• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

417 Excellent

About knotheadusc

  • Birthday 06/20/1972

Profile Information

  • Location Germany
  • Nationality American
  • Hometown Virginia
  • Gender Female
  • Year of birth
  • Interests reading, writing, singing, cooking, riding horses (though it's been years), hanging out with my beagles

Recent Profile Visitors

2,556 profile views
  1. I have an American friend who used to live in Heidelberg and worked with an English speaking woman whom she claims is a “dog whisperer”.  The trainer’s name is Helga Guder and her email is   This is the phone number my friend Ellen has for her.  Hope it and the email still work, because it’s been awhile.   01727241076   I trust Ellen’s insight.  She has German Shorthaired Pointers and lived in Germany for years.  Good luck!   This appears to be Helga’s Web site.
  2. Problems Installing COVpass app

    I actually wrote a lengthy blog post on this topic.  I have a US iTunes account, too.   What I ended up doing was making another account for the German store.  I downloaded the necessary apps, then switched back to my US account.  The app will work if you use a US account; you just need a German account to download it.     Here's the post I wrote about it...  and yes, I know we took more steps than may have been necessary.  This post was really more of a story than a "how to" article.    
  3. Landlord claims I damaged his doorstep (without evidence)

      Overall, my husband and I have been very lucky.  Ex landlady is the only one in almost 19 years of my husband and I renting together who has ever tried to keep our deposit.  I read up a lot on the landlord messageboards.  Some were openly admitting that they do everything they can to keep the deposit.  I am very certain that even if the awning hadn't fallen, our ex landlady was going to try to keep our money.  She was quite money obsessed and cheap.  I have read other accounts from people who have said their landlords were super nice until they were moving out; then they turned shitty.     Our situation had gone sour long before we moved out, but I think she would have pulled this crap regardless.  We probably would have let her do it if she hadn't become so incredibly disrespectful and mean to me, personally.  I left that house genuinely traumatized and very sore from days of cleaning.  It took many weeks for me to be able to relax in our current home.  I kept expecting our current landlord to come over unannounced and bitch about some arbitrary and trivial thing.  He never has.  In fact, a couple of months ago, he urgently wanted to talk to my husband because we had overpaid Nebenkosten for the two years we've lived in his house and he wanted to refund us.  He asked if we wanted a 1200 euro rent reduction or cash!  We were pleasantly shocked!     I'm actually kind of glad ex landlady got so rude, because that behavior was what clued me in to the necessity of legal insurance.  I thought maybe she'd try to sue us.  She did seem almost disappointed that we had liability insurance, since I'm sure she realized they would give her a low settlement.  Most Americans in the military community don't bother with that.  Sometimes, they end up regretting it.  I have one friend who had to pay for a whole new kitchen for her ex landlord.  It wiped out her savings.
  4. Landlord claims I damaged his doorstep (without evidence)

    I totally understand. I felt the same way when we were dealing with this issue.  I would encourage you to stand up for your rights.  I think some landlords pull this kind of stuff because too many people let them get away with it.  I am pretty sure our former landlady screwed over a lot of people before she finally got nailed with a lawsuit.  It didn’t bring us any pleasure to do it, but I feel like we did a service for those who follow us in that house.
  5. Living choice: Baden baden vs Mannheim

    There are some nice restaurants there, too... and the famous Irish Roman baths, if you're into the nude spa thing.  They have a clothed spa next door, too.  
  6. Landlord claims I damaged his doorstep (without evidence)

      You can grant your attorney power of attorney and they'll handle the case in your stead.  Or, at least I think that's what we were told.  We never had to deal with the landlady directly, once we got the lawyer involved.  She handled all of the correspondence, although we did spend a day responding in German to the landlady's many ridiculous claims against us.  It's doubtful you'd ever need to be in a courtroom.  If there's any chance the landlord would lose, they would probably rather settle.  Because if they lose, they have to pay for everything, and that can get expensive.  Especially if translators are required.   I don't know your landlord at all, but it's likely he is not nearly as stubborn, money hungry, and off kilter as our former landlady was.  Most reasonable people don't want to go to court because of the cost and hassle of it.  Our former landlady was very sure she could steamroll my husband, because he's a very kind person and not confrontational.  But he has limits, and people who cross his red line will get both barrels.  She didn't accept our initial demand, so that took more time.   It took two years in our case because we didn't immediately resort to suing.  We waited for all the household bills to settle, which took a few months.  Then, after several rude emailed rebuffs from ex landlady about returning our Kaution, we involved the lawyer.  That was about eight months after we'd left the house.  It did take a year to settle after we hired the lawyer, but also consider that the COVID-19 nightmare was beginning at the time, so there weren't any court proceedings happening for weeks.  Your case probably wouldn't take as long as ours did for that reason alone.   We also weren't that pushy about getting the money.  In fact, we didn't even find out the case was settled until a few months after it happened.  If my husband had been pushier about it, we probably would have wrapped things up a bit sooner.    
  7. Landlord claims I damaged his doorstep (without evidence)

