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Everything posted by maxie

  1. Travelling with a 2.5 month old

    The problem is that, unless you want to cancel now, you won't really be able to make a decision until the baby is there. Some babies are easy and quiet, some scream for hours on end. Some need total silence and darkness for falling asleep, some have problems feeding and need a certain environment.  Also remember that the little one will share a seat with you so you will have to hold the baby or - if you have a spot right in front of a dividing wall, place the baby on the floor in front of you. Even if you take a car carrier or board, babies aren't supposed to sleep in it for hours on end.    Our baby was very easy and we took him to a campground a 4 hour drive away at 3 months old. Would I do it again? Probably, but I underestimated how stressful it would be.    How about telling your sister you can't be her bridesmaid - because as such you would have to play an active role in the wedding which might be too much - and not make a final decision on whether to attend or not until the little one is there and you know him/her a bit better?   
  2. Have you thought of joining an activity with your dog? e.g. Mantrailing, dummy training etc. There are private doggy schools but also Hundeplätze. Some (very few) stick to the "old ways" of training and are made up of bitter old men, but most are fun. If you are interested, I can check some websites for you and see what I can find.  That way you could meet new people and you already know you have a common interest.    It sounds like your comprehension skills are fine and now you "just" need to make yourself speak.  Are you going to sound like an idiot? Probably at some point, but probably not as much as you think.  Forget about der/die/das and which ending this or that case calls for.    A language tandem is also a great idea. Depending on how old your kids are, you can definitely rope them in to help. Just make them understand that, in order to stay here, they need to do their bit in making you feel more at home, too.    Re: shows: Stuff you have watched before is also good. The advantage of dubbed shows - horrible as they might seem - is that it is much easier to understand what is being said as it is recorded separately. Cartoons, if you like soaps, the original German ones would be Lindenstrasse, Verbotene Liebe and Gute Zeiten, schlechte Zeiten. A bit like Telenovelas with only slightly less drama. 
  3. treatment of dogs in boarding kennels

    Maybe you could look for a private carer. Someone who you can meet beforehand, maybe go on walks with the dogs. See how they interact. It seems like your dogs might be more comfortable in a private home with someone they already know?  I don't know how good the pet carer websites are, but it might be worth a look.    Thanks for the update. I do hope the authorities will make her life difficult!   
  4. treatment of dogs in boarding kennels

    It really pisses me off to hear about your experience. If they don't like dogs, they shouldn't run a kennel. Even worse with shy dogs who come with a bit of baggage and need particular care to become confident. And I hate that you even have to suspect one of them has bruising. You are sounding remarkably calm for that, but I suspect you were spitting with rage. Plus, you paid a lot of money to have your pets taken care of. Maybe that is the problem. Too profitable?   Re: nutritious diet, yadda yadda. There are so many different dog foods and preferences of dogs and owners. You can't switch a dog used to BARFing to dried food in a day and vice versa, for example. It's a recipe for disaster.   Let us know how this plays out.
  5. treatment of dogs in boarding kennels

    Good luck. I hope your proof is enough to make a whole lot of trouble for them. Pricks. If they can't deal with bouncy dogs or any dogs, they shouldn't be running a kennel. 
  6. treatment of dogs in boarding kennels

      That sounds a bit weird, to be honest. I contacted a doggy day care and they had a long form I had to fill out, then 4-5 pages of terms and conditions that spelled out exactly what they would do, wouldn't do, what they would take responsibility for and how they would deal with a variety of scenarios.  All the dogs that were there for boarding had their own bedding and of course you have to provide your own food. Not just in case of allergies, but also most dogs do not react to well to a sudden switch in diet. If I ran a kennel, it would be in my own best interest to make sure the dogs are eating familiar stuff as piles are much easier to clean up than puddles (sorry).    I also had to provide proof of vaccinations and Haftpflicht insurance for the dog.    The question is how far you want to go. Just never use them again yourself. Give a bad review on Google, Facebook etc. Make sure other people don't go their to keep their dog safe. Get compensation for your vet bills. Report them to the Tierschutz or Veterinäramt.   
  7. "Oh, but surely she's going to lose weight before the wedding!!" Turns to me: "Right?"    Ok, got another one: "So when is the baby due?" He's six months old, you moron. Didn't say the last one out loud, but I think my face said it anyway.  
  8. treatment of dogs in boarding kennels

