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About liebling

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  • Location Heidelberg
  • Nationality USA
  • Gender Female
  • Interests kids, research, sleep, food, current affairs and a bunch of other stuff I'm too tired to recall just now.

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  1. A good Kinderkrippe, ideally bilingual

    What does it say on the contract you signed with the Kita? If the terms of the Eingewohnung (including scheduling of start date) are written out there, it's probably a lost cause. Be careful: coming up with 'strong arguments' for why they should change policies, or somehow make you an exception to the rule might sour your budding relationship with the people who will be looking after your pride and joy. It's an important relationship (between you and the carers, between your child and the carers) and you don't want to get off on the wrong foot with them. (Also: German institutional cultures are not known for their flexibility in meeting individual needs and requests.)   I get how the scheduling of the Eingewohnung is incompatible with your plans, but it's a good sign (for your child) that the Kita takes Eingewohnung so seriously. Also, although it's probably also cold comfort, school (and yes, sometimes even Kita) calendars tend to be king in Germany, and families get used to not having much choice in the scheduling of their lives. This is esp. true of Kitas where it's a provider's market, i.e. where Kita places are scarce and waitlists long (and staff tend to be hard to find, too).    Good luck! 
  2. Forwarding DHL parcel to a branch

    I have been facing similar problems - in my case, the DPD delivery person fakes delivery attempts (does not actually come to my house where I am waiting in person to receive the package), but delivers the package directly to a DPD Pickup-Paketshop. In my case, their website shows a DPD Pickup-Paketshopin my postcode, 1.2 km from my house, yet my "undeliverable" (i.e. undelivered) package got brought to a different one, a flower shop with limited hours some 6.5km away (35 minutes one way by public transport). I feel your pain! (DHL has been good to me, though - just goes to show how dependent it is on the individual drivers.)   My suggestion: See if you can have your packages either addressed to your work or to a small business near your house (a stationer, a gas station, a pharmacy or dentist's office...).  The latter requires some particular kindness on the part of the business owner/staff but if you are a neighbor (and of course if you give them your custom) they will often be happy to help by accepting parcels for you and keeping them until the evening or next day.   In my experience delivery services are much more reliable at actually dropping packages off at business addresses than at private addresses. I guess they (correctly) assume somebody will be there to sign for it and they know they can hardly use the excuse that "I rang the bell but nobody was there" at a business that was demonstrably open at the time their delivery attempt was supposed to have taken place.  Good luck!
  3. Where to buy pork-free jelly sweeties

    Aldi Süd also have a line of own-brand gelatine-free gummy sweets in their regular product range.  Maybe Aldi Nord do, too?
  4. Orgami paper

    My local Aldi-Süd had patterned origami paper on sale when I stopped by there yesterday.  I've ordered some from Amazon in the past, but I've seen it at local craft stores, too. Our location stationer has sometimes had it, but it's not always in stock there.
  5. what happens at a pap smear test

    I agree with all the responses here (including about those German "friends" not doing you any favors with their troubling commentaries). Why not schedule a consultation with the female gynaecologist before going in for an exam?  Go to her, tell her about your physical limitations (spine, hip, etc.) and the worries about the smear test prompted by others' comments.  Let her explain how *she* does it at *her* practice and tell you how she can accommodate you given your physical circumstances and concerns. She can write everything down in her record of your consultation, and after that you can make another appointment to go in for the check-up and smear test (and remind her then of your prior conversation, too). 
  6. The third annual Heidelberg Women's March will take place on Saturday, 19 January 2019 at 13:30, beginning at Friedrich-Ebert-Platz. As in years past, this event is taking place in solidarity with demonstrations elsewhere in Germany (Frankfurt, Hamburg, Berlin and Munich), in Europe, and around the world. Follow the link for more information:
  7. Electronic toothbrush

