Relocating to Munich from San Francisco; looking for advice

204 posts in this topic

8 hours ago, GoldenLizard said:

These are great for the outdoor activities and for the days with ice on the street. Be aware you also need long socks almost up to the knee (just one pair at a time!).

 

8 hours ago, GoldenLizard said:

 

Do you think this is similar to the Gore-tex sneakers you bought? Or do you suggest I should return the Columbia shoes and just buy in Munich? I do want to be reasonably prepared, so maybe return the high boots and keep the short boots?

Columbia is fine. Remember they will outgrow it in a year or so.

BTW, you will find that most neighborhoods have some mild inclined artificial hills so you can do this in the winter:

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rodeln

https://www.sueddeutsche.de/muenchen/rodeln-die-schoensten-schlittenberge-in-und-um-muenchen-1.2825615

This is great fun for the whole family. If you go to the mountains, you have tracks with multiple kilometers.

 

 

8 hours ago, GoldenLizard said:

I may reach out to you for tips; you have gone through exactly what we will go through - except that we have a pandemic recovery to deal with in addition. The relocation agency already told us that not many landlords will be thrilled to hear they have a prospective renter from the USA. With great difficulty, they have got us a place in Moosach as temporary accommodation; do you know how this area is?

Moosach is a bit dodgie in my opinion, but bear in mind: Munich doesn´t really have dodgy areas, it´s just a poor neighbourhood. I will PM you with a gem location in the north of Munich.

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I also think that the restaurant scene is not that bad. I usually follow recommendations from colleagues or friends to be on the safe side. You have Lebanese, Peruvian, Afghani and Ethiopian to mention a few. I organize dinners in different restaurants every year. The city centre is overloaded with Bavarian restaurants. Also, Italian restaurants everywhere, but only few are good.

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8 minutes ago, LukeSkywalker said:

I also think that the restaurant scene is not that bad. I usually follow recommendations from colleagues or friends to be on the safe side. You have Lebanese, Peruvian, Afghani and Ethiopian to mention a few. I organize dinners in different restaurants every year. The city centre is overloaded with Bavarian restaurants. Also, Italian restaurants everywhere, but only few are good.

I agree and about the only lack I have noticed in Munich is Chinese restaurants which, bar one expensive one, all seem to just offer warmed up tinned food. There are some decent Thai and Vietnamese ones though and Weisswurst and beer for breakfast at in a Bierhalle can't be beat!:rolleyes:

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Restaurants in Munich are a reflex of the supermarkets: cheap prices, low quality, unfriendly staff, terrible decoration, crammed spaces.

 

This comes of course with the obsession of cheap prices. As my former German boss used to tell me, "Germans are not willing to pay more than 15€ for a dish".

As a comparison, in Portugal, where cost of living is 2.5x lower than Munich, a normal dish in a restaurant costs 12-13€. This would mean 25-30€ for the same dish in Munich. If it costs 15€, this just means quality is to suffer.

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2 hours ago, keith2011 said:

I agree and about the only lack I have noticed in Munich is Chinese restaurants which, bar one expensive one, all seem to just offer warmed up tinned food. There are some decent Thai and Vietnamese ones though and Weisswurst and beer for breakfast at in a Bierhalle can't be beat!:rolleyes:

I had once Uyghur (South-West China) food near Hbf. It was simple, but authentic and the restaurant was packed with Asians. The same with Fire Dragon Lounge where I tried the hot pot. If many Asians go there, it can't be bad is my motto. I also know 2 very good French restaurants, but they don't come cheap.

 

@MikeMelga: Munich has 13 Michelin restaurants. I'm sure that one will meet your taste and liking :)

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3 minutes ago, LukeSkywalker said:

 

@MikeMelga: Munich has 13 Michelin restaurants. I'm sure that one will meet your taste and liking :)

That just means that there are rich people in the city, you cannot extrapolate for the whole city.

 

But if you want to go that way...

Porto, Portugal, has 5 Michelin restaurants. Population 280.000. Restaurants per 100.000ppl = 1.8

Munich has 13. Population 1.600.000. Restaurants per 100.000ppl = 0.8

 

 

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Jesus dude. I'm gonna have to go visit Portugal, it sounds sooooo much better than here!

 

Also- Columbia is not "fine", Columbia is much better than Jeck Volfskin.

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Portugal has the most underrated cuisine in the world! It is superb! I used  to live on and off in Spain on the border with Portugal and the Spanish have a fantastic cuisine. And half our town in Spain ( Badajoz ) would cross the border at the weekend to sample the delights. 
 I personally hate fish, Bobby , but the Portuguese with their bacalhao dourado ( golden cod )!💋💋 I could eat that every day! 
 