    If they drugged your dogs to keep them quiet, it would be an absolute no go. Do try to collect samples. The vet should also be able to advise you what to do next.   What is the certification of the kennel? The ones I know are certified according to §11 Tierschutzgesetz. The people running it are certified trainers. Quite often they are part of a federation or similar, which have their own rules and regulations and probably would not be very happy if people who advertise being certified according to their standards not treating the dogs in their care right.   I guess the people to complain to/ contact would be the local Veterinäramt. Sadly though, a lot of times they cannot do very much. Worth a try though. And of course don't forget to leave bad reviews everywhere :-)
  9. Getting fired with an unlimited contract

    Re: Zwischenzeugnis - We have also given them to people with time limited contracts for them to start looking for other jobs. Or if your work situation changes, but that can be anything from additional responsibilities, new boss, new projects etc.  I am not HR, but I have had a few people apply with a Zwischenzeugnis from their current job and neither I nor the HR representative found it weird. You definitely don't need one, but it doesn't hurt either.  One of my colleagues asked for one after two years, just to have it in case he wanted to apply elsewhere. The job he had before had a completely different focus and he wanted something to show what he was currently doing. Of course your boss is always going to wonder if you are applying for a new job somewhere when you ask for a Zwischenzeugnis, but as this is actually what your boss wants, he should be more than happy to write you a good one to make sure you get another job and leave. 
  10. Re. Mutterschutz: You could work in the six weeks before birth, but you would have to give your employer a written info that you are doing so willingly etc. Some people do that and take more time off after the birth.  If the baby is born before the due date, those days are added onto the 8 weeks.  If your baby is premature (as per the doctor's definition, pre week 37, or below 2.500 g etc.), you get 12 weeks after the birth.    Example: If your baby is 6 weeks early, you will have 18 weeks maternity leave with Mutterschaftsgeld: 8 weeks after plus 4 weeks for premature baby plus 6 weeks you didn't take before the birth. 
  11. And please change your locks asap. The guys seems to be such a prick that I wouldn't put it past him to mess up the place while you are gone just to make trouble. Changing a lock is not that hard though that depends on the lock that is in there at the moment. And best take a friend with you when you go there. It's always good to have a witness.
  12. Getting fired with an unlimited contract

    Do you have a works council? That would be your first address  
  13. Americans just moved to Stuttgart

    The reason the airbnb landlord does not want to give you the document might be that s/he doesn't have permission to let out the place as a holiday rental or sublet it. If caught, they could face heavy fines in some cities. The suggestions above are really good ones. a furnished rental might be expensive, but would solve those issues. To look for a place to live, some companies have a notice board - often online - where people advertise apartments etc. Depends on the size of the company.   Welcome to Germany and good luck!   Re: schools - School holidays in Baden-Württemberg don't start until next week, so if you want to have a chat with any schools in particular, now is the time! Depending on type of school you want for you eldest (regular, international, alternative (Walldorf, Montessori), you could go the other way: Find a school you like and focus your search for accommodation on that area.
  14. Could you give some examples, please? :-)    
  15. Where to shoot firearms?

    Oh, and most clubs have their own guns. They might not be the best or the fanciest, but since everyone has to be a member for over a year and needs to shoot regularly, before even applying for a license, they need to have some to get the new members trained.  For example our club: air rifles and pistols, some shotguns, several .22s, one 9 mm, one .357 revolver, one .44 and one .45.  If someone else is using it, you might need to wait a bit, but they are there for all the members to use.     
  16. Where to shoot firearms?

