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About NativeFraulein

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  • Nationality USA
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  1. Hello everyone,   I live in a large city in NRW in a large two floor family home we are the only family that lives here. My neighbourhood is "good" but I have heard from family and friends that the entire area is in a steady decline. There have been reports of attempted break-ins and robberies at the small convenience stores thtroughout the area and people who have experienced petty theft.   Today a woman came to the door, I answered becasuse I confused her for DHL. She claimed to be representing a children's puppet theatre and asked for donations. I turned her away and called the police to report about a half hour later (when I could get through.) In this city panhandeling for small change is common but I am concerned that our home or other homes could be in the proccess of being 'cased out'---particularly because so many people are on holiday.   Apart from getting a cool guard dog, what are some options DH and I might have in investing in a home security system? There are of course cameras for our doors but what of the back windows/patio doors. I am thinking more of a system like a ADT.   Apologies for my level of cluelessness
  2. Unresponsive American consular services

    Thank you everyone for the insight. I emailed the consulate in hopes of a response but we are now going on at least two weeks. The forms are clear and in theory I could send them to the embassy today but the idea of sending DD and my passports in the post...I just don't know if I have an alternative.
  3. Unresponsive American consular services

    Hi everyone,   Thank you for all of the replies. 'DD' is indeed all school forum speak and stands for 'dear daughter' though I really like 'dear dependent' in this case   Thank you Karin the information you provided is also what I have been using as a guide---that number listed is the one that is constantly in voicemail mode. The appointment booking service online seems to have been completely removed and emails go unanswered for months.   I can't believe (or can I?) that we are talking about an official government entity here.    I am thinking perhaps my last option is to call the social security administration based in the United States directly---they probably won't be able to help but I do feel as if I have run out of options.  
  4. Coronavirus

      Just coming back to update my whine.   I eventually  got a code via my school for the city I work in and got  my first done of BioNtech on May 15h. I had some side effects including fever, whole body aches and headaches for about three days after. I got my second dose almost two weeks ago and had no problems whatsoever.   Due to the pesky Delta variant we will continue to do manditory Corona tests at school for students and staff for the forseeable future. 
  5. Hi everyone,   I have been trying for the last four months (at least) to file for my DD's social security number with the American embassy in Frankfurt. I would like to finish filing my American taxes and cannot do so until I have her number.   I have respected embassy wishes and not emailed over and over again---although a month ago I also emailed the embassies in Munich and Berlin in an attempt to get an in person appointment somewhere.   No response from any location. A representative did leave me a voicemail about two months ago and the number she said I could call back to schedule an appointment---but this number is constantly routed to a voicemail which states people should email instead.   I feel like I am being forced into the option of having to send my and DD's passports to the embassy via post.   As some of you might know, my household has had problems with packages being not delivered or lost by DP over the last few months. I rather scared to send our passports through the mail.   Has anyone else done this? What has the 2020/2021 outcome been for you? Perhaps there is an option I have overlooked.    Thank you.
  6. International or Bilingual Schools near Krefeld?

    Hi Zorba,   There is a St. Georges school in Duisburg, International School Düsseldorf and International School am Rhein in Neuss. There's also an international school in Essen. I am not aware of any English language medium school in Krefeld. There are a few options in Cologne too.
  7. Coronavirus

    Is it ok to just have a whine here? Ok   I just want the option of getting the vaccine already. I would if I could and also respect people who for whatever reason choose not to be immunized.   My job is high risk and my health profile is higher risk (I have had Pneumonia twice) I work as a upperclass teacher in NRW's highest incedence city and and live in NRW's number three. At this point the schools have opened and closed, opened and closed that the students---knowing that there will be no consequences for their participation or lack thereof--- are barely trying. I know that sounds harsh but that is true in an incredibly chaotic and confusing school system. The schools are not nearly as clean or controlled as politicians might want you to think. Some teachers with health conditions are being written off sick until they can get immunized.   There's no logic in promoting an early vaccine to kindergarten and primary teachers without extending that possiblity to those of us who work with older kids---particularly the Oberstufe who are coming back part time to 'prepare for exams;' these students  are essentially adults and so I cannot wrap my mind around how they are not even more capable of spreading the virus to other students and staff. The argument that I have heard is that teachers of younger children have to be closer to their students and so they need to be vaccinated. That is true and it is also true in high school.   I have a long commute to work (no car) and I am constantly worried about contracting Corona on the bus and train. Most students have been sent back to virtual classrooms this week in NRW,  because I also teach one class in the Oberstufe I am being asked to keep coming to school so I can essentially teach over the internet in an empty classroom and then try to teach half of my older students in person. I love teaching but I just want to feel safe doing it. 
  8. Ketogenic Diet Anyone?

