YogaMonkey

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About YogaMonkey

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  • Location Berlin
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  1. Hi guys,   For those interested I now have the following ads on Ebay Kleinanzeigen: https://www.ebay-kleinanzeigen.de/s-bestandsliste.html?userId=61526954   GentleMan With Van: my friendly, flexible&reliable moving service (from €75) Ikea Taxi - €75 for unlimited items sameday! Gentle HandyMan With Van - My friendly home improvement service!(from €75)   Give us a call on +447867636967 or email me at paul@biomonkey.co. I look forward to hearing from you.   Cheers,   Paul :)
  2. I have also changed the pricing structure of my full moves as follows: https://www.ebay-kleinanzeigen.de/s-anzeige/gentleman-with-van-my-friendly-flexible-reliable-moving-service/1064881094-238-9632   I work on a €75 Minimum Charge + Price Builder system:$ - Minimum Charge of €75: Moving all your stuff from one place to another(quick loading/unloading & max 1 floor VH or lift)(all items carriable by 1 person ie. sofas not incl)(ca. 10 large moving boxes)+Price Builder:+10 moving boxes - +€25Sunday move - +€253rd floor no lift - +€25Sofa - +€25Many loose items - +€25XXL plant - +€15-25Extra trip - +€25Large Pax wardrobe - +€25Long drives - +€25Spiral staircase - +€25     Pricing moving services is quite difficult as there a re a lot of variables. I'm doing my best to make it as clear as possible.
  3. Hi guys,   Fyi I now have a dedicated same day Ikea Taxi service for delivering a van load of Ikea stuff to a ground floor entrance hall for €100: https://www.ebay-kleinanzeigen.de/s-anzeige/ikea-taxi-100-for-unlimited-items-sameday-/1086919488-238-9632   This is half the price of Ikea's own delivery service.   Read the ad and get in touch if that suits you.   Cheers,   Paul : )
  4. Hey Toytowners!   As I learn and improve my moving service, I update the ad and pricing structure. My latest ads can be found here:   https://www.ebay-kleinanzeigen.de/s-anzeige/gentleman-with-van-my-friendly-flexible-reliable-moving-service/1064881094-238-9632   After today's job I now have a great method for moving long heavy sofas up very tight stairways: pallet wrap them for protection and then put them end-to-end between floors and slide on a piece of cardboard along the landing to get round the tight corners. I'll do a video sometime soon to show that in action.   Cheers,   Paul  
  5. Hi Toytowners!   If you want to get a good idea of how I do my moves, I upload regular photos and videos from moves on the new GentleMan With Van FB page: https://www.facebook.com/GentleManWithVanBerlin/   Also,if you've ever wondered how to transport a washing machine up and down stairs on your own, this is how I do it: https://youtu.be/2EqerdiOMpE       Happy moving!
  6. Hi Toytowners!   My latest full ad for my moving service can be found here: https://berlin.craigslist.org/lbs/6797341887.html   On the Craiglist you also get an intro to my van to show you just how much stuff you can fit! Look forward to hearing from you.  
  7. Thanks, Jenny! Glad you were pleased. It was nice chatting to you about Otto von Bismarck!  
  8. Hi all,   What a fantastic group of people you are! It was such a pleasure to see all the helpful replies: a mix of personal experience and expert experience. Perfect.       Agreed. Wading through conflicting opinions and experiences is one of the hardest things to learn in Germany. I totally feel you on the unnecessary comments. I have being target of the same people and always completely ignore them so they don't hijack my posts. After all, we are all trying to help each other here. Thanks for sharing.
