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Lieber Frühling, komm doch bald. A new Kaffeeklatsch thread for Spring - living in Austria and Germany

(358 Posts)
Ploom Tue 19-Mar-13 15:40:48

All welcome - whether you're living in Germany or Austria, have questions about life in those countries or just want to chat. smile

Previous thread here

LinzerTorte Thu 16-May-13 17:32:19

admylin Yes, it would be much easier if they showed the prices on the first page when you browse books on the Kindle - it takes much longer to have to click through to the description of the book to find out the price. I can't see normally see Kindle prices on the German site at all (just a message saying this book is not available in your country), but have just logged out of and now it's showing them. I think DH has given up asking me to explain every little payment on the credit card (he checks our bank account online); he would probably only question me if I spent about €50 or more!

I've also been thinking about trying to eat a more vegan diet, as I feel a bit hypocritical eating so much dairy when I'm a vegetarian. I've also decided to stop, or at least dramatically cut down on, the amount of meat that I'm cooking for the DC. It feels a bit pointless to be a vegetarian but still to be buying and cooking meat - and it also means that my diet is quite poor as I don't bother cooking extra meals for myself (I'll have something like a boiled egg, slice of pizza or beans on toast in the evening). If we all ate a vegetarian dinner every day, I would definitely have a more varied diet.

LentilAsAnything Fri 17-May-13 11:04:27

Hi, Antique. Great, I hope you feel the results soon! Do be warned some people feel a bit ick straight after giving things up like dairy, gluten, refined sugar etc, but it's just detoxing, and soon they feel great, and then continue to feel great. I don't really have one vegan recipe book to recommend, there are so many! Plus loads of recipes online, especially Pinterest.

admylin, DH and I will be doing juicing and blending once we get back to the UK. We watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, and feel inspired to eat more this way.

Ooh, Linzer, do it! Haha, soon we'll have a majority of vegans on here! smile
If you want a little encouragement to go vegan, or at least reduce your meat and dairy consumption, I can recommend films Fork Over Knives, Vegucated, and Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. All on Netflix. Mainly a health perspective, rather than animal rights.

platanos Sat 18-May-13 07:53:21

admylin good to hear your have found so many books for ds. The price difference between the UK and German site is very strange. I am on the .de site and get a daily deal which are mostly in English - some are quite good too.

Linzer hope ds is better. And that we can meet up. Mine are all healthy this morning - shall we go for hourly updates ?!?! We eat vegan at home now, and the dc have taken it well. Of course when we go out they choose meat dishes, but that is okay. DD1 made me smile the other day as she ordered Berner-Würstel - meat with meat and some cheese for good measure! smile

Antique I agree with lentils, I mostly find recipes on the internet. I have a couple of vegan books but they are either English or American and sometimes it is hard to find the ingredients here. I have to admit I find some of the meat substitutes rather yucky. Spanish cooking is mostly about simple cooking of good ingredients and I would rather eat lots of nicely prepared vegetables than stuff myself full of vegan meat, that is often full of nasties. Hope your family comes over for your birthday! Have they been to visit you before? How is ds sleeping?

nutella glad you enjoyed Dresden.

outnumbered that is a real shame about the change in dr. Hope it works out in the end.

My last hairdresser was really nice - sometimes we chatted, sometimes we didn't. But she went off to join the police force - rather radical change of career! I have only been back once since she left, the new one told me all about her son's potty training...I may take my kindle next time wink.

lentils when is it you go? a house in the outer Hebrides sounds great...I. It sounds like it would suit your way of life too....can just see your little one enjoying the nature (in full rain gear and wellie boots?!? no, that is unfair: I spent some time on Skye (had to stop there and make sure I was not writing skype) - the sun came out and then it was just breathtakingly beautiful).

right, time to get sorted for swimming. Waves to everybody else!

Hello! I don't have much to say as I am not vegan nor interested in being, rarely get to the hairdresser and don't have a Kindle!

Much sympathy on the non sleeping toddler front though Antique I really hope its "just a phase" for your DS and he soon improves sad My Ds2 now sleeps through til about 5am at least 50% of the time - sometimes he sleeps a few nights in a row, sometimes he wakes a few times a night several nights in a row, but overall the odds of him going 9 straight hours are pretty reasonable these days, and it's perfectly manageable now, nothing like it was until just before he turned 2, and I am not permanently sleep deprived with all the weird unexpected side effects that can have any more, yay smile :D I still sit in his room (but on a chair near the door) til he falls asleep, and all too often fall asleep on the chair, so I guess that is the next thing to tackle, but we are going on holiday tomorrow, so it will be something for after we get back - really hoping the holiday doesn't mess his sleep up again!

