El Jeffo

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22,980 Awesome with awesome sauce

About El Jeffo

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    Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue

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  • Location Berlin
  • Nationality American
  • Hometown San Mateo/Berkeley, Kah-lee-four-nee-ya
  • Gender Male
  • Interests Blowing bubbles at and hugging refugees, in that order - apparently.

Recent Profile Visitors

107,466 profile views
  1. Holiday Compensation

    I found a couple of links in German (google Bettwanzen Urlaub and you'll find them, too). The burden of proof bar is usually set very high - exacerbated in this case by the fact that you didn't tell anyone about it until you got home. Even if you prevail in the end, the most you can hope for is a partial refund of your trip price. The chance of winning damages for pain and suffering (which Germans don't do well anyway) are virtually nil.   Keep that in mind before you engage a lawyer, because s/he might end up costing more than your refund in the end. If there are any government/embassy/consulate resources you could draw upon, that would be a different story.   I hope your daughter recovers quickly and please make sure you didn't bring any of the beasties home with you in your luggage. That's how they spread.
  2. German Citizenship & ALG II

    Being able to support yourself is a key prerequisite for earning citizenship - and rightly so.    If you still can't support yourself after being here for 9 years, you really shouldn't get your hopes up.   Had you arrived last year, and not 9 years ago, it's likely that you never would have received Hartz IV in the first place, but instead advised to go back home.   Sorry, but reality can be a harsh mistress.
  3. Receiving help towards a deposit for a property

    They can give you up to €400,000 as a gift within a 10-year period without incurring any taxes (or having to declare it).  
  4. Politics Gen XYZ

      How about this one:  
  5. Aufhebungsvertrag and vacation days

    There are a number of factors in play here. First of all, they can't simply not pay you for your vacation days - you either have to take them or they have to provide additional compensation for you not taking them. Secondly, you are required to take 4 weeks of vacation per year. If you don't take them now, you'll have to take them with your future employer (I assume that's why you want to get out of your job earlier).   Your Aufhebungsvertrag should describe what is to be done with your remaining vacation days (taken or paid out). Don't sign anything you don't understand.
  6. Annoying MLPD posters

    I always find it a shame when these posters are torn down or otherwise defaced, because it's officially vandalism, which is against the law. But it's been known to happen, especially to the parties at the far edges of the bullshit/asshole spectrum.   Still, always a tragedy. Especially when people are caught expressing their democratic opinions. So the people who do it should make sure not to get caught.
  7. Agent Requests "Commission" To Ensure I Get Apartment

    Great minds think alike. Sometimes even with identical wording...
  8. Agent Requests "Commission" To Ensure I Get Apartment

    There is, however, a Hafenplatz 1 in 10963 Berlin, and Fritz Sichler seems to be a legit realtor, at least according to the googles. "Harbor Square 1" is an overly ambitious translation by Google Translate.   That demand is certainly not on the up and up, obviously. He's trying to extort money from you in exchange for a service.   If you're up for it, go to your local police station with a copy of the e-mail and file charges against him for Nötigung. But if you're really desperate for the apartment, agree to paying the "fee" (avoid actually paying it if you can), if that's what it takes to get the flat, and don't file the charges against him until you've signed the lease.   If worst comes to worst, you can sue for your money back when you file charges against him.   Scummy real estate agents are all too frequent in Berlin. Hope you get this guy by the balls.
  9. Is it a good idea to buy a Diesel Euro 4 car now

    There won't be a general ban, but bans on driving into cities (Berlin, Stuttgart, etc.) will definitely be forthcoming if no progress on reducing NOx emissions is made.   I'd strongly advise against buying any diesel vehicle at all right now, especially a Euro4 model that cannot ever be upgraded to meet the current standards.
  10. Game of Thrones (TV series)

    I think Littlefinger is going to betray the Starks one last time, once he realizes he's never going to be able to bone down on Sansa.   A wild guess is that Varys is going to kill him in the end, since Dany questioned his loyalty in the last episode. Either him or Arya.
  11. Bank account - Berlin to Freiburg, what are my options?

    AFAIK there's nothing stopping you from keeping your bank accounts in Berlin. As long as you have a cheap (meaning fee-free) way of getting cash from ATMs, you should be able to do everything else through online banking.   If in doubt, I'd suggest calling your bank and asking. Maybe they'll move your accounts to your local Volksbank automatically and free of charge.
  12. Raising children quadrilingually

    Somewhat relevant blast from the past:  
  13. Tenant refuses to pay rent...quick resolution?

    If he's in arrears for two consecutive months' rent, you can evict him immediately (außerordentliche Kündigung). The laws are very strict, however, so I would highly recommend enlisting the services of a lawyer to make sure you dot all your i's cross all your t's.   Note that if he pays the overdue rent after being served the eviction notice, this stays the "immediate" part of the eviction, but you'll still be able to terminate his lease for cause with three month's notice.
  14. Politics Gen XYZ

    Hey, there's the Hungarian Nazi himself. Spooky...