  9. Hi @moortown, That's really helpful. Thanks for sharing. When I started this post I was initially interested in avoiding backcharges, but also in avoiding getting stuck in public health insurance that I couldn't get out of, even if I wasn't earning enough to pay it, or just wanted to randomly leave Germany for a few months. That was when I was not sure if I was really staying in Germany and certainly didn't want to feel tied to Germany.   A lot has changed for me and I would now actually like to get INTO proper public German health insurance, rather than the 'just in case" Mawista ExpatCare I have now. This change in approach has come about from the following changes:   1 - Even though Germany doesn't suit me as a concept, I'm here now for at least the next two more years and I just have to make a go of it, so health insurance makes sense; 2 - Brexit is looming and I can envisage a scenario where i had to apply for some kind of residency and had to prove I had health insurance; Mawista might not cut it. 3 - I can just about swallow the idea of paying €187 a month rather than the previous figure of €350.   This leads me to my questions, which I'm hoping you might have answers to as a result of your recent experience:   a  -  Is the Salus BKK insurance you now have just as good as the public Krankenkasse that any standard German employee gets?   b - You mentioned €60 monthly backcharges, which seems cheap. If I could get into public health insurance, I might have three years of backcharges to pay. Do you know if it would be as low as €60 a month? Or would they retroactively charge me the monthly charge I would have been paying at the time? I.e. circa €350!   c - You mentioned they wanted bank statements. Did they want to just see them? Or did you actually have to send them copies, which they could in theory keep and share with others? This is a big deal for data security. e.g. When I got audited by the VAT Nazis in the UK, I refused to actually give them a COPY of my bank statements, but I did SHOW them the statements on my computer in a face-to-face meeting.   d - Is your broker a magician? Everyone says that what you did so not possible. Can you share me her details?   e - And this is a question is opened up to all the helpful people on this forum: Any other ways of getting into public health insurance apart from using @moortown's magician broker?   f - If anyone has tried filling in the preemptive Brexit form: "Online registration with the Berlin Foreigners Registration Office"(https://www.berlin.de/labo/willkommen-in-berlin/freizuegigkeit-eu-ewr-schweiz/artikel.770947.en.php), does it ask for health insurance? I absolutely don't want to fill that in until absolutely necessary.    Cheers all!
  10. Cheapest ways of moving to Berlin from the UK

    Hi all!   Just reviving an old post here as it matches what I do quite well. I am GentleMan With Van and I do mostly moves in Berlin. I do, however, also do some long distance moves and can be cheaper than full blown commercial services as I am a one man show with 12 cubic metres of space and a 12m2 roof-rack. If you give me enough notice I might combine your move with a trip of my own and get other customers as well, which could make it cheaper for you.   Check out my full ad on Toytown here: https://www.toytowngermany.com/forum/topic/381002-gentleman-with-van-my-reliable-friendly-flexible-and-cheap-moving-service-here-in-berlin/?do=findComment&comment=3722229   I look forward to hearing from you!  
  11. [Below is an updated version of my GentleMan With Van offering with a slight change in the price system and lots of useful tips for moves at the end. I've learnt a lot doing moved over the past couple of months]   Hi guys,   Do you need a 'man with van' service but you are concerned about the type of MAN that might turn up with a grubby VAN to handle your valuable personal items? Well, it is time to meet GentleMan With Van!   My main aim is to take the stress OUT of moving your stuff: I will arrive full of energy with a clean van and a calm considerate attitude ready to move, lift or assemble whatever you need.   I have ramps, trolleys and clever systems to enable me to move large items of furniture and heavy items such as washing machines up and down stairs and in and out of my van without anyone needing to put their back out. I am also a fantastic ‘tessellater’.   What I WON'T do is turn up on a ridiculously low fixed price and then just stand by impatiently as you struggle to load things into my van. The 'GentleMan With Van’ service includes me, the GentleMan, as part of the deal.   I work exclusively on a ‘Pay For My Time’ +  Minimum Charge system:   Minimum Charge of €75: Moving all your stuff from one place to another (up to 3 hours included).  Minimum Charge of €45: Available for simple jobs such as transporting Ebay Kleinanzeigen items and Ikea pick-ups (up to 2 hours included)   Anytime after the above Minimum Charge costs €25 per hour, chargeable in increments of 15 minutes (€6.25). This means you do not get stung for extra time you do not use.   