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Posts posted by arunadasi

  1. I have trips planned to the UK in May and June. Luckily I've not booked the flights yet, but have Airbnb and one hotel night booked, but I think I have a date I can cancel by for a full refund. I'd also planned an overland return trip Ireland UK early April to fetch some stored furniture but that is definitely not in. Nothing was booked.


    I'm sorry for my daughter and her best friend. Best friend has a wedding planned for end March, in the UK. My daughter is bridesmaid, as best friend was for her wedding. Big day! Daughter and husband have booked flights from Dublin, and plan to travel. 

    I'm secretly hoping the airline will cancel the flight so that the decision is taken from her. It's definitely a quandary.


    I've a bus trip through southern Ireland booked for August, and a German friend id flying over to come with me. Hopefully by then things will be clearer.


  2.   I rented from Buchbinder in October, pick up Munich airport, drop off Frankfurt airport. I told them I'd be visiting Austria and France and there was no extra charge. I got a lovely car in a higher class than I had booked, but decided to pay extra for an automatic. In the end I changed the drop off back to Munich. All very easy.


  3. Daughter's parents in law have a dog, Judy, who visits sometimes. Seriously, she is terrified of Judy! Judy is a small terrier who chases her madly around the garden. Father in law said Judy might kill Roony if he caught her. So that's not working. Daughter would love a dog, but the present house is too small. Maybe if they ever move, but then a stable, gentle dog. We have to see.

    Judy is a sweet dog but over excitable. Plus, as is the case in Ireland, she is allowed to roam the streets. I've often seen her trotting down the high street and she comes to visit on her own (but has no access to the garden).


    When driving here you always have to be on the watch for dogs on the street. For anyone with a German background it's crazy, but it's what they do, especially in rural areas. They don't even have insurance.


    Thanks to all the feedback. Even if it means I've had to disillusion myself re the budding romance! I'll certainly check out some of your tips.

    Poor Roony, having her space invaded, and poor Finny, denied friendship. Ah well, such is life


  4. That is encouraging, LeonG! It's my impression that this is the beginning of a long friendship/romance, but there are things I don't know about cats, for instance, does a spayed female still accept courtship/mating from a male? Does she emit some kind of aura that deters the male, can he tell?


    On another not, I tried to give Optimista a greenie but got  a pop-up saying I am not allowed to. What is that about?


  5. This is a tale of two kittens, who turned into cats. It could be a romance.


    Kitten Roony was a stray. She wandered into my daughter's garden when she was just tiny -- no more than maybe two or three weeks old. We don't know where she came from. The place is a village, but nobody knew of a cat who had recently had babies. My daughter had just given birth so they kept her and raised her on breast milk at first, fed with a pipette. She thrived, and became a well-loved pet. She has a large garden to roam in and beyond that, open fields and behind that, forest. She's an outdoor cat who comes and goes as she pleases, very independent. She quite likes sitting on a human lap and being stroked, but might very suddenly and quickly snap and bite the hand that stroked her. When she was a kitten, biting was a real problem. She would bite people's feet,  persistently, as if in play, but quite hard. I googled that a mother cat teaches her kittens not to bite by hissing, so we hissed at her when she bit, and she improved. Now that she's adult the biting only comes suddenly, after a cosy stroking session. She then runs away. She's not terribly fond of humans. She likes to be outside, catches and kills mice and birds (occasionally) and likes to go upstairs to sleep on the beds. She is spayed, now about 18 months old.


    Daughter thought a second cat, a kitten, would give her a new focus and help with her biting, and since my granddaughter, 10 years old, longed for a kitten. we got her one when she came to stay with me and my son in July. I have a town flat. We thought the kitten could stay there while granddaughter is with us, then move to my daughter. This was Finny. We got him as a female, but he turned out to be male. We don't have a garden, just a balcony and a sort of outside courtyard. He was six weeks old when we brought him home. We took him straight to Roony, and Roony immediately hated him. Hissed at him while he was still in the basket etc, and wouldn't go near him. So it seemed the plan would not work and we'd have to keep Finny in the flat, which I'm not too keen on. Granddaughter went back to Austria, and my son is Finny's chief caretaker.

    We take Finny over to my daughter occasionally. He is now five months old and just as big as Roony. Roony still hates him.


    When Finny comes to visit, they seem to be always together. Finny just sits there, and Roony sits watching him. If he comes closer to her, she hisses and swipes at him. Finny is very calm, very steady, and doesn't seem to mind being hissed and swiped at. He just moves out of the way, sits and watches. Sometimes they both go upstairs and lie under the bed, quite close to each other, watching each other, Roony hissing if Finny gets too close. They are definitely interested in each other, and I suppose for Finny it's a courting thing now. Roony is just not interested. They seem to be always near each other, stalking each other. I watched them once when they were both outside: they were running round and round a large container thing, for ages.  Sometimes Finny stays overnight. SOmetimes he sleeps in Roony's bed. He is very confident, now that he's just as big. sometimes they are just near to wach other, resting, or staring at each other.


