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Everything posted by knotheadusc

  1. Higher rent because of home office?!!

    Good for you!  Don’t be intimidated.  Your landlord sounds like a jerk.
  2. Higher rent because of home office?!!

    I have several computers in my house.   By your landlord’s logic, I must be running my own company!   Definitely call the legal insurance hotline.  We sued our ex landlady when she tried to rip off our Kaution.  It was a nice feeling to force her to settle.   Good luck!
  3. Higher rent because of home office?!!

    I suggest you speak to the lawyer… or visit the Mietverein.   On another note, I am not surprised it’s Stuttgart.  
  4. Some of you might remember how, back in March 2020, I became active on Toytown Germany again because a dog my husband and I tried to adopt escaped a pet taxi and got killed on the Autobahn.  That situation ended in a lawsuit for the pet taxi driver, who was sued by the rescue we tried to adopt from.   We did end up getting our new dog, though…. He came from Kosovo.  And one year ago today, he joined our family.  I wrote a blog post about it yesterday, and I hope anyone who would like to see how far Noyzi has come will check it out.  Having him has been educational and rewarding, and every day, he shows us how happy he is to have a home.    My heart still hurts for Jonny, the dog we tried to adopt... but we did learn valuable and unforgettable lessons from that incident.  Hopefully, nothing like that will ever happen again.  
  5. You were so kind to call me.  I remember your lovely accent!   That whole situation was just surreal.  If we had managed to arrange the adoption a week earlier, I don’t think we would have had that outcome, because we would have been allowed to travel to where Jonny was and bring him home ourselves.  But the day before we were approved, we were not allowed to leave the Wiesbaden area because of the pandemic, and the rescue would not hold him for us.  The pet taxi driver had been driving for 17 hours and neglected to follow her own safety protocol, which was detailed on her Web site.  The whole thing was just tragic and completely avoidable, not just for Jonny, but also for the poor folks who hit him and got their car messed up.     Having Noyzi (named after an Albanian rapper), has been a real joy.  He has a lovely, sunny personality and he turns heads, especially when he’s with our beagle mix, Arran, who is about a third his size and four times his age!  Noyzi has finally started trusting my husband, which has been so nice to see.   On another note, I would also love to spend more time in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, where we picked him up.  It’s a beautiful area.
  6. Culture Shock and Studying in Germany

    It's kind of a shame that so few Americans consider living in another country.  I've lived abroad for about 15 of my 49 years in three countries, at four different periods in my life.  Living abroad permanently altered my world view and changed my politics.  I'm at a point now that I'm not sure if I could stand to live in the United States for long.  My husband feels the same way.  I'm sure we'll go back someday, but I am not in a hurry.  When we did go back to the States last time, I missed Europe every day.     So many people wonder how I can stand to live outside of the "greatest country in the world".  I just tell them that they only think it's the "greatest" because they've never experienced anything else.  Likewise, a lot of Germans wonder why I'd want to live in their country.  In fairness, I don't quite live like a German resident, since my husband works for the Army.  But there's a lot to like about this culture.  I will always be grateful that we've had this experience, even the parts that haven't been fun (like suing the ex landlady).   But really, what I've learned being over here is what Americans are missing out on... like affordable healthcare, humane work schedules, less violence, and basic civil rights.  There's a lot to love about America, but there's also a lot that could be improved.  Also, I love that I can order contact lenses without having to go to an eye doctor every year.  ;)    
  7. Culture Shock and Studying in Germany

      So true.  I've been in Germany for seven years this time.  I've definitely learned some German, but I can't speak it at all.  Not enough practice!   I'm better off singing in German!
  8. Culture Shock and Studying in Germany

      Yeah, I'm not sure how it works for American students. Both of the girls in the videos pretty much said that they don't speak German, so I don't know how they can be expected to learn subjects taught in German.  I would imagine that the exchange year would be valuable for college applications, though, especially if it meant foreign language skills were enhanced or developed.  Americans are put to shame by Europeans when it comes to learning other languages... but I'm sure that's not news to anyone in this group.   In Armenia, where I taught English, the kids who won scholarships all spoke fluent English, but they were done with their Armenian public schooling anyway, because at that time, it ended at 16.  I think it might be longer now.  I notice they don't refer to kids being in "forms" anymore, as they did when I taught there.  Now they refer to "grades", and the grades go to 12 years, rather than 10, as it still was in the 90s.     As for the types who are attracted... well, a lot of the people I went to school with still live where we grew up.  Some of them make their living working on the water or building ships.  I would expect the vast majority don't own a passport and would never think of living abroad, unless they were military.  Though there are plenty who did that, too.  But most of those folks didn't necessarily want to experience living in other cultures.  It wasn't a bad place to grow up, but I wouldn't want to live there now.
  9. Culture Shock and Studying in Germany

