Die Kaffeestube Teil 2 - virtual Kaffeeklatsch in Germany and Austria

(952 Posts)
cheaspicks Wed 22-Aug-12 09:57:01

Chat for those living in a German-speaking country, or anyone else who is interested.

admylin Thu 23-Aug-12 09:15:20

Morning from a nice cooler Hanover! Guests have gone so had all the doors and windows of the flat open and slept well at last.

Awsome great blog, my dd would like you to adopt her - she's got so many ideas and is so creative and although I try, I don't live up to her expectations in creativity!

WorldCitizen when your dd started learning German how old was she? My dc started off with just English, then German at Kindergarten from age 4 and now my dd won't speak English anymore. Ds is bilingual but dd is in a German phase!

Emandlu I lived near Stuttgart for a few years - lovely area and very easy to get to France, Black Forest, Switzerland, Munich for day trips even. Worth a visit!

Nutella I remember my only muslin cloths came from UK so I wonder what Germans use instead? Did you know Marks and Spencer deliver to Germany for about 7€ so worth buying stuff there. Dh gets his shirts and jumpers there as he can't find similar price and quality here.

ploom hope the next 22 days go smoothly! It is long isn't it? In the US and France most dc go to holiday camps/colonie for a few weeks. Would be a good thing to have here. I'd be evil and send dd to a maths camp and ds to a sports camp!! Although he is going out swimming with his friends today but only after abit of nagging from me! Dd was out all day with her friend in town again shopping yesterday! And only a week and a half to go to school start.

Muppet hope you have a nice time at the Einschulung! It's a big day in Germany and they celebrate it as if they dc has just got a PhD or something!! It's a nice tradition and good to go for a meal out too!!

cheaspicks Thu 23-Aug-12 09:24:50

nutella and admylin muslins here are called "Mullwindeln" and you can get them from Drogeriemärkte. They're usually pretty cheap-looking/feeling, though, so if you go to the UK before the baby comes, I would get some of the lovely M&S ones, nutella.

Hello, newcomers/namechangers/everyone else. smile

worldcitizen Thu 23-Aug-12 09:44:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

admylin Thu 23-Aug-12 10:01:44

Worldcitizen I agree the school system is another topic altogether! Infact we used to run a parallel thread just for German school problems so as not to scare any newcomers away!!

My dc have both had marks taken off tests for using English that hasn't been covered yet!!

worldcitizen Thu 23-Aug-12 10:20:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

admylin Thu 23-Aug-12 11:05:47

Here you go citizen www.mumsnet.com/Talk/living_overseas/478579-german-schools loads of moaning here!

I'm quite happy with our situation at the moment. Both dc are at a Gymnasium where the pupils are from a very mixed background and so far we've hardly had any major troubles (except them refusing to recognise dd's dyslexia). Ds was at a very different Gymnasium before this one - we were so unhappy it caused alot of tension and stress between dh and I and depression almost in ds.

worldcitizen Thu 23-Aug-12 11:31:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

worldcitizen Thu 23-Aug-12 11:37:41

Has anyone heard about or read the book, written by an American mother who wrote about her experiences in Germany.

It's called: Dear Germany-Eine Amerikanerin in Deutschland by Carol Kloeppel

Her husband is the RTL News director, Peter Kloeppel. He also reads the news himself.

admylin Thu 23-Aug-12 13:14:01

citizen I'd have loved my 2 dc to have experienced school in the US. My niece is a teacher in Houston what she told me about her responsibilities towards her pupils and teaching methods made it sound like great schooling.

Off school bag shopping now, dd's Umhängetasche broke and she is insisting that they are the best and coolest bags although I would rather (sensible mum) she had a rucksack.

itsMYNutella Thu 23-Aug-12 15:27:09

admylin it makes me chuckle to think about school bags. We were responsible for buying ours from a fairly young age (also all had to have jobs so we could pay for our own clothes etc) and I still chuckle at what I see some of the kids with here...(ones on wheels for example) I suppose that's why my Mum didn't ever worry about us having "sensible" bags. It really wasn't worth the fight.
On the other hand I feel sorry for them if the books they have to carry really are that heavy then it's ridiculous!

world I'm also intrigued by the school system here - I don't know it that well yet but find some ideas archaic- and I know DP suffered a lot through school and I try hard to tell him on the one hand how important school is but on the other how much you have to learn by living.