    Once, they both had a bowl of food in the kitchen, around the corner from each other. Finny, who loves his food, didn't bother to eat his, but just say watching Roony. Then Roony came and ate Finny's food, and he didn't mind.


    I have to say that Finny is a very friendly, sweet natured cat, a "people" cat, As we don't have a garden he's a house cat, and whenever we come home there he is, rushing to greet us. He follows my son all over the place, like a dog, and even sits behind him on the toilet. He comes when called by name, even if he's at the back of the garden, at my daughter's. If anyone is at home, he'll be with that person, on their bed or their lap.


    The time is going to come when my son will stay at his sister's house for a couple of weeks, while we are away, looking after both cats. Our hope is that Finny's persistence and good nature will win through in the end. 

    I don't have much experience with cats, so I thought I'd put it to the good people of TT; assuming that Finny is indeed courting, is there a chance he will eventually win over Roony? Can they ever be friends? I have to say it is fascinating to watch. I do feel for Roony, having her home invaded, and Finny just doesn't seem to understand rejection. 


    Of course, it would be best for them to be friends eventually. Finny might be a house cat, but he loves the garden and it would be paradise for him -- of only Roony would give him a chance. He's not being macho about it, just very sweet and patient.




  6. i recently did not use a return Ryanair flight so I tried to get the tax back -- they have a page specifically for this. I did not have much hope as they say that they only return anything above the admin charge.

    As I suspected, there was nothing to return. But it should be different with serious airlines, like the Lufthansa one in the post above this. There's probably a form to fill out online, like with Ryanair.


  7. My daughter is feeling a bit down due to the  grey Ireland weather. So I promised her a week's holiday (with baby) in November.

    She was in Lanzarote last February and loved it, and I remember fondly an intransit day in Tenerife many years ago. The temperature should still be warm then. But it's a four hour flight.


    Any suggestions for somewhere really warm in early November, and maybe not so far from Dublin?


  8. 29 minutes ago, Metall said:


    It actually might good for the bunions. :)

    I know several people who like to wear sandals with a toe strap for exactly that reason.




    Like these

    Is the big toe called a thumb, as in...?

    • Quote


      • This sandal is especially suitable for women with bunions, which can help the thumb to recover and be comfortable to wear.
      • Designed to correct your thumb and separate your thumb and toes, this shoe reduces the pain of the bunion and allows you to walk comfortably.


    • I  learn something new every day.



    14 hours ago, john g. said:

    Oh, you child of our mutual generation and South America! Back in the old days of the 70s, this football fan was living in Rio and couldn´t get footie results from England. The British Consulate sometimes worked...sometimes! I would pop in and see which newspapers had arrived. If it was the Financial Times, I´d walk straight out again...nothing!!

    If it were the Times or the Telegraph, I could read up on stuff backdated...but not up to date!

    The world has really changed!!



    @john gBack in the day, I and my two friends were located by our anxious parents back in Guyana, in our hideout in Ecuador, where we were finally picked up by the American Ambassador's chaueffer-driven car and two policemen, and my mother. They had managed to find us on a remote farm in the mountains...

    Guyana didn't or doesn't have diplomatic representation in Ecuador so the US Embassy stepped in to find us. Parents had been crazy with worry because we'de written home to say we all had hepatitis. They found us high on marijuana. We were packed into the limousine and brought back to Quito, to the Ambassador's private house, where we flatly refused to return home with the pre-bought airline tickets. We were all iover 18 by then so they could not force us home. Ah, the joys of megalomaniacal youth!

    13 hours ago, LeonG said:


    Absolutely. I've dealt with a couple of consuls myself and I knew one who was and they sometimes help people with emergencies. The one I knew once had to help some ppl to arrange getting a body transported to home country. Mostly they are business ppl who think it's cool to have a title and a plaque on their house / office. For official embassy business like a new passport you don't talk to a consul, you talk to the embassy. You might not have to go there. I renewed my Canadian passport the last time through the Berlin embassy without having to go there.



    These days you have to appear in person: they take your photo "vor Ort" as well as your fingerprint. It;s not so easy for my daughter to fly to London and back just for that -- she has a baby and is breastfreeding.




  10. I understand that -- (though I didn't know she'd have to pay emplyees out of her own pocket!). I still think it's awful to leave the post unattended for six whole weeks.


    In fact, I'm even more flummoxed, after reading  your link!  That a country like Germany can't pay for its own Vertretungen abroad, can't pay for a decent office in Belfast.






