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About maryrrf

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  • Location Hessen
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  1. How to get clips of me playing acoustic guitar

    When I lived in the US I used to perform at some acoustic venues - pubs, wine tasting events, etc. I also booked performers for an acoustic concert series. This might help: First, a potential venue often prefers an actual clip of you performing in front of an audience so they can get an idea of how good a performer you are. Some very good musicians or singers aren't good performers - they don't interact well with the audience. The booker wants to know that you can not only play music, but that you can entertain an audience. If you're doing any gigs at all right now, or if you can get to an open mike or something of that nature, have someone film you. Once you've got a few performance clips, consider putting together a basic website that includes some information about what kind of music you perform, where you've played in the past and any bookings you have lined up. You can include some sound clips and the video clips, as well as a few publicity blurbs and photos. Then make up some business cards with your website address so you can give them out and they can have a look at their leisure. Good luck!
  2. Getting an S1 for moving to another EU country

    Thank you for the above links. We talked with TK again this morning. They are aware of the S1 but they only issue the E 121 and said it is the S1 equivalent and is accepted by other EU countries, including Spain, so hopefully we won't have a problem when we apply for Spanish residency. It may well be that I will fall under the Spanish system, not being an EU citizen. Spain very recently instituted universal health care applicable to all residents, so I think once we begin paying taxes in Spain it won't be a problem. Otherwise I'll look into private insurance.
  3. Getting an S1 for moving to another EU country

    Well, if TK can't provide the S1 I certainly hope the Spanish authorities will accept the E 121. I'm going to contact TK tomorrow and try hard to get the S1, which I think they won't question in Spain.
  4. We are moving to Spain in November. We checked with the Spanish equivalent of the Auslanderbehörde and they specifically said we need an S1 form from Germany. (We are both retired, and I'm insured with my husband by TK). We went to our local TK office last week to request the S1 form. The representative we spoke to had never heard of it, but he called his colleague and let us speak to him over the phone. We explained the situation and were told that what we actually needed was the E 121, which had replaced the S1. We received the E 121 form today, but when I did some checking it seems that it is really the other way around - the S1 replaced the E 121 several years ago. I find it strange that TK is still using the E 121 it if it has been superseded. Did we just happen to get an incompetent TK employee, or are German Krankenkassen still using the E 121? 
  5. I love living in Germany, but...

    Yes! As a matter of fact I find cyclists to be a major problem in Germany when you are a pedestrian, both on footpaths and in pedestrian zones. Often there are clearly marked signs stating that cyclists must use "Shrittempo" but many zigzag through the crowds or down the footpath at high speed. Often you can't hear them behind you and if you happen to make a slight movement to the side you're liable to get hit. The other day I went for a stroll with my husband at a particularly lovely park that's near us. The weather was nice and the footpaths were full of bikers. After a couple of near misses I found it too unnerving and we left. I don't know what the solution is - I understand it's fun to ride bikes but what about people who are out for a relaxing stroll?
  6. Unsolicited parenting advice/pushiness

    I totally agree with this. Your husband is much more attuned to his family's dynamics, and he should have a word with his mother and stepbrother - politely telling them to stop questioning the decisions that you, as a couple, make about how you raise your child. It will probably be difficult and take some time, but you want to politely establish some boundaries and your husband's support is vital to this. Mentally prepare some diplomatic statements such as "Yes we've considered that, but we've made a decision based on what works best for us as a family." or something to that effect and change the subject if they keep harping on it. You will probably have to do this a lot and it will take patience. 
  7. Well we're going to do it. We just got back from Algeciras on a home renting mission. I emailed 5 realtors - one answered and said they'd work with us. We arrived Sunday before last and on the following Monday morning they showed us a house. It was beautiful - less than 5 minutes walking from the beach with a view of Gibraltar from the back garden, 4 bedrooms and 4 baths, a big American style kitchen with all appliances, a garage, in a gated community. We loved it of course but I thought maybe the realtor hadn't paid attention to our budget as I was sure it would be far too expensive for us. However, it's only 20 euros a month more than what we pay for a small 1 and a half (the second bedroom is miniscule) apartment in Germany. The extra space will be great for when our friends, relatives and grown children come to visit, and we hope they'll come more often with the beach as an incentive. We had to show proof of income (our pensions), our passports, and presto - we signed the lease. We've already met the neighbors and they all seem very friendly and welcoming. Algeciras gets a bad rap because it does have some dodgy areas and the port area is very industrialized, but we're in a nice sector and the downtown area around the main plaza is fine with lots of shopping, cafes and restaurants. There's a large Moroccan neighborhood that has a bad reputation but it's okay during the day and we will be able to easily find all the ingredients for the Moroccan dishes my husband likes to cook, plus we're so close to Morocco that we could pop over, have couscous for lunch and return the same day. I've enjoyed my 2 years in Germany but this was too good to pass up. We've found a nachmieter for our apartment here and hope to be off to Spain in early November. We checked with the Spanish equivalent of the Auslanderampt - we have some administrative details to take care of when we get there in order to establish residency but it looks doable.  This will be a new adventure. I'll let folks know how we get on!
  8. Must-see places to visit in Germany

