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About zwiebel

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  • Location Berlin
  • Nationality USA
  1. Water heater & 2 connection taps

    I am happy to report that there are pressured water heaters that are really top notch that you can buy. There are many available at Amazon and for order through a local shop or plumber, just in case someone else wants to benefit from high pressure/water saving taps in the kitchen.  
  2. I bought a great high pressure/water saving tap and under-sink water heating tank for the kitchen and had the handyman come today for the installation. Not knowing about the water heater system here, I was unaware that you need three connection taps, not 2 connection taps due to the water pressure that will hurt the tank. I am really unimpressed with the three connection kitchen faucets I am seeing and wondering if there are any hot water tanks on the market that would allow for high pressure (2 connection) taps. Thanks for any thoughts on this.
  3. Several questions about charging VAT

    Hi, I have had clients all from outside the EU so VAT was not an issue. But now I have two new clients from the EU and when I said I would have to charge VAT one of these clients said that he would pay it on his end. Is this valid? What is the procedure for this? And yes, I have written my accountant but I think they are on holiday. I don't know if it matters but I am a journalist.  Thanks for any information you might offer.
  4. Ecological shops

    You have a poor understanding of ecology and sound might pure with your preachiness. First some facts: deliveries made to 50 clients in the same neighbourhood saves on the carbon footprint. Instead of fifty people making a trip to haul back large volumes of food, one truck does it locally. This is mathematically better.   Nobody is suggesting 80m people do this daily. I am speaking of large quantities a few times a year. Many Germans drive to the store several times a week. You do the math again. "virtuously trudging to the shops while their kids breathe in the toxins from these home deliveries of the 20 who get to ignore the impacts"--uh, check your post for virtuous. Trucks are carrying loads of crap that you and others buy while we breath in the toxins. I guess it's just your choice what you get to do to damage the earth and what you can judge of others , right?  Get off your high horse, dude.  You are on a computer. I could write you an article about the amount of environmental damage and human rights violations you are involved in buy owning a computer, but I won't.  And yeah, it's a personal life choice after all.   But let's not get facts in the way of your conspiracy hate-athon (not that you care about facts). But the most ecological form of home deliveries are for those of groceries since they have a next to nil rate of return and home deliveries in most recent studies are shown to be good--not bad--for the environmental impact. I suppose you troll people getting veg boxes.  The studies show that deliveries are just more ecological hands down. Now you can do more purity posturing here and claim that you NEVER use a car, but that would be lie. And we know this how? Again, your computer, your food that you self-flagellatingly purchase as you walk barefoot to the shop in the middle of a snow storm naked, was brought in by transport powered by fossil fuels, and so forth.  But then, I suspect you just let your wife do all the dirty work and you sit back and tell your friends how green you are as she hauls up fifty kilos of rice, lentils, vegan sausage and tofu up the stairs every week or two.  It is exhausting to read your words. I wonder how you live with yourself oh purest of all.
  5. Ecological shops

    Thanks so much 2B_orNot2B for this list!!
  6. Ecological shops

    Yes, good advice!  I know that those animals that get into rice are the end of your food stock.  :)
  7. Ecological shops

      That depends.  I am one person buying a load of goods for a home. I can't carry it all. It would be equally "non-ecological" if I were to pick it up in my non-existent car. Many people do use cars to do large shoppings of dry and household items. It ends up being more ecological if you think about it--one truck making stops in a geographical pattern for, say, 20 homes, as opposed to twenty different cars going to the shop to bring back items.  I use delivery a few times a year to bring large and heavy items (ie. flours, pastas, grains, etc). I would physically not be able to do this without a car and as someone who works more than full-time, it saves me dozens of trips to shop that I physically cannot do.  
  8. Refusing to pay TV license fees (Rundfunkbeitrag)

    There is nothing neo-con about about people who resist from television. If anything, it is anything but conservative to not partake in television culture. On that you are entirely wrong. So too your Manichean divisions of conservative vs non-conservative in this argument.  People can dislike paying all sorts of things, but schools and health insurance directly benefit them. Television does not. These are apples and oranges arguments and rather silly to make such a comparison.
  9. Refusing to pay TV license fees (Rundfunkbeitrag)