I will definitely be having a peek at the link thank you for finding it admylin.

Oh and I ordered a pack of 12 (I think) muslins from mothercare - with some other bits because I hate shopping (but only in Germany hmm) and I really don't have the patience to trawl the shops... but they couldn't deliver to Germany angry so parcel is first going to smallest bro and then he will forward it on to me.

How old is your DS antiquemuppet? I think I might be hassling you for many more tips about what to buy where in Germany smile the only mum I know here is .... a bit bonkers has lived a very different life to me.

cheaspicks Fri 24-Aug-12 09:48:55

admylin hope you found a nice bag for dd. I had terrible neck and shoulder pain as a student from carrying my instrument case around. It wasn't until I moved in with DH in a different town and started doing almost all my practice at home that the aches finally disappeared, so I am always horrified to see kids with those big bags.

world and nutella I'm also very interested to hear about the school system here. DD is only 3, but we're not planning to move back to the UK, so it will be relevant soon enough.

I'm always horrified by how little respect parents (and their kids) here seem to have for teachers. I think it must be very hard to be starting on the back foot like that - very few people, after all, go to the dr expecting anything other than to be treated by an expert - but it was interesting to read admylin's comment on the other thread that teachers here don't demand respect.

We had a primary school teacher here on Sat evening for a bbq and she was talking about some of the problems her school has. They are massively understaffed, but can't advertise new positions because of a mad early retirement scheme which allowed teachers to work full time on half pay for a few years and then stop working, still on half pay for the same length of time. So essentially, they have staff on the payroll who have no contact hours at all, and the rest have to cover the missing lessons (pure satire, if it weren't true shock). To make up the shortfall, they get staff sent from other schools - so now they have a Berufsschullehrerin who hasn't taught primary for 15 years and is desperate for help with lesson planning, which of course none of the other teachers wants to give they would rather shake their heads at this poor women's incompetence. Poor kids sad.

Hello everyone, new and name changers (cinders I'd recognise you anywhere, I think you are an avant garde poet without knowing it smile )

I like the holidays though, just back from 2 and half days in London with just my eldest (the only school child, aged nearly 7). Back to the maddness of 6 kids in the house (only 3 of them mine, they gather others like snowballs, or maybe they are sticky, should perhaps bath them, or chuck them in the Freibad...) I love not having pressure to get DD out the door at 7am, and especially no homework and being free to do what we want smile We've got a week at home then we're off to Croatia for 9 days, and when we get back it'll only be a couple of days til school starts. Weather is pants today though - was 34 degrees when we left, what happened?

We had a great time in London - pics on fb for those who "know" me there. My little-big girl has stamina; we were up at 4am the first day to catch the plane, and she was still buzzing at 11.30pm at the end of the Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium, having spent hours exploring the Tower of London and travelling about by tube and bus stopping to look at things and take photos in between - then she woke me up at 6.30am the next day asking if we could get going to the London Eye now... Explored the South Bank, did the Eye, a river cruise... She loved Trafalgar Square and Hamleys of course, and the Tower, but she was deeply unimpressed with Buckingham palace and it was the nearest she came to a tantrum... We popped into the National Gallery too, nice that it's free because we just went in because she asked and wandered for half an hour and came back out - so many things in London cost over €20 even for 1 adult and 1 child so you'd feel obliged to stay longer. We didn't get to the science museum - maybe next time - but DD wanted to see things that are only in London, rather than non-London specific museums...

