Do you like living in Germany?

584 posts in this topic

1 hour ago, BethAnnBitt said:

from CNBC on 1/23/19:

Just 40 percent of Americans are able to cover an unexpected $1,000 expense, such as an emergency room visit or car repair, with their savings, according to a survey from personal finance website Bankrate.

 

You will find other studies with slightly different numbers but making the same general point. I would say it’s not „wealthy Americans“ who start saving early with investments, but rather the upper middle class (i.e. the professional class).  Those same folks start with savings for college.  Middle class kids generally need to take take out loans to afford college and the debt loads are staggering.  The truly wealthy, such as Sergey Bringen, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffett, are in another world.  

I come from a very basic working class background. Semi-literate parents. No expectations I would go to university. Not from me either..what´s that- Posh kids?

 

I travelled around and (long story ) got accepted into a university in London etc.

This was late 70s...and all my Dad had to do was show he had a GP who could state my Dad was his patient ie a resident in England.

I was 26 when I started university and I had:

all fees paid

a quarterly payment for living expenses and an extra payment because I was a mature student (ie over whatever it was.. 23 or 24)

a flat paid for by the the University (ie through my grant ) and it was in a posh area of London..first of all, Russell Square and then South Kensington (near Harrods! ).

 

I left university with NO debts.

 

Looking back,  IMMENSELY grateful to the system. I didn´t realise at the time how privileged I was.

I wish all young people can have the chance to study and NOT get into debt for ever. Give all young people the chance to study...if they fuck up, ok, and don´t bother..fine..but give them a chance.

ALL young people. Or, if so inclined, an apprenticeship. Whatever.

 

 

 

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Yes. Very lucky. Sometimes when we are young we don’t get it and then we look back and realize how much of a difference in our lives something here or there made.  Both of my parents were first generation college students in the US.  My father from a working class background had his education paid for by the GI bill.  He was older than my mother and helped her go to college as a non-traditional student while I was in elementary school.  That made an amazing impression on me.  I was 10 and attended her college graduation, and then she started teaching at the high school level.  I am very grateful for the role models.  

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But in the late 80's early 90's the core business of UK Universities changed. Up until then a university taught the classics and purely academic degrees whereas vocational degrees were taught at the Polytechnics. Then some bright spark had the idea that it would be good if we had more universities and more university graduates. So, the Poly's became universities and the onus was on getting more people through the door. I believe that quality then took a back seat which is why we now talk about the Russell group of the top 20 traditional universities and the rest offering truely useful and difficult degrees as well as the ones that you graduate with so long as you turned up.

 

So John, not only were you lucky enough to have your expences paid but you came out with a proper degree that was respected because of course only the most able could get into Uni at the time. Now we have every man and his dog with a degree and the uni's really lowering entrance standards so that they have bums on seats and the corresponding funding. And what does the graduate get? If he's gone to a Russell Gp. Uni or one with a very good reputation for a particular course then a job, if not, loads of debt and maybe a job in a call centre.

 

Compare that to Germany where education is still free and so far only those who have put the effort in get to go to Uni.

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This is my second attempt at living in Germany.

 

First attempt was 1970-71, working in Frankfurt (M) for the DSG - German Sleeping and Dining-Car Company (i.e. Mitropa in West Germany). Worked on trains all over Germany, and to Amsterdam, Hoek van Holland, Milan via Brenner, Basel and Klagenfurt.

 

I had mixed feelings, got homesick and went back to the UK.

 

Once back in the UK, I got homesick for Germany and used up much holiday time here.

 

Water (lots of it) went under the bridge, and together with other work, I managed to do travel and tourism assignments in Germany - Rhine and Mosel river-cruises especially.

 

Returned in 2007, got my guiding qualification for Berlin - made easier by the fact that for a while I was a "Blue Badge" guide for the UK's West Country.

 

I love this city - so glad the Wall came down, but when I'm travelling around here I'm still aware of where it used to be. Retired now and 70% disabled, but it's better to be disabled here than in the UK...and the Waldfriede Hospital in Zehlendorf has foxes prowling around at night!

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Been here now 5 years and cant say I can call it home...

 

Having said that I have yet to find a place on this bloody planet to call home...

 

Been to 

USA

Dom Republic

Mexico

Germany

UK/Scotland

The Netherlands

France

Spain

Greece

Italy

Kenya

Tunisia

Egypt

Norway

Ireland

 

Cant think of any others... still, none of those countries are my cuppa tea to live... guess I should try the moon or mars :-)

 

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48 minutes ago, Nightstalker said:

Been here now 5 years and cant say I can call it home...

