bytex

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About bytex

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  • Location Sofia
  • Nationality Bulgarian
  1. It's strange to imagine now but in the 70s and 80s German pop could make it in charts abroad:   "Fly, Robin, Fly" is a song by German disco group Silver Convention from their debut studio album Save Me (1975). It peaked at number one on the United States Billboard Hot 100. Nena's 99 Luftballons peacked at number 2 on the US Billboard chart. The original of Irgendwie... is actually by Nena: NENA | Irgendwie · Irgendwo · Irgendwann [Offizielles Musikvideo] (1984) - YouTube   Also the European-wide popular 70s Spanish duo Baccara's biggest hits were produced by a German, called Rolf Soja. And there were quite a lot of German produced bands popular in Eastern Europe like Modern Talking and Arabesque (fronted by Sandra). Wasn't  Donna Sommer based in Munich when she started her singing career as well? German music's downfall is surprising, esp. compared to how Sweden has been the driving force behind some British and US hits.
  2. Yeah, this is a whole different can of worms, isn't it? I like many places so even if I settle down somewhere there's always going to be the thought "What if I went to country/city X instead" at the back of my mind.
  3. Hi all! Have you ever felt sad or get your eyes become watery when leaving a town or city where you have lived as an expat? Where? I've lived full-time in 4 foreign cities (in 3 countries) and I only felt like that about one of them. It was almost the same feeling I felt when I saw my childhood neighbourhood from the plane. I didn't even see my home, but the home of an ex classmate right at the time as the now tiny-looking local public bus was passing next to it and this scene set me off crying. I fell a very similar thing when I was leaving Bratislava (Slovakia) where I have lost my job as an expat. I didn't even spent a full year there, yet leaving about a dozen of friends behind and so many places filled with memories was not easy. To paraphrase an old song "I left my heart in Bratislava". Sometimes when I close my eyes I see myself on the Apollo bridge or the old bridge there overlooking the castle on the hill and the UFO bridge.   I guess some places leave a deeper mark? I never felt any of that when I was leaving the Netherlands after 2.5 years there. In fact I couldn't get away from it fast enough! I did more things and went out more in those 10 months in Bratislava than I've done in 2.5 years in the Netherlands. I did more thing than even during the 25+ years I've lived in my home city. Maybe it was just the right size of city. Maybe it was the river and the bridges. Maybe it was the people. Maybe it was AstroCartoGraphy. Or nothing in particular. All I know is it's one of the two foreign cities so far I'm 100% certain I will revisit as a tourist in the future (the other's is the tiny towns around Lake Balaton in Hungary). Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam, Vienna, Prague and Dresden were all cool to see but I don't think I'll ever go back even as a tourist to any of them. It's that less than shiny little capital on the Danube I'd consider visiting. What about you? Have you ever missed a place you've lived as an expat/foreign student that much?
  4. It's fine. After all my relatives and parents are here. But I made more friends in Bratislava. Most people are very busy in Sofia. I think it's better for expats than local really. I'd chose Burgas or Varna. As for Germany, ironically I love the sound of German and even in songs. My problem is with the ridiculously long compound words in contracts and in work settings. Krankenversicherung seems very scary at first (I've worked in French healthcare and Assurance Maladie seems much easier). I pray that one day they adopt dashes, e.g. Kranken-versicherung seems neater.  Still, the Thuringian hills are some of the most beautiful I've seen anywhere. Maybe I can try modeling work in Munich lol. No need to be great at German for that.
  5. - Do you go to cross-country tours there? Or maybe once-a-month shopping trips? - What things do you buy? Do you buy cheaper groceries and gas/petrol there? Is it worth the trip, considering German food for example is quite affordable for a Western country? - Which towns and cities would you say one must skip and which ones you find have good architecture (I know the largest ones - Pilsen, Karlovy Vary and Klatovy are beautiful but some smaller ones look less nice). - If you ever shop in the ethnic/Mix Markt stores in Germany, can you please tell me if they carry Czech, Slovak or Hungarian items? I couldn't find any info online, just saw they offer Turkish, Polish and Russian items. Balkan, Polish and Russian food's well-presented as there are many of us in Deutschland lol. But I've heard Czechs rarely migrate abroad so I wonder if there are enough people to buy it. Just wondering if I could find such goodies as Kofola (the Czech answer to Coca-cola), Vinea (Grape-based soft drink), the Marlenka cakes and the Slovak Treska v majoneze (cod in mayo) salad in Germany. I loved them all while living in Czechia and as I'm considering relocating to Bavaria near Czechia I want to know more about what ethnic food's available there. Prost!
