Der Nebel steigt, es fällt das Laub - a German and Austrian autumn thread

(928 Posts)
AntiqueMuppet Wed 26-Sep-12 09:27:11

A thread for anyone living in Germany or Austria, or anyone else who fancies a chat.

Previous thread here

LinzerTorte Wed 26-Sep-12 19:21:28

Afri I lived in Charlottenburg both years that I spent in Berlin (one area much more salubrious than the other!) and used to take the youngest DC to a childminder near the Schlosspark when I was an au pair - it was somewhere near Klausener Platz but I can't remember the name of the street.

Antique Oh how ridiculous; it wouldn't be any of his business in the depths of winter, but in September? If it's any consolation, people do get less interfering as the children get older; a woman did ask the DDs the other day whether they weren't cold , but she was quite friendly about it and tbf it was a fairly cold day and they were both in T-shirts. Well done for arguing back, anyway - I could usually never think of anything to say back to them!

Am enjoying a nice quiet evening while DH is away, although it turns out he'll be back tomorrow evening rather than Friday as I'd thought. I will not spend the entire evening on MN!

itsMYNutella Wed 26-Sep-12 20:08:50

Good evening all!
Well the Leihund is fine, as suspected her ears were poorly again. She hadn't eaten much over the weekend and short of feeding her ice cream (I wouldn't really hmm ) a trip to the vet was for the best.
Vet was really nice and not too expensive (But I know the owner will re-imburse me so really not an issue), and she showed me how to put the medicine in the ears. Our fluffy friend seems much more her old self smile and we have her for another week so really didn't want her suffering.

I will catch up on the thread in a bit smile. I seem to have been busy with nothing the last couple of days.. couldn't organise my way out of a paper bag this week!

A student finished his course of lessons today and he gave me some lovely biscuits and a little present for the baby too. So sweet! Awww, went all mushy confused

Welcome Beinchen and Afric! Lovely to have more members here, I think this is one of the cosiest communities on MN grin

worldcitizen Wed 26-Sep-12 20:29:14

What, what new thread already grin bear with me please, have to read all your responses first.

admylin Wed 26-Sep-12 20:47:25

nutella thank goodness you went to the vet's, ear ache is really painful when we get it so little dog must have been in pain too. Hope she feels better soon.

linzer my dh is also still away too. He's in a small family hotel where they have told him that he has been given their best suite as he's a doctor and they don't get doctors very often! It's next door to a casino and across a square and garden to the atlantic sea. I'm so envy

I was going to check out ploom's TV channel but I'm so tired I don't think there's much point as I'll be off to bed in half an hour! Is anyone else like this? I used to come home from a full days work, get ready and go back out to socialise until late at night. Now I couldn't imagine going out in the evening past 10pm.

Afri must admit, I never ventured much further than Mitte when we lived in Berlin unless to go to a museum or an airport! I did have a coffee across from the Schloss once! Hope you feel settled in soon.

english those homemade knitted socks are so cosy, how nice of your dh's gran to make you them! Got my first pair in Germany from a German friend and wore them until they fell to bits! Don't know anyone who would knit me a pair now so have to wear shop bought fluffy socks!

Well, I am going to bed to enjoy a whole night of no snoring again. Last night was bliss!

worldcitizen Wed 26-Sep-12 21:00:12

Hello everyone. welcome afri and to Bienchen welcome back in Germany.
Would like to have some exchange about how you feel about leaving one place after a long time and now being back "home"...

Thanks to all of your wales suggestions, I really would love to talk more about Wales and also if we please could maybe talk more about York and Newcastle area trips, maybe anyone could help out there, too.

vegan who knows the chance sounds quite high, so I better keep stumm grin

ploom I believe that a general recommendation is once a year, if I remember it right this was also the case in the U.S....there is a lot of political/health insurance costs issues involved in those decisions which vary from country to country, but I believe and please don't nail me on this one, that the UK might be quite the minority by recommending the 3-year check up interval compared to other countries in the same league with the UK.