    I am still here but I wouldn't call my diet/eating style strictly Ketogenic. Those people try to eat as few carbohydrates as possible whereas I stay around 70 grams a day. More than anything else I would say a person has to control their portions and engage in some sort of physical activity to offset their overall daily calorie expendature. My most recent successes can be credited to my Nordic Track.   I am sorry about your sister Irene. It seems to me the hype around a diet like Keto could really harm some people with its emphasis on always being in Ketosis. Not all ways of eating can work for everyone and their particular immunity and needs and a mistake that I have seen numerous people making is not informing their healthcare providers about the changes they have made.
  9. Hi everyone,   Just a quick update so after I wrote this thread my husband and I did the best we could to track and rescue it---but it was too late and the package arrived safely back at my brother's house in the US. Apparently they wanted to charge us twenty euros in taxes which we would have happily paid if we had known about it in the first place.   My mother also sent a Christmas package and that one too was sent back. After examining photos it seems to me that my mother did not write our postal code properly. For the time being I am asking my family not to send anything. A year ago this would not have been an issue but now it seems like nothing from outside the EU arrives on time or at all.   For Easter this year I sent my nieces presents from retailers on ETSY, since most of the vendors there are based in the US it jusst made more sense anyway.
  10. Applying for a "Schwerbehindertenausweis"

    Hello,   I think it would be nice to update this thread that I started long ago.   Pregnancy seems to have had no long term on my disability status. My daughter is almost three and after a year of maternity leave I went back to work part time. This year my admins began asking again if I would apply for SB-Ausweis again and so I finally did two months ago.   Corona has slowed everything down so I have an official application in the city database as well as the ability to check its status with a secure login. The letter I got has stated very clearly that the application could take three months or more and during this time my doctors would be contacted. In short like everything like now politics has slowed my application but eventually there will be an outcome and I will update this thread again.
  11. Good morning,   There are countless posts here that are similar to mine. I understand that alone might annoy some people but I think it is important to share what has happened to us in light of all the delays and confussion the pandemic has unleashed. Please do not drag me, my child didn't get her promised presents and that is why this post exists.   We have been living at the same address for seven years we regularly get post without any problems----there is a similar address within our city but if the post code is written there are no issues.   My sister in law sent us a package of presents from the USA. She has sent us packages before and there were no problems, not even the Zollamt intercepted them.   She sent us a package in September. We were told by DP that everything could be delayed up to 45 days which is reasonable---hence why SIL sent everything earlier. December and still no package so my SIL was able to find out by the tracking number that the package had already arrived by October 16th, 2020 and had been sent to my local post office after our address came under question----somehow they knew enough to send it to the post office five minutes from my house.   We got no cards in the mailbox, no calls, no questions---nothing.   There are also two conflicting streams of information:   a.) DP says: address was under question and that they 'contacted us' twice ----they did not---we were home. Paperwork clearly indicates that they had the package at our local office in October. b.) The American authorities say that DP told them there was an address issue and therefore they could not contact us and therefore they sent the package back to Frankfurt customs.   As of December 31st it was back in Frankfurt. It may or may not be on a cargo ship and that is what we are tying to find out. To be clear there was no contact or information given in November or December.   My husband and took all the evidence we have both in German and English  from DP's electronic files / American Postal Service electronic files to our local office. We asked them to check in the back if there was a package by chance---there wasn't.   We asked them who we could contact to perhaps trace it down before and that is when our "customer service representative" started on with the "It's not my job" and "I don't know." He saw that I was upset (I am the foreign one) and told me that he didn't want to talk to me. I did not call him names, I did not accuse him of anything and even though I wanted to I did not slander Deutsche Post in anyway.    The real life human beings at our local DP did not try to assist us in anyway.   They are normally lukewarm but ok to quickly drop a letter to. The man that I spoke to is an exception. He always seems to have a poor attitude and is very condecending. Twice in the past he has quoted me the wrong price for letters and packages---he will also try to refuse to post letters if he thinks the contents of the letter do not match what you told him. I want to file a complaint against this specific person.Something tells me that it wouldn't change his demeanour anyway.    My husband did call a "customer service" line yesterday. He waited over an hour to talk to one person who quickly transfered him to another person who quickly told DH that he would not help him because husband is not the sender even though we had all the information.   Our sender is in the USA and speaks no German. We are tying to "rescue" this package from customs if possible and we are being pushed around as if we did something wrong. Is there something that we are not doing or a contact that we are missing? My SIL is doing her best to solve the problem too.   Thank you.
  12. Ketogenic Diet Anyone?

    Hi everyone,   I am just curious if anyone else is following a low carbohydrate/Ketogenic diet here. I gained a lot of weight in pregnancy and  going back to a low carbohydrate, bread free diet has done wonders. I have lost 35 pounds since September. I also get daily exercise and count calories. I have struggled with Insulin Resistance in the past and this diet makes the most sense for me.   The Keto diet is really popular in North America right now and God knows there are a plethora of new food and supplement products that one can buy in the USA. I really wish I could try some of this stuff.   I haven't heard much about Keto here in Germany, and I am sort of assuming that it might never catch on because...brötchen.
  13. Hello everyone,   It's I am officially off and in maternity leave (September 12th due date.) I have spoken with my employer and they reccomended that I apply for a "Schwerbehindertenausweis.' No not because I am pregnant, but because I have very mild Cerebral Palsy in both legs; I was born at 27 weeks and that is my only lasting consequence (thank God.)    I resisited for the longest time applying for one of these documents because I do not feel disabled. Practical reasons, such as the cost of transportation are now motivating me to take this step. Anyone else done this?    Given that I am 32 weeks pregnant and expected to be in maternity leave for the next year, I am not sure if this is the best time to start the proccess but I will have the time.   Thanks