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Posts posted by arsenal21

  1. 15 minutes ago, Ensnaturae said:
    15 minutes ago, Ensnaturae said:

    ?...oh no! I haven't got so close to taking action was to cheer myself up if all there will be on offer, when I come..will be cheap concrete slab .ugly.. buildings..

       But I'm not so much concerned with *chic*, on my own behalf.  

    So far...I think it may be unlikely that Germany has anything like the vast collection of cheap-places-to-buy or rent, that are still not too hard to find in France. That's where I am now.


    ?...oh no! I haven't got so close to taking action was to cheer myself up if all there will be on offer, when I come..will be cheap concrete slab .ugly.. buildings..

       But I'm not so much concerned with *chic*, on my own behalf.  

    So far...I think it may be unlikely that Germany has anything like the vast collection of cheap-places-to-buy or rent, that are still not too hard to find in France. That's where I am now.



    The big cities in the former East are probably comparable with western prices but if you look at smaller towns and villages away from the cities there are much lower prices for renting and buying.


  2. 4 minutes ago, fraufruit said:


    Yes, and you will find similar comparisons in other countries like the U.S. with east of the Mississippi and west of the Mississippi. Nothing unusual.


    Rabenmutter is an outdated term that is still used by the, shall we say, less intelligent people. Just like the N word in the U.S.


    I'm not sure of your point. Look at a map of afd votes in Germany or tennis courts in Germany. There are differences between east and west.


    If there is a map of Plattenbaus in Germany it would presumably have higher density in the east.


  3. 3 minutes ago, fraufruit said:


    I must say that the terms East and West Germany are no longer relevant. Some Germans look down on other Germans who speak different dialects, not only from the East. I hear it all the time.


    Disagree. There are cultural differences that may or may not be due to DDR/GDR.


    Like the 'Rabenmutter' phenomenon is a western German thing, but it might be due to the different role of women innCatholic as opposed to Protestant states.


    If you read James Hawes' "The Shortest History of Germany" he makes a compelling case that Germany east of the Elbe is quite different to west of the Elbe, and has been for hundreds of years.



  4. 1 hour ago, Ensnaturae said:

    What is bad about them, please? If you don't mind me interrupting..

    I'm just beginning to think of a move to Germany, Essen or Dusseldorf region maybe, have no idea at all about ways to find cheap accommodation... I like small and permitted...


    Plattenbau are basically slabs of cheap looking concrete stacked on top of one another. You'll only find them in the east and ex-eastern Bloc countries. The walls are thin and the ceilings are low.


    There's an article on wikipedia about them I'm sure.


  5. Wogetra are a housing cooperative, rather than a company. They seem to be some hangover from the DDR. Plattenbaus are mostly the apartment equivalent of a Trabant and a lot of them have been demolished over the past few years as people don't like to live in them. They probably have plenty of vacant apartments.


  6. 5 minutes ago, lisa13 said:

    that's interesting.  I remember a study a while back wherein they discovered that drivers also behaved more aggressively towards riders wearing helmets.


    I wear black with no helmet.  So far I have had the least problems with cars.



    This is a report about the study. It was a sample size of one and the guy cycled around Bath in the UK and found vehicles overtook over three inches closer when he had a helmet.


    It tallies with my own experience as a cyclist. I also found that when I cycled with a child seat drivers tended to give me even more leeway.


  7. There are some roadworks on the street outside our house. I parked near a barrier and sign. The wind just blew it over onto the car and there's a couple of 2-3 inch scratches on the bonnet.


    Can I claim for this from the city?


  8. 4 hours ago, LeonG said:


    In Iceland they stopped changing the clocks in 1968 and they stayed on summer time.  They've been having regular debates on whether they should or shouldn't be changing the clocks.  Several years ago, some MP's wanted to start changing the clocks every summer to summertime +1 in order to facilitate business with the EU.  Doctors warned against this and said that the clocks are already too skewed and it would be better to change to winter time in order to wake up in daylight more often and go to sleep earlier. 


    Recently the debate has been changing to winter time and now some doctors are saying this is not good either because children and teenagers who already do not exercise enough will be doing it even less if it gets dark earlier. 


    So I think the message is you can never make everybody happy.  There was a time I would just have been happy if they stopped changing it but now I don't even have to bother myself because my notebook, my cell phones and my clocks around the house do it by themselves anyway.  All I have to set now is my watch and my car clock.



    Iceland only gets 4-5 hours of sunlight a day in midwinter so they have to try to optimize it moreso than more southern lands.