  6. Is/was there some exodus from larger, crowded cities towards smaller ones in Germany? Is there a move to less commuting? I've been told many Erlangen locals commuted to Nuremberg for work before. Heck, I've heard people from Amberg commute to either Nuremberg or Regensburg before Covid, that's like 66-70 km one way (41-43 miles). Not that bad for American/Canadian standards but quite far for European ones, it takes almost an hour by train. Or IDK, Augsburg to Munich? Are they more inclined now to stay in their smaller cities/towns? Would the local economies thrive because of that? Are there employees and employers realizing there are alternatives to the hectic, stressful (and overpriced!) lifestyle of places like Munich, Frankfurt and Berlin + the rent crisis and unavailability of enough apartments? E.g. basing your office in a second- or even third-tier city in the same region/Bundesland, something like moving your office from Munich to Nuremberg.
  7. It's the bold that is my issue. Say FR, ES, IT are all easy to pick up esp after I have A2/B1 French but German requires quite a lot of effort. I find EN doesn't help much with learning it. Imagine having to learn 5+ languages if you want to work/live in 5+ countries in the next 5 years! With Portugal, Greece plus Eastern Europe you don't need to learn all of them. You could live for several months to a year in several countries and when you decide which one is the best match settle there and finally take local language classes. I could change several office jobs every year in Greece, Portugal, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania to experience them all if I so wish! It's almost like extended vacations while making money, similar to the digital nomad lifestyle. I know Germans do exceptions for IT guys, but I'm not one as I said, so I cannot experience it living there with just A1 German, just as a tourist.   Not trying to put Germany down, it's a fantastic place (IMO much better than more overrated Western countries) but it seems to not be welcoming enough considering its language is one of the most difficult in the EU! It's no Hungarian but it's much harder than English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Swedish, Norwegian, or even Dutch and French, that's for sure! Sure you'll say "learn the language before arrival!", but what if you find out you like the culture but don't click with the place and its not a good match? So many years/efforts and $$$ wasted on picking up a language you won't practice much ever with natives don't make sense. Also judging by the way French is taught here not sure its worth the money to study German in Bulgaria.   I found jobs in multinationals in Prague with my native Bulgarian & A2 French (+ corporate EN), no Czech required at all! I got things like food vouchers, multisport cards. I worked with locals, not just other expats. It was a great thing to get your foot in the door & experience a new place and culture (working 9 to 5 offered enough free time to enjoy the place). Landlords in Greece, Portugal, Czechia and other outsourcing haven countries are also less strict, so it's much easier and faster to rent a place, which is a very important thing. They only saw my work contract, they didn't care about me having credit scores, a local bank account or stuff. Once I even was the 4th guy renting a room under a contract with the name of the 1st tenant. As long as we paid on time the landlord didn't care. Also just one month rent + same amount as deposit, I've heard they ask for like 5 rents or sth crazy like that in Germany.   That said, Germany would work best if one marries/dates into it. Then you get a speaking partner and a reason to visit the place on extended stay. Without family or a gf in Germany, nor an IT degree/programming skills, and just A1 German, life there is next to unattainable if I want to work just 9 to 5 in an office. Pilsen seems like a great deal for someone like me that finds German too hard to learn so it's not sure it's wise to invest in it before going there, yet wants to be close to Bavaria. It's right next door, best of both worlds! I recommend you check it out, it's right in the heart of Europe. Germany, and even Austria are quite near for car/train travel. It's located just 89 km or about 55 miles from the Prague airport and 201 km or about 125 miles from the Nuremberg one.
