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Everything posted by Buzznut3000

  1. Peanut butter shortage - help!

    Even in my small town the Edeka carries an 'American style' peanut butter that comes in a plastic jar and tastes exactly like Jif.  Take a look there.  Personally I miss fresh ground peanut butter that I could get at most stores in the US.
  2. Hanging out/ Frankfurt am Main

    Check out  There are a lot of active groups.
  3. There is a reason beer consumption is going down in Germany (especially among younger people).   There is just nothing interesting about drinking the same 3 or 4 varieties of beer that your parents drink.  Brewers embraced the Reinheitsgebot awhile back to help stop English imports from taking over.  It worked in the short term but long term its going to kill the industry.
  4. I'm with you my friend.  I come from Austin, TX which is (according to some)  the craft beer capital of the world.  There even a crappy dive bar will have 40 taps.  It's pretty slim pickings in these parts.   Seems like finding craft beer in stores is not too hard.  The Kaufland I go to stocks Stone Ripper which is currently my favorite.  Getting it in bars is difficult.  Naïv is a good place to go in Frankfurt.  I also go to a place in Aschaffenburg called the Union.  Owned by an Aussie and he understands beer.  I've heard of a place called Le Petit Belge in Wiesbaden if you like Belgian Beer.
  5. How to date without tinder

    Best thing you can do is go to a beginning German class.  I took one here and everyone spoke English.  I wasn't looking to hook up but I did meet an English girl and became good friends with her and her husband.  You don't even need to pay if it is not a full class.  Just show up the first day and if there are no prospects, head for another class.  If it looks good tell the teacher you had problems with the website and will sign up right away.
  6. You could believe scientists I guess. "Get your protein from plants when possible. Eating legumes (beans and peas), nuts, seeds, whole grains, and other plant-based sources of protein is a win for your health and the health of the planet."  source:    Also, I haven't eaten meat for 30 years and (according to people I meet) look 15 years younger than my age (60).  So I guess one doesn't need animal protein.  I get that its hard to admit that what you are doing everyday is hurting yourself and the planet you just have to open to new ways.
  7. I find it funny that in Germany everyone is marching over global warming yet they ignore the fact that raising animals for food damages the environment more than just about anything else that we do.  Animal agriculture is the second largest contributor to human-made greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions after fossil fuels and is a leading cause of deforestation, water and air pollution and biodiversity loss.
  8. What was your first car?

    In 1976 I bought a 1972 Opel GT for $500.  I drove it for 10 years until my girlfriend at the time drove it into the back of a dump truck.
  9. Retiring soon. What to do about health insurance?

    I used to think health insurance was crap in the US until I moved to Germany.  In my situation at least, its way worse.  It's surprising to me that Germany is not considering a single payer system as they seem to be rather progressive in other areas.
  10. I'm in favor of it, but I hope they regulate the sharing companies a little better than in the US.  In a lot of cities, there are literally piles of them everywhere.
  11. I was told by Barmer there is no way you can get on after 55, no matter what your income.  We even filed an appeal and it was rejected.  They said income had nothing to do with it, although they didn't specify want happens if you are completely destitute. I can only go with my own experience.
  12. Any Aussie expats out there?

    Fair enough.  I felt that way about US expats until I'd been gone for several years, then I began to soften my opinion and in some cases seek them out.
  13. Just to sum up this thread as I see it.  1. Housing in Frankfurt is high and going up every year.  We started looking in 2015 and its hard to believe how much things have gone up, although rent seems low to me compared to comparable places in the US.  We decided to buy outside of town and it looks like our house has gone up about 20% in 3 years.  2. You cannot get on the public health insurance if you are 55 or over unless you had been on it before (even if your German spouse is on it and you are in perfect health).  3. State and Federal pensions from the US are exempt from German tax as well as rental income from a property there (although, of course they are taxable in the US).  The only other income that might be exempt is if you are an American citizen working for the US government here for example at the Consulate. All other private pensions and Social Security benefits are taxable.  4.  Germany is expensive to live IMO, especially if like me your income comes in US dollars.  Even so we found most things more expensive than where we lived in the US (Austin , TX which is about the same size as Frankfurt).
  14. Any Aussie expats out there?

    The Darmstadt Meetup group used to meet occasionally here. It's pretty good, actually.   Not sure why you would cringe over an Aussie bar.
  15. Any Aussie expats out there?

    Yeah I thought that was weird too so I looked it up.  If you are intending to return to Australia with 6 years you can register as an overseas elector.  If you are living permanently overseas you cannot vote and must file a de-enrollment form.  Source:  Did you register and get a postal vote form?  It would be odd if they still required a witness.
  16. Converting a US driver's license to a German one

    They are supposed to send it back to the state where is was issued, but some offices apparently don't know or don't care.
  17. If it helps anyone, I applied for the conversion (Texas DL with full reciprocity) as soon as I established residency.  They said I couldn't get my German license until the full 6 months had elapsed but they processed it and I had my license a few days after the 6 months.  It's a weird deal where your license is only good for 6 months but you have to wait until the 6 months has passed to switch it.
  18. There are several checks in place to guard against people doing this.  You have to show your residence document.  You are supposed to hold the license you are trading for at least 185 days (this was told to me when I traded my Texas DL).  There is also a 3 year limit (someone always posts that this has been changed but never has a source).  It appears though that many offices just don't care enough to bother with any rules.  The office I went to was rather strict but others have reported that they were able to get away with this.
  19. Glad to hear you are settling in.  I feel your pain, last year we were being audited by both the US and Germany at the same time!  I wouldn't agree totally with your last sentence, though.  I have income from rental property in the US and that is not taxable in Germany.  Germany was trying hard to find something to tax but ultimately failed (my other income is from a government pension which is also not taxable in Germany). 
  20. Retirement in Germany

    I'm an American retired in Germany.  My resident permit was no problem as my wife is German.  You'll need someone to help you with the paperwork for sure as you can't count on anyone speaking English in any government office.  A couple other things I discovered:  1. You cannot get on the public health insurance if you are over 55 even if you are in perfect health and your spouse is on it.  2. Learning German in your 50s (or older) is a LOT harder then I thought it would be.  3. Be sure you have at least 3 more years on your passport, otherwise renew it before you arrive.
  21. Life in Weiterstadt

    International Kids' English Club in Darmstadt info:
  22. Life in Weiterstadt

    There are a couple of active groups on  I'm sure some of the folks have kids that might be a good fit for you.
  23. Moving Expenses from USA

    We used Rainier moving from US and were very happy with them.  We moved a small amount of furniture and personal things, I think it was around $7000 (40ft container, Houston to Bremerhaven) but we also had to store our things on both sides for a short time.  They packed everything for us and unpacked at the other end.
  24. German house insulation vs US?

    I grew up in Fargo ND which makes Chicago seem like Miami (Fargo was -35C yesterday)  Our house was insulated pretty well, better than the older house I now live in in Germany.  The places I lived in Texas and California were not very well insulated.  I think the newer houses in Germany are probably better insulated than most in the US but anything more than 20 or 30 years old probably is not.