Es herbstelt schon! Autumn in Germany and Austria

(323 Posts)
LinzerTorte Fri 11-Oct-13 07:56:45

A thread for all those living in Germany or Austria or anyone who just wants to chat/ask a question about living in or visiting this part of the world - all welcome. smile

Previous thread here.

LinzerTorte Fri 07-Mar-14 17:18:33

New thread here

BertieBotts Fri 07-Mar-14 15:48:57

I'll wait for the new thread - too tired and have to go to work in about an hour.

Hi Freedom - I'm in Germany and have had 2 babies here, but as I wasn't working when I had DC2, and gave up work again when I had DC3 I can't help much with Elternzeit - I know one person who went back after 5 months because she was on a non German contract... otherwise I can't think of anyone who took less than a year. Nothing obliges you to take all your entitlement though.

Depending where you live you might need to book yourself a midwife (for pre and or postnatal care - they do home visits, though they are an endangered species now as they are largely self employed and their professional insurance is not going to be available soon). You may also need to book yourself into your hospital of choice much earlier than you would expect, if you want a shiny one with a big reputation, a neonatal intensive care unit "just in case" etc. etc. If you live rurally and will go to the local hospital it is a non issue, but I know people in Munich who have not been able to get in to their hospitals of choice even quite early on.

I'm afraid I stopped bothering with this thread when it was almost all vegan recipe swapping - fair enough but just of no interest to me, so it fell off my MN radar. Will try to remember to check the new spring thread more often if you start one Linzer grin

Good luck to DD2 getting into her new school, though it sounds as if she doesn't need much luck and will be fine.

Well done on the German mini-Bertie and the KiGa place Woolly

DC3 will be turning 3 and starting KiGa in April too - got a bit of work from home lined up for May and July, and may up the VHS teaching I currently do in the eves, though I can only do one more course under my tax free allowance. Once DS1 is settled at school I may look into some kind of €450 job that can be fitted around his school hours, but not sure how all that will work out... Trying to work out things I can do to bring some money in in my child free hours, legitimately and without being out of pocket by ending up paying 60% tax, health insurance and afternoon child care for 3 kids!

LinzerTorte Fri 07-Mar-14 11:22:08

Hi and welcome freedom, and congratulations on your pregnancy! The thread is very quiet at the moment, but hopefully someone in Germany will be along soon who can help with your question. I'm in Austria so don't know much about parental leave in Germany, although IIRC most women at the company in Germany where I worked took a year or more (I didn't know all that many who took maternity leave though, so it's unlikely to be a representative sample - plus it was a large company, so job security was pretty good).

Bertie Well done to your DS; he'll be correcting your German before you know it. wink

Woolly Great news on the KiGa place! It all sounds very stressful, so it must have been a huge relief. Have you heard from your first choice yet? We had a great time in London, thanks; it just wasn't long enough. We didn't feel like we could take the DC out of school for much longer than a day, though (everyone we spoke to at the wedding was amazed at how easily we'd been able to take them out of school; it sounds like they've got very strict about absences in the UK now). We should hear about DD2's school place at the end of this month, but I'm not too worried about her not getting in as her grades are good and they don't seem to reject many applicants (they said it's normally around 10).

Having skipped winter altogether, it's probably time for a new thread for spring - I'll start one later today unless anyone else would like to do it.

freedom2011 Fri 07-Mar-14 09:50:12

hello, may I join? I am in germany and expecting my first in august this year if all goes ok. I was just wondering how you all sorted out Elternzeit. I am not really up for being at home a full year as it took me ages to get work in Germany and I feel unhappy when I am not working and a bit insecure about being ousted if away too long. but DH doesn't want to take more than 2-3 months. my suggested solution of me doing 6-8 months, then going back part time with support from a nanny has not been met with much enthusiasm. I'm only 17 weeks so it isn't quite real yet. Is there anything else I should be thinking about?

Oh, well done Woolly! smile I hear they are like gold dust around here too, luckily DS was over 3 when we moved so it wasn't too difficult.

He came out with his first German sentence the other day smile Forgive me probably getting it wrong, but "Das Haus ist Großen dann der Bau." He could substitute in "Kleiner" and things like car/dog/me/you etc as well smile

Hope your DDs are feeling better, platanos. Decluttering really is good for the soul, isn't it!

Sounds like you've had a lot on your plate, c4ro. Have you heard back about the job?

Hi again Bertie!

Did you have a nice time in London, Linzer? When will you find out about your DD2's school place?

