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  1. In Germany, the Center Holds NYT
  2. Motorcycle questions

    Hi, I'll be moving to Berlin from Moscow in a few weeks and will have a bunch of questions...     First, some questions about motorcycle stuff; sorry if this stuff is addressed elsewhere, I did a search and didn't find anything, at least nothing recent.   1)  Not sure where I'll be living yet, but I expect somewhere in Mitte/Prenzlauer Berg; is it generally safe to park a motorcycle on the street there?  If not, where to park them?   2)  When out and about town, how does motorcycle parking work?  Are there designated moto parking spots?  In Moscow I can park pretty much anywhere, including sidewalks, etc., but I'm guessing that won't fly in Berlin...   3)  I think I've read somewhere that lane-splitting is not allowed in Germany, is that correct?  How is riding in traffic in Berlin?   4)  Anybody know a good/cheap moto mechanic (BMW)?   5)  Are there any good ride-outs from Berlin?  One or two-dayers?     6)  I'll be bringing one or two bikes with US plates to Berlin--should it be a problem to re-register them for German plates?  The bikes are US-spec if that matters (one a 2005, one a 2007).   That's it for now, thanks in advance for any tips you can provide.
  3. Hello guys,   I need some advice on a personal matter that keeps re-occurring each time my dad checks in into a hospital in Berlin.  First few times, we overlooked the issue, but now can't help but wonder if doctors in Germany can be really racists?    A little bit of background information... My family is from a Turkish origin, but lived in Bulgaria most of our lives. My dad had a construction business and for many years he was travelling back and forth to Germany due to business as he had partners and stakeholders there. He always praised Germany, the people and the lifestyle, and mentioned many times that Germany is his favorite place among all the places he visited.    His business ventures continued until he retired. Meanwhile, me and my siblings grew up and moved away from home. I, myself live in the UK. As my parents were left all alone and retired, they decided to move to Germany to enjoy their retirement. That was in 2011.    The current situation... Unfortunately, couple of years after they moved to Berlin, my dad became poorly and went under multiple surgeries. Since 2013 he is constantly in and out of hospitals for checks and different procedures. Just to clarify, my parents don't receive any benefits from the government and pay their own social security taxes, health insurances etc. They also have the relevant paperwork to reside in Germany.    The first few times he became ill, the doctors were overlooking his symptoms as advising him to keep a simple diet etc. When symptoms got worse, we asked the opinion of another doctor, which told us that he is in a bad condition and he has narrowed and blocked canals, alongside kidney stones. He was checked in into a hospital for surgery, and after the surgery none of the doctors visited him for 2 days. Nurses kept saying that they will be right away with him, whilst other doctors were visiting his roommates in the hospital. When the doctors actually visited, they told him that he can go home without further explanation of his condition nor his treatment.  Meanwhile, he also was diagnosed with diabetes. He had surgery for removing his gallbladder. Multiple other treatments for kidney stones, which shouldn't be re-appearing since his gallbladder was removed. There was times he was starved in hospitals, refused to be given serum, refused to be given sleeping pills even in serious pains.    Anyways, during all of his visits he was always treated as he is not wanted in the hospital or he doesn't deserve to have a proper treatment. Currently he is in the hospital due to doctors negligence. I was with him in January when he was supposed to be admitted to hospital, everything was booked etc. When we went to the reception, the first question lady asked my dad was ''How long you lived in Germany, why can't you speak German right''? We had an appointment with the doctor for 1pm, the doctor turned up at 2.30pm and told us that my dad will have to be re-scheduled to February. Again, no explanation given.    My dad finally checked in into the hospital last week and he had a surgery again for removing stones, changing drainage, unblocking arteries etc. Same day he was told to go home, because apparently he was fine! He refused since he was in serious pains and since the booking was for at least 2 night in hospital for supervision. However, he was kicked out! That same evening, he woke up in a fever shock and when we called the doctors, he said my dad is no longer his responsibility and we need to go to the emergency.  Funny enough, the ambulance took us to the same hospital with severe infection. Now he is treated with antibiotics, and going under further tests. He wants to speak to the actual doctors/surgeons to inquire for his conditions, complications etc. But no doctors will speak to him.  