I love living in Germany, but...

144 posts in this topic

I thought I would start a new thread highlighting some of the frustrations expats encounter in German.

 

So to kick it off:  I get frustrated by service contracts which automatically renew for another fixed term if not cancelled way before the renewal date.

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9 minutes ago, starkebogen said:

I thought I would start a new thread highlighting some of the frustrations expats encounter in German.

 

 

Er...I believe there's an entire site not far from here for you to do that.

 

It's called TT.

 

btw Supermarkets being shit here - yeah they used to be 15 years ago but nope they are okay now.

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7 minutes ago, jeremytwo said:

btw Supermarkets being shit here - yeah they used to be 15 years ago but nope they are okay now.

No they aren't.

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Just now, MikeMelga said:

No they aren't.

 

They've improved, but they are still not as good as French, Italian, Spanish... supermarket, let alone UK supermarkets.

 

However, there was a huge step backwards when M&S shut down all its supermarkets in Germany, which was, if memory severs, almost two flipping decades ago.

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Let me guess:

  • People are cold
  • Service staff are unfriendly
  • Nobody speaks English
  • Got caught with the wrong/no ticket on public transportation and THEY WERE SO MEAN TO ME
  • Can't find the cut of meat I like
  • People stare at me

5bbddd73dfe89_1485379083.3432.57211.jpg.

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1 hour ago, starkebogen said:

I thought I would start a new thread highlighting some of the frustrations expats encounter in German.

 

Other foreigners seeing me an "expat" as if I am some sort of special snowflake, and not just any one of 12 million migrants here from all over the world, would certainly be one.   A few of us are probably employed here on business expatriate deals, but not many.    I guess it is different for those of you bordering Luxembourg, and perhaps Switzerland, I know but this "expat universe" hankering for own nation goodies etc  is not where many of us reside.

 

Personally I just get on with being any old foreigner here.  I don't get frustrated about things like supermarkets that - astoundingly - are not identical to ones in my home nation.   To me, what's on offer here is generally better.   I see myself as having traded up.  I don't want M&S or whoever.   I'd stay in the UK if I wanted them. 

 

My "frustrations" have resulted from my choice to set up in another nation, because it's a lot of work and compromise.   Germany actually does help migrants more than most I think  such as in the fabulous integration course I did but still a lot of work and made a lot of trade-offs.

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1 hour ago, MikeMelga said:

No they aren't.

 

Oh come. I've never crossed into Portugal but when I've camped in south east Spain in places like Javea/Denia the first place we go to is Lidl.

 

42 minutes ago, swimmer said:

I guess it is different for those of you bordering Luxembourg, and perhaps Switzerland, I know but this "expat universe" hankering for own nation goodies etc  is not where many of us reside.

 

Oh there's a town Divonne le Bains on the French/Swiss border where I empty the shelf of PG Tipps when I'm caravanning home through there. There's a "British" shelf of proper food there. Also, the Swiss chocs get raided.

 

1 hour ago, Smaug said:

 

They've improved, but they are still not as good as French, Italian, Spanish... supermarket, let alone UK supermarkets.

 

 

No of course they are not a patch but whilst down in Croatia we went in a Konsum -. first time in Yugoslavia in 6 years and couldn't believe how civilized they've become. Any of you who shopped there in the past will know how shitty Communist these places were - now you can even buy Croatian craft beer of all things. Fresh veg and good quality. That's thanks to the German tourists who have brought their money down there.

 

One thing Germans have which is better than the UK is small grocer shops, butchers and bakers all still here,

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The butchers and bakers are still here because the larger chains like Rewe are still somewhat new here. The butchers and bakers are slowly disappearing as the larger markets take over. 

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1 hour ago, jeremytwo said:

 

Oh come. I've never crossed into Portugal but when I've camped in south east Spain in places like Javea/Denia the first place we go to is Lidl.

One day you will find out that Portugal and Spain are very different countries. Anyway, our supermarkets follow as close as possible the french supermarkets, which are the reference.

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Only if his wife pays for a vacation there, @MikeMelga

 

In any case, J² thinks Lidl is a good supermarket - I think that says it all.

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Likes of me already shopped at Lidl.   That was my local supermarket in London in 2005.   My family in Manchester used Aldi.  So I suppose not much changed for me,  and I also already knew what a German supermarket was like.  The Class of 2005 often already used Lidl.   Some of the others like M&S were the generation up perhaps, more a 90's thing.  (I remember M&S in Antwerp in the 90s when I worked there).

 

And fast-forward to 2018, and both Aldi and Lidl are in the UK top 6 by market share and above the more "upmarket" ones (Waitrose as well as M&S).   They would be a totally normal option for typical Britons now.

 

Sales figures indicate the British are increasing fans of these allegedly limited German supermarkets.   And the UK media feeds us endless articles about the woes of M&S.  Times change.

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8 minutes ago, MikeMelga said:

One day you will find out that Portugal and Spain are very different countries

 

A chinese colleague just back from visiting those two suggested they might as well be the same country. But went on to discuss how bad it is to be taken for a japanese tourist. Close neighbours see the most differences.

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One need to have some cash always. In UK I hardly carried any cash.
Service Sector is very poor

I miss 24 hours shopping stores like Asda and Tesco

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38 minutes ago, MikeMelga said:

One day you will find out that Portugal and Spain are very different countries. Anyway, our supermarkets follow as close as possible the french supermarkets, which are the reference.

 

Now I stand corrected and take you at your word. I've not reached Portugal yet, but one day when we have longer than the school holidays we'll circumnavigate Spain/Portugal with our ACSI camping card.

 

35 minutes ago, El Jeffo said:

Only if his wife pays for a vacation there, @MikeMelga

 

In any case, J² thinks Lidl is a good supermarket - I think that says it all.

 

Oh but she's fantastic Jeff - pays for three two-week breaks a year. Haven't got started on the ski lodges either. Shan't mention the autumn break in northern Italy, shhhh....

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8 minutes ago, LukeSkywalker said:

Oh c'mon, Aldi and Lidl are OK. You just need to bring your Swiss army knife along.

To fight off the people who are wrestling with you for the last bunch of bananas? :lol:

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2 hours ago, jeremytwo said:

One thing Germans have which is better than the UK is small grocer shops, butchers and bakers all still here,

 

 

I know, "chainification" in the UK has been pretty ruthless.

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2 hours ago, Cammiede said:

The butchers and bakers are rapidly disappearing as the larger markets take over. 

Fixed that for you - in our area pretty much true for butchers; bakers are more like coffee shops that also sell bread..

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