of lately (world shortage of one of the ingredients, according to our pharmacist) so once you have your insurance sorted don't hang about getting your appointment and prescription. I'll leave it to the experts to advise on insurance but would also say that in my family member's case public insurance covers everything except the prescription charge.
  2. C2 Language Exam Tips?

    I'm sure you'll do fine next time round. You know what to expect now :) Let us know how you get on!
  3. Frankfurt Airport train station

    Yep, this happened to me. I usually fly from Stuttgart so don't know Frankfurt that well. I followed the signs and ended up on a bus, thinking, "that's weird, I thought there was meant to be a little train thing!" Fortunately it didn't take all that long and I was in no hurry anyway, but I shall know for another time!
  4. C2 Language Exam Tips?

    I did C2 a couple of years back. I was considering doing a masters course which it was needed for. I haven't gone ahead with that yet, but the C2 came in handy for my Einbürgerung anyway  I did a course at the VHS in Heidelberg which was very useful. Practice at home is great, and necessary, but it helps to have someone who knows the system  pointing out your foibles as well. In case it helps, here are some of the tips I picked up for passing the oral part of the exam: -  Take your time. People have a tendency to speak faster when nervous, so remember to slow down. You use up more of the exam time that way as well! -  Learn your intro. At the start they will ask you to say a bit about yourself and why you are doing the exam. You have plenty of time in advance to prepare that part so make the most of it. Try not to sound like a parrot reciting it, though! -  Make clear notes for your presentation. You're given 10 minutes or so just before the exam to prepare a topic for a brief presentation. Use this time well. Don't over-complicate things, & make some good, brief notes so you don't lose the thread. -  Don't expect a reaction. When you give the presentation, the examiners are apparently supposed to remain absolutely neutral. So don't worry if they just sit there with blank looks on their faces   -  Take control. Without overdoing it, make the conversation go the way you want it to.  Obviously you have to show you understood their question but if you don't have a ready answer change it into something you can answer. Along the lines of, "Yes, I understand that it is important to think about XYZ, but people also need to consider ABC, and here's why..." (chance to release your inner politician  ) -  Don't be afraid to seek clarification if you're not sure, rather than launching off with an answer to something they didn't ask. Related to this, it uses up more time if (again, in moderation) you re-phrase their question when you answer. E.g. "So, to make sure I have understood you correctly, you are asking me ...bla bla bla. Well, I think...(answer)" -  Learn some debating phrases. Unless things have changed since I sat the exam, the last part of the oral is a debate where you have to argue one side of an argument and one of the examiners takes the opposing view. You will need to say things like "I have to disagree with you there; there are many people who hold a differering opinion; I take your point, but..." etc etc and you can learn suitable German phrases in advance. Ideally, practise this with a native-speaking friend. I'm told, by the way, that some examiners can really get into character and turn very mean and antagonistic at this point. Don't take it personally and don't let it throw you. Remember it's only a role-play. -  The best tip my tutor gave me so I have saved it until last: LIE!! It is an exam, a role-play. You have to demonstrate you can understand and speak German. So long as you do that, absolutely nothing you say needs to be true, and the opinions you present do not have to be your own. Say whatever you have the vocabulary for. This also helps you avoid the mistake of thinking what you want to say in your native language and then trying to translate it into German.   I have to say, the last tip worked for me but it did make me feel rather uncomfortable. My presentation was about students taking a gap year, and the discussion afterwards developed into a lovely cosy chat about all the things my kids were up to. The examiner unbent from her neutrality and seemed really interested. I had, however, borrowed and embellished the experiences of other people's kids for the purposes of the conversation. Felt a bit mean about that, but I passed so I guess it paid off...   Hope that helps!
  5. Non payment from house sale

    What a nightmare!   In a previous life I worked as a conveyancer in England. There it was common procedure for whole chains of people to sell their previous home and buy the next one all on the same day and the system was set up for it. I've often wondered how it would work in Germany, since I never met anyone who bought and sold simultaneously here. Now I think I can understand why!   I really hope it is not as bad as it currently seems and that you can reach a solution at the meeting.
  6. Brexit / Applying for German citizenship