I am sorry, I need to catch up with all your responses and think i am missing the one or the other blush. My apologies in advance.

Laternenumzug, love it love love it, and I am saying this with the voice of my inner child who loved those. Adventskranz is simply something which is part of home, and the entire Adventszeit and everything surrounding it including building your own Knusperhäuschen.

It's wonderful, but now I have to apologise again for my possible rudeness, but I will most likely not share much about Christmas as of now, as I am still starting to enjoy autumn first and things such as Erntedankfest and also of course all the upcoming days and holidays ending the Kirchenjahr....and when those days are over then I will start getting festive and excited about Christmas...

disclaimer: <I understand lots of things need to get organised before Adventszeit>

worldcitizen Wed 26-Sep-12 21:02:53

nutella you are so right, it is a very cosy thread smile

admylin I feel you...I am also going to have an early night.

itsMYNutella Wed 26-Sep-12 21:26:47

admylin she is being very good and letting me do the medicine (I think it's actually a salve for her ears hmm, apparently her ears are really hairy and the ear canal is really tiny so she has this problem a lot <bless the small fluffy monster>). I giver her a little (owner approved) treat after the ear treatment which she loves smile

Oh, and, after several occasions of feeling my bump is small today I was asked if I am having twins!
The worst thing is I was at pregnancy yoga shock and the lady who asked me is about to burst in the next week or two. Very angry will be throwing away the loose top I wore to yoga! I'm 27 weeks tomorrow and there was a lady who is 35(ish) weeks and she was obviously much bigger than me <humph>
I'm off to bed with a stack of chocolate biscuits

LinzerTorte Thu 27-Sep-12 07:23:21

Nutella Glad the dog is on the mend. How strange about the twins question - maybe she thought your bump looked twin-shaped. confused Or maybe it was just her pregnancy brain!

world Yes, I agree it's a bit early to be thinking about Christmas - but when you see the date that the Advent market is going to open and it reminds you of Glühwein, which you self-sacrificingly did without for seven years shock due to either being pregnant or bfing, you can't help feeling a little excited. grin Plus there's nothing much to look forward to here in between now and Christmas, unless you count Austria's Nationalfeiertag. hmm grin

Re smear tests, I don't know whether the UK really is in the minority. Yes, annual screening was recommended once a year when I was in the USA but I have the feeling that new guidelines were announced not too long ago and that annual tests are no longer considered necessary (have just found this confirming it). According to this (but a UK site so may be biased, I suppose), the UK isn't alone in recommending that smear tests are carried out every three years, and experts consider that three- and five-yearly examinations are sufficient. So why am I going every six months? grin To get my money's worth from my health insurance rather than them squandering it all on 20-week Kuren for pensioners.

admylin How long will your DH be away for? I also enjoyed the lack of snoring last night! I don't expect he'll have been living the high life in Romania (I think it was there that he stayed in a particularly dodgy hotel where he said he felt very nervous), but I'm often very envy of the places where he's stayed.

Ploom Thu 27-Sep-12 07:32:02

nutella - think people sometimes cant help themselves and have to make some comment about a baby bump. Think you need to come up with some witty replies! Hope you enjoyed the chocolate biscuits grin.

world - I agree that maybe financial pressures in the UK limit the frequency of smears but I looked at data yesterday on the web that showed no great difference in mortality rates from cervical cancer between the UK and Germany - in fact the UK was slightly better. I'm always a bit suspicious of the money making side of the German healthcare system and think there should be a middle ground between the UK and German healthcare systems.

Welcome africababy - must be a culture shock to be back "home" after so long away.

admylin - I'm also in bed early most nights - often asleep by 10.30 at the latest blush. We're such party animals wink.

antique - how rude about that man telling you off - its so not cold enough for gloves! But I didnt check the weather this morning and have sent ds2 to school without a rain jacket and its now peeing down - I deserve a telling off.