We've been offered a Kiga place for DS from September! One place rejected us and were still waiting to hear from three others, but we're happy with this offer, especially after all the horror stories about how hard it is to get a Kiga place in our city. Our first choice hasn't got back to us yet, but if they don't, or if they don't offer us a place then it's not a huge problem, as we're happy with the one who have offered us a place. Luckily it is just an informal offer, we haven't had to accept or sign a contract yet so we have a bit of time. I guess they could also change their minds, but let's hope not smile A friend registered her DS at over 20 Kigas, was rejected by all but one of them and ended up cancelling the contract and taking her DS out after less than a month as it was so awful, so I've been really worried about getting a place. Of course now we have one I have to slowly come to terms with the fact that he really is going to Kiga and won't be with me all day anymore. He'll love it, I suspect I'll need a little longer to get used to it!

Hi, I haven't been on this thread for ages. How is everyone? Just checking in really so it will appear once again on my Threads I'm On blush

LinzerTorte Tue 11-Feb-14 11:07:44

Hello all,

I finally have a few minutes to post as I've just finished work for the morning and don't have to pick up either DS or DD2, who are both going straight to friends' houses after school - this means I have the whole luxury of six hours to myself (actually more like five as I was at school teaching English earlier). grin

I seem to be doing lots of packing and unpacking at the moment; the hen party the weekend before last was great fun (and travelling on my own was quite a novelty); we then went to Salzburg for a few days and are now getting ready to fly to London on Friday for my friend's wedding.

C4ro Sounds like you've had quite an eventful time lately. Hope you hear about the job soon and that it's good news. I hadn't heard of otosclerosis before but it's good that something can be done about it.

platanos How is DD2 now? Ouch at the three teeth pulled - although having said that, DD1 and DD2 have both had teeth out and said it didn't hurt a bit (I was the one who was being a nervous wreck in the corner!). Yes, I think DD2 would be happy at the more academic school and DH (who knows more about the system here than I do) isn't worried about her coping. The most stressful part is the friendships between the girls in her class and which Gymnasium class/school they want to go to! Useful to know about the cookbook; I saw one advertised in Salzburg that sounded good - it had the words schnell, einfach and ohne Soja on the cover - but of course forgot to make a note of the name (all I can remember is that it's out this month).

Woolly The school that I preferred for DD2 is the one that she wants to go to, so it works out quite well! Is it likely to be difficult for your DS to get a place at KiGa? That must be really hard to see so many others pregnant when you're TTC; fingers crossed it happens for you soon.

C4ro Mon 10-Feb-14 15:56:24

Hallo all!
Belated happy new years/ Christmases (just in time before Easter...). Quite some excitement for us in the past month or so

SIL had her twins early at just 30 weeks on 31 Dec. They are doing well and should get out of Tulln hospital in 1-2 weeks time. So far it looks like they are unaffected by their early arrival. We were with BIL on 31 Dec as due to have fondue/ games/ TV party to keep him company whilst SIL was already in hospital for some weeks even before Christmas- it wasn't due to kick off though.

The windows guy that we decided last year was a crook and had run off with 1/3 of the cash for the job turns out just to be having a breakdown and we will get our windows sorted at some point this year. He was unresponsive to phone, email and registered post so we'd taken it to the police. He actually picked up the phone from the policeman making a final check on the numbers DH gave him!

I had a job interview at the end of Jan for a nice Europe role. Still not heard if I've got it or not. It's 50:50 between me and another internal applicant. Would be nice but not a problem if I don't get it.

Finally, I had a hearing test last week and they diagnosed me with otosclerosis. I'll shortly be having a CAT scan and very likely an operation(s) to replace bones in my middle ear. Quite shocked at that but my hearing was so bad it had to be addressed.

That looks like loads of exciting news but that's 2-3 months worth since I last posted! I'm keeping up with your bits and pieces, very impressed with all your cooking adventures but have nothing to add to it as I'm the worlds most idle cook!

platanos Tue 04-Feb-14 10:24:51

What sort of work are you looking for woolly? How is the potty training going? Is it costing you a fortune in washing powder, stickers, chocolate (for parents and child)and wine (only for parents)? Good luck ttc. Sounds like there is something in the water - drink lots of it and I hope it happens for you soon.

The new dishwasher is great ambling. I did pay for someone to deliver it, fit it, and take away the old one. It was the best 99 euro I have spent in a while!

