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About Kalifornierin

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  • Location Austria
  • Nationality USA
  • Gender Female

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  1. Do you see your family less than when you first moved away?

    Seems like my situation is "normal" for someone living abroad.  All of these stories still make me a little sad that we don't see our families much.  However, I was thinking about how skype/what'sapp/email makes it so much better than it must have been in the past.  I'm not sure I could have done with just writing letters and waiting weeks to arrive!   
  2. Do you see your family less than when you first moved away?

    Thanks for all the feedback.  I probably need to be a bit better about the phone calls & emails too.    I like what was said about family time not being the same as vacation time.  I always feel this way... visiting them and sitting around the house for a week is not that fun (especially when I'm spending the time off from work and money to do it).  Last time I tried to plan my some activities for myself nearby so that I at least felt like I had a little vacation too.  I guess I also need to be more clear about how often I really want to/can visit, but I don't want to hurt any feelings.
  3. How often do you visit family overseas or do they come to see you? When I first moved to Europe from the US, everyone seemed excited to come visit.  That phase lasted about 3 years/2 visits and now my family hasn't been here in a long time (friends, yes, but family, no).  They complain quite a bit that we don't get to see each other, but they don't seem to make any effort.    I've flown back 3 times in the last 3 years, which seems like a lot for me.  I've also suggested meeting up somewhere on the east coast (they live on the west coast) so they wouldn't have to fly all the way here and it would be shorter for me too.  I've suggested joining them on a vacation somewhere if they want to see more of Europe.  No response on any of these.   I know I chose to live far away, so it's up to me to make more effort.  I don't expect they will come every year.  However, am I being unreasonable to ask them to visit every few years?  I feel very guilty when they complain that we don't see each other, but feel like all the pressure is on me.  How do you deal with it?
  4. Sorry I’m late with a response. I was in the same situation in Austria.  I kept my job in the US by working remotely when I moved with my husband. However, the FIRST thing we did on arrival was to cancel my US insurance and get Austrian insurance on my husband’s plan.  Aside from the fact that it’s absolutely mandatory, which literally everyone told us, many US plans don’t have good coverage if you are living outside the US. Do you really think that US insurance companies will be flexible and understanding when it comes to what they will cover?  Since you didn't seem to be concerned about details, are you sure?   The second thing we did was check with my husband’s HR and other expats here about taxes.  I also got the advice “just don’t tell them you are working in the US – they will never know.”  These statements raised huge red flags for me, and should have for you too!  Think of it the other way – if someone were moving to the US and you told them to just ignore filing taxes would that be good advice?    Anyway, I checked with a tax advisor to be sure. I basically filed taxes in both Austria and the US, and then got a re-fund from the US in order to pay Austria. It was a paperwork nightmare. It was also the reason that after 2 years, I quit my US job and started working here.  Now I pay Austrian taxes because I’m a resident, and still file a US tax form (and take the exclusion to not pay much).  Yes, it’s still a pain, but if you choose to live abroad, you also choose to live a more complicated life.   In my experience with the US govt, Beamters and the Finanzamt, you don’t get to be a resident in 2 places.  You are either a US resident or a German resident.  Be realistic – if something sounds fishy, it probably is.  Cowboy up. Get insurance in Germany, pay your back taxes and fines, get a job in Germany. Problem solved. 
  5. Lists of typical German mistakes in English?

    And praegnant!  I was asked to write a pregnant headline for a presentation, when they meant concise.  
  6. Lists of typical German mistakes in English?

    Too less... resources, money, coffee. Should be too little, or not enough.   Somehow...  as in we will go/do/make somehow.  I suppose it’s a translation of irgendwie, but it sounds so vague in English. I’ve also heard “somewhen” which I guess is irgendwann?  
  7. Goods that Americans miss most?

    For me a lot has already been mentioned - Calumet baking powder, Nestle's choc chips (the ones we get here just completely melt in the cookie), melatonin, benadryl, etc.   But I also usually pick up this stuff which I can't get in Austria (maybe you can in Germany?) Reese's peanut butter cups JIF peanut butter (it tastes different!) sugar-free Jello (yeah, I know it's weird) Quaker instant Oatmeal - flavored stuff Mac & cheese Zinfandel & Cab wines from California      
  8. Long German words

    These aren’t so long, but I actually used them. Had to ask my coworkers what you call a Zamboni. They couldn’t agree...  toss up between equally too-long Eisbearbeitungsmaschine or Eeisaufbereitungsmaschine.  
  9. Hi. I'm American and considering a trip to Cuba now that some of the travel restrictions have eased. I found that you can travel from the US, but it has to be on a pre-packaged "people to people" cultural tour.  They seem quite expensive and you can't go wherever you like (no beach visits).   It's possible to get flights from European cities, and from what I can tell, Cuba doesn't care if you come as a tourist.  The two things I'm concerned about are: -Does Lufthansa (or other airline) care about your nationality?  Has anyone had trouble getting on the flight? -It seems Cuba has started to stamp passports again since last year.  I heard in the past you could ask them not to.  Is this a problem when you return to the US if you have a Cuba immigration stamp?   There's not much info on the web, so I'd like to hear from anyone who has done this.  Thanks!