      I have no doubt they've been around a long time.  I went to school in a rural community in Virginia, though, and although there were some really high achievers in my class, being in exchange programs wasn't necessarily a popular thing to do.  I remember one girl went to Australia and we had an exchange student from Japan.  But most of the really smart and motivated kids at my high school were going to the governor's school or magnet schools in Virginia.  I think the exchange programs were much better known in some of the bigger cities.  I have a friend who has hosted several exchange students in northern VA.   I later joined the Peace Corps and a couple of my students ended up winning scholarships to come to America for their last year of high school.  
  10. Culture Shock and Studying in Germany

    I watched that girl’s video yesterday.  There was another one put up by her friend, Calla, who is in the eastern part of Germany. I had never heard of the programs they’re with before I saw Caroline’s video.  I think they’re brave!
  11. That was about what our ex landlady kept…. Maybe a little less.  Once the lawsuit was settled, she ended up paying about 7000 euros.  Our maybe her insurance did. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t still really pissed off about it, but at least we were able to prevail.   
  12. Even if you did have Tricare, you could still use German doctors.  My husband is retired military, so we get Tricare.  But when he needed to see a urologist, he saw a German provider.  One of his colleagues’ wives got cancer and got all of her treatment from German providers, mainly because they had immediate availability when Landstuhl didn’t.    
  13. My husband sued our former landlords because they took over 80 percent of our Kaution.  Fortunately, we do have legal insurance and we're also in the Mieterverein.  Even with the lawyer, ex landlady was very difficult and dragged things out.  We sued her and she settled with us, but it took a long time.  Still, since we won, she had to pay our legal fees, her legal fees, court fees, and most of the Kaution she kept from us.   If the Kaution means that much to you and you strongly believe you're right, it may be worth it to fight.  At the very least, you'll have the satisfaction of not letting your landlord get away with thievery.  When it comes down to it, that's why we sued.  Because by letting ex landlady get away with her scheme, we would be encouraging theft.  It felt like the right thing to do, and ultimately, I think it was.
  14. Digital Impfpass, Vaccinated in USA

    My card doesn't specifically say it was administered in Germany.  There's a stamp from the clinic, but I imagine if I took the card to an area where the local pharmacists aren't familiar with the military clinic stamps, there could be a problem.
  15. Digital Impfpass, Vaccinated in USA

      Yes, I got my vaccines in Wiesbaden and I noticed people there with the yellow book (I do have one, but it's in storage in the USA).  I did see one lady in Wiesbaden getting her info recorded in the yellow booklet.  I don't know if she was German or American.    Everybody getting the shots on the installations get the white CDC cards by default.  We were lucky enough to find a local pharmacist who didn't have an issue giving us the certificates, anyway.  Not everyone is that lucky, from what I've read.
  16. Digital Impfpass, Vaccinated in USA

    Yes, I have one of those yellow books, too.  I meant the app.     Also, I was trying to be nice, so there's no need to be snarky.
  17. Digital Impfpass, Vaccinated in USA

    I wish this system could be made more simple and global.  It’s in everyone’s best interests for people to be able to easily prove they’ve been vaccinated.   Good luck!
  18. Digital Impfpass, Vaccinated in USA