I was not impressed by the cook book. It's American, and I am not sure I can get all those ingredients easily here. And I made a soup from it, and it was yucky. (That sounds like I cooked the book to make a soup!) All in all: I would not recommend.

Linzer would dd be happy at the more academic gymnasium? There are advantages to it being closer too. DD2 has decided she wants to go to the same school as DD1, so that makes it all easier for us. Phew.

DD2 is unwell and lying in bed. She is "the healthy one", and has only missed one day of school in four years. And that was my fault due to my Kotzenlinsen, where we all got ill. It is Semesterferien here so she is not missing any school today either. And DD1 had three teeth pulled out and braces fitted yesterday. She is also feeling sorry for herself, and saying she looks dreadful and they will all laugh at her. What a cheery bunch we are today grin. When I am not needed by DDs, I am de-cluttering...always good for the soul!

Sorry to hear about your arthritis, Ambling, it doesn't sound nice at all.
I hadn't noticed that food prices had really gone up here, but they may well have done as we've gone from doing a big shop once a week and picking up a few little bits during the week, to just doing the one weekly big shop. We're definitely spending a bit less than we were, but I'm in the middle of potty training DS so we're not really buying as many nappies as before, which has knocked a big chunk off the shopping bill, so it's hard to tell whether prices have gone up and we're not saving as much as we think. Does that make sense? In my head it did......

platanos I laughed out loud at the thought of Dutch Jan, naked in his kitchen with his pot of soup. I'm supposed to be studying but I've probably completely given myself away with my giggling. grin I'm translating texts on Keynesian economics, so I really, really needed that giggle!
How is the new dishwasher?

Do you have a preference as to which secondary school your DD2 goes to,Linzer? We're currently trying to get a Kiga place for DS in September. Fingers crossed she gets into the school she wants!

I had a look at 'Vegan for Fun' in the bookshop here, FrauEnglisch, and wasn't that impressed so left it. It seemed quite soya-heavy, which wasn't really what I wanted, but that's entirely my personal preference.

It's all go here at the moment with potty training, Kiga applications, interviews etc and studying. I'm going to have to start looking for work at some point in the near future too, as hopefully DS will start Kiga in September. I was hoping to be pregnant by now so DC2 would be here by then but no luck so far. Two of my close friends here are currently pregnant (after only a month each of trying!) and I counted up the other day and realised I know 14 people expecting this year! There really must be something in the water smile

LinzerTorte Fri 24-Jan-14 18:24:09

That recipe book looks good, platanos - I could do with a book of quick and easy recipes, so let me know if it fits the bill! There are men on the nakedvegancooking site too? shock grin I obviously didn't investigate it for long enough; I think I was too traumatised by the sight of the women with their sweetcorn fritters!

Ambling DD1 hasn't mentioned getting a new mobile for the last couple of days, so I'm hoping she forgets about it for as long as possible so that she gets a bit more use out of her current one. I'm not sure whether she has the money for a new one atm anyway.
Hope your arthritis is better soon; it sounds awful. I haven't noticed that food prices have gone up here, but €80 sounds like a lot for Lidl (although I could easily spend that at one of the more expensive supermarkets).

We went to our final secondary school open day today, but DD2 wasn't too impressed with the school; she said it was too big and she would get lost! The Gymnasium she'd like to go to is closer to us, but is supposed to be more academic (not that that's necessarily a disadvantage).

AmblingAlong Fri 24-Jan-14 17:19:14

platanos that's a cool site for recipes the nakedvegancooking one but why? Why naked, am I missing something?!
Did your dish washer arrive? And did they fit it for you? I decided to be brave and fit ours myself. There were tears (almost) and quite a few swear words and next time any appliance needs fitted we will be paying for a Handwerker to do it!

platanos Fri 24-Jan-14 13:53:24

I am with you on the bean and buckwheat recipes rather than meat substitutes FrauEnglish. But before we knew ds should not eat soya, I used to make lasagne etc with the soya granules. Has anyone tried those instead of mashing up tofu? And on the homeopathy, our health visitor suggested homeopathic teething granules. Though she did add: "I am not sure if they work, but you can give them a try"grin.

I am sitting at home waiting for the dishwasher. I hope I got the right one - integrierbar as the controls are visible. Fingers crossed. But I shall soon find out. We agreed on a delivery time between 13-18Uhr and they rang me at 11.30 and were a bit annoyed I was at work and could not be home in 10 minutes. I would be aftraid that they make me wait until 17:59, but it is Friday and I hope they all want to be finished sooner rather than later.