  9. I'm not a lawyer but

    8 hours ago, latias said:

    i just got the same letter in the mail - so what's the verdict on this, safe to throw out and ignore this letter? I almost sent the form (although i said no to all the religions listed, i wrote down my address where they could probably track that i am catholic albeit nonpracticing)


    just afraid that i might get this letter again and again...would that be the case if i ignored this letter?

    I'm not a lawyer but if your home parish is in Europe, I'd suggest contacting the data controller of the parish and specifying that you don't want any of your data shared.


    Churchws are also subject to data protection legislation, in Europe at least.


  10. 38 minutes ago, thomash2 said:

    Freelancers working from home will find it difficult to socialize, especially if you don't speak the local language, unless you're really extroverted and can easily befriend strangers at your first meeting. If you worked at a co-working space, or are employed at an office, it is easier to socialize and get invited to events.


    May be true if you're in an international office with lots of young people, but I find Germans keep their work and social lives separate.


    If you have a hobby, joining a club is probably a good way to meet people.


  11. On 11/18/2018, 11:50:59, alderhill said:


    I'm not claiming that government policy is singly to blame for plunging birth rates, or alone can fix it, but that insofar as it can tip the scales, to make the micro-level planning more in favour of raising children, it has not done so. Income splitting rewards a wife not working, it does not reward having children per se. The family policies are intended to maintain traditional roles as much anything, which ensured votes for most of the past decades. Now that a newer generation of women are generally focussed more on careers than babies, the voter pressure (among voters in their 20-30s) to modernize policy isn't there.


    From talking to German friends and colleagues, who are otherwise fairly liberal and progressive, I do feel that in Germany there is a strong expectation that mothers spend the first few years almost exclusively with children. This is great in some ways, but then we can't be surprised when women (and men) delay children until later.


    Maybe I just have the POV that free will is generally a bunch of new age hooey.


    Obviously it's complex and there are multiple variables in this.


    I'm sure women can chime in here and put me in my place. 



    It's hard to fight decades now of the message that 1) you have to pause your career to be a good mother and 2) that (for educated classes) doing so is somehow bad, allowing a goal against the team, etc.


    In case it's not clear, my argument is that women should be "allowed" to do both, if they wish, at the same time. Policies should be changed so that it's possible. That is now how things currently stand. 



    I am in the former East Germany and on this side of the Elbe there is very little expectation that a woman turns into a Hausfrau after having a baby, rather the expectation is that they go back to work. Maybe the differences predate the Wall and go back to Protestantism vs. Catholicism.


    I know in the Catholic Ireland I grew up in, there was little female participation in the workplace and birth rates were high. Contraception was pretty much illegal until 1980, when it became available on prescription and the number of births fell from then until the mid 90s.


    As I see it, having children is a strong biological urge, but so is that to be a productive integrated member of society. There is only so much government policies can do to push people towards one or the other.


  12. 7 hours ago, alderhill said:

    EThat would imply I'm intentionally trying to deceive here, and them's fightin' words pardner.



    Children are pension insurance in any kind of society that doesn't have reliable social safety nets. Upkeep for children is also expensive in developed countries, as legal obligations are greater, but so are societal (teams, clubs, clothes, gadgets, toys, etc.). These being the case in both Germanys, as much of the western world, there was lesser 'need' to have several children. Nor have we had to seriously worry about childhood mortality for decades. And of course, The Pill has allowed women to delay or put off child-bearing/motherhood to pursue other activities, namely careers. (Goes for men too, for what it's worth). In times of uncertainty for the future (standard war, nuclear war, EU implosion, economic recession, global climate change, etc.), people will also delay child-rearing.


    Nonetheless, German family policy over the past decades panders to the traditional mom-at-home role. Compare it to its peers. Maybe you can argue this was policy to woo voters, and so simply what voters wanted, thus you get exactly what it says on the tin. 


    Anyway, as a result, the inflexibility of the system has only exacerbated the population plunge. For a country as rich as Germany, it would not be hard to expand/professionalize/allow more flexibility in childcare or pre-school offers, which are sub-par for a country like this. But this would take the 'burden' off mothers of young children, and what sort of state sponsorship of Rabenmutter would this be, good heavens.


    Income-splitting for taxes is a prime example. It evens out disparate spousal incomes, sure, but it really only greatly benefits a couple where one spouse (let's be bold and say it's the wife) does not work full-time. Dad will work, so feel free to raise kids. Sounds good, but it also incentivizes stay-at-home moms. Many will argue that's better for kids, sure, and speaking with people here it certainly seems to be a common opinion even today. So nothing wrong with stay-at-home-mom's per se, but it also leads to a choice of either/or to get the best benefit. Women are voting with their brains, as you can see. Is there not often a tinge of scorn against young mothers? Why? (I have specifically related anecdotes I could share here...).