  8. ^Yes, but most of the well-integrated Turks have been there since generations. How many first-generation non-Western European expats in Germany work in offices 9-to-5 instead of long, 10-12 hr shifts? I bet less than the expats in Bratislava. And in Prague I had wonderful co-workers from Egypt. Working 9 to 5 without even knowing Czech yet. Were they to go to Berlin with no German they'd have been delegated to menial jobs at best.   Can I just secure an office job like that in Germany without even a word of German? I got a job in Czechia just with Bulgarian and English. No Czech needed! My Turkish friend went back to Bratislava because there she works in a university with English and NO Slovak skills. In Germany she liked the people but over there she couldn't land a place in a university without German!   Prague, Lisbon, Athens, those places are brimming with young expats from Ukraine, Russia, Bulgaria, Poland working office jobs. Meanwhile a Bulgarian co-worker with a uni degree and great German used to work as a delivery driver in Germany. Many wealthy countries like the UK and Germany seem to regard us as second-rate people for those low-paid/long-hour jobs. The only exceptions seem to be programmers, engineers, nurses and doctors. All the others (econ/business degrees) face better chances finding white-collar jobs in Portugal, Greece, Czechia. As for the people in the forum most are Western/Australian expats and they have a totally different experience as most Germans/Western Europeans treat them quite differently. Still, Bavaria is fantastic looking but what's the point if I'm going to clean floors and see none of it, slaving for 12 hours daily? Even as a business owner Pilsen or Klatovy make more sense - close to both Nuremberg and Prague, lower corporate tax than in Bavaria, lower rents and transport fares. And you can always travel to Amberg, Nuremberg, Bamberg, Regensburg etc.
  9. Actually over here behind the iron curtain she was known as part of Arabesque.  Is it me or their Take Me Don't Break me sounds like The Walk of Life by Dire Straits? I don't know why some songs, videos or bands made me assume they must be German like Queen in I want to break free. The video is obviously filmed in Leeds and yet I was like they must be German. For Elton John I have an excuse - his Still Standing music video was filmed in France (yes, I though he was French as a kid, why would a Brit video feature the French flag so prominently?!). Same for Ford cars being German brand - Euro Fords are actually really mostly designed in Cologne and Continental Euro ones have always been.
  10. I know many American/British expats abroad teach English. Others work in/for the US army or in expat-related businesses. But I'll be honest, I'm an Eastern European so my experience has been that its easier to find a white collar job in low-tax, outsourcing-friendly places like Greece, Portugal, Czech Republic etc. Places like the UK, Germany, Scandinavia and France have the same problem - the only jobs available to Eastern European expats (even those knowing the local languages) are menial jobs with poor pay and rights. Look at the many Turks working in/owning kebab places. Many of them work 10 to 12 hours per day. How's one expected to have time and energy to study the local language and absorb the culture? When their work shifts end they're exhausted.   Meanwhile, due to lower corporate taxes, Portugal, Greece, Czech Republic, etc. are so easy to get an office job in (in multinationals). There are even office jobs with languages like Greek, Hungarian and Bulgarian in Prague! The Bulgarian and Polish expats in Bratislava and Lisbon all worked in office jobs, 9 to 5 or just 40 hr per week. Quite enough time to sign up for language classes in the local tongue. In Germany and the UK they do hard, long day jobs like building, cleaning and plumbing. Or looking after old people or infants. Exhausting jobs that leave little time to learn the local language. Even if you already know it many of them have uni degrees yet, sweep floors at  McD.   So if you're Eastern European like would you rather find a corporate job in a multinational in Pilsen in Czechia and just visit nearby Bavarian cities on weekends? Or rather go to Germany. I fell in love with both the Nuremberg/Amberg/Frankonia/Oberpf. area and Pilsen. But after I looked what jobs are available locally on the German side I'm not sure learning German would give me any benefit if it would qualify me for the same menial jobs like cleaning or delivery driver? When it comes to Western Europe I have better chance finding white collar jobs in Lisbon.