 

Having said that I have yet to find a place on this bloody planet to call home...

 

Been to 

USA

Dom Republic

Mexico

Germany

UK/Scotland

The Netherlands

France

Spain

Greece

Italy

Kenya

Tunisia

Egypt

Norway

Ireland

 

Cant think of any others... still, none of those countries are my cuppa tea to live... guess I should try the moon or mars :-)

 

 

I just keep bouncing between Germany and the US... I think I'm about to give Germany another go. Or rather, just let go of the US and come "home"...  

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1 hour ago, LostBetweenCountries said:

 

I just keep bouncing between Germany and the US... I think I'm about to give Germany another go. Or rather, just let go of the US and come "home"...  

Been here now 5 years and cant say I can call it home...

 

Having said that I have yet to find a place on this bloody planet to call home...

 

Been to 

USA

Dom Republic

Mexico

Germany

UK/Scotland

The Netherlands

France

Spain

Greece

Italy

Kenya

Tunisia

Egypt

Norway

Ireland

 

Cant think of any others... still, none of those countries are my cuppa tea to live... guess I should try the moon or mars :-)

 

 

 

USA was the least nice place I was... Spent time in Seattle, Portland, Lafayette, Ft Lauderdale - just didnt like it there... my wife wants to go visit her son when he is in LA on his world gap year... Told here she can go alone... not my cuppa Tea.

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How long did you spend in Seattle and Portland? Those would be 2 of my favorite picks over there outside of my home state, SC, where my family lives. I have friends in both places and have visited a lot.

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13 hours ago, Nightstalker said:

Been here now 5 years and cant say I can call it home...

 

Having said that I have yet to find a place on this bloody planet to call home...

 

Been to  ...

 

Cant think of any others... still, none of those countries are my cuppa tea to live... guess I should try the moon or mars :-)

 

I empathize.

 

A while back, I was talking to a friend (sadly no longer living on this planet) about funeral arrangements. (Yeah, one talks about such shit the older one gets).

 

I told him I'd want to be cremated, my ashes tipped into an urn, and (here the imagination flies) to have enough cash for a trusted friend to travel the world and pour a little bit of ash at places which had meant something to me as a living being.

 

He (or she) would have a huge task on their hands. Let's see...Lake Kivu and the Virunga National Park in Congo, where I had a "close encounter" with mountain gorillas. Afterwards, as we returned to our safari truck, millions of tree-crickets began their evening song - felt like the whole forest was singing to me and I to it. F^ing indescribably beautiful.

 

Then a place on the UK's South-West Coastal Path near Ilfracombe in Devon - foggy day, but suddenly the fog cleared and there were the waves crashing far below, hundreds of seabirds gliding on the wind and I experienced a sense of timelessness, a feeling of belonging...maybe the feeling of "I AM" that religious folks talk about...the feeling passed, but the memory stays with me.

 

But what of Germany? Please pour a little into the water at Koblenz, where the Mosel flows into the Rhine. And finally Berlin...chuck a bit of ash anywhere where the Wall used to run. Don't forget the wildness of Glen Affric in Scotland either, where the Highland cattle probably thought: "What's this nutter doing up here?"

 

Anywhere else? Probably. Not places I could realistically live in, either, but many places meant something, even if just for a while. But Berlin - the "Peaceful Revolution" that brought the Wall down and united East and West...still pretty special. In a way, a homecoming too.Perhaps a place where the split parts of myself come together, too.

 

Well, that was a philosophical rant and a half, but what do you expect at 5:50 in the morning when I can't sleep? Thinks...need a beer!

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I love reading your posts, keefy!

You are a scholar and a gentleman!🙏🏻

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16 hours ago, Nightstalker said:

Been here now 5 years and cant say I can call it home...

 

Having said that I have yet to find a place on this bloody planet to call home...

 

Been to 

USA

Dom Republic

Mexico

Germany

UK/Scotland

The Netherlands

France

Spain

Greece

Italy

Kenya

Tunisia

Egypt

Norway

Ireland

 

Cant think of any others... still, none of those countries are my cuppa tea to live... guess I should try the moon or mars :-)

 

Been there or lived there?

To date I have lived, (registered and paid taxes) in Germany, Denmark, Austria, Mexico, Switzerland, Malta and now for almost two years back in Germany, I came to Germany the first time in ´72 and left in ´99 and thought Germany was almost paradise on earth, well Bavaria. But since returning my attitude has changed, now I find the place stifling and closed, almost suffocating. But maybe it´s just me as there are so many ghosts of the past that haunt and torment me with what could have been if only...!