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22 hours ago, GoldenLizard said:

The problem is when racism is institutionalized. And when I saw the comment saying that teachers may not recommend a student to Gymnasium because of not having blond hair and blue eyes and not being able to blend in with other kids, that had alarm bells ringing!

 

There have been studies that have shown that foreign kids as well as poor German kids are less likely to go to gymnasium.  In some cases, a gymnasium recommendation is based on the opinion of just one teacher.

 

I recently read a book by a woman of Turkish heritage where she said she did not experience any problems in school and made it to gymnasium without a problem.  She wrote that the low rate of Turkish children going to gymnasium (about 20% to Germans 50%) were largely based on victim mentality in the culture where many parents believe and convince their children that the teachers are against them and so the children don't even try.

 

However, I also met a woman of Turkish heritage who told me that her elementary school teacher wanted to send her to special school because she was shy and didn't talk much in class. Her teacher had even drawn up the paperwork for the transfer but her mom refused to sign.

 

Germans do not necessarily think it's a bad thing not to go to gymnasium though.  They feel like you shouldn't stress out your children and push them to do something they are not ready for.  Your kid could take the scenic route and still end up with an abitur or maybe not get an abitur but learn a trade instead.

 

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5 hours ago, LeonG said:

In some cases, a gymnasium recommendation is based on the opinion of just one teacher.

I´ve just looked it up here (page 18). In Bavaria it depends on the marks in German, math and social studies. Kids will routinely get a recommendation for the Gymnasium if the average is 2.33 or better and for "Realschule" if the average is 2.5 or better. For kids who haven´t visited a German language elementary school for the full 4 years the hurdle is lowered to an average of 3.33 for Gymnasium if it can be assumed that that the language problem will be overcome (I guess this is where a single teacher´s opinion will come into play). However, if parents insist on the Gymnasium kids can be admitted on a trial basis as long as it doesn´t have worse marks than 4 in German and math.

 

You don´t do a kid which isn´t academically inclined (yet) a favour though sending it to Gymnasium as it will most likely fail, be unhappy and drop out (kids can and will be forced to leave the Gymnasium if marks are too poor). This can be a hard blow to a child´s self-esteem. Of those who started together with me (granted, that was more than 50 years ago) more than half did not make it to Abitur. On the other hand - as I pointed out already - you can still make it to Gymnsaium and Abitur through lower tier schools if your marks are good enough. Or you could go to Gymnasium after grade 5 rather than grade 4 if your marks are sufficient (this is what I did).

 

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6 hours ago, LeonG said:

However, I also met a woman of Turkish heritage who told me that her elementary school teacher wanted to send her to special school because she was shy and didn't talk much in class.

What´s wrong with that? It´s not as if remedial schools were a bad thing. A classmate of my kids went to a remedial school for two years before returning to mainstream school. My daughter also went to a remedial school for a few years (not in Germany though) and still made it to Abitur.

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I am always surprised how capitalism seems to make us less individual and turns us into a homogeneous mass. Nowadays we all watch the same movies, hear the same music, wear similar clothes, eat junk food, and our kids HAVE to be successful. They HAVE to go to gymnasium. They HAVE to get the Abitur. There are not many Germans left that are comfortable with their child"only"  finishing Realschule. I mean Realschule is not on the top so gymnasium MUST be better.

 

It's a shame that people cannot let their kids develop into what they are. Not everyone is academically minded. That doesn't make kids less worthy. I have a friend who surprised everyone because she didn't push her kid into gymnasium. She accepted his decision to go to Realschule and start a Ausbildung as carpenter afterwards. He is happy.

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, jeba said:

What´s wrong with that? It´s not as if remedial schools were a bad thing. A classmate of my kids went to a remedial school for two years before returning to mainstream school. My daughter also went to a remedial school for a few years (not in Germany though) and still made it to Abitur.

 

You just harped on how harmful it would be to send a bad student to a high level school and I agree with you but then you really don't see how it's also harmful to send a good student to a low requirement school?  She would have been bored, likely lost interest in her schoolwork and wondered if she's being sent there as some kind of punishment.  It's really not better.

 

As for your daughter, she wasn't in Germany though so you can't compare. The upwards mobility in Germany costs years and there is no point in delaying kids for years in the system who are good students by sending them to a lower level school just because they are shy, have black hair or whatever.

 

As for the grades now deciding in many areas which schools the kids are funneled into, there are also studies showing that foreign kids get lower grades for the same work so in order to be equal, they really have to be better.

 

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2 hours ago, Namu said:

It's a shame that people cannot let their kids develop into what they are. Not everyone is academically minded. That doesn't make kids less worthy. I have a friend who surprised everyone because she didn't push her kid into gymnasium. She accepted his decision to go to Realschule and start a Ausbildung as carpenter afterwards. He is happy.

