Relocating to Munich from San Francisco; looking for advice

204 posts in this topic

41 minutes ago, GoldenLizard said:

Haha, I get what you mean. Yes, I have visited Germany (not Munich) many times outside the summer season and didn't see too many people wearing sandals. Surely something to get used to after living in the Bay Area. But I didn't really understand what you meant by kids having to wear slippers to school.

Footwear is enormously important in Germany. Germans wear Hausschuhe (slippers) indoors, including school. Here's what Rick Steves has to say about it. I've worn slippers indoors since we moved to Germany in 1971. It truly feels gross to me to wear shoes in other peoples' houses.
But it felt good to return to the SF Bay Area ten years later, where I wear barefoot sandals year-round. :) 

 

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Barefoot sandals, katheliz? Wat dat?

Go the real McCoy! I am currently not only sandal-less but barefoot!😢 ( Hot here!)...

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@john g., old women with DM need to protect their feet from damage: else they run the risk of ending up with no feet at all! :) 

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Oh , stop moaning, katheliz! I walked from Crete to San Francisco and back today in the hot sun! My ( slightly ) much younger feet than yours are killing me!😂

PS: what‘s DM? 🙈😟

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1 hour ago, GoldenLizard said:

Oh wow, not having lived in a place where it snows, I didnt think of it. Any footwear brands you can suggest that have grippy soles? Especially for kids. I heard that unlike the US, kids walk to school and are not dropped by car.

Jack Wolfskin has nice equipment for kids too.

 

I would recommend 2 shoes types:

- casual, waterproof shoes with decent grip for a normal winter day

- tall, waterproof shoes with excellent grip (construction worker style!) for deep snow and especially ice

 

People in Germany wear mountain equipment in the city. At first it is weird and fashionless, but it makes some sense.

 

BTW, is the company paying for international school?

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42 minutes ago, john g. said:

Basically, GoldenLizard, in general , streets are safe for kids, they have pavements/ sidewalks everywhere and schools are not the other side of town.

And if the kids have to take public transport- it is all there.

Germany has wonderful infrastructure. And the public health insurance for you and your family will blow your mind out. It is first class.

I sincerely hope you will enjoy your time there.

 

All that you said (and more) factored into my decision to move here :D. But good to have the validation!

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15 minutes ago, MikeMelga said:

Jack Wolfskin has nice equipment for kids too.

 

I would recommend 2 shoes types:

- casual, waterproof shoes with decent grip for a normal winter day

- tall, waterproof shoes with excellent grip (construction worker style!) for deep snow and especially ice

 

People in Germany wear mountain equipment in the city. At first it is weird and fashionless, but it makes some sense.

 

BTW, is the company paying for international school?

 

Thanks for the suggestions, I absolutely will consider them. I guess I can explore the equivalent of Jack Wolfskin here in Columbia Sport or REI

 

My company is not paying for international school and I dont plan to send my kids either. We dont plan to be short term visitors, so am sending my kids to the German school. Thats a whole different challenge, I know!

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GoldenLizard! I think maybe you are making a mistake, after all!

You must be some mid-30s yuppie or something😂

COOL is something else! Before you get on your flight, please remember the way it should be! ( Admittedly, I am probably of a slightly different generation )... https://youtu.be/bch1_Ep5M1s

 

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8 minutes ago, john g. said:

GoldenLizard! I think maybe you are making a mistake, after all!

You must be some mid-30s yuppie or something😂

COOL is something else! Before you get on your flight, please remember the way it should be! ( Admittedly, I am probably of a slightly different generation )... https://youtu.be/bch1_Ep5M1s

 

Lol. I think the San Francisco of today is more https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WQ2ryABpYM

Anyway, I live in and love the SF suburbs - way cleaner than SF donwtown.

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1 hour ago, katheliz said:

Footwear is enormously important in Germany. Germans wear Hausschuhe (slippers) indoors, including school. Here's what Rick Steves has to say about it. I've worn slippers indoors since we moved to Germany in 1971. It truly feels gross to me to wear shoes in other peoples' houses.

I love this system. While I was growing up in the foothills of the Himalayas, we had separate footwear for outside and inside the house. But slippers in schools is something I am hearing for the first time. Thanks for the heads-up!