Ooops got to go, tiny person climbing on me... Antique is your husband's niece as spoilt and infantile as ever? Hope school sorts her out? grin

I'm not sure people have so much respect for teachers in the UK tbh - maybe primary school teachers... I used to teach secondary in the UK and had kids tell me things like "Miss I'm not doing homework because my dad says you're all lazy f***ers, and only set homework because you're too lazy to work til 5 like everyone else" - charming and respectful???

worldcitizen Fri 24-Aug-12 10:45:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cheaspicks Fri 24-Aug-12 12:28:48

world I suspect most of the Germans I know would recognise the description of traits you have just given as "typisch Wessie!" grin.

You obviously have strong feelings about the school system and it's fine to want to collect your thoughts before posting them here. I am very interested however to hear your views, partly because I still have time to brainwash DD before she starts school (in a positive way, of course) and partly because, with two teachers as parents, I heard a lot about the problems of the UK system growing up.

Wrt to that, EnglishWoman, of course the "teachers are lazy f**kers" attitude is common in the UK, but it is hopefully predominantly confined to Daily Mail readers and not the attitude of most (middle-class) parents. I just think for example that when dnephew comes home complaining that his new English teacher is giving the class 3s and 4s when they were getting 1s and 2s last year, his highly educated parents and GPs should be defaulting to "well, obviously the standard expected this year is higher", not "well, obviously the teacher is a bitter, old cow". The latter may turn out to be true, but they should give the teacher the benefit of the doubt first.

Anyway, rant over! Your daughter is beautiful, EnglishWoman, and it certainly looks like you packed an awful lot into two and a half days. Did your DH cope on his own with the boys, or did he have help? grin

Antique I'd forgotten about how weirdly your niece was behaving back when you were pg. Has she settled down since then and is she nice to ds? I bet you've made sure never to leave him alone in a room with her, haven't you? wink

CakeBump Fri 24-Aug-12 12:39:03

Can I join please?

I was a bit put off by the size of the old thread smile

I'm in the Eifel, about 40 minutes from Cologne, married for 3 weeks to DH who is German, I'm English. We're expecting DC1 in December...

<waves to Nutella from the Dec 2012 Antenatal group>

Also nutella they have muslins in Hema (and loads of other fab stuff too)

worldcitizen Fri 24-Aug-12 12:41:49

Cakebump Sending my 'Hello' from Hamburg smile

worldcitizen Fri 24-Aug-12 12:44:39

cheaspicks thanks for that. Yes, I think it is better I read the school thread first and get a feel for what people here on this thread would find helpful, then I am more than happy and eager to respond and share more of my views and experiences.

CakeBump Fri 24-Aug-12 12:53:45

hi world, thanks for the welcome.

Hello cakebump

Forgot to introduce myself for new people smile I'm English, married for 8 years to a German - met in the UK, moved here 5 years ago. We have 3 kids - nearly 7 (born in UK), nearly 5 (born here) and nearly 16 months (born here).

cheaspicks the "nice middle class" parents are worse, as they all think their child's a genius and expect teachers to wave magic wands, and blame them if their child's just a bit thick wink or really rather lazy and really truly honestly neither a misunderstood genius nor struggling with some as yet undiscovered special need, which should allow them dispensation to have coursework done by mum (oh yes, it happens in the UK too, you'd be surprised how often they don't even make their blue eyed boys (it is usually boys - but I taught English lit) copy out the essay written in flowery middle class Mummy writing - maybe in fountain pen wink Anyway I'm glad I'm not a school teacher - in any country - any more grin

My toddler is driving me a bit to distraction - I think the in-laws must have kept him up late and fed him bags of sugar wink either that or he missed me and is traumatised, he is having a tantrum every 5 mins, and mainly seems to need to climb me while having them...

DH didn't have the boys, he went to work and came home to an empty house - boys stayed with his parents. He did build DS1's new mid sleeper complete with knight's tower awning and tower though (a Dolphin one that needed assembly) - it looks good smile DH did no laundry or anything of course...

Argh being climbed by angry infant again... Need to pack extra kids off home and take my own ones to the shop - DH felt no urge to buy bread or milk while we were gone, though there are new snacks in the cupboards...

admylin Fri 24-Aug-12 13:00:27

Hi cakebump how are you liking life in germany? Have you been here long?