I am also available for handyman work, which may be carried out at the end of a job. Typical examples include:   Plumbing in a washing machine Fitting a light to a high ceiling Installing shelves and curtains by drilling into the wall   The main advantage to me is that I am a complete maniac for cleanliness and tidiness and will apply these same standards to your stuff. I just can't stand it when things get scratched and grubby unnecessarily.   More info on prices:   My price structure could mean 9 hours for only €220!   For €300, you can have me and my van for up to 15 hours straight, which could be from 7am till 10pm! This may be a great deal for a whole house of stuff with multiple trips. I am a health coach, so have lots of energy extended physical exertion.   Prices for Handyman work such as setting up shelves may need a higher minimum charge to reflect extra preparation and tools needed.   If you need a receipt for tax purposes etc, I can provide one. I am a registered freelancer here in Berlin.   Possible chargeable extras if required   I will happily pallet wrap some or all of your stuff for the cost price of €10 per roll (a large mattress needs about half a roll). Other types of packing material can be acquired if you need.   I hope these prices seem fair and clear. Within the time I am happy to carry things up and down stairs, dismantle and reassemble, package and protect delicate items, and position items in their new location. I have any tools that might be needed. The most efficient use of time is for you to have helpers and for me to just load and tesselate.   Here is some useful practical info   The loading space in the van is 3.3m long, 1.75m high and 1.7m wide. Items as long as 4m can be put inside the van by swivelling the front passenger seat. It is a 2005 Ford Transit LWB T350 90 High Roof. There is an additional triple passenger seat with seatbelts in the loading space, which can be used to transport there helpers if you have them.   I have a giant roofrack ca. 6m long x 1.8m long, perfect for long or awkward items like ladders and bikes.   Availability   * I have flexible availability and am often available at short notice. Early mornings  is my favourite time for moves, and 7pm is my preferred time for Ebay Kleinanzeigen pick-ups. I am, however, available in the daytime and on Saturdays. Sundays may also be possible, but with a minimum fee of €100.   Info I will need to book a job:   A description of items to be transported (pictures are helpful) Measurements of large items (wardrobes and beds need to be disassembled)   Info needed for both the pick-up and drop-off location     How many floors? Normal stairs or spiral stairs? Front or rear building? Is there any parking? (If not, I can always double park if needed, but this is not ideal)   If this sounds like what you need, drop me a text or call me on +447867636967 (better) or +491573 274 7836. I always have my UK number with me but My DE number is often not on me. I don't use Whatsapp.   I look forward to hearing from you.   Best,   Paul   My top moving tips:   Do use moving boxes. It makes the whole job much quicker. DO tape up those boxes. It makes them easier to carry. DO disassemble wardrobes and beds or ask me to do it. DO take heavy doors off heavy furniture items. DO bundle long thin items together with masking tape. DO masking tape drawers shut if they cannot be removed. DON’T ever use brown packing tape. You will never get it off! DO disassemble Ikea furniture as much as possible. It is better. DO remove all protruding screws from disassembled furniture. This makes it much easier to transport and pack and avoid scratches. DO pack mirrors properly or ask me to do it. DO take legs off tables if it is easy to do so. DON'T put everything in Ikea bags, or, if you do, at least tie them closed, make them stackable and properly package the items which are in them. DO remove layers of dust from furniture which has not been moved for years. DON’T fill entire moving boxes only with books. Space them out over several boxes. DO take advantage of large suitcases you own, but DON’T overload them so they weigh 40kg. DO be prepared to load the largest items into my van first. DO move everything out into your hallway or lobby, if possible. DO have a friend or two to help if you can. DON’T have an army of drunk/stoned friends (Yes, this has happened!) DO try and bag me a parking spot. DON'T worry if you can’t. DO Pallet wrap mattresses so they stay clean and are easier to carry. DO book me if you care about your belongings and want a calm, collected move. DON’T book me if you really don’t care about your stuff and just want me to chuck everything in the back of my van and drive off. DO appreciate that everything needs to be secured before driving away. This avoids damage to your stuff and my van. DO read to the end of this list and be impressed with yourself for doing so. You just learnt a lot!  
  12. Hi @moortown,   Thanks for your contributions. Learning from each others' experiences seems to be the way to roll here.   In my case, FYI, I ended up going with Mawista in the end as a possibly valid (but quite possibly not valid) loophole for foreigners. AT €60 a month, I really think of it as a just in case type insurance. In theory, I could have it for up to five years, which seems to make no sense if it is designed for expats transitioning to Germany, but whatever!   Best of luck with the nightmarish concept that is Germany!  