I must admit that I feel a bit adrift just now.

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On 7.01.2020, 08:23:28, slammer said:

Been there or lived there?

To date I have lived, (registered and paid taxes) in Germany, Denmark, Austria, Mexico, Switzerland, Malta and now for almost two years back in Germany, I came to Germany the first time in ´72 and left in ´99 and thought Germany was almost paradise on earth, well Bavaria. But since returning my attitude has changed, now I find the place stifling and closed, almost suffocating. But maybe it´s just me as there are so many ghosts of the past that haunt and torment me with what could have been if only...!

I must admit that I feel a bit adrift just now.

Funny thing is, during my first stay in Germany (1970-71) there were things here that really pissed me off. It was the final couple of years of the "Wirtschaftswunder" - and so many people kept on gabbling on about how much they'd earned, how much overtime money they'd got, what they'd bought, blah, blah,blah. Kind of taboo nowadays, but then....l

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On 7.01.2020, 07:23:55, john g. said:

I love reading your posts, keefy!

You are a scholar and a gentleman!🙏🏻

Why, thank you, kind Sire!

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16 hours ago, Keefy said:

Funny thing is, during my first stay in Germany (1970-71) there were things here that really pissed me off. It was the final couple of years of the "Wirtschaftswunder" - and so many people kept on gabbling on about how much they'd earned, how much overtime money they'd got, what they'd bought, blah, blah,blah. Kind of taboo nowadays, but then...l

Oh yes, that is so true... Reminds me of this little ditty:

A time of much hypocrisy too if I remember. It was a time of Vollbeschäftigung and if you were unemployed and lived with your parents then woe betide your sorry ass: "Young Slammer, you have to leave the house at seven and don´t come back until at least five, the neighbours will think you are a lazy and unemployed and we can´t live with the shame!"  Stepgranny´s mind had somehow gotten stuck in the 1940ties and for her everything was still "under the influence" We didn´t have "Kaiserwetter" we had "Führerwetter" We kids clamouring for something sweet were told to chew bread because bread was sweet. Soup and sauce thickener was made from potatoes or newspaper, whatever was available. The news on TV was sometimes strenuous, "This would never have happened under the Führer.

It was frustrating at the time but now when I think about it it did give me an insite into a different era, quite fascinating if you think about it.

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18 hours ago, Keefy said:

Funny thing is, during my first stay in Germany (1970-71) there were things here that really pissed me off. It was the final couple of years of the "Wirtschaftswunder" - and so many people kept on gabbling on about how much they'd earned, how much overtime money they'd got, what they'd bought, blah, blah,blah. Kind of taboo nowadays, but then...l

Same here, Keefy! I first came to Germany (Bonn) in October 1970 and stayed a year. I don´t remember people talking about their money, though. I DO remember sharing a flat with an English friend from  the factory, Mike,  who was five years older than me. Once, and having got paid, he wrote a list of stuff to shop for so he could cook and I spent the whole money I left the place with on a cassette recorder.  That´s what I came back with:P

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4 hours ago, slammer said:

We didn´t have "Kaiserwetter" we had "Führerwetter"

 

I've never heard of that one in all my years here but its plausible.  The latter starts off bright & ends up dark & grey with lots of damage?

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2 hours ago, HEM said:

 

I've never heard of that one in all my years here but its plausible.  The latter starts off bright & ends up dark & grey with lots of damage?

That was one of Göbbels‘s brainfarts.

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I don`t think it really matters where you live in the end there will be things you hate about it and things you love about it.

Until Utopia is found it`s always going to be that way.

 

 

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This chap obviously didn't quite enjoy his time in Berlin.

Ai Weiwei on his new life in Britain: 'People are at least polite. In Germany, they weren't'

 

On the surface, he sounds like most TTs who hasn't quite accepted/adjusted to life in Germany. On the other hand, there's the argument that if it requires a decent length of time to feel comfortable in a society, than perhaps there's something within that society that isn't quite right too.

Could it just be a quirk of Berlin? Do any of you Berliners recognise the feelings Ai Weiwei describes?

On a slightly related note, how safe is Berlin at night for young women?

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On 1/2/2020, 11:16:03, Rushrush said:


it sounds like you married a German and then moved into a small “backwards” area of Germany. It’s how we felt when we first moved here. Small village no car it was rough. Eventually we did adapt. For yourself obviously this is easier said than done. 

Nope completely wrong. Have a car, live in a city. Lived here 18 years.

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