    Since this thread has just been revived I'll add to it. My husband and I just got back from Miltenberg one of our favorite places and I remarked that although a lot of cruise ships stop there it really isn't that well known. There's a lovely river walk with lots of ducks and swans, the Hauptstrasse is charming with quaint houses and shops, and there's also a mountain walkway that take you up to the castle, with spectacular views. They have the oldest continuously operating Gastehaus in Germany, and you can tour the Faust Brewery. I'd also put in a word for Aschaffenburg. It's the nearest big town to us and we go several times a week. There's a magnificent castle (Schloss Johannisburg) with a nice restaurant, and the old castle grounds have been made in to a large, beautiful park with a lake, formal gardens and woodlands that goes right into the city.  Or, if you prefer, there's a river walk along the banks of the Main and you can get coffee and cake at one of the houseboats.  We also like Michelstadt, in the Odenwald. Beautiful little town, the center of which is the medieval Rathaus. There are lots of nice restaurants and cafés too. All of these places are easy to reach for a day trip from Frankfurt.
  9. Goods that Americans miss most?

    It was "invented" and first manufactured in San Francisco. One of the first packaged convenience foods in America. Here's the story:  
  10. Goods that Americans miss most?

      Yes it's awful stuff but every now and then it hits the spot!
  11. Goods that Americans miss most?

    I think that sometimes the obsession with small details about alternatives to favorite foods not tasting exactly right or not being "real" or "proper" has to do with the nature of the cravings. It isn't necessarily the food itself that we want, but the comforting sense of familiarity it imparts. Even among expats who don't especially miss their home countries there is sometimes a twinge of homesickness, and a specific taste or smell can strongly evoke a place and time, bringing that feeling into our consciousness however briefly. For instance, Campbell's Tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches made with Borden's cheese food slices and white bread, grilled with plenty of margarine, would immediately take me back to Friday nights when I was a kid in 1960. Mom would be tired from a week at work and she would make this for our dinner and allow us to watch The Flintstones on TV while we ate. It was a real treat for my little brother and me. I don't bring any of this back to Germany but I do sometimes replicate the meal when I'm in the States. It's pure junk, but it's a happy meal for me sometimes.  
  12. Goods that Americans miss most?

    Yes this is true - I'm American but really miss good Mexican food more than anything else. I almost brought some jars of mole poblano back with me but decided it would be too messy if any leaked in the suitcase. One of the first things I do when I go back to the States is to pay a visit to my favorite Mexican restaurant.  
  13. "Very cold country" - Expats don't feel welcome in Germany

    I have felt welcome in Germany. Our neighbors are friendly and helpful and have even invited us to share birthday celebrations, out to dinner, etc. Some of them have garden plots and they frequently stop by to drop off tomatoes, zucchini, lettuce, raspberries, strawberries and such. I'm an American in my sixties, been here for two years and speak intermediate German. I do usually make an effort to stop and chat in the hallway, make a fuss over their dogs, etc.  and my friendliness has been reciprocated. We live in  a small town so that probably makes it easier as people tend to be more relaxed. Even strangers around here usually exchange greetings when walking around town.   
  14. Goods that Americans miss most?

    Offhand, I cannot think of anything food related for which an acceptable substitute couldn't be found in Germany. I do get a kick out of some of the things that show up for "American Week" at Aldi or Netto. Most of it is unknown to me - various sauces, etc. that I've never seen in the States, oversized hamburger rolls, Mike Mitchell hot dogs in jars... I was in Rewe the other day and they had several kinds of "Cheez Whiz" type concoctions -  processed cheese that you squeeze or squirt from a bottle or can, and tiny bottles of Hellman's mayo for 5 euros. Kraft Mac N Cheese might sell on Ebay. For a lot of Americans it's a go to comfort food. What I do stock up on in the States are my favorite OTC meds. I love having a well stocked medicine cabinet and I hate having to go to the Apotheke and ask for things. I like browsing the shelves of Target or CVS. I now have a supply of Tylenol, both PM, regular and special migraine, DayQuil and NyQuil caplets, Sucrets, Sleep Eze, aspirin, Pepto Bismol, Hydrocort cream, Lomatil - I'm all set for any minor illness and I don't get sick a lot so I'm probably good for a couple of years with what I brought back last time. It's probably not legal to sell that stuff on Ebay though. Good luck and enjoy your trip home!
  15. Where to buy a menstrual cup (DivaCup etc.)

    Personally I would not use the cup any more until you go to the doctor and find out what's going on. What Lisa13 said about toxic shock risk is true, and if you suspect the smell may be due to bacteria, which certainly sounds possible, it might not be a good idea to use any cup. If the onset of the odor was sudden, something has changed and not for the better, so a new cup would presumably get contaminated too. Switch to pads temporarily. The pads are disposable and can be changed frequently. You could always go back to the cup, and get a new one if necessary, once you've cleared up whatever is wrong.