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Everything posted by knotheadusc

  1. usajobs question

    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.    
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!
  7. 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.
  8. 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!
  9. Anti-vaccination people

      I empathize.  Phobias are a difficult thing to overcome, especially when they are coupled with a traumatic experience.  I haven't seen a doctor in 11 years because I had a very traumatic experience with one years ago.  I did get vaccinated, though.     I hope your friend will be able to overcome his fear.  
  10. This thread makes me cringe.  I have a phobia of mushrooms.
  11. 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.  
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. I got Moderna.  Sore arm and a rash with first shot.  Sore arm with second,  That was it.   Husband had a slightly worse time.  He had fever and fatigue with the second shot, for maybe 12 hours.
  16. 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.
  17. It sounds like you took Valtrex.  I, too, had shingles.  I was 26, and it was right after I got treated for a serious skin infection on my face that almost landed me in the hospital.  I was lucky enough to run into a kindly physician’s assistant in my hometown in Virginia.  He gave me the pills free.  Boxes of samples.     it was a mild case, but really uncomfortable.  Worse than the yeast infections caused by the antibiotics.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.    
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.  
  23. 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.    
  24. 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.
  25. 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.