    Luke, some of those innovations may be absurd, but others may well be necessary for many folks around these parts. Don't forget that the need for intensive tooth cleaning (or lack thereof) depends in large part on one's diet. If those people in Africa you mentioned ate and drank the same quantity of sugary food and drink (and stain-causing coffee and wine) that most Europeans now do, they, too, would probably find wooden chewing sticks to be less than effective in maintaining their pearly whites.
  8. No homeschooling here - attendance at (primary) school is compulsory, so they have to find school places for new children whenever they arrive. It may not necessarily be at the school of your choice (i.e. the primary school nearest your residence). Kindergarten attendance is not compulsory, and education/care below year 1 (age 6) of Grundschule is usually not provided by the education system at all; instead it's private, or else public social (non-educational) services and/or church-based charitable offerings. In many parts of the country is often very difficult to find a Kindergarten place (see the many threads on this - there may be Munich-specific ones, too). Although the law requires municipalities to guarantee the provision of a place to every child who comes forward for one, in fact the guarantee is largely toothless. Municipalities rely on a mix of public/private/social/charitable provision to make up their numbers and the "guarantee" allows them to offer you a place clear on the opposite side of the city if there's nothing available near your home. You don't say how old your Kindergarten child will be, but s/he might have priority for any spaces opening up mid-year if s/he doesn't speak German (as linguistic integration is a key goal of current early education policy).    There are quite a few threads here on Toytown about how to place new non-German-speaking students.  The tripartite Germany secondary school system means that much hinges on a child's results in year 3 of primary school - especially in Germn and Maths.  The children currently in year 4 across Germany - your son's cohort, basically - are just getting (or have already received) their teachers' recommendations as to what kind of secondary school they should attend and, thus, what kind of career path is foreseen for them. Applications for secondary school then take place in winter/spring (depending on where you live).  In some parts of the country the teacher's recommendation is binding, in other places it can be overridden by parents (albeit with much wringing of hands on the part of the child's teacher and the head of the next-level school to which the child is admitted).      Your choice of what year/cohort your son should be placed in will depend on a number of factors, including the school's experience and recommendations (Are teachers willing and able to work with your son as a learner of German as a second language?), your family's ability to support rapid German learning (Do any of you adults speak German well enough to help with homework? Can you afford tutoring or other extracurricular language training?), your priorities for your child's further educational path (Remaining in Germany for the long haul or here only temporarily? Do you want your child to attend university or not? In Germany or elsewhere?), and what kind of learner your child is (Does he pick up the language swiftly? Is he detail-oriented enough to quickly master the written form, including grammar and German orthography?).     Good luck!    
  9. p.s. re: your questions about how to do things once you have identified potential clubs: each club has a website including contact information for the C-Jugend coaching staff.  Get in touch with the C-Jugend coaches of as many individual clubs as might come into question in order to inquire about the possibility of your son joining the team (or at least coming to have a look-see or try-out) once he's on the ground here in HD.    If your contact is via email, don't be surprised if you don't get a response for a while (or ever); Germans don't tend to favor email (even though they offer their email address as a means of contact, which seems kind of contradictory but there you go). If they think they have to respond in English it might delay their response even further, so if you do email them in English, mention in your mail that they're welcome to reply in German (which you can then google translate, if need be). That will increase your chances of getting a response sooner rather than later (or at all). 
  10. Lucky you to be coming to Heidelberg!  It's a wonderful, beautiful place to live.    There are many soccer clubs for kids your son's age in HD.  He's able to compete (and will get a player-passport) according to his year of birth - if he was born in 2004, he'll be playing at "C-Jugend" level.  Nearly all C-Jugend teams will be practicing at least twice a week (Mon-Fri, for 2 hours each time), or even 3 times (6 hours a week), plus games/tournaments on weekends. This schedule continues year-round, indoors and outdoors. (One of my kids is 2 years younger - at D level - and his team and ohters at that level practice at least 4 hours a week, some more than that). You can get data about the different Heidelberg clubs and their C-Jugend teams (including their place in their respective league according to autumn league tables, for instance) via this website.  That way you can weigh different criteria in your choice - proximity to home or school (as @vronchen wisely suggested) as well as record (if that's important to you), whether they have space for a player in your son's position, and so on.  The indoor season goes roughly from now until Easter (although since Easter is late this year the season might end before then).  And then outdoor again. (Note: even during the indoor season many teams continue to have at least some of their training hours outdoors.) Whatever club you decide to join will then apply to the Fussballbund for a player passport on your son's behalf; only once he has that can he participate in league play.  (He can practice before then, though for insurance purposes clubs will want to make sure he's a paid-up club member if he attends more than a couple try-out practices.)   There are also academy-teams run by Bundesliga clubs (e.g. Hoffenheim, which is relatively near HD).  If you think your son might be of that calibre you could always contact them and inquire about whether they would consider him.   Good luck!