    I was flummoxed earlier this year when my entire faith in Germany as the epitome of efficiency was shattered. I mean, surely represention abroad should stand out as a glowing example of how perfectly smooth everything in Germany works.


    But not so with the Germany Consulate Belfast. My daughter's passport is about to expire so she needed to apply for a new one. She contacted the Belfast Consulate via email but received no reply. So she went online and discovered that there actually is no German Consulate in Belfast -- there's a German Consul who actually lives in Londonderry which is at the northernmost tip of Northern Ireland. I assume she must have an office in Belfast...


    Anyway, my daughter called this consul only to get the message that the consul would be out of office until early September. That's all. No mention of a stellvertetende Konsul or any such thing, or what to do in an emergency. She called the Dublin Embassy -- which is the opposite, a state-of-the-art setup currently undergoing renovations, but super efficient-- and they said they cannot help; her only option it to go to the German Embassy in London.


    I mean, come on. Even I, as a lowly social worker in a hospital, had a Vertretung when I was on holiday. I find it super lax. The consul was unavailabke for six whole weeks.


    Often these German Consuls are just ordinary people given a Mandat. The German Consul in Guyana for many years was a German expat who ran a furniture store and changed money (illegally) on the sly. A very shady character.


    More recently the German Consul in Guyana is actually Dutch. Were I to live in Guyana I'm sure I could be a German Consul (if I were younger maybe). for that matter, I told my daughter she should apply for the job.


  12. On 6/19/2018, 1:44:52, swimmer said:

    The answer is that western consumption is overall far more damaging but instead of facing up to that, the groups doing the damage fixate on the small stuff rather than face the harsher truths.  About a zillion times easier to go for a westerner to go without a plastic bag than car, flights and all the other consumer stuff that has the real impact.   They even get to feel virtuous on top.  Win win for them.


    And they get to blame the world's poorest and most marginalised, alongside, of course, while they drive round town pumping out gases and stocking up with yet more stuff at the mall.


    The plastic bag as somehow the cause of the problem is just a comforting mainstream western evasion.  Classic cognitive dissonance.


    Sometimes it is these Asian and African countries that lead.

    I believe it was Rwanda that was the first country to ban all plastic bags.

    I was in Tamil Nadu, India, last year when the ban on plastic came into effect. It was interesting, because I had actually seen plastic bin bags in the supermarkets in December but didn't buy any. Come January, they were all gone, from all the shops. So I googled and sure enough, Tamil Nadu had banned all single-use plastic as of January 1st. Now all of India has banned single use plastic. It was inconvenient at first we we soon got use to improvising, finding ways of rubbish disposal with newspaper etc.

    I was in Sri Lanka in 2017 when a ban was imposed, or about to be imposed. I remember there were actualy demonstration in Colombo against the ban.


    It's easy to dismiss them third world countries, but it's not always fair. I'm always impressed in India at how resourceful people are with what they have. The repair things over and over again before chucking them out. They can make anything. Years ago, my baby buggy lost a wheel during the flight over. I asked around, and in a cople of says some local workman had made me a new wheel out of wood -- and fitted it, and it worked!


  13. On 8/28/2019, 2:20:20, LukeSkywalker said:

    Be glad you are not in Sri Lanka with all the bomb attacks of recent times. Tourists numbers will decline for years to come.


    Well, living as I do on the Irish border and crossing it (or family members crossing it) sometimes several times a day, you never know after Brexit.

    My daughter lives in the north, I (and my son) in the south. We all go back and forth. Son and I are her main babysitters.


  14. I really do believe that there is a certain type of mentality that does or can do extremely well in the German system; that is, there is compatibility. And the parents of such children get very defensive and protective and genuinly believe that the kids who don't do so well -- it's their fault, the parents should have tried harder, this and that.

    I do admit without reserve that it was not understanding the system and how it works that caused some problems for me. But in the end I think there was a basic incompatibility.


    I had a similar conversation recently with a German friend of mine from way back well; we met up again after about 30 years.  She was very inflexible in her arguments that the German system is fantastic and that an "allgemeine" education is the best; that is, the kids should learn all subjects up to Abitur and be good at all of them because that's the only way to make them fit for Uni and the world.


    I prefer a mix and match system, the way it was for me in the UK, and which is truly the best for some pupils. I would have totally failed in the German system. I needed an education in which my strengths (English language, foreign languages, arts) were reinforced and I could withdraw energy from the subjects I truly, genuinly couldn't come to grips with - which was mathematics. So I managed to scrape through British O levels with maths, and then drop it completely at age 16, and concentrate on language and do well in those subjects. My friend was appalled. It seems she would have preferred me to fail completely at keeping up in certain subjects, and then learn a trade -- which would not have worked at all. With all due respect for trades -- I'm far too impractical and clumsy to go in that direction! But now my friend considers me badly educated.