English you managed to do loads in just a couple of days. You know your way around London!! It would have taken me a whole day to figure out how to get from A to B!

Nutella don't go near that link - you shouldn't start worrying about things like school as you have atleast 3 blissfull years of freedom ahead of you! Although, that would be 5 if you don't use kindergarden. My 2 went to Kindergarden to learn German but I otherwise wouldn't have bothered with it.

citizen I think when you read through that old thread alot of the problems we had/have were to do with being foreign and not understanding the system or typical language problems. I realise that in the UK there are alot of problems and complaints (going by what I read on MN).

cheaspicks I also remember having terrible neck and shoulder pain at school from the wrong type of bag and always carrying my books instead of leaving them in the locker. No luck with the bag for dd. She has ideas on a design and I don't think it exists so she has moaned abit that she needs access to a sewing machine so she can make something! I think we might have found one on Ebay today though.

Just spent all morning at the orthopäde getting my shoulder x-rayed and checked over. It's been sore for 2 months now and I ended up with a cortisone injection and have to do 8 weeks of physio. Doctor thinks it's frozen shoulder but if it's not better after the 8 weeks physio to go back and have a scan and he'll think of something else to do with me confused

worldcitizen Fri 24-Aug-12 13:07:49

Ahhh, just had a long post and it's gone. No idea how that happened??? sad
I am so new here on MN and still have to figure things out, i guess.

Hi English

admylin I'll definitely read this weekend.

CakeBump Fri 24-Aug-12 13:42:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

worldcitizen Fri 24-Aug-12 13:50:01

admylin sorry too about your discomfort, doesn't sound good, but what is a frozen shoulder???

cake you and your life sounds very interesting.
Oh, and I mean interesting in a German way, ha ha ha so very, very positive and big compliment, and not a euphemism for something else grin

AntiqueMuppet Fri 24-Aug-12 15:41:11

This thread moves so fast sometimes!

cheaspicks & TheEnglishWoman Dniece has really grown up a lot in the past few months and is now absolutely brilliant with DS! (I still can't have her around him when I'm not there, which I've never mentioned to DH's family and is something I just need to get over, I realise. PFB-itis).

I know it's a bit early but I know I'm not going to be able to resist reading the other thread!

I have mixed feelings about the Einschulung (Dniece's was yesterday). It seemed like a lot of fuss and an awful lot for a tired child to deal with, but I suspect that had more to do with SIL than anything else. Plus I spent most of the day dealing with cranky DS who was overwhelmed and a bit fed up with GPs constantly in his face and proclaiming at the tops of their voices that he was tired/hungry/thirsty/all of the above whenever he didn't have his biggest smile plastered on.
There was an assembly in the school, which DH said was quite nice (I was outside jiggling tired DS) then a church service (DS had perked up and spent the service jumping on me and growling loudly smile ) then presents, a BBQ and later coffee & cake at BIL & SIL's. The Schultüte was lovely - SIL is quite arty and made one with unicorns etc but Dniece was overtired and a bit contrary and BIL was knackered after baking til 1am then getting up to prepare salads at 5am and SIL spent most of the time shouting at both of them before having a total meltdown herself about whether to join the PTA to give Dniece an advantage with the teachers and about how Dniece is the oldest in the class and can't read yet yet one of the youngest in the class can & how it was really wrong of the other mother to teach her child to read as it puts her at an unfair advantage. I was knackered by this point so grabbed DS and whisked him off for a few minutes to escape the worst of it!

Nutella DS is 11 months old. I think I got most of his clothes from Primark and Real, muslin cloths (Mullwindel, like someone else mentioned upthread) from Real & various other bits from Ikea, BabiesRUs etc.

admylin Sorry to hear about your shoulder - I hope the injection and the physio sort it out. Could you persuade your DC to wait on you hand and foot in the meantime? smile

Hello to all the new people! I've been living in Germany for almost 3 years, am married to a German and have DS 11 months who was born here.

Sorry for the massive post. Gold stars to anyone who makes it to the end!

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