Well I'm off to breakfast with a friend now - have a nice day. smile

itsMYNutella Thu 27-Sep-12 07:35:52

Linzer I totally agree with wanting to get your money's worth out of the health insurance! DP signed me up to the one he uses (and to be fair they are good) and I've been paying into it since I moved here. When I was at school learning German and didn't have much time for teaching and earning money I really wanted to throw myself down the stairs since I'd paid for healthcare I didn't need! - some months I made enough to pay for the health insurance and not much more sad
<note: I wouldn't actually throw myself down any stairs or injure myself... it was just tempting>
Although now the Krankenkasse should pay 80% of the pregnancy yoga, 80% of the aqua gymnastics, I think all of the Geburtvorbereitungskurse and for a Hebamme... So I am finally feeling better off!

admylin Thu 27-Sep-12 07:38:55

Linzer dh is away until Friday night. Had another great sleep - I am going to look like a new woman by the time he gets back!!

I think seeing as dh works with neurosurgeons they tend to organise their conferences in exclusive resorts. The last one in Athens was well outside Athens in a very expensive marina area. This one is outside Lisbon near a golf course and plenty of 5 star hotels and marinas! Dh is not staying with his colleagues as he'd have to pay the expensive hotel in advance and it's just too much at 200€ to almost 300€ a night.

nutella the little dog looks lovely on the fb pics! Could you imagine having one yourself? Well done on doing the yoga by the way and how strange about the twins question?!

itsMYNutella Thu 27-Sep-12 07:42:36

Ploom it would have to write down the witty replies and have them on a post-it on the back of my hand at the moment! confused brain is like a sieve, but with bigger holes!
Enjoy your breakfast!

Although on the feeling the cold front I'm definitely a weirdo - again at pregnancy yoga. I picked a spot by the window because the rooms sometimes get hot and the teachers often keep a window or two open. Opposite me the lady had on long-sleeve top, tracksuit bottoms, socks and kept a lightweight jacket nearby to keep warm.
I had on my loose deeply unflattering short-sleeve top and a pair of leggings... hmm I think I wouldn't be putting gloves on me or anyone else at the moment either Antique!

LinzerTorte Thu 27-Sep-12 07:51:05

Ploom Enjoy your breakfast! I think I was confusing mortality rates for cervical cancer with those for breast cancer (very little difference, despite screening starting 15 years earlier here), so it's interesting to hear there's not much difference wrt cervical cancer either.

Nutella It's good that the Krankenkasse is covering so much of your pregnancy-related expenses; that (and having a baby, paed visits, etc.) really makes paying into your health insurance worthwhile. grin
You may also find it useful, once the baby is here, to carry around post-its with cutting witty comebacks written on them for people who tell you your baby is underdressed when he/she isn't wearing a hat, scarf and gloves in May, for example. Or any time the temperature drops below 20°.

admylin DH stayed at a Disney resort in Florida once, but I don't suppose that compares! (And he said he felt very out of place.) I'm equally envy of trips to Oxford and London that he has coming up; maybe in 15 years I'll be able to start going with him!

itsMYNutella Thu 27-Sep-12 08:08:51

Morning admylin smile yeah the dog is a sweetie, she is nice and quite and relaxed (usually).... I'm trying to fool DP into believing dogs are always like that so that we can have one hmm, although I don't think he's fallen for it. Leihund's owners seem really happy to have somewhere the dog enjoys being though so thats a nice complement for future pet ownership smile I think. I miss having a pet.....

Linzer From what I've read of the collective experience on here I'm going to need a lot of post-its! Although I'll probably need help from DP to write them so that they at least make sense smile Maybe I could start a new kind of happy slapping game, where I slap a post-it on someone when they say something?
Or just learn the German equivalent of "mind your own business you nosy.... something something..."

I have a student at Bahlsen who gave me four packets of chocolate biscuits on Tuesday... I gave one packet away, have eaten one (DP helped --when he got the chance--) and another is already open.... I will look like it's twins soon! shock

Bienchen Thu 27-Sep-12 08:23:58

Thank you so much for the very warm welcome, everyone. And my, you are a chatty lot!

