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About Gambatte

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  1. Paying Freiwillige Rentenversicherung for 2016

    Interesting, thanks.  
  2. Paying Freiwillige Rentenversicherung for 2016

      Not sure what to make of it, but my wife was given indefinite residence although she has no own income or pension. Schleswig-Holstein, for the record.
  3.   Quoting the website: Für den Bau oder Kauf der eigenen vier Wände Nach Ihrem Einzug einfach ...      
  4. Raising children quadrilingually

      I love this. Thanks.
  5. Raising children quadrilingually

      Very good questions. No, reading/writing skills do not come naturally, I'm afraid. My 9yr old can read/write in German at the right level for her age, but reading/writing in Italian is still very bad. In case of different alphabet: for us, japanese, it's extremely hard. It's even more frustrating since Mum is a language teacher with 20yr experience. It takes hard work, but it's really hard because the child does not see value in it and thinks "why should I work hard for something that is of no use, after all I can already speak with Mum, that's all I need, innit...?" There are challenges in being a parents. Good luck.
  6. I absolutely disagree with "socially difficult".   Depending on what you do, and of course you can very much influence it, you can establish and norture contacts/friendship with all kind of people you decide too. Of course, people from Egypt too. Germany has zillions of Verein. I think whoever want to have many friends in Germany can easily have them. By the way, I'm not social. And the only person I know who is even less social than me is my wife. Mind you, we do have friends here, including german ones.
  7. Can you give it a try, and if it doesnt work out a way you like it go back?   But the big question is: what do YOU want? This is a question strangers wont answer for you, nor your mum, nor your best mate... Do you want the comfort to be in the 1% income-wise, or do you want the good that comes with being in Germany, one of the most developed, sfest, richest, country ever?
  8. 250 kWh/m2 (per year, I presume) indicates the house is extremely badly insulated.  I think modern houses are about 40 kWh/m2/yr. Energy is only one aspect, I think many people give too much importance to it, all in all the house could still be a good purchase.   
  9. Writing in German

    I remember my frustration from the days I tried to learn Japanese: I could speak extremely little because of limited vocabulary, whereas the grammar was never a big deal. Years later, coming to learn German, I was eager to avoid the same struggle. That's what I read zillions of books, at all levels. Plus, I'm a news junky so I read tons if newsmagazine, and dailies. That's how I learnt words, and now I find very easy reading most books, and all mags and broadsheets. But I never learnt the Grammar. Mind you, I never learnt the grammar of any of the 4 languages I know. Not proud of it but its how it is. Still got a bachelor from the best Uni, and a PhD from a good Uni in a foreign language.
  10. Writing in German

      Does it really take you so much longer or are you exagerating? My German is very poor, much less good than my English, but I read them at the same speed. Which is also the same speed at which I ready my native language. Mind you, reading books and magazine was/is my major tool of learning German, the other is the radio, as I struggle to find German speaking mates and I can't be bothered to formally "study" it.
  11.   I'm sorry for your lady, hoping it was not too bad. I understand this was the attitude of the bad neighbours, but could you not get a legal grip on them ??? This I'm surprised I must say.   By the way, I'm generally pissed off by the greed people have in suing each others, "pity he got injured and broke a 1000s bones, BECAUSE they now want to claim on us", but in your case the wrong seems the other way around.
  12. German B1 level not enough for blood donation?

    Last time I gave blood (in the UK, many years ago),  I was asked whether I had sex with man from Brazil sometime in the XYZ period (by the way, I'm a man).  I found it bizarre that had I had sex with men or women from other countries, that would have been fine, but from Brazil was special.   Edit: not to boast about my sexual activities, or lack of them, but I never had sex with people (men or women) from Brazil. And never with men (of any country). 
  13. Mortgage renegotiation

    Our 20yr fix rate one, at 1.91%, also accepts 5%a year Sondertilgung, like most. But with this low interest rate I'd rather put these 5% into ETFs. Asking funds to do better than 1.91% per year, averaged over 20yr, is a risk I am prepared to take.   Over 10yr I would say maybe, over 5yr I would say no. Had we had a fix rate at say 4% over 20yr, I would opt for Sondertilgung rather than buying equities...
  14. But not to all. Only to those who are nationals of a certain list of countries. This list includes many (probably all) European countries, plus some more. I/we found it out the brutal way. I am European and I benefit from this tax allowance, whereas my wife is from Asia and she is not entitled to it.
  15.   My child is in 3. Klasse Grundschule, here in SH. Both my wife and I are schocked how easy, leisure, relaxed and stress-free, her overall school-life is. Workload and expectations seem to us to be extremely modest. All the non-German colleagues with whom I spoke share this view, whereas the German colleagues with whom I discussed this don't.   A German man I know, married to a Japanese woman, was telling me his in-laws sent their daugther (his now wife) to Germany for Gymnasium, because they knew that compared to Japan, it was going to be easy, stress-free, relaxed, fun.