    I think my son could have shone in the German system if only he had been allowed a little more freedom to do things his way, and not to toe the line, and if I had been more aware of my own role. My daughter is like me in many ways; totally incompatible with the German system.


    I suspect that the Chinese and Singaporeans are even more rigid than the Germans, the parents even more pushy. In some ways I admire this way of doing things; they do achieve results. But finally, it's not for me.


    I have to say, that the British go far too much in the other direction, thus you get what they call the Mickey Mouse degrees and lowering of standards so as to support the weak students, so that more students can be winners. My daughter went from an average British Uni to TUM, and she says the difference was like day and night. TUM was much, much, a hundred times better, and she enjoyed it, even enjoyed the pressure -- as an adult she was far more capable of adapting than she had been as a child. She has a very low opinion of British unis and the study ethic of students there, who, she says, were more into partying and getting drunk and getting laid than in studying.


  15. Quote

     am not sure how this can be possible.  The rules for the Gymnasium recommendation are very clear, in Berlin is up to 2,2 for a straight recommendation.  And between 2,3 and 2,7 the result of the "Individual competence" evaluation comes into play, but this is done by ALL the teachers of the kid.

    2 hours ago, Krieg said:



    Sorry but this still does not make sense.  The recommendation does not come from ONE teacher, a teacher only can influence the process with the grade of the subject he/she teaches.   There are 7 or 8 subjects involved in the decision,...






    No. Both my kids had only ONE teacher for the main subjects (Maths and German) all through primary school. My son's teacher absolutely hated him; I'm not exagerrating. He had had a brilliant teacher for his first year, he adored her and she brought out the best in him, but she left and her replacement was a horror. I could tell some stories about favouritism... he had her from 2. Klasse to 4. Klasse and she gave him a Realschule recommendation. The other teachers -- I don;t even know who they were, they were minor.


    I removed my daughter from the Grundschule in the third year and put her in the Waldorfschule. She learnt nothing there and the bullying was even worse than in the Grundschule. Again, it was just one teacher the kids had for the first 8 years (I think!) of school. 


    This is all in Baden-Wuerttemberg.

    Even when my son returned from England, having done really well at school there, top grades, the Gymnasium principle wouldn't accept him. He actually said I was trying to sneak him into the Gymnasium through the back door. Even though he had, in effect, repeated a class (left at the end of 4., returned after a year to enter the 5.)


  16. 1 hour ago, Krieg said:





    At the end it is all simple maths.  Yes, I had to learn it the German way just to be able to support the kids, nothing complicated, it is just primary school arithmetic.  If the kid can learn it, I assume any adult can learn it provided you actually want to do it.


    I'm bad even at primary school maths! No kidding. I still can't do any mental arithmetic at all -- I add on my fingers. I think it's called dyscalculie or something -- there wasn't a name for it back in my day. I simply cannot keep numbers in my head. It's bad.


    1 hour ago, Krieg said:



    That's the mistake.  The teacher is teaching the kid.  The parents are supporting them and making sure they are actually learning.   The alternative is ignoring everything and been surprised by an unexpected grade.


    I can normally predict how my kids will do in tests because I know what they know, what they struggle with, what they are really bad at, and so on.  My guess is almost always in the ballpark and the difference is normally simple luck.   Again, I really like this.


    If I could do it all again, knowing what I know now, I would. I was too compacent; I didn't "get" the German system, buy also, I believe, there's a certain type of learning it's really suited for, and neither I nor my kids could ever have thrived. I would have ended up in the Hauptschule, I'm certain; both I and my daughter have more "soft" strengths, artistic, creative, that don't count for much in D. And my son was too individualistic. He figured out ways to calculate things not using the given system; he'd get the right results in maths, but he had to show how he did it, and never could. He'd write marvellous stories, and be told he used too much imagination. Things like that.


    I was interested in following what they learned, but actually sitting down and practicing with them -- I never did that. I think there was a certain mental incompatability with the German system. All three of us did well in the UK (in my case, also Guyana) system. I also much prefer all day school -- slower, more time for everything.

    But -- well, it's all over now. Thank goodness.


    My granddaughter is also having problems in Austria, it appears. Her mother has decided to homeschool her. I'm not sure it's the right decision. She's here right now and obviously very, very bright but I can't see her thriving in a German school, and I assume Austria is similar.



  17. I think there would be complications in claiming UK residence and registering to vote.

    I just checked the Northern Ireland info and I afaik would have to apply for permanent residence.

    This would also mean being tax resident in NI which I don't want to be for various reasons.

    Looks like I'll have to suck it up, unles SOLVIT has a solution.

    I'll keep this updated. Could be interesting for others.