    Yes of course, you can choose to work and pursue your career, it's almost expected. But if you also want to pursue motherhood at the same time, you have to be able to afford and have access to extra care options, and you take a hit to your career path. My wife's mother is a teacher (a state funded career) and when she took time off to raise my wife and her siblings, her pay progression scale and pension timer were frozen, so that now she is behind her male colleagues. I don't know, you'll have gender theories you subscribe to or not, but that for example is a reason for the wage gap. Germany is not alone in this dilemma, but it has been particularly head-in-the-sand about it, from my POV. School start/finish times are also set to the assumption mama is out home with a fresh plate of Wurstchen by the time kids get home.


    Ultimately women, as the child-bearing sex, do have a special role to play. The state could acknowledge this and design policy accordingly to grant both personal/career development and motherhood, or it can keep pretending we're in the 1950s and only one is possible.


    If the mother-at-home policies of west Germany exacerbated the dropping fertility rate, how do you explain them in East Germany where there was 90% female participation in the workforce, year-long maternity leave and a well provided (insofar as anything was in the east) child-care system?


    I don't doubt that economic prerogatives have an influence on family planning, but I think these are more at the microeconomic level (so individual choices) rather than macroeconomic level (due to government policy).


    The past few years have seen large incentives put in place for people starting and growing ...families but the fertility rate has barely ticked up at all


  13. On 11/9/2018, 2:33:22, alderhill said:

    Not so explicitly, of course. It would not take a genius to plot out the impacts of various policies, though you may need to wait a few years to see the first signs of proof. By now we've had decades. So it should come as no surprise that when successive governments promote economic policies to the detriment of family, child care, education, etc (or simply that those take a back seat), the result is what we have now. Many of Germany's laws/customs are still basically set up with the proviso that women stay home and care for children OR work. Of course you can do both, but you take a hit one way or the other. Since economic well-being and independence has an obvious attraction and is what is more expected and respected. Naja... In a more-or-less open democracy, you get what you vote for.


    (Not that there has been no progress, Germany is obviously more progressive than many places, but these are just band-aids...)


    In short, the demographic crunch is no surprise and been known for decades. But as usual, human psychology is usually to defer and defer and defer until we're waving our arms, trying to get our balance, teetering over the cliff's edge. The Baby Boomer era of plenty probably also gave a false sense of security.  


    Tabula rasa is mostly an illusion, although I agree with you.


    Moral right, no, but that doesn't stop certain authorities anyway. Ask China, for example. :P Most of the planet lives under prescriptive society, either through culture or government or both.




    I think you are being somewhat disingenuous. The scientific advances that made safe, effective, affordable contraceptives available are probably a much more important factor in demographic decline than government economic policy.


    East and West Germany had very different economic systems, for example, but both had overall declining birth rates (with some ups and downs) from the mid 60s (time of the introduction of the contraceptive pill?) up to reunification.


    55% of West German women were working compared with 90% of East German, East German women tended to have their first child younger and there probably several other differences, yet both had similar declining birth rates.




  14. 28 minutes ago, AnswerToLife42 said:

    " as I am not currently practising "

    One year you are practising and one year not?

    Or, if your children should become very sick, you will start practising again?

    Strange attitude.


    I wonder how the op got the Church to marry him without checking that he pays his Church tax, and also that his wife should convert, that would be typical for the church.


    I wouldn't think it' strange or unusual that a person would consider themselves Catholic, baptise their children etc. but not go to Mass, confession etc. from one end of the year to the other. It's pretty standard in Ireland where maybe 75%+ are nominally Catholic but the churches teachings on going to mass, contraception etc are widely ignored.


  15. 1 hour ago, LeonG said:


    So whatever you do you are stuck?  Isn't that against some law? 


    Yea, you'd think that if you ask them to delete the data they should under the EU right to be forgotten, but apparently it is a record of an event that happened so they keep it on that basis.


  16. 1 hour ago, LeonG said:

    The catholic church sometimes checks and finds people.  I don't know how they do but they do.  So if they were to check and find out that you are still registered with the catholic church in your home country, they can make you pay back.  If you de-register now, as long as you don't tell the church in your home country that you are now living in Germany, they would not have a reason to tell the church in Germany that you de-registered.  Should the German church ask for info about you at some point, the church in your home country may say that you are not a member, in which case you don't have to pay or if they say when you de-registered, you might owe church tax back from when you arrived in Germany until you left the church.  In any case, it's up to you.


    As far as I know the way they check is through the Church channels. The diocese of Berlin writes to the diocese from your homeland and asks for your baptismal cert which is a record that you were baptised.


    I'd guess this is a violation of data protection on all sorts of levels.


    As somebody pointed out, you can't technically leave the Church any more.