Very jealous of those with husbands that travel for a few days, always a good chance to stock up on duty free and gifts from foreign countries.

On the retorts to those meddling Germans you could try "Wenn ich Rat brauche, dann melde ich mich". It gets the message across but isn't downright rude.

Nutella we had a dog until we had to rehome her (with friends that she already knew) when she started to growl at DD & bared her teeth. But I have very fond memories of her lying across my tummy when pg and being very protective of me. She was fine as well when baby was born but once DD was mobile it was a different kettle of fish. If you get a dog you might want to wait until DC is at least a toddler and don't get a JRT as they can be vicious. With the Leihhund you have the best of both worlds!

world I am not back yet, am sort of in transition, winding down my business, planning the move and frantically trying to find a FT job out there so that DH can join us soon. I am calm during the day but quite sleepless at night, it is a lot of responsibility.

Health insurance as another hurdle for us as I left nearly 23 years ago and they have to trawl the archives for any records. Again not a problem as soon as I find a job above EURO 400 otherwise prohibitively expensive.

Off to tackle the evergrowing ivy and hopefully lift the last of the potatoes with the school children.

worldcitizen Thu 27-Sep-12 08:38:21

Good morning everyone

I am so sorry, but I can hardly follow up with all what's been said so far, but I just wanted to add very quickly (without having read the links yet) that mortality rate in itself is to me personally not of much use.
There could be cancer diagnoses without the patient ending up deadgrin.

All I want is to have a check-up which look closely at any changes and is there a change noticed, then I want it to be as early as possible. This is my own take on this.
Anyone working with female patients who need all kinds of treatment due to the various forms and stages of cancer (or other kind of cell changes), benign and malignant, will have the opinion that once a year is very much recommended.
Also, during those annual check-ups there is a look at changes of the Blase und Urinleiter, eventuelle Gebärmuttersenkung, evtl. Zystenbildungen und und und

disclaimer: <not a hypochondriac at all>grin

LinzerTorte Thu 27-Sep-12 09:03:54

world If we're talking about the annual check-up including all those kinds of things as well, then yes - obviously regular check-ups are good (but, unless things have changed since I left the UK, those kinds of checks aren't done routinely). However, if we're talking about smear tests alone, then many experts do seem to believe that every 3-5 years is sufficient. The report I linked to says that various US bodies "specifically recommend[s] against annual Pap testing". But I do see what you're saying grin and personally go for all kinds of tests that I wouldn't (or wouldn't even be able to) in the UK - an annual medical, six-monthly appointments at the dermatologist's, etc. and am very grateful that I do have that option even if I'm paying an arm and a leg for it.

Bienchen Ooh, I do like that retort! I may have to write it down on a post-it for future reference. grin

Nutella Or how about an extra-large post-it stuck onto the baby saying "Thank you for your concern, but I do not believe I am underdressed for the weather." grin

Mmm, chocolate biscuits... that reminds me that it's coffee and hobnob time!

worldcitizen Thu 27-Sep-12 09:13:09

Linzer yes that's what I am talking about, and that's what we started discussing in the beginning, at least I thought so. We started talking about why would one actually go every year to a check-up and the comparison with the UK of every year was made etc, especially when some find their visits not so pleasant.
And you mentioned your twice a year visits due to other benefits such as receiving gratis contraception and I thought those are typical reasons for twice a year instead of annual visits.
And I mentioned those annual visits to be very sensible due to various things being looked at and how it then switched to smear tests etc. I have no clue.

For example, Gebärmutterschleimhaut can have very quick and radical changes and many things caught early enough are very easily treatable...most women who end up with some sorts of diagnosis tend to report how much they regret not going to regular check-ups as so many things can get caught early without requiring much hefty treatment.