When I went to visit him, I kindly asked the nurse to show me the restrooms, her response to me was 'You live in Germany, why don't you speak German'. Yet, I don't live in Germany and was only visiting.    There are many other examples I can give from my dad's stays in hospitals, however they are all unpleasant. I'm not saying everyone is like this. There are also very nice people there! However, especially in the medical sector where you trust people with your lives, it is scary to think that you are mistreated because you don't look German, you don't speak the language perfectly, maybe because of the media influence on people due to immigrants.    Please correct me if I am wrong, but in my opinions being a doctor is noble. And you should become a doctor to save people's lives, regardless of the political issues.   Sorry for the long post. Will appreciate your advice!    Regards, Didi     
  4. So I need some advice on how to take my former landlord to court. My girlfriend and I rented an apartment in Berlin during June, July & August while on work experience from Ireland. When we were moving out, the landlord made some excuse as to why she couldn’t give us our deposit of €1,100 back then, and said that she would send it via bank transfer. Of course she never sent it and instead falsely claimed that we broke the oven and washing machine in the apartment.   We have already sent her two letters from a lawyer based in Hamburg demanding the deposit back (my gf’s aunt lives there) but have got no results. Apparently you can’t take someone to court without sending a letter to their actual address which is a problem as we only know the address of the apartment we rented. We have already tried using the ’Melderegisterauskunft einholen’ to find her address but nothing has come back after 3 months. She also uses different names on social media so we suspect that she has scammed other people before and has made herself intentionally hard to find.   Any advice is much appreciated as we really need to get our money back.   Some other related questions: 1. Would it be worth contacting Berlin Mietverien? I know they deal with cases like this but I read that you have to be a member with them for something like a year before they can help you.   2. Can anyone recommend an English-speaking lawyer in Berlin that might be able to help?   3. If we did take her to court, would we have to travel to Germany and be there in person?   4. While we were renting the apartment, she also refused to sign the form required for us to register as her husband was registered at the address despite not living there to avoid paying taxes. As per §19 Abs. 1 BMG she can be fined up to €1,000 for this and I'd very much like to report her for it. Would simply emailing the Bürgeramt explaining the situation be the best way to do this?   Thanks for reading
  5. So, back in 2011, during a great summer in Berlin, I bought a tenanted apartment, with the thinking that one day my tenant would leave and I would have the opportunity to enjoy Berlin again, but this time in the comfort of my very own home. It'd be amazing.  And until then, I would get a small rental income trickling in, which would be nice too.      Now, 7 years later (and I had long since given up any thought of the tenant going anywhere) - and the tenant has given his notice.  It caught me completely by surprise...  At first I thought - Yes! Sure, I have a family now, and its a tiny apartment, but we can have holidays to berlin.  I'll furnish it, and do short term rentals or Airbnb, and that'll pay enough to keep the utilities & wohngeld paid - and then I can visit Berlin whenever I like, and so can my friends and family...   And then the property manager advised me to look into  Zweckentfremdungsgesetz, and thats what I'm trying to do now.  So, I'm looking for any help or advice on the subject, and also for suggestions with what to do with the apartment now: To my understanding,  Zweckentfremdungsgesetz (which is a berlin law to help ease a housing shortage) means:   1) - You cannot use your apartment for Airbnb, vacation or short term rentals - unless you get a permit from the council, which is highly improbable. (Has anyone succeed in getting this?)   2)  You cannot leave your apartment vacant for more than 6 months.     Now, the first is an annoyance as it means the apartment will become a hole in my pocket if I don't rent it out long term, but the 2nd is the one that confuses me:  What is considered by 'Vacant'?   I'm assuming it is not a case of simply making sure that someone stays there a few nights occasionally? What do I have to do to properly 'Occupy' it?   Apparently, if you get caught for Zweckentfremdungsgesetz, you're liable up to fines of 100K, so its something I'd like to stay the right side of - but at the same time, I'd like to have a chance to actually enjoy the flat for a while before finding another tenant. Anyone have any more info on Zweckentfremdungsgesetz, or alternative suggestions for the flat?