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Side note: when I was still a kid, in the 1940s, Sears Roebuck's catalogs were still displaying women's house shoes. They were just fashionable enough that a woman could receive visitors in her slippers.
Almost 60 years ago my husband and I went to dinner at an American couple's house, and the wife was wearing actual slippers. I was rather offended that she didn't change into regular shoes for her guests. But they'd just returned from a sabbatical year in Sweden, and I guess she'd caught the no-shoes-in-the-house bug that I later gladly took to my bosom. Too bad she didn't have an old Sears catalog. :unsure:

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40 minutes ago, GoldenLizard said:

But slippers in schools is something I am hearing for the first time. 

 

Only in elementary school (grade 1 to 4, i.e. age 6 or 7 to age 9 or 10) and not in all elementary schools.

See here for a discussion on this topic: https://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&nv=1&pto=aue&rurl=translate.google.co.uk&sl=auto&sp=nmt4&tl=en&u=https://muenchen.babynews.de/forum/schulkind/53751-welche-hausschuhe-in-der-schule&usg=ALkJrhg_urURV0OGEYjGN_6BLRGkFBnGlQ

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1 hour ago, GoldenLizard said:

 

Thanks for the suggestions, I absolutely will consider them. I guess I can explore the equivalent of Jack Wolfskin here in Columbia Sport or REI

AFAIK you can find Jack Wolfskin in US too. Although Columbia is also good.

 

1 hour ago, GoldenLizard said:

 

My company is not paying for international school and I dont plan to send my kids either. We dont plan to be short term visitors, so am sending my kids to the German school. Thats a whole different challenge, I know!

I hope this does not ruin Germany for you. It will be really, really, really hard for the whole family, as they are already a bit old to catch up on the German language.

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5 minutes ago, MikeMelga said:

It will be really, really, really hard for the whole family, as they are already a bit old to catch up on the German language

 

The good news is my kids did a German language summer camp here in the Bay Area. The elder kid, my son who is 10, is so thrilled with learning a new language that he has started learning on Duolingo as well. He can now read short stories too.

 

The younger one, my daughter 7 years - the exact opposite. So I can visualize what you mean.

I did a German Level 1 course many years ago so hopefully a bit of that comes back. My wife will start on a clean slate.

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Complete immersion is amazingly effective.  I saw it first when the foreign kids in my children's elementary school went from 0 to 100 within a school year. Later, I saw it when my own children entered the German school system at varying ages. The greatest success was my 11-year-old, though all my kids ended up speaking German well.
I expect both of your kids will be fine.

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3 hours ago, GoldenLizard said:

Oh wow, not having lived in a place where it snows, I didnt think of it. Any footwear brands you can suggest that have grippy soles? Especially for kids. I heard that unlike the US, kids walk to school and are not dropped by car.

Not really for winter shoes and boots I just go to a shoe shop from September onwards and look for a lined (synthetic fur) shoe with a good profile on the sole, just like a car tyre the deeper the tread the better the grip in slippery conditions.;)

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8 hours ago, GoldenLizard said:

so am sending my kids to the German school.

Speaking from experience I can recommend a Montessori school (if you can find a place). Their system helps a lot learning the language. Apart from all the other benefits.

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10 hours ago, katheliz said:

Complete immersion is amazingly effective.  I saw it first when the foreign kids in my children's elementary school went from 0 to 100 within a school year. Later, I saw it when my own children entered the German school system at varying ages. The greatest success was my 11-year-old, though all my kids ended up speaking German well.
I expect both of your kids will be fine.

I also heard many horror stories where it did not work. And others where they were good students but could not handle the cultural shock.

I have several friends that moved back to Portugal due to school problems. Half managed to become proficient, but could not stand the cultural shock.

And the only reason I staid in Germany was because I realized what was happening with them and decided to put my kid in international school before 6.

Otherwise, I am 100% I would not be here any more.

To the OP: be aware on your kid´s progress at school. If things are going bad, either due to language but especially due to cultural shock, act on it.

 

Maybe school in Germany is great for US culture, I don´t know. But for Portuguese it is clearly not.

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