  11. I like many German-made songs, esp. from the 80s like the ones by Nena, Sandra, the Bruttosozialprodukt song etc. I watched a lot of German TV as a child in the 90s, but strangely I don't remember much in terms of songs or music videos. I guess I didn't miss much as ppl say German pop music was better in the 1960s-1980s. Later, in the 2000s, I saw Berlin in the Depeche Mode's "Everything Counts" video but it's still from the 80s. Btw does anyone know the name of that street with the viaduct? And the modern-looking business buildings? Online they just mention the lake and the hand sculpture in front of a high school.   A song doesn't need to be from/about a place or have it in the music video to remind you of a place and time. I still get back in Bratislava mentally when I hear "Rip It Up" by Orange Juice. The music video & the band have no connection to Slovakia whatsoever. It's the song I listened to the most while I lived there!  It's slow and lax, perfect for a summer stroll in such a small-town-feel capital. "Night Fever" by the Bee Gees also totally matched the vibe when travelling with a public bus on three of bridges over the Danube. I don't miss any song I listened to while living in Prague (I visited Dresden at that time, fist time in Germany). Words by Missing Persons put me in a bad mood for some reason. Maybe I listened to that still in Dresden or maybe not, I think I enjoyed it without any music. It seemed very quiet and almost deserted, even in the city centre. More quiet on a weekend than Bratislava, despite having a larger population. I think "Rip It Up" and "Night Fever" are some of the best songs for travelling or walking in a new city on lazy summer days/evenings as they almost work even now in my home city of 1 million.
  12. Hi all, I've got Business/Communication degree but I'm thinking about a career change in a healthcare-related field. My other option is becoming a college prof but I'm disillusioned with Business and things like that. I'm not sure a German university OK, so let me get this straight. As far as I understand, one needs German to really make it in Germany.  Sure, many English natives could get by on doing EN-only businesses or teaching English (or working in/around the US Army), but I am not a native speaker so that's out. I don't want to do a menial job as it won't leave me enough time to learn the language with 10-12 hr shifts, weird hours, employee abuse and stuff.   I would like to train for a degree in healthcare (as a physical therapist, dietician, osteopath, or dental technologist) but all the Ausbildung/study offers require good German and mine's like A1 (My English is about B2/C1 and French B1). What would you do in my case? Get a job like washing dishes or rather get a degree somewhere else where the language is easier or offers education in EN (like Pilsen, Czech Republic)?   I'm not a Czech speaker but it's easier for me than German being Bulgarian. Also we share many common or similar words for body parts and bones etc. which would be helpful for a healthcare-related degree. Do Czech degrees even qualify for working in Germany though? I've heard nurses for ex. need to get a German re-training one on top of their original foreign one. Is it the same for dental techs/dieticians/nutritionists/osteopaths/physical therapists?   Also, in your opinion, what degree could give me a better salary/more demand? I've heard dental technicians make quite good money. Are Germans big on Osteopathy and Homeopathy like the French (worked in French health insurance)? What about the demand/pay of physical therapist, dieticians & nutritionists? Then again, all those require quite good German, while dental technicians only talk to doctors and work in lab, so no direct communication with clients directly usually. Of course maybe I could just do a PhD in a German uni but very few interesting options exist in English (things like Business Management or Cultural Studies which I don't think are viable). I would also like to have a job which I can practice in a smaller city like Fuerth, Amberg, etc. I'm also open to commuting to larger communities like Nuremberg or Regensburg. would accept me in some more interesting scholar field without a prior degree in it (History, etc.). Not sure if an academic career is stable at all in Deutschland. As far as I understand one needs German to really make it in Germany. Many English natives get by on doing EN-only businesses targeting expats or teaching English (or working in/around the US Army), but I am not a native speaker and I prefer cities smaller than 500k so that's out. I don't want to do a menial job as it won't leave me enough time to learn the language with 10-12 hr shifts, nor any time to get a degree with their weird hours, employee abuse and stuff. I could do a part-time option if I study so 20 hrs per week.   I would like to train for a degree in healthcare (as a physical therapist, dietician, osteopath, or dental technologist) but all the Ausbildung/study offers require good German and mine's like A1. My English is about B2/C1 and French B1. What would you do in my case? Try Germany or get a degree somewhere else where the language is easier or offers education in EN (like Pilsen, Czech Republic)?   I'm not a Czech speaker but it's easier for me than German being Bulgarian. Do Czech degrees even qualify for working in Germany though? I've heard nurses for ex. need to get a German re-training one on top of their original foreign one. Is it the same for dental techs/dieticians/nutritionists/osteopaths/physical therapists?   Also, in your opinion, what degree could give me a better salary/more demand? I've heard dental technicians make quite good money. What about Osteopathy and Homeopathy? Physical therapists, clinical dieticians/nutritionists? Those require good German, while dental technicians only talk to doctors and work in lab, so no direct communication with clients directly usually.   Of course I could just do a PhD in a German uni but very few interesting options exist in English, that set you on the path to always work in a college/uni as they're not very viable outside of academia. I don't want to give money to get yet another useless degree like my foreign Business and Communication degrees! I only get 600 Euro in my country.  On the other hand were it not for call centres and so-called Business Process Outsourcing by multinationals, it would be hard for foreigners to find jobs in Greece, Portugal, all of ex-socialist Central and Eastern Europe. There doesn't seem to be such possibilities in Germany, even in the less wealthy ex-GDR places. Those jobs aren't that great but at least you could travel around Europe as an EU expat discovering different cultures. I'd prefer a job which I can practice in a smaller city like Fuerth, Amberg, etc. but I'm also open to commuting to larger communities like Nuremberg or Regensburg.