  6. Hello,   I have a question in regard to disposing of unwanted household items, including some crockery, dishes, as well as small furniture and an old rug.  I’ve seen a similar topic in the “Life in Germany”  category on here but I’m located in Berlin and thought people might have something specific to our region perhaps. Plus the other thread is rather old and didn’t seem to suggest any concrete options.    The items in question are not in great condition, and I would not want to put them up for sale or even deal with listings “for free”, not to mention donating to places like Caritas, which I hear are actually fairly selective as to what they receive. We also don’t have a car, as far as taking these things to a dump, so there’s that. (But could rent one/do Drive-now, if there is a dump in Berlin though?) Re: clothing - we used to live here 7 yrs ago and there were Spende boxes on every corner in Mitte back then for textiles. I tried to donate some nice sheets and towels the other day, but noticed the boxes are all gone, quite strange.   So what’s the etiquette in terms of getting rid of these things? I understand there are no more free "Sperrmuell" days and you have to pay quite a bit to have your stuff collected. Is it a horrible idea to leave the smaller bits by our trash bin downstairs? I don’t wish to incur the neighbours' wrath : (     Thanks in advance, K   PS. Mods, please feel free to merge if this is in the wrong place.     
  7. Milk & Honey Tours, a Jewish-owned and -operated company facilitating privately-guided Jewish heritage tours throughout Europe and byeond, is currently seeking well-spoken and engaging individuals to conduct tours in Berlin. **Please note: to ensure suitable familiarity with the city, a minimum of 2 years' residence in Berlin is required.**   Successful candidates will possess in-depth knowledge of Jewish Berlin, both past and present (i.e. you don't only know about life for Jews during the NS period, but you also know where it's possible to find kosher food in 2018.) Those with academic backgrounds in Jewish Studies and/or History are especially encouraged to apply.   As our tours take place in English, you must be absolutely fluent — not to mention comfortable conveying complex histories in a sensitive manner to clients for whom a visit to Germany may be an emotional experience.   Please send your CV and a brief letter of motivation to We look forward to hearing from you!
  8. My landlord sent me an eviction notice around mid-November saying I had to vacate the flat in a months time when I was going home for Christmas on the 16th, instead of stay the initially agreed move-out date of 17th Feb 2018. Her reason was that due to some unforeseen circumstances relating to her work she's had to move back to Berlin. I had a hunch this was rubbish and she was lying just to evict me as there was a lot of tension between us due to a constant breach of my privacy on her part. I decided I could check whether she was lying by finding the link that she had emailed me of her flat listing on wg-gesucht to check whether the listing was still up. I found that the listing was indeed up and that the dates had been changed so the tenancy could begin from the 1st of Jan 2018 and potentially end 31st Dec 2018 thus showing that she doesn't need the room for the period of time I was going to be there. I also checked the pictures and the room being advertised was mine.    I decided to do a bit of research and legally you have to give 3 months notice for a tenant to evict the property, unless they haven't been paying the rent for 2 months (which I did) or you need to move back there yourself in which case you can give one months notice. I would normally let this slide because I'm delighted to be out of that awful place but she refused to give me back my entire deposit because of there being a 'scratch on the side table' that is probably only visible under a microscope as both me and my mother who helped me move out both struggled to see anything there, and according to her she now has to get the entire table replaced which will cost her 99 euros. I'm also sick of her trying to take advantage of foreign students who she assumes will have no knowledge of German or of German rental law, and hope that if I take action she will think twice about trying to exploit anybody else. So I was wondering is there any potential fine she could incur for lying (I took screenshots of the ad as evidence showing the tenancy dates, the date the screenshot was taken, her name, address and the photo of the room to be rented) and what kind of action I can take against her and what the procedure for doing so would be?    
