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About nsuffield

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  • Location Heidelberg
  • Nationality British
  • Gender Male
  • Year of birth 1971
  1.   Be aware that the Englisches Institut is a German speaking environment, but with a lot more English than a normal German school. Of course, there are a lot of native English speaking children there which might help, but German is going to be main language, for the kids and the parents. Although some teachers speak English, don't assume it. It is also semi-private, so you are going to have to pay but it's not ridiculous. Nevertheless, if you are intending on staying in Germany for the forseable furture, your child would probably benefit being in the German education system. EI has the advantage of having a G9 option which is relatively difficult to find now. Most schools are G8 which means the children have a fewer years in school to attain the same education (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abitur_after_twelve_years). I believe that Heidelberg International School ( https://www.hischool.de/frontpage/ ) is English speaking. It is a private school and I think quite expensive but I'm not sure. Probably better if you are intending on moving to another country in the future.   Either way, I would second katheliz's suggestion of putting your child in a lower grade to take some of the pressure off.   Regarding which city is better to live in ... Heidelberg is a smaller, prettier, potentially more international, studenty, touristy and expensive. Mannheim is larger with better nightlife. Whatever you decide, I'd stay in the city where your child goes to school otherwise you're going be travelling a lot, either to the school or picking them up from their mates houses.
  2. Neighbours trespassing in my backyard

    We had a chat with the landlord. Poor guy. I think he was almost in tears. He said he knows that she has mood swings but can't get her to go to the doctor.
  3. Neighbours trespassing in my backyard

    We actually have a lockable gate. But it's before the front door so nobody would be able to ring the doorbell or deliver anything. Perhaps a remote doorbell would be the answer. That wouldn't help with all the stuff flying over the fence though.  
  4. Neighbours trespassing in my backyard

    We're having him over for a chat next week.  
  5. Neighbours trespassing in my backyard

    Funny you should mention the police. Our other neighbours told us that a police car and van visited our landlord while we were away on holiday. 
  6. Neighbours trespassing in my backyard

    No ... I'd rather not move. Quite like it here. To be honest, it's annoying but not that bad. More like a soap opera. We've dined out on it many times.  Ewww. You know what I mean.
  7. Neighbours trespassing in my backyard

    This is a bit of an old thread, but I thought I'd share.   We kept finding that things in our garden were being rearranged when we were out. We had a childrens paddling pool behind the shed and that was brought out onto a patio. Then all the old plant pots were also brought out and placed arround the garden. I set up a battery powered security camera but ... whoever it was came in and stole it. It did manage to take a wobbly picture of a woman before loosing contact with the wifi.    I have to be honest, although we currently have no decent photos, we know that it is the wife of our neighbour, who also happens to be our landlord. We recently bought a new security camera which is now secured in a place noone can get to. We had great fun watching as the camera was activated as someone tried to hose it off the wall while we were away on holiday. Whenever we are in the garden she comes out with her phone and has a conversation to her 'friend' on the other line, saying all the bad things that we do like ... having a cleaner rather than cleaning ourselves or putting up a sun sail and damaging the house (even though we got permission from her husband). She also has been throwing leaves, egg shells, onion skins, tissue paper etc over the fence into our garden. I caught her once and she said it was good for the tree in the garden. Recently she has also started bringing her dog into our garden to go to the toilet. Oh, and the dogs bark constantly - she actually encourages them because she thinks it scares burglers away. Admittedly she is a little bit 'special'. She has also been going into the garden of our other neighbours (with the same landlord). They had a chat with the landlord who said that he can't do anything about it because he can't get her to take her medication.    I've asked the landlord round to have a chat but I suspect he is going suggest that he can't control her. Poor guy. She must be a nightmare. I think the only thing next is contacting the police, however, I suspect that might not mean anything to her.
  8. Mobile roaming charges on the Channel ferry

    For information, we crafted a letter to Winsim asking them to provide evidence that a warning sms was sent. They came back relatively quickly, deciding to reduce the bill from €350 to €87. Still not great but certainly better than before. Neverthless, this is still a ridiculous situtiaton that, as mentioned above, could probably be sorted out quite easily.   Here are a few links for people if they are in a similar situation: General information Telefonieren und surfen auf Schiffen | Verbraucherzentrale.de Handy-Schockrechnungen nach Kreuzfahrt auf dem Mittelmeer Template to use when making a complaint to the network company. Quoting the relevant acts seem to help. MB Beanstandung und Kuerzung geforderter Telefonrechnungsentgelte
  9. My 14 year old son just came back from a school trip to the UK. His data stopped on the way there and didn't return. I checked with WinSIM, and they said it was because he had racked up a huge amount of costs using data. The total so far is about €350. Apparently the normal European 'roam like your at home' doesn't apply on a boat or aeroplane, which I suppose is fair enough. However, it would appear that the phone has automatically connected to the ferry's network which seems a little unfair as one minute he was connected to a French provider and I suppose he assumed it would then connect to a UK provider. I have checked through his SMSs and can't find any of the normal warnings about the costs when connecting to a network, like you usually get when you enter a different country. In any case, he said that he saw that they had free Wi-Fi on the ferry, so he connected to that.    It seems like a bit of a swindle. There should be a clearer hoops to jump through to make sure you understand what the costs are going to be. I might have to park a boat in the English channel with a big fat antenna and scoop up telephone connections as they pass in the ferries.   If anyone has any experience, please share. Otherwise, be wary next time you are on the ferry.
  10. Build your own house

    We've been here for a while now and are toying with the idea of buying our own place. We were also wondering if having a house built would be worthwhile.   Has anyone else done this? Is it something you'd suggest avoiding? Did you actually save any money or was it just the fact that you got the house you really wanted.   (Some of our German friends have had some bad experiences, usually down to the builder using the wrong materials, forgetting to put the windows in, that sort of thing. So I understand it's not going to be a soft option. )