    IPSC is shot in BDS. BUT: You do not necessarily need to be a member of a club that is a BDS member. You can also be part of a DSB club and become an individual member of the BDS.  For IPSC you need you gun licence (WBK) and then an additional safety course because you are moving around with the gun.  There is also the BDMP which offers 1500 competitions and Bianchi.  My husband does both and is waiting for the safety course for the IPSC which is supposed to take place sometime in August.  His German is rudimentary at best. The IPSC scene is very international and most people we have met a competitions speak English - a lot of the participants don't speak German as the matches are usually international.  Our local club has a lot of helpful, English speaking members and of course he relies heavily on his very own interpreter, aka me, for the official stuff and paperwork.  There is one place near Frankfurt where you can get do the theoretical part for the gun license in English. If you need more info, just send me a PM. 
  17. Where to shoot firearms?

    There are two associations: Bund deutscher Sportschützen and Deutscher Schützenbund. You could check their website as they seem to be a bit more up to date than some clubs Not sure where to find it on the BDS page, but you could ask the Landesverband Bayern:   When you go talk to them, make sure you ask about what kind of shooting they do, what kind of calibers, disciplines etc. Some clubs will make new members shoot air guns for the first year, followed by a year of small caliber shooting. Some clubs may not have the facilities to shoot anything other than .22. Or only have a couple of 25 m ranges etc. It all depends on what you want to do and what kind of shooting you want to get into.
  18.   How loud do you think it was next to the mother's ear? Newsflash: babies, toddlers, small children sometimes scream or cry or are loud. Because they are hungry, tired, don't feel well, the world is an evil place, they stubbed their toe etc. Believe me: The person most bothered by this is usually the person carrying the child. What no one needs in a situation like this is someone tutting, passing judgement or - personal favourite - giving parenting advice. Also, while Germany is no Italy when it comes to friendliness towards children, it is also not France, where children are drilled to behave like little adults and are seen not heard. You're born too late for that. There are some parents whose child-rearing philosophies are crap in my eyes. And my children are not allowed to throw food at people in a restaurant, actively bother people or make a public nuisance of themselves. But they are allowed to behave like children. And if I need diapers and go to DM and my son - 13 months, by the way - is screeching at the top of his lungs because he thinks life is miserable just now, I still refuse to leave him in the car. So deal with it!
  19. Quitting your job during sickleave

    Any chance of you contacting the other company to see if they are still interested in you? Might solve the visa issue, plus if they are - and even if they say no, but regretfully - it might boost morale a bit and you sound like you could need it!   
  20. Sorry,  I forgot the translation. It basically says that the buyer will be responsible for recurring fees such as taxes,  insurance etc from the moment the property is handed over and for fees that have to be paid once such as roads etc. insofar as they are announced from this day onwards 
  21. Have you checked your contract? We had a clause in ours, which said: Öffentliche Abgaben und Lasten, wie z.B. Grundsteuer und wiederkehrende Beiträge für kommunale Einrichtungen, sowie Sachversicherungsprämien hat der Käufer zu tragen, soweit sie auf die Zeit ab Nutzungsübergang entfallen. Einmalige Lasten, insbesondere Erschließungsbeiträge und einmalige Beiträge für kommunale Einrichtungen trägt der Käufer, soweit sie von heute an bekannt gegeben werden. It was under "Besitz, Nutzungen, Gefahr und Lasten"   The previous owners sent us a copy of the bill they had received and I paid them back for the month that they had already paid for.   Regarding land tax: They are in the process of changing the system, I believe, and no one knows how it will turn out. I somehow doubt it will become cheaper…
  22. How to date without tinder

