• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

68 Very good

About Tammodar

Profile Information

  • Location Stuttgart
  • Nationality british and german
  1. Best options for new central heating system

    I don't have first-hand experience with a pelletofen, but mother-in-law had her heating system completely  replaced with a pellet burner in the cellar about four years ago. I must admit that I was a bit sceptical at  the beginning, but now I'm really quite impressed. It is fully automatic - just what she needed. She can set all the heating times and days on the display as needed. The only noise it makes is every day at 18:00 when the vacuum pump gets another load of pellets from the reservoir, which takes 5 to 10  minutes - the time can be changed. Otherwise completely silent. The ashes are automatically put into  a bin which has to be emptied about twice a year. The pellet reservoir has several cubic metres of  pellets, I think it has only been refilled twice in the four years. It just does it's thing and the house  is warm in the winter. 
  2. Brexit / Applying for German citizenship

    I ticked the "nein" box and wrote: "Ich beziehe mich auf Paragraph 87 Absatz 2 Ausländergesetz, wonach von EU-Bürgern die Aufgabe der bisherigen Staatsbürgerschaft nicht verlangt wird, deren Staaten dies von  deutschen Bewerbern auch nicht verlangen, also das Prinzip der Gegenseitigkeit. Landtag von Baden  Württemberg, Drucksache 13 / 3132 vom 22.04.2004."   I was granted dual citizenship, no further questions asked - but that was back in 2005. When I picked  up my certificate of citizenship, they gave me a one page "Merkblatt für Mehrstaater".
  3. How long did you wait for your Einbürgerungsurkunde?

    Mine was ready after about four weeks, but that was back in 2005 when very few Brits were  applying for dual citizenship. I have no idea why it went so quickly, I thought it was the normal  wait at the time. Perhaps I was just lucky that the people at the Landratsamt didn't have much  to do back then. 
  4. Brexit / Applying for German citizenship

    After reading the posts submitted over the last couple of days, I decided to post my thoughts, although I've already mentioned most of it previously, so here goes - at the risk of repeating some things.   My application for dual citizenship was not Brexit driven.   My decision to apply for German citizenship precedes the entire Brexit debate by about ten years. For me it was more an emotional and personal thing than practically motivated, I felt a desire to belong to and actively participate (politically) in the country in which I had been living for over 20 years. Back in 2005 there was no need for me to apply for dual citizenship, but I had been thinking about it for a couple of years. I only acted on it when dual citizenship became available. There is no rational reason for keeping my British citizenship, but I did not want to give it up. I cannot imagine returning to the UK, my friends are here, and of course my wife. We own our house and I have no relatives left in the UK. I would probably have difficulties re-adjusting to a life in the UK after all these years. In retrospect, having both passports has given me a tremendous sense of security and peace of mind.   A quick timeline: 1983 - Arrival in Germany, 23 years old, university student 1988 - Finished degree, full-time employment in Germany 1995 - Goethe certificate C2 "Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom" 2005 - End of March: Application for citizenship 2005 - April: Citizenship granted 2007 - Renewed my UK passport during a visit in the UK 2015 - Renewed my German passport / Ausweis 2018 - Renewed my UK passport again, but from Germany 2019 - Still here after 36 years, that wasn't in the Master Plan   I was asked to hand-write a CV at the time of my application. I was prepared and already knew what I needed to write - one hand-written page.  My case worker hardly glanced at it and certainly did not read it, I could have written anything, he didn't care. He simply put it into my file and ticked off the item on his list.   My German is fluent - but not perfect, never will be - but some German friends say they can hardly hear an accent. I spoke German with my case worker. He asked me for some kind of proof of my German, "it would be grand indeed if you have something on paper" and no, a degree from university does not count. I gave him a copy of the C2 Goethe certificate "oh yeah, that will be fine" and he put it into the file. My impression: within bounds they can make discretionary decisions. I was not required to provide any translations (i.e. birth certificate, etc.). My case worker said "no, that's OK, I can read English".  Any non-English would have had to provide official translations. My luck, my Beamter understands English. How about Türkish or Chinese?   There was no citizenship test back in 2005. I have tried one found on the internet recently and would have passed it with little preparation.   My driver's license was converted back in the 80's, haven't given it a thouhgt since then.   The entire process took only four weeks back in 2005 and was much less hassle than I had imagined it to be.  My case worker even mentioned that it was quite unusual for someone from the UK to apply for citizenship, but he also said that the number of applications for citizenship from other EU countries had risen since Germany had accepted dual citizenship. Anyway, I am glad it's over and done with. I think the recent developments in the UK are regrettable, but I don't have to worry about any personal consequences.    
  5. Brexit / Applying for German citizenship