      I got vaccinated in Wiesbaden on the Army installation.  We were given US CDC vaccine cards.  My husband and I took our CDC cards to a pharmacy in nearby Wallau and got our E.U. certificates with no hassle at all.  I even wrote a blog post about the process.  Not to pimp my blog, but here's my post on it if you're interested.   I recommend you ask another pharmacist, or maybe consider going to a pharmacy in an area where there are a lot of Americans.  We emailed the pharmacist in Wallau before we visited, just to make sure we wouldn't be wasting our time.
  19. I have moved here twice from the USA.  Both times were to Stuttgart.  The first time was in 2007, and temporary apartments were less popular.  We stayed in a terrible hotel for six weeks.  Well... it was terrible in that it wasn't very clean or comfortable.  It was convenient, though, and the staff was nice.  We had two loud beagles with us, so that was a plus.   The second time, we stayed in a hotel for about a week, then moved to a temporary apartment for about three weeks.  We were able to find a more permanent address after that.  Of course, now looking back on what happened when we moved to Wiesbaden, I now wish we'd spent more time in the temporary apartment.    Good luck!
  20. This thread makes me cringe.  I have a phobia of mushrooms.
  21. We saw the Stones play in 2018 in Stuttgart.  It was our first time at one of their shows and I will never forget it.  We had seats on the 13th row.  I am so glad we went.  After the show, I told my husband that will probably be the only Stones show we will ever see... and they were magnificent.  Mick even spoke a little Schwabisch.   I knew this was going to happen eventually, but I am still so sad.  He was so classy and elegant… and he was just perfect. RIP, Charlie Watts.  
  22. New tenants want to come to our handover

    When we moved into our previous house, the former tenant was there clearing out.  She was "buddies" with the former landlady, though, even though she was moving out sooner than planned.  I remember her stuff was in the trash cans as we were moving in.  This was okay with ex landlady, as was most everything the ex tenant did.  She had somehow convinced ex landlady that she was the daughter she never had, despite moving early, yet staying in the area.   Four years later, when it was our turn to move, ex landlady was a total nightmare.  We ended up suing her, in part because she tried to make us pay for things the ex tenants did.  Like, for instance, she charged us for having stuff in the trash cans, even though we paid her rent and Nebenkosten for the month we weren't even living there.  Fortunately, we prevailed in our lawsuit, but it wasn't without a lot of stress, expense, and irritation.    To be honest, if I had to do it again, I would not want to meet the previous tenants.  The previous tenant in our situation ended up being in cahoots with the ex landlady as she tried to screw us.  I would not want to be involved with the next tenant's business at all.  But take that with a grain of salt, since I am also in the military community, and people tend to act more like they're still in high school in that population.
  23. Shipping two dogs from Germany to the U.S.

    If, by any chance, she has military privileges, she can also use the vets on military installations.  They are all USDA certified.  But I realize not everyone has that option.   Most of them are well versed in what needs to be done.  I still suggest the Facebook group, because there are many people in there who are very experienced in moving pets abroad and back.  I have done it three times myself, but there are people in there who have brought dogs from war zones.
  24. Shipping two dogs from Germany to the U.S.

    Lufthansa is regularly considered the airline of choice if you’re flying with pets.  They have light and temperature controlled holds, and they are very pet friendly.   However, recently, even they have been imposing temperature embargoes.  There are also some specific requirements in order to travel with pets.   Also, be aware that if she wants to bring the dogs back to the USA, there could be a problem.  The CDC has really cracked down on importing dogs from countries where there is a high incidence of rabies.  Germany is not on the list, but Lufthansa was recently denying transportation of dogs from Germany due to the new rule.  I am not sure if this issue has yet been resolved.   Military folks are really up in arms about it.  It’s causing huge issues with people trying to rotate home with their pets.     She may wish to join the Military PCS with Pets Facebook group for advice or advice on shippers, should she want to go that route.  If she uses a shipper, they would fly cargo.  It will cost a hell of a lot more than if they went excess baggage (or fly in cabin if they are small enough).  But the shippers take care of everything.  Cost of flying depends on the airline and size/weight of the dog(s).  We flew our two beagles excess baggage on Lufthansa in 2014 for $400 total.  But prices and policies have changed in the wake of COVID.  If we have to fly with our new dog, he will probably have to go with a shipper because he’s tall and long.   Edited to add:  here’s the link to the Facebook group.
  25. I don't know about painting vs. not painting, but I did have a recent experience with a very rude and unfair landlady who would not give back our Kaution.  We did use a lawyer and wound up suing her.  She settled, but it took over a year. If they're being rude and uncooperative, you may want to visit the Mietverein, at the very least.  Join first, if you haven't already.  Or, if you have legal insurance, call the Schade Hotline and ask them what you should do.