  13. You know when you listen to a piece of music, or a song, at a certain time in your life and it perfectly captures that instant - your mood, the place you were in at the time, how you were feeling - and whenever you hear it now, it immediately takes you back to that bittersweet moment? I was wondering if any of the Expats here in Germany have a particular song that sums up their feelings about being here now, or how they felt at the time of moving abroad that captures that moment and reminds them of it whenever they hear it?? What are the songs or tunes that remind you of either Germany as a whole or your time there? They don't have to be German per se.
  14. Numbeo states that most groceries in Franken und Oberpfalz are cheaper than those in cities and towns of similar sizes in Sweden.   Sweden has the wow nature and brighter sunlight in summer but worse winters and feels as unsafe & disorderly as UK or France lately. That said the Internet in Sweden is cheaper. It's quite isolated up there - other countries are further away. While there are even low cost flights to Munich and Frankfurt from where I'm now almost daily (Balkans), not so for Stockholm. Swedes also have less ethnic food opportunities. I have no idea about jobs in the Franken/ObF area aside from tourism or uni teaching, really. There's an opera in Nuremberg so I guess it's not all bad (I'm a singer/stage playwriter). It's strange that there aren't outsourcing/call center jobs in Germany (bad jobs but great for getting your foot in the door).
  15. Hi all! I wonder if anyone here can compare life in Germany, more spec. Frankonia/the Obf with Sweden?   I know B1 French but only A1 German. I've always preferred the sound of German, German TV and culture to French ones, however. I also prefer the ethnic mix in DE as you can buy Balkan, Turkish, and Eastern European food more easily even in the Mixed stores in Amberg than in any French town of that size! I bet I'd also find Bulgarian, Romanian, Polish, Serbian, and Russian, probably even Hungarian things on sale in Germany than anywhere else in Western Europe. Oh and Czechia's very close so I could probably even get some halusky once in a few months from there. I'm not sure I can find such a selection even in Stockholm.   So my questions are: 1. How does life in Bavaria compare to life in Sweden? Which one would you chose and why? I have sinus issues that are adversely affected by both cold & pollution. I know Swedish are is very clean but are Swedish winters colder than Bavarian ones? 2. What jobs opportunities are there in and around Nuremberg, Amberg, Altdorf b. Nuremberg, Bamberg, Bayreuth, Cham, Hof, etc.? I could also commute to Regensburg but I'd prefer to live somewhere around Amberg for personal reasons. I'm not sure what jobs are in demand. I have a US business degree and a Dutch one in Communication. I'm open to retraining for something more marketable such as Medical assistant or Homeopath/Osteopath (I know Germans dig this). Or maybe get a PhD and teach? Could work in copuwriting/advertising, but with my still weak German it'd be very hard. 3. Do people living near the Czech border visit it for the cheap gas and food? 4. How do I find which commuting options are there (e.g. is living in Amberg and commuting everyday to Nuremberg a sane option)? I'm open to driving but at the beginning I'll be using trains, I wonder if there are maps that show the most appropriate connections? I don't think there are that many jobs in Hof, Amberg, Cham etc. so many people must commute.