    @Derek I came to Germany as a student in 1983 and worked as an employee from about 1988  until 1995, since then I've been an independent IT-Contrator. When I applied for dual citizenship in 2005, as soon as it was then legally allowed, I was asked for proof of my income. I gave them copies of the last two or three tax returns (Einkommensteuerbescheid)  and they were satisfied with that. I did not give them any information from or about the companies I was working for at the time - I couldn't have done so because I had signed several secrecy or non-disclosure agreements with those companies. 
  6. Brexit / Applying for German citizenship

    I had to do the handwritten CV back in 2005 when I applied for dual citizenship. My caseworker hardly  glanced at it and put it into my file. I had the impression that nobody was actually interested in what  I had written - it was simply a requirement that had to be fulfilled and was ticked off on the list.  
  7. First Ever German Dentist Appointment

    I had a German dentist where I used to live, but then I moved to a new location about six years ago. I had been dreading looking for a new dentist, I have a mortal fear of them! I would have been too far away to  go back to my old dentist. My wife went to one here in the village where we now live about a year ago and was very pleased. Then I went to the same one - my fears were completely unfounded. He is friendly,  competent and took plenty of time to explain everything to me and answered all my questions. I will be  going back for a check-up again this year.   
  8. IT Contractor Jobs, IT Freiberufler

    I've been contracting for well over 20 years. For a number of reasons it is not as popular here in  Germany as in the US or UK, mostly because of complications concerning the legal status of  contractors, but probably cultural differences are important too. When I first started in the 90s it  was still possible to get direct contracts, but nowadays almost everything goes through an agency.  I have also had (notice the past tense) my own GmbH to circumvent the need for an agency, but if  you want to go down that road you need to be absolutely dedicated, do extensive market analysis,  be prepared to work very long hours, deal with incredible beaurocracy, have enough money to  weather over the first few months (in addition to the 25k € needed to start the GmbH going) and you  will need near-native fluency in German. I don't mean to quench your enthusiasm, but you need to  know what to expect. If you go through an agency - the "normal" and easier route - it's much easier,  but still requires some preparation and a cash buffer. Have a look at some of the freelancer / contractor search sites such as gulp and monster or some of the agencies - a search on the internet can help.  One contract tends to lead to another once you have enough contacts and are known in your  particular field or skill. That has worked out for me, at least.
  9. Very strange heating problems

    Hi lisa13, we had the problem that some of the radiators in our house would not warm up properly. Of course we tried bleeding the air out and checked the water pressure, everything was OK. It all seemed rather random to us, one day it would work and on others some rooms would never warm up, even on the thermostat setting of "5" (hot) the radiator would remain cold.  We found out through experimentation that we could set the thermostats in one room to "1" (cold) and  then a different room would be warm, sometimes on a different floor level - we have 3 floors and about  23 radiators. Finally we consulted our local friendly heating company and they sent a technician. After  checking the heating system etc he said we needed a "hydraulischer Abgleich". He adjusted the  pressure with the valve at the bottom of the radiator (not the one connected to the thermostat) for every  radiator individually, depending on the distance from the main circulation pump and floor level in the house.  The whole procedure took a day, but it was worth the bother - we can now heat every room in the house  according to the thermostat setting. 
  10. Brexit / Applying for German citizenship

    At least for me there are two advantages:  being able to participate in German society on a political level  AND I don't have to worry about any consequences Brexit may have - the outcome is still quite unclear.   Over the years I have worked for EU projects in several other neighboring countries for months at a  time - no hassle. 
  11. Brexit / Applying for German citizenship

    Congrats! I've had dual citzenship now for over 13 years and haven't regretted doing it for one minute.
  12. Writing in German

    I enjoy reading both English and German, it makes no difference to me which language it is. Mind you,  I've been here in Germany now for 35 years and had the advantage of learning the language in an  academic environment where I had to read (and write) in order to survive. I can write correct German as well - it is indeed possible - but it did take me many years to grasp the very formal Amtsdeutsch style. Read as much as you can, it all helps, even simpler things in the beginning. When you understand new words in context, you don't have to look them up and you remember them the next time.  You will eventually reach a stage when you  understand almost everything in the context of the book / newspaper / magazine or whatever - that's when it really  starts to be enjoyable.
  13. Brexit / Applying for German citizenship

    When I applied for a renewal of my UK passport earlier this year, I was required to provide a colour  photocopy of my German passport - all pages, including the front and back cover. I have had dual  citizenship since 2005, so this is the second UK passport renewal since then. I don't remember that  question on the application from ten years ago and I think the UK passport agency was unaware of  my German citizenship back then - unless they were informed by the Germans.