      So far, my husband and I have had experiences with three German landlords.  My husband also had one or two when he lived in Germany in the 80s, but of course that was before I knew him.  All of the people we've rented from were private individuals.     The first guy, down near Tubingen, was probably the best landlord we've ever had anywhere.  We found him through the Stuttgart military housing office, as my husband was in the Army at the time.  He had built the house himself and had to rent it out because he and his wife had divorced.  I looked him up not long ago and it looks like he's become a therapist.  I could see it.  He was really a nice man and treated us fairly.   The second was our horrible landlady from hell, who was in cahoots with the previous (American) tenants.  It would probably take me a couple of hours to explain that situation.  I think former landlady had a habit of ripping off Americans, but somehow the previous tenant had charmed her by letting her play "Oma" to her infant.  She then took the opportunity to parlay that "goodwill" into moving out of the house early, probably because ex landlady was being too intrusive and obsessive about the baby.  Ex landlady has three children, but none were married at that time, and she clearly wanted to be  a grandmother.  The ex tenant claimed she needed to move closer to the Stuttgart installations because of her babysitter.  It was a load of crap, but we needed a place to live, so we overlooked the smell of bullshit about former tenant's story.    Former landlady had seemed alright, although she was a control freak from the get go.  She was obsessed with trivial things, like keeping the white plastic base of her windows spotless, even though it was exposed to the outdoor elements.  She once blew up at me because there was some dog hair in the somewhat newly installed doorway.  She claimed it was "encrusted" (she loved that word), although it took about two seconds to wipe it up.  If I had known she'd be so obsessive about such things, I would have made sure it was clean... but she had a habit of coming over without calling.  She also made "improvements", but they were all external.  She replaced the driveway and part of the fence in the backyard, but we had to deal with a weird "water saver" toilet that clogged three times and had to be flushed at least twice every time we used it.     During our time in her house, her old awning started listing to the side.  I pointed it out to her, so she had her husband "fix" it.  One day, I had the awning unrolled, and a stiff breeze blew it over.  It couldn't be fixed.  She blamed me for "negligence", and claimed I should have been outside with the awning when it collapsed.  Obviously, it didn't occur to her that the awning could have fallen on me and caused injury or even death.     We used our liability insurance to defray the cost of repairing or replacing the awning, but it was 17 years old, so the settlement was only 300 euros.  Ex landlady tried very hard to shame us into giving her 2500 euros for a brand new awning.  We refused, so she took it out of our Kaution, making up all kinds of ridiculous charges for arbitrary things, none of which were notated on a Protokol, because she never did one.  She also never settled the Nebenkosten with us.  We were in that house for four years.     We sued her when she accused us of stealing a "nice" refrigerator (probably the one I bought for us) and dumping a dorm sized "American" fridge (it was actually a crappy fridge from the Real that was there when we moved in).  We could have demanded that she return all of the Nebenkosten from those years, since she never settled it.  It would have been over 9000 euros.  But we weren't interested in doing that, we just wanted more of our 3200 euros Kaution returned.  She had only given us about 660 euros, and had to be sternly reminded to even do that.    After a year of legal wrangling with her, she finally ended up having to give back most of the Kaution she kept, plus she had to pay for her lawyer, our lawyer, court costs, and probably an additional letter from our lawyer, since she had to be reminded to pay us several months after the case was settled.  It was satisfying to win, but the process took about two years from the time we moved out until she finally paid.  It was pretty nasty.  Thanks to ex landlady, I will never willingly live in Germany without legal insurance.   Our current landlord in Wiesbaden is awesome.  He lives next door, leaves us alone, and doesn't freak out over things.  His house is expensive, but it's very nice.  I feel pretty sure he'll be fair when we eventually have to move.
  8. Living choice: Baden baden vs Mannheim

    Baden Baden is a great place for a weekend.  I do have a German friend who doesn’t like it because it’s a bit touristy and there are supposedly many people from Russia there (not that that’s necessarily a bad thing).  But we had an unforgettable anniversary there.     I haven’t been to Mannheim yet.  Munich is lovely, but so expensive.
  9. Landlord claims I damaged his doorstep (without evidence)

    My husband and I spent a year fighting our former landlady, who tried to rip off our Kaution.  We had legal insurance, so she finally settled.  But it took a long time and was pretty stressful.   I am glad we sued her, though.  She was horrible, and tried to take advantage of my husband’s good nature.  She also falsely accused us of theft.  
  10. I didn't have many side effects after either of the Moderna shots.  In fact, the second one was less painful for me than the first one.  My husband, on the other hand, had to spend the day in bed after he got his second shot.
  11. We just picked up our vaccine certificates at the local drug store.  Lots of people were waiting in line to drop off their paperwork.  Unfortunately, because we use iPhones and have American accounts, we can't get the German app for uploading the proof yet.  We tried using Luca, but got an error.     SIGH... but at least we have the local proof rather than just the CDC card, so my birthday visit to Heidelberg this weekend should be fun!
  12. How has Germany changed you?

      I love the nude spas here.  Both my husband and I have body image issues, but one day, I just decided to go for it.  I took to the naked spas like a duck to water.  Pretty soon, he joined me!  It was definitely very liberating, especially when I noticed how little other people care about what your junk looks like in a nude spa in Germany.   I have also noticed myself becoming more assertive, too.  That's a good thing, but it's still hard for me, even when dealing with other Americans.  Actually, it's probably harder with other Americans, because our culture focuses so much on superficial niceness and conflict avoidance.  Germany has taught me that in the long run, being too nice can waste a lot of time.
  13. How has Germany changed you?

      The funny thing is, I'm naturally kind of a loudmouth.  I like ribald humor and tend to be obnoxious!  But when I'm out in public in Germany, I find myself trying not to be too obviously American.  And I definitely notice and cringe when other Americans are around, making themselves obvious!