      Yes, it sure is. You are playing very bad arguments here. You can't compare education and healthcare to seeing Manchester Utd.   As for access to arts and culture being a sign of an advanced society, I agree. But that should not be mandated to this fee nor uniquely limited to the television.  One thing I always appreciated about New York, for instance, is that you could go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and pay .01 cent if you had no other means. There are free concerts, dances, theatre, and films every single day from mid May through the first week of September and you can get amazingly cheap tickets to the arts and performances. Many places offer free tickets in fact (ie. the MOMA) for students and elderly.  And public television in the US is quite good, as are the many other broadcasters who popped up over the years on cable.  I think what many people take issue with is that television is a luxury item and many do not consume it, instead attending other arts events which are not receiving similar funding, for which people are expending much more money--once on what they don't use, and again on what they do. Like Andreas Papanastasiou, I have never had a TV or radio and never will due to the nature of my work and my interests (and moreso time).   
  10. Ecological shops

    I am looking for any shops in the area of Düsseldorf where you can bring in, for instance, your empty laundry detergent bottle and refill it and shop for fruit and veg without being saddled with plastic. Or--and I seem to remember reading this somewhere--delivery services for your home and kitchen where they take back your plastics when they return with the next delivery (but I can't remember which company does this)? Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks & happy new year!
  11. Hiring Cleaning Person for Stairwell & Hallway

    I keep my monetary arrangements far from my neighbours--very far. I would never ask a neighbour to do work for pay as this brings into my life possible complexities that I do not wish. I am hiring someone who is a professional cleaner from outside so I can keep my private life private separate from my neighbours. I keep a professional distance from neighbours until I am comfortable to know them more if I so choose. Any such arrangement would breach my comfort and my privacy which are paramount to me. That they choose to clean themselves is really not my business, but I would expect that they respect my right to hire an external person (as the landlord has also suggested to them apparently). There is a history it would seem of their not always doing the work in the hallway. Regardless, I am hiring someone to take care of my obligation for this and if over time others want to join in and pay for this person's services that can always be discussed. Regardless, I think the hiring of someone for a job every 8 weeks would fall under freelance work as many of us are here. As a freelancer, I am responsible for paying my taxes, social insurance, pension, etc. I would ensure that they are eligible to work, but I think as an odd job every two months, the one thing they could charge me is VAT, as I do my EU-based clients. I can see about my home renter insurance if this would cover someone cleaning the hallway for me. Perhaps that is covered?
  12. Hiring Cleaning Person for Stairwell & Hallway

    No, they don't. Everyone here does it themselves. I think they are either not working or working part-time.  So I am doing this alone.  The people who have responded to my ad are not surprised by my request (eg. I imagine they also do this for others in my position) and have not expressed curiosity as to why only every 8 weeks.
  13. Refusing to pay TV license fees (Rundfunkbeitrag)

    Who said extending this to all areas of society?  These are luxury items, not basic needs.  Many of us don't have time to watch television and have worked throughout the holidays. It's a logical fallacy what you make out here--a straw man to be precise. Because I am pointing out the pay-for model for television consumption has nothing to do with free markets and privatising all public services. That's just silly.
  14. In my flat the residents take turns every two weeks cleaning the hallway and corridor. I have decided to employ someone since I am not sure when I will be away and then as a single parent there are times that I simply won't have time to do this.   What are the procedures to hiring someone to clean the hallway and stairwell every two months? Is there anything I should be careful of? Is it appropriate that I ask for a photocopy of a national ID card? Am I contractually obligated to this person if I find out that she is not good at her job or that she is late in performing it, etc?  Are there any insurance concerns that I should have? For instance, if she slips and falls am I legally responsible for her or is there a form I would have her sign?   Sorry for the many questions but I have come to see Germany for all the legal entanglements that can arise and I would like to avoid these problems. Thanks in advance for any and all advice!!
  15. Refusing to pay TV license fees (Rundfunkbeitrag)

    I think this thread of over 60 pages shows the point of arguing this. Many historical instances come to mind of issues raised in court that were wrongly judged and later raised again and reversed. That's hardly an argument.  It's a logical fallacy, in fact--argumentum ab auctoritate. The pay for service model is certainly the best solution where everyone would be happy. I see no reasons not to have such a model in Germany unless the end goal here is to extort money from the many who do not watch television at all in a move to elide the fact that viewership does not merit the budgets.