Sorry to her about your arthritis ambling. It sounds painful. Hope it gets better soon.

Inspired by your cooking talk, I have just ordered this a 30 minute vegan book. here. I'll keep you posted. Must be said that the nakedvegancooking website had some good recipes. To some extent I could ignore the naked pictures, but Jan* in the Netherlands, standing starkers in his kitchen, with his mixer and his pot of soup really put me off the site.

*not his real name. Don't want anyone googling that and coming across this thread smile

AmblingAlong Fri 24-Jan-14 11:47:05

FrauEnglisch that's where I must have gone wrong. I added a tin of chopped tomatoes and some water/vegetable stock after browning the tofu and onion and garlic and it kind of washed all the nice browned tofu back to white.

Have any of you noticed Lebensmittel have gone up again? When I do a big shop at Lidl I used to pay between 50 and 60€ most times but last couple of times it's been 80€! Didn't buy anything new except some chai tea that dd wanted to try.

FrauEnglischLehrerin Fri 24-Jan-14 09:42:02

ambling maybe it's the recipe? I followed the bolognese one closely, so the tofu is fried on its own for a bit, then with the onions and garlic, then you add the tomato paste, etc., but it doesn't get really wet at any point. The end result was very red, brighter than a meat bolognese would be, but definitely not unappetising-looking. Mind you, a reviewer on amazon pointed out that a real bolognese would have carrot and celery in, and she couldn't understand why AH had left them out (being veggies) - maybe there is more of a danger that a tofu dish can end up looking like vomit when you have chunks of veg...

I spent my thalia voucher on other books in the end. When I get to a bigger bookshop at some point I will have a look at Vegan for Fun, but 30€ is a lot, plus I'm not a new veggie who can't imagine life without goulash - I'd rather have a book full of bean and buckwheat recipes grin.

AmblingAlong Thu 23-Jan-14 16:23:05

linzer have you looked at mobiles yet for dd1?

Dd ended up getting a massive upgrade on the origional phone that she got for xmas. She had a Sony Xperia L, first one the charger was faulty then the 2nd one (replacement from amazon) had a faulty charger and the screen kept freezing. They told us it must be a bad batch from where they bought them and gave us our money back. Now she has a Sony Xperia Z, great phone but in my opinion far too expensive really but she was lucky and had her dad with her when she went to look in Saturn. Ds is very happy with his Samsung S3 mini and I wanted dd to get one too but she didn't like the style.

FrauEnglisch I'll try the Alnatura next time. We got some at DM Markt once that was quite good. Maybe that was Alnatura.
When I fried my crumbled tofu for my chilli it browned nicely but when I added the tomatoes and liquids the brown washed off and it looked disgustingly like vomit. Did you brown yours for the bolognese until it was realyl crispy?

I'm not sure if it's the weather or what but I've been suffering with the arthritis in my fingers. I only have it in 3 fingers but it's been agony and I've had to take the strong tablets that the doctor gave me. Problem is, they also knock me out so I've just got up from a long sleep and still feel groggy. I honestly don't know how you're meant to cope when you have it in all your joints, think I'll take an overdose or something when it gets that far.

LinzerTorte Thu 23-Jan-14 07:08:09

Thanks FrauEnglisch, I googled and came across two different recipes so was going to ask which one you made. I've heard that it's not worth spending money on vegan parmesan when you can make it just as easily yourself by mixing equal parts of nutritional yeast flakes and ground almonds, which I must try once I get round to buying more yeast flakes.

FrauEnglischLehrerin Wed 22-Jan-14 12:31:57

Forgot to say, the pine nut parmesan substitute is not worth the effort imo. We just left it out yesterday, but depending how strict you're being you could use actual parmesan (cheddar) or buy vegan fake parmesan.

FrauEnglischLehrerin Wed 22-Jan-14 12:26:17

ambling I used Alnatura tofu. It was a double pack (2x200g) and DH made the bolognese again last night with the other block. It was even better than when I'd made it - DH seasoned it better and didn't skimp on the olive oil which I'd had to do because the bottle was almost empty. I've just scoffed the leftovers on a jacket potato for lunch.

linzer the recipe is here I used 200g tofu, not 250g and reduced the tomato paste and the red wine somewhat and didn't have any basil. The recipe makes enough to easily serve three adults, with salad and garlic bread you could probably stretch it to do the whole family.