  13. Hi guys, Do you need a 'man with van' service but you are concerned about the type of MAN that might turn up with a grubby VAN to handle your valuable personal items? Well, it is time to meet the GentleMan With A Van! My main aim is to take the stress OUT of moving your stuff: I will arrive full of energy with a clean van and a calm considerate attitude ready to move, lift or assemble whatever you need.  I have ramps, trolleys and clever systems to enable me to move large items of furniture and heavy items such as washing machines up and down stairs and in and out of my van without anyone needing to put their back out. I am also a fantastic ‘tessellater’. What I WON'T do is turn up on a ridiculously low fixed price and then just stand by impatiently as you struggle to load things into my van. The 'GentleMan With Van’ service includes me the GentleMan as part of the deal. I work exclusively on a ‘Pay For My Time’ system: For up to two hours you pay €45, and then anytime after that is €25 per hour, chargeable in increments of 15 minutes. This means you do not get stung for extra time you do not use.   The main advantage to me is that I am a complete maniac for cleanliness and tidiness and will apply these same standards to your stuff. I just can't stand it when things get scratched and grubby unnecessarily.   Here are a couple of brief examples of moves I have done for Toytowners: Toytowner David lined up a few good deals on furniture from Ebay Kleinanzeigen. We went to three addresses and then moved it all into his lovely new flat. It cost David €50. Toytowners Andrew and Emily needed a full move of all their stuff within Berlin. With some clever tessellation, we loaded everything in the van from a ground floor flat. We then picked up a load of boxes from a second address and then unloaded everything into the new flat on the 4th floor via a tiny lift and stairs when needed. Working as a successful team, the whole move also surprisingly only cost them €50. Price clarifications: Minimum price is €45 (so it's worth it for me), which includes up to two hours. This may be useful for picking up an Ebay item or two, for instance. Extra hours after that are €25 (I won't sting you for full hours if it's only a few minutes over and I can charge extra time in small 15 minute increments to minimise extra charges) This price structure could mean 9 hours for only €220! For €300, you can have me and my van for up to 15 hours straight, which could be from 7am till 10pm! This may be a great deal for a whole house of stuff with multiple trips. I am a health coach, so have lots of energy extended physical exertion. If you need a receipt for tax purposes etc, I can provide one as I am a registered freelancer here in Berlin. I hope these prices seem fair and clear. Within the time I am happy to carry things up and down stairs, dismantle and reassemble, package and protect delicate items, and position items in their new location. I have any tools that might be needed. The most efficient use of time is for you to have helpers and for me to just load and tesselate.   Here is some useful practical info: I have an professional loading trolley like package couriers use, enabling me to get things like fridges, ovens and washing machines up and down stairs single handed. https://www.bauhaus.info/transporthilfen/stapelkarre-tk-alu-200/p/20165615  (The photos were taken when it was dark outside, sorry.)   I have a fantastic large 90cm x 61cm trolley with beefy wheels. This is very helpful for moving large items like wardrobes across uneven terrain such as pavements etc.   https://www.bauhaus.info/transporthilfen/bauhaus-plattformwagen-cross-over/p/20687261  90cm long x 61 cm wide    I have strong aluminium loading ramps with a wooden cover board to safely get heavy and/or fragile items into the van without the need for everyone to put their back out. https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B00XKTR5X8/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1   I have another flat based trolley 73cm x 43cm useful for odd shaped objects and moving several heavy boxes across car parks and Innenhofs. https://www.bauhaus.info/transporthilfen/bauhaus-plattformwagen/p/20822804 73cm long x 43cm wide   - The loading space in the van is 3.3m long, 1.8m high and 1.7m wide. Items as long as 4m can be put inside the van by swivelling the passenger seat. It is a 2005 Ford Transit LWB T350 90 High Roof. There is a passenger seat in the loading space, but this is useful for delicate items. The space between this seat and the back door is exactly 2m long.        I have a giant roofrack ca. 6m long x 1.8m long, perfect for long or awkward items like ladders and bikes. I can shrink wrap your entire mattress for no extra charge to keep it perfectly clean. This only takes 5-10 minutes. Availability I work regularly as a freelance cargo bike courier from ca. 12.00-18.00 Mon-Fri, but can be flexible with enough notice. Evenings, early mornings and weekends are the easiest.  If this sounds like what you need, drop me a reply here or call me on +447867636967 (better) or 01573 274 7836. I always have my UK number with me but My DE number is often at home and not charged. I don't use Whatsapp, but you can SMS text me. I am based in Kreuzberg and may be available at short notice. I speak fluent German, French, Spanish, Italian and Russian. I am 36 and originally from Scotland.  I look forward to hearing from you. Best, Paul  