And, this is an offer (health recommendation) and no-one is required to take up that offer, each to their own when it comes to their own health. grin

LinzerTorte Thu 27-Sep-12 09:24:20

world You're right, that's what we did start talking about - and I'm not really disagreeing with you at all. grin I think how it switched to smear tests is because that's all the check-up really is in the UK and so we (or maybe it was just me grin) were comparing outcomes for women in the UK and Germany/Austria and discovered that more regular smear tests/check-ups don't seem to make a difference to mortality rates. All the extras you get in Germany (you don't get them everywhere in Austria; my last gynae never used to do an ultrasound, for example) are obviously added bonuses. I'm happy to go every 6-12 months and feel quite reassured after each visit, so really wasn't trying to argue that we should go less often. I think the argument just went off on a bit of a tangent really. smile

worldcitizen Thu 27-Sep-12 09:30:55

Also, wanted to add that the FA is very much the right person to talk to about hormonal changes such as sweating, fatigue, hip, tail-bone, lower back issues, oedema as in swollen feet and fingers, body and facial hair issues, static problems especially after pregnancy, FA does urine, stool, and blood tests and would look into unclear lower tummy pains, without one having to go to the Hausarzt first and then being referred to other specialists anyway...

And many women have build a good rapport with the FA over years, so instead of doing regular weigh-ins, blood pressure check-ups and all the other lab tests they go ahead and opt for doing all this in the FA practice instead of with the Hausarzt because at least they can do the breast checks and the checks of some of the internal organs then as well...

....and this good rapport over years then makes it for many women easier (or they show up with partner) to also speak about sexuality and sexual health related issues...

so rant over blush

worldcitizen Thu 27-Sep-12 09:31:44

Linzer cross-post smile

Ploom Thu 27-Sep-12 11:05:13

I was talking about smear tests and cervical cancer maybe because I went for a smear test yesterday hmm. Apart from also having a breast check, the FA did nothing different to the nurse in the UK so the time between checks was the only difference to me. No Ultrasound, urine or bowel checks but then since I'm otherwise completely healthy I didnt feel I needed them.
Mortality rates are extremely important when discussing the benefits of regular check ups because thats the whole point of them - early diagnosis & early intervention to reduce mortality but doing check ups more often in Germany doesnt seem to be having an effect on the mortality rates which I dont quite understand.

Anyway I've been for my smear yesterday so now its up to me to decide when I go back and if its after 2 years I'll probably still feel its too soon wink.

Had a lovely breakfast - ate far too much. Got a busy taxiing about afternoon before ds's parents evening. Not sure how I'm supposed to be in both classrooms at the same time but I suppose it definitely gets me out of being Klassensprecher for one of the classes grin.

Ploom Thu 27-Sep-12 11:16:30

Just to add some science to the debate (got my masters head on!)

"There is insufficient high-quality evidence from randomized
controlled trials (RCT) to increase screening
interval based on prior negative cytology results for any
age group." American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology 2012

LinzerTorte Thu 27-Sep-12 11:26:31

That's what I was going to ask - whether all these extra tests are included in the normal check-up in Germany as they generally aren't here. In which case, I think you can compare the check-ups in the UK and Germany/Austria and their frequency. My gynae doesn't do urine, stool or blood tests either, at least not as routine.

world It's great if you can build up a good rapport with your Frauenarzt, but you have to be able to find a good one to start with. All the non-private ones in the town where I live are male (I'd really prefer a female) and I haven't heard anything very positive about any of them. I went to a female one in the next town but wasn't particularly happy with her either. I now go to a friend who's private but charges me half-price (plus I get 80% back from my insurance) so it's affordable, but it took me seven or eight years to find a gynae I was happy with.

Ploom Glad you enjoyed your breakfast. What a shame you can't be Klassensprecher for both classes; I'm sure you're devastated. grin Maybe you could pop in and out of both classes at convenient moments, cunningly avoiding the vote in both.

CakeBump Thu 27-Sep-12 11:29:28

Crumbs did the last thread fill up? I'm not sure what happened to me to be honest!!!

Anyway, hi again everyone and I hope you and your families are well smile

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