LinzerTorte Wed 22-Jan-14 07:37:17

Which smartphone did your DD get, Ambling? DD1 wants a new one as she finds hers a bit basic (no WhatsApp etc.); she was hoping to persuade DD2 to buy her old one (although it's actually still quite new) off her but DD2 is perfectly happy with her Tastaturhandy so not interested.

We won't get the detailed results of DD1's written assessment until mid-February, but the woman testing her said she'd improved in some areas but that others still needed work. I'm pretty sure they're going to recommend another year of therapy, but I'm really not sure it's worth the money. DD1 hasn't done brilliantly in her last two German Schularbeiten so her grades haven't really improved since she started the therapy (they improved a lot when she started middle school, but that was before the therapy began).

FrauEnglisch I'll have to look up the tofu bolognese as simple recipes are always good! I got a vegan cookbook for Christmas but most of the recipes have long lists of ingredients and look rather time-consuming, so I've only tried one or two so far.
I've been reading the obesity thread too and it's really made me think about what the DC are eating (even though they're all average to below average weight). At least DS is regularly eating breakfast again now; porridge with brown sugar is a bit hit (he also likes using fruit to make a face on the porridge). And it probably still contains less sugar than the cereals that DH used to buy he used to have.

AmblingAlong Sat 18-Jan-14 12:09:58

FrauEnglisch which tofu brand did you use for your bolognese? I've been buying the BioBio Tofu at Netto but the dc are both starting to turn their noses up at it. Maybe I've used it too often! The other day I made a chilli with it, mashed it with a fork then fried it, but maybe not enough, before adding the tomatoes and spices but somehow it all looked quite disgusting even though it tasted good.

Linzer I was quite surprised when we applied for dd's therapy there was no question of income at all. We had to apply with the Jugendamt but no one asked to see any proof of income. They only wante dthe child psychologists report and the dyslexia tests that we did there. How did the reassessment go?
I agree about saving petrol. We used to fill our tank for just over 70€ and last time we ended up putting close to 90€ worth in.

platanos I had to study the meanings of integrierbar and vollintegrierbar recently when our dishwasher broke. We needed vollintegrierbar as we had a panel that matches the kitchen cupboards to stick on the front of the machine. So which did you need in the end?

Dd got a new smartphone atlast. She was fed up without one for a few days but she's ended up with a much better one than she started with, it's got a great camera too.
Ds has started building his first electronic circuit at his Praktikum. He has all next week to finish it and set his programme up on the computer. Complicated stuff but he's enjoying it.

FrauEnglischLehrerin Fri 17-Jan-14 09:25:13

hupa that is unrelenting at this time of the year. We go from Easter to the summer holidays without a full week's break, but there are bank holdiays to break that up and it is at least Freibadsaison! I'll have to see if it seems worse once dd is at school though (as a freelancer I can cancel or rearrange lessons and we haven't religiously had to stick to school holidays to go away yet).

ambling and linzer good resolution about the car. I have been reading a thread about why obesity is increasing and it made me think that I used to walk to school at dd's age and it probably wasn't any nearer than the kiga is for us. I'm put off a bit by the extra time it would take, though, and we're both struggling to wake up in the mornings when it's so dark. Maybe after the Winterferien in Feb...

platanos interesting that you came across arnica in the UK. I don't know any Brits who think homeopathy is anything other than complete bunkum, but maybe that reflects more on the narrow social strata that my British friends come from - virtually all of them are university graduates who work in the arts or education!

I enjoyed the tofu bolognese yesterday and it was very simple to make. DH and Dd both ate it without complaining as well, so we'll probably do it again. If the other AH recipes are also that straightforward then that's a big plus point - I have one vegan cookbook with delicious recipes, but so many of them involve a list of ingredients which involve "one portion nut-tofu ricotta (see page xxx), one portion tomato sauce (see page yyy)" etc.

There's an article in the newspaper today about how German Standesämter are turning down fewer unusual baby names. Apparently one child was allowed to be called Imperial Purity, nowever Gucci was vetoed confused.

LinzerTorte Thu 16-Jan-14 09:54:20

hupa 14 weeks is a long time without a break; we go straight through from the beginning of September to the end of December here with just a couple of bank holidays, which must be almost as long, and the children are exhausted by Christmas.
The psychologist said we could apply to the Jugendamt if we couldn't afford the therapy, but I think the income threshold is quite low so there's no way we'd qualify. We did get DS's speech therapy paid for, but he went for less than a year; it's a shame they don't cover dyslexia therapy as this is DD2's sixth year now.

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