    Oh and another timeline - daughter in Heidelberg. Whole process start to finish 3 weeks. No quizzes involved :D
  7. Brexit / Applying for German citizenship

     Wish I'd thought of that!
  8. Brexit / Applying for German citizenship

    To answer my own question, the interview was short (10 minutes-ish) & informal. Questions included: what do I understand the declaration of loyalty to mean - what  kind of system am I signing up to & what does it mean to me; what is a main difference between the British & German electoral systems (Merheitswahl vs Verhältniswahl); name some areas where Länder differ (education, police); what is an area currently in the news which shows disagreement between Länder & Bund (Klimapolitik); what parts of German constitution can't be removed (Menschenwürde, Demokratie/Rechtsstaat/Sozialstaat, Föderalismus). There was also a bit of chit-chat about Brexit & reasons for Einbürgerung. I can imagine it would have been a tricky interview for someone with only B1 German, but I guess she'd have to simplify her vocabulary in that case. For anyone interested in timelines, the original application with all documentation was submitted to local town hall at end of March. Acknowledgment from Landkreis Karlsruhe and payment in mid May. Final appointment and Einbürgerung, today.
  9. Brexit / Applying for German citizenship

    Has anyone applying to Karlsruhe been called for the citizenship interview they do there? My local Beamtin who takes in the applications then forwards them to Karlsruhe told me this is one of their specialities.They want to ensure applicants understand what they are signing up to when they make their declaration of loyalty. So they send a copy of their "Belehrung" (which briefly explains German political structures and organisation etc) and summon you for an interview to quiz you on it. My interview is next week. Would love to know if anyone can here can share experiences of this so I have a bit more of an idea what to expect. Thank you!
  10. Parking slightly on sidewalk

      My next job is to check the rules on roof space. Our landlady came to our house recently with a workman to look into improving insulation. She was horrified to see there were boxes in the attic. "Dafür ist er nicht gedacht!" scolded she, with wagging finger. My husband told her it was only temporary (well, we won't actually live here for ever ;)) and was relieved that the workman - who was actually in the roof space and could see the layers of dust on the boxes  - did not betray us
  11. Parking slightly on sidewalk

      Be careful! If your grumpy neighbour is really vindictive he could report this too. I checked out my quiz show info and it would appear to be true - nothing but motor vehicles allowed in the garage, with exception for bicycles if they hang on the wall and don't prevent you putting your car in there. If the Ordnungsamt discovers that's the reason your car impinges on the pavement then you could end up with a €500 fine. Plus having to clear everything out, of course, which for most of us is a punishment in itself!   Here's a link to an article (in German) 
  12. Parking slightly on sidewalk

      I discovered from a quiz programme a while back (Millionär, I believe) that you can be heavily fined if your garage is full of junk. Something to do with Zweckentfremdung, and possibly fire hazard. Apparently you are only allowed a car in your garage, and bicycles if you hang them on the wall!
  13. Wheelchair Access

    I am interested as to how you reach this conclusion about your fellow lift-users. I can march around with the best of them with my wheelie suitcase on level ground, but when my gammy knee is playing up the stairs and escalators become an impossibility. My mother-in-law with her heart condition also looked perfectly fit but struggled with stairs and escalators. Since lifts are often tucked away in odd corners I might have thought the lazy travellers are the least likely to seek them out.
  14. Jaw surgery in Düsseldorf

    No recommendations in Düsseldorf I'm afraid but I had jaw surgery about 10 years ago in Freiburg. Be prepared to be in it for the long haul! I started off by consulting my kids' orthodontist. I needed a couple of years in braces, then an operation on the top jaw (Gaumennahterweiterung), then another year in braces before an operation on the lower jaw (Unterkiefervorverlagerung). Then iirc a few months (maybe another year) before the braces could finally be removed. It is a very big deal but in my view definitely worth it. Oh and as you see you do get to learn some lovely new long German words. I did it more for clinical necessity than aesthetics but appearance did improve as a side effect. Big plus point: costs were all covered by the Krankenkasse.