  9. So I moved to Berlin in September from the UK and have had nothing short of a nightmarish experience with my landlord since I arrived. There have been several issues where both the landlord and her long-term flatmate have made seemingly non-existent problems into colossal ones which I will list in full below, but first I'll outline the reason she's given me for holding back 50% of my deposit. When I was first about to move to the flat I asked her for her bank details to transfer the deposit into to which she said that the law in Germany requires a completely separate bank account for deposits, and that this account charges really high fees which she can't afford. I didn't think much of it at the time and was just desperate to get things sorted out before I left for Berlin in a few weeks so I gave her the 1000 Euro deposit in cash on arrival. Now here's where it gets strange: 1) About 20 minutes before I was about to leave the flat to catch my flight home (and move out the flat for good), she tells me she can't return 500 Euros of the deposit to me. Her reason being that in October she booked me an Airbnb using her account (which I already paid for) because a week before my boyfriend was about to visit me she said my flatmate (who she was meant to inform about his arrival several weeks prior because she apparently can't stand being around men and would leave the flat for the time he was there) had gotten a week off before he was going to come rather than his actual dates so we couldn't stay there anymore. After we got back from the Airbnb I had gotten a message from my landlord saying the Airbnb host's internet provider contacted the host in regards to someone streaming or downloading a film which me and my boyfriend said we had nothing to do with. Regardless my Landlord thought it was appropriate to give the Airbnb host my full name and address and transfer the fine into my name without my knowing and discloses this to me 20 minutes before I have to leave her flat. She says that fines can be very high so she is going to hang onto my deposit for that reason.   2) I went away for a weekend in Dec which I had let my flatmate know about around 2 weeks in advance as there was also a cat in the flat (the landlords) so she would know to feed him the entire weekend. She received my message and said 'ok', not stating that she was going to be away for that weekend too. My landlady then messages me a day or two before I'm meant to leave saying she's paying for a neighbour to come look after and feed the cat - saying that she'll feed him in the morning so I can have a lie-in. I inform her I'm not going to be there and find it odd my flatmate didn't tell me she was not going to be there, but say its ok. I messaged the neighbour the day I left asking her to make sure the cat was out of my room when she came to visit that morning (and only gave her permission to come into my room for that reason alone). My landlady then tells me shortly before I'm about to leave for my flight that my deposit may be affected because of this visit. She said she had to pay the neighbour 400 euros to stay for 3 days, and that the neighbour had taken photos of my room because it was messy and cleaned up some of my room and the flat. All of this was done without my consent or knowledge and left me feeling incredibly violated. My room was messy (clothes on my bed, some food out etc) but not to the extent where as the neighbour or landlady I would be worried about damage to the room and think it was within reason to take and send pictures. Also when I moved out of the room, there was no damage, broken appliances etc so I think it is incredibly out of order to try to take away my deposit purely because my room was messy once. As for her cat, he was not my responsibility (financially or care-wise) as a tenant, therefore I feel that she can't charge me for his care as that was not part of the contract and is solely her responsibility as his owner.   Apart from these 2 main incidences, she was just generally an extremely unpleasant person to have as a landlord: she would often enter my room without my knowing or consent (at times rearrange things and change my sheets which I didn't ask her to do), rearrange my food in the fridge by putting things like my vegetables etc into tiny plastic boxes, she did not make it clear that I would be looking after her cat on a regular basis: she only said I had to feed him every now and then but because of my flatmates schedule this was usually once a day as well as his 'midnight snack', she said I could have visitors with advance notice of a few weeks however made me rent out an Airbnb when it came down to it, my flatmate would often snitch to her if she was confused about something I did e.g. I gave the cat some dry treats to distract him when a male friend came to visit briefly because the cat was afraid of men - instead of asking me why I was giving him treats, she called my landlady and my landlady had a go at me for not communicating well with my flatmate AND to top it all off she gave me an eviction notice saying she had to ask me to vacate the room as she was moving back to Berlin due to unforeseen circumstances to do with her work but I found a ad of the exact same room recently saying that it's available for rent from the 1st of Jan (I was meant to stay on until mid February).    All of this has been a major pain for me and something I'd like to get sorted out and hopefully never have to have contact with her again. Would anyone be able to provide me any legal advice (or any advice really) on my situation and what I can do here?   Any help would be greatly appreciated!
  10. My plan is to finally get a German driver's license, but the fees are so high.   I often see deals on for driving school discounts.  If I go to a school that offers a discount and complete the written test, but am unhappy with the driving instructor, would it be easy to switch to a different school?   Any info is appreciated.  
  11. The last two weeks around Hermanplatz & Rathaus Neukölln I've seen a lot of fights and shenanigans on the ubahn and on the street .. anybody else experience the same? In addition to the madness I've seen around me recently, just the other day I was pushed to the ground by two jerks across the street from my house for no reason!  And as an arabic speaking women, I'm fully aware of what they've been saying - especially when you happen to look like a Swede, they have no filter - it's really terrifying and gross
  12. Hello everyone!   Dick Salad is a night of alternative stand up comedy for the awkward, unhinged, and adorable. We are a trio of Berlin’s finest nerds, queers, Brad Pitt look-alikes, and dads. Extended sets from Caroline Clifford Comedy (We Are Not Gemüsed, Berlin Retro Game Slam), Daniel Stern (Slingshot! Comedy Open Mic, Radio Spaetkauf), and Marne Litfin (all-around good person).  SHOW TIME: 10:00P THE DOORS WILL OPEN 15 MINUTES BEFORE SHOW TIME. TICKETS: 8.50€ ONLINE / 10€ AT THE DOOR Please enjoy a drink at the bar before and after the show! (It’s how we keep the doors open.) In partnership with Comedy in English Berlin.  