  14. Hi guys,   I've been officially registered in Berlin as my Hauptwohnsitz (main residence) since October 2015. I have no health insurance and have not been employed or earning any income.   N.B. Any quick responses are appreciated as I may need to tell my new employer today to hold off on getting me my first German social security number if indeed this will open Pandora's box. See below.   Questions:   -Is there a particular Krankenkasse I can sign up to not back-charge me for two years of no health insurance? - Or can I now sign up with a cheap foreign health insurance company (i.e. UK based) to either just count as my ongoing insurance or to present to my upcoming Krankenkasse so that they don't think I have been uninsured and maybe then don't back-charge me? - If I do end up having to pay back-charges, how much will that be based on no income? (I'm still actually registered in the UK as a freelancer but have submitted £0 tax returns for a couple of years) - Today I am signing up with Deliveroo as a freelance bike courier. I have to get a Gewerbeschien for that. If I cancel the Foodora job and just take the Deliveroo freelancer job, can I stay off the health insurance radar? - Whether I work for Foodora and Deliveroo or just Deliveroo, does the fact that I will probably be only earning under €1500 mean my health insurance premiums will be only circa €150 per month from now on? (Presuming I don't just take some kind of cheap foreign health insurance?   Useful background info:   I am from the UK where the NHS just happens automatically, so obligatory health insurance is unfamiliar to me. I have not been employed or earning any money while I have been in Germany. I have just been using savings to renovate a mixed use Gewerbeeinheit property where I have been living, with the aim of setting up a business in the property, maybe.   Money is nearly out, so, yesterday, I signed an employment contract with Foodora for circa €850 per month as a bike courier to keep me afloat financially while I renovate. Today I will also sign up with Deliveroo on a freelance basis to earn roughly €15 per hour for a number of hours of my choosing on top of Foodora.   I wasn't sure if I would be in Germany for long at all at first and don't plan to be here for more than the next 3-4 years, so health insurance into old age is not an issue for me. I have just attended to any health queries on my visits to the UK for the moment, but that seems untenable for the next few years, so heath insurance would be a plus, but not if it is just asking for trouble.   Toytown research:   N.B. I have read a few similar posts and feel a new post is worthwhile as the useful posts I found were old and things change. I'm particularly hoping that @PandaMunich and @Starshollow or @john g.may have some good input. There was talk in earlier posts by @john g. of Central stopping but then reverting to back-charging, which seemed particularly relevant: https://www.toytowngermany.com/forum/topic/203249-health-insurance-backpayment-finished/?page=1 From @lightcycle: "A friend of mine recently got health insurance with AOK after two years of no insurance, she asked them if they were going to back-charge her for that time and they said "no, we don't do that anymore". Anyone heard anything similar? Have they really stopped the back-charging nonsense?"   From @john g. "lightcycle: that´s interesting! I´m surprised but glad! I work in the insurance business and I know there´s one private health insurer which is no longer enforcing backpayments. Where will it lead? Don´t know...we´ve been through this before. A big private insurer, Central, did this in 2009 and got a lot of business. I know I got people insured there for that very reason. Then other private insurers got annoyed - as did the Govt. Central had to backtrack. The whole issue is absurd - how can you backcharge people for services they haven´t had? Bloody ridiculous."   Thanks for your help! It is appreciated!   Related posts I have viewed:   Good overall wiki article by Patrick Ott (@StarsHollow): https://www.toytowngermany.com/wiki/Health_insurance   A very relevant yet old and long post widely discussed by key Toytown players (as quoted above): https://www.toytowngermany.com/forum/topic/203249-health-insurance-backpayment-finished/?page=1   Some relevant info from the UK gov: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-germany#health   Short but sweet on a similar topic: https://www.toytowngermany.com/forum/topic/134167-implications-of-having-no-health-insurance/   A guy sadly getting slagged off for asking a question: https://www.toytowngermany.com/forum/topic/355342-billed-for-not-having-health-insurance/?page=4