      Maybe a bit of information in general: Germany has no formalized "dating culture" as e.g. the US does where you ask someone out on a date and there are certain expectations after 1, 2, 3 etc. dates. (Even though it is of course also possible to find a partner there without going through this process.) Many people know this from movies and maybe it is catching on amongst the younger generation - I am 30+ so I wouldn't know. Also, maybe Berlin is different, having a large international population. But most people I know met their partners in social settings - a party, a club (Verein), in a group of friends, volunteering for something, walking their dog. etc.   So I would second what has already been said a few times: Go out, do something you like or find a new hobby, enjoy life. Do something for you! What do you like? Cooking? Hiking? Kayaking? Biking? Book club? Maybe you won't meet the love of your life (right away). But you sound like you could also do with some good friends. Working from home can be very lonely and I know I would crave to have people to share my thoughts with. Just bear in mind that Germans might need a bit longer to warm up and Berlin is full of transients who don't stay for very long. But they might have other friends who do... Good luck!
  23. greedy landlord

    You will get back some of the Nebenkosten if you paid too much. The landlord has to give you a detailed overview of what was used and return the rest of the money. Just make sure they do a Zwischenablesung (reading of meters) when you move out. Did you rent the apartment empty or furnished? AFAIK there are different rules and regulations for furnished apartments.   Check which office of the Mieterverein is closest to you. and maybe give them a call to ask where you can go to get help in English.    
  24. Choosing a Midwife !!

    Some addition to the excellent info already given: It is normal to go to different midwives for preparation classes, Rückbildungsgymnastik and Nachsorge. In my view, the most important one is the Nachsorgehebamme.   Geburtsvorbereitungskurs: usually 8 sessions, sometimes offered as a weekend crash course. Some without dads, some with dads for some sessions, some with dads. Mine had 8 participants and it was very nice to meet people in the same situations. Most were first-time mothers. A lot of info on what to expect (and that most of your expectations might turn out to be wrong anyway), some exercises etc.   Nachsorgehebamme: Will come to your home after you return home with the baby. In the beginning every day, if you need her. She will check that everything is ok with you (medically and mentally) and the baby (umbilical cord, weight, etc.), help you with problems, answer questions, give advise on breastfeeding, show you how to bathe the baby etc. It is very important that you feel comfortable with her and her style of doing things. Some for example are very spiritual, some very into alternative medicines, some will tell you that it is absolutely essential that you breast feed (implying that you are a bad mother if you don't, which is very helpful to someone having problems and probably feeling very guilty in the first place) etc. Some you might just not warm up to. We had a meeting with ours somewhere in the middle. This is covered by the health insurance. If you want to have a first meeting with another midwife, this is absolutely acceptable but you will have to pay it yourself and you should let them know as soon as possible if you change your mind and decide to go with someone else just because there are not enough of them and other women are desperately trying to find one. Since junior was about six weeks early, mine was on vacation when we came home. She asked a colleague of hers to come for the first two meetings. The midwife can visit you as long as your are breastfeeding and if not, for (I think) the first nine months. Ours also gave us advice on the introduction of regular food, switching to bottle after 7 months, teething etc.   Rückbildungskurs: Best to sign up for one as soon as you can. Your midwife can tell you when the earliest is you should start after birth. Useful but not essential.    
  25. Data protection act and CV

    You might want to check what your contact says especially wrt working for the condition. Aside from being unethical and that it makes you look like a complete prick,  it might be in direct violation of your contract.    They pay you for your expertise and you don't want them to use it. Why exactly do you expect them to continue to pay you for tags next nine months?     As an employer,  i would consider this refusal to supply an updated CVArbeitsverweigerung and give you an Abmahnung. If i found out what you are up to, I'd throw the book at you.  What does your potential new employer think?  Are they happy with an employee that resorts to  such underhanded moves?     There is a saying in German that translates to "You always meet each other twice in life." If you are burning bridges now,  it might come back to bite you in the bum inn the future. And if you think your old employer won't find out, think colleagues whose toes you might step on or even the ethics of your new employer who is happy for you to screw your current employer. They might not think twice about screwing you at some point if it seems beneficial to them...