 

Nothing wrong with that.  My one nephew did his abitur and is now studying mathematics.  His younger brother is starting an ausbildung as a carpenter.  Kids aren't all the same.  Just like younger nephew shouldn't be pushed to do abitur, the older nephew shouldn't be pushed towards apprenticeship based on social status, hair color, parent's income etc. 

 

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On 8/31/2020, 11:17:52, MikeMelga said:

Thanks! 262€ for a backpack! And my son going to private school with a 17€ backpack! Sometimes prios are swapped.

 

While I agree that 262 EUR for a school backpack is way too much, you went to the other extreme.  You have to consider that a bag that is too cheap might be ergonomically crap.  I of course have no idea how much your kid has to schlep around in a private school, but in public schools it is a lot, I consider it excessive, but it is what it is.

 

And the most popular school backpack at the moment for biggish kids is not the Ergoflex, I think it is the Satch, which you can buy from 70 to 120 EUR and it is actually quite good, and I find the price totally reasonable.

 

Small kids (primary school age) will tend to use a "Schulranzen", the squerish ones instead of a normal backpack.   My kids are bigger now so I have no idea what is popular now, but they went through 4 years of primary school with a DerDieDas Schulranzen that costed me around 120 EUR in a set.   I admit I was a hater of those squerish bags before and bought the first one only because literally everyone else had one but with the time I understood why Germans love them, they are extremely practical and very durable.

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1 hour ago, LeonG said:

but then you really don't see how it's also harmful to send a good student to a low requirement school?

Of course, I do. However, I was assuming that a techer wouldn´t recommend a remedial school without having a reason for it

 

1 hour ago, LeonG said:

there is no point in delaying kids for years in the system who are good students by sending them to a lower level school just because they are shy

I disagree on that. Psychological factors (her mother died) were the reason why I sent my daughter to a remedial school even though her IQ was tested to be higher than mine (and that after all proved enough to pass Abitur with marks good enough to not be bothered by any numerus clausus).

 

1 hour ago, LeonG said:

there is no point in delaying kids for years in the system who are good students by sending them to a lower level school j

I agree - but kids who are good students will usually have good marks. And with good marks they can go to upper tier schools.

 

1 hour ago, LeonG said:

As for the grades now deciding in many areas which schools the kids are funneled into, there are also studies showing that foreign kids get lower grades for the same work so in order to be equal, they really have to be better.

As you can see from the link I provided for kids with language problems the hurdle is lowered.

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47 minutes ago, Krieg said:

 

While I agree that 262 EUR for a school backpack is way too much, you went to the other extreme.  You have to consider that a bag that is too cheap might be ergonomically crap.  I of course have no idea how much your kid has to schlep around in a private school, but in public schools it is a lot, I consider it excessive, but it is what it is.

They don´t carry any books except for library loans once a week. The bag just has some food, water and a few papers and utilities. Weights less than 1.5kg most of the days.

 

School concept is not book-driven and a lot of stuff is done with tablets.

And before you say tablets are for rich people, a tablet can cost below 100€, the state could get it cheaper with mass purchase and VAT free. You would also avoid chopping thousands of trees.

Definitely much cheaper and eco-friendly than buying school books! Problem is, the lobby for the school industry is strong (at least in Portugal).

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1 minute ago, MikeMelga said:

They don´t carry any books except for library loans once a week. The bag just has some food, water and a few papers and utilities. Weights less than 1.5kg most of the days.

 

This is not the situation in public schools, kids have to carry way too many things.  And since private schools are a minitory, it is unfair of you criticizing the "priorities" of "the Germans", because not damaging the back of my kid is a high priority to me.

 

1 minute ago, MikeMelga said:

 

School concept is not book-driven and a lot of stuff is done with tablets.

And before you say tablets are for rich people, a tablet can cost below 100€, the state could get it cheaper with mass purchase and VAT free. You would also avoid chopping thousands of trees.

Definitely much cheaper and eco-friendly than buying school books! Problem is, the lobby for the school industry is strong (at least in Portugal).

 

I totally support tablet/electronic driven education for secondary school, but not for primary school.

 

Tablet price is irrelevant in this case, because in secondary school the costs of the books every year exceeds the cost of a cheap tablet.   But I wonder if the e-Books are for free, I would assume no.

 

In Berlin books for primary schools are paid by the state since a couple of years ago (together with transportation ticket and lunch).   And during the Corona crisis there were programs to give tablets to kids from low income families, so I would assume that if e-book driven education become a thing in the public schools some support will be given to families in economic distress.

 

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