  13. How can I get an A1 form?

    Hey all,   I am a freelancer in Berlin (for years now) have been paying taxes, have my tax number. I will need to do some work in France and they have asked for my A1 form. To be honest I have no idea what this form is or how to get one. I cannot find much info about this and was hoping someone could let me know what this is and how to get one?   Thanks!
  14. Plumber looking for work

    Hello internet,  my name is tommy and I'm a Aussie looking for work in Germany.  Im currently still in Australia but looking to move to Germany legally next year. my basic goal is just to get a rough idea if their was labour work for foreigners at the moment and if I would get by at the start not knowing much German, I am currently studying as hard as I can to learn a bit of the language before I go and I can't wait to speak German everyday. Any advice would be awesome  just looking for any physical labour work 😊
  15. Hi Guys! Want to be part of an awesome team?! Expedia is hiring and we are looking for super motivated, out-going people to join our Market Management team (hotel acquisition/ sales)! There are several positions open for varying experience levels (including entry level) in Munich, Berlin & Cologne. German is an absolute MUST HAVE as you will be negotiating with and acquiring new hotel partners in the DACH region. Let me know if you're interested and I'll hook you up with the recruiter!     Here's one of the open positions to give you an idea of what the job is about
  16. First a quick hello from Düsseldorf!   I am starting a new job on January 2nd and I looking to find a place to move into shortly after Christmas!  Ideally I am looking for a place for 6 to 7 months.   About me... I am from New York City.  For thirteen years... I worked in film, television and advertising in NYC.  In 2012, I relocated to Düsseldorf!  Since then I have been working in marketing, public relations and social media... with a sprinkle of content creation mixed in!  My new job deals with marketing and video games... which will be quite exciting as it is big industry!   I am very easy-going, friendly, respectful and clean.  I do not smoke.  I am not loud, thus I will not blare music at full blast so no worries there.   I enjoy meeting up with friends, exploring the city and attending creative events/meetups (in fact, I am hosting an event at Wacom November 17th for creatives here in NRW)!   Ideal roommate... Would be great to find someone similar to me... clean, respectful, friendly and of course fun.  If he or she wants to get out and enjoy the city from time to time... that is also a bonus!    I have visited Berlin several times and already have some friends living there.  So I know the city quite well, granted not every area... but I can get around easily.   If you have a room opening up then email at .
  17. Hygiene Product in Berlin

    Hey Everyone,   So I just moved to Berlin about 2 weeks ago from the US. I came here with a few extra hygene products like Deodorant and Soap. Which I now need to buy. So I went to a DM and I couldn't find any bath soap. Was it just me or do they not sell this here? I was able to find individual packs of small dove soaps, but it still left me wondering what German use to bathe. In the US you can buy 3-8 packs of large soaps(Irish Spring being my favorite).    I also needed to get some deodorant and I usually use Right Guard brand but I found mostly body sprays.   Am I missing something here? What do Germans use for deodorant and soap? Im going to get real stinky soon if I dont figure it out
  18. Drum lessons at Ostkreuz

    Hi!   I'm a Professional drummer giving private lessons at Ostkreuz All ages and skill levels are welcome! Rock, Latin, Funk, Jazz, Hip Hop, Drum‘n‘Bass, Reggae All styles are covered and taught in an adept and authentic manner. All common techniques covered: Free Stroke, Moeller Technique, heel up and down ... Timing, independence, sight reading, transcribing, odd time signatures and ostinatos Lessons always focus on musicality!lessons are 20€ per hour, first lesson is free!more at:
  19. Hey everyone! I am looking for participants for my thesis on european migration. If those of you with european citizenship that live in Berlin (NOT GERMANS) could fill it in, would be awesome!! Thank you 😁😁 Here is the link:
  20. Welcome to Expat FAMILY Berlin. We are a one stop group for any information, events or a place to drop by and say hello to fellow expat families.   Thank you!