Off to Italy (Gardasee) tomorrow - the weather doesn't look as good as when we went there this time 2 years ago (when DS2 was a tiny baby), but hopefully should be OK from Tuesday - hope so as the plan is really a low key outdoor holiday with much swimming in the pools and and paddling in the lake, not a sight seeing one, wet weather isn't really compatible and will smash the budget if we have to look for paid for activities to keep the kids amused, hmmmmmmm. Hopefully it will be sunny smile

LinzerTorte Sat 18-May-13 09:20:39

MrTumbles Do I win thread bingo then, as I've already been to the hairdresser's this morning, took (and read) my Kindle and am about to look up some vegetarian/vegan recipes on the Internet? grin
Hope you have a lovely time in Italy, anyway!

platanos I shall have to pick your brains about veganism when we meet, although I can't imagine having the willpower to give up coffee with (cow's) milk. I used to drink soya milk and liked it on cereals, but am not sure whether it would cut it in coffee.
Hourly updates sound good! All healthy here, although where's the sunshine we were forecast?

Lentil The films sound interesting, although I have no idea how Netflix works!

itsMYNutella Sat 18-May-13 10:09:13

Linzer well done on winning thread bingo wink I have been reading my kindle this morning but haven't been to the hairdresser recently (although I do have an appointment booked).

I've now forgotten what else I wanted to write and who I wanted to reply to! Sorry!!
Platanos good to hear you are now all well though.

I'm curious about eating less meat (I enjoy it but don't miss it if I only have it a couple of times a week that's enough). But I can't imagine life without cheese, milk, cream, yogurt etc.
But I did have a discussion with DP that he feels it is wrong for people to drink breast milk (other than babies) but ok to drink the milk of another species... Not that I am putting breast milk in his coffee either wink

Actually Lentils I've been wondering about vegan-ism and how far it can stretch. For example medication, do you have problems checking if it is appropriately vegan? And I know that passports used to be stuck together with horsehair glue (the dog ate my father's passport many years ago, when it arrived in the post). How do you go about checking everything? I'm sorry if they sound like weird questions. I'm genuinely curious, and find myself wondering how hard/ time consuming is it to check everything.

DS is sleeping pretty well (I think Linzer asked) he slept in extra long this morning - until almost 9:30! I think it is because of his jabs yesterday. Did I say he has learnt to blow raspberries? It makes me chuckle grin

antique. I think it was you that mentioned the bra threads?? Anyway, I have ordered some gigantic bf bras... Will see how we get on grin

I better go, DP has just discovered me MNing instead of writing a shopping list grin

LentilAsAnything Sat 18-May-13 15:53:36

plat, we leave on the 30th. Looking forward to the wilds of the Outer Hebrides, absolutely, lovely fresh air and quiet beaches.

Linzer, Netflix usually have a trial offer on so you can try it free for a month. Worth looking into!

Nutella, it is a bit of a tricky thing at times. I believe we are as strict as we can be without having to live in a cave!
I cannot avoid having a passport. We don't take medicine, touch wood, haven't had to. DS has never had a cold in his life, no bugs, nothing. He DID have the Vit K jab when he was born, and his inoculations, and these are not vegan (they also use human foetuses, so not only are they not vegan, we are some sort of cannibal!), but my line is that I will not cause the unnecessary death of an animal - we don't need to eat them or their produce to live, but if it is a life or death choice, and I know vaccinations have their naysayers, we felt the benefits outweighed the risks, so he had them. I was very torn on this issue, still feel horrid about it.

I check whatever I can. All DS's art supplies were sourced veganly - I hunted down vegan glue, vegan paints, vegan paintbrushes.
These are only occasional things to check for. I've stocked up now and won't need to buy him paint or glue for a while. So, yeah, it takes a little time, but these are my ethics and I want to take the time to live according to my beliefs, as much as I can.

Books, no, I don't check whether the printer used animal glue to bind them, or octopus ink to print with.
We don't have a car, but hire one when we need to - still, animals have been used, but so will they have been in buses, trains, bikes, planes!
Shoes, I buy without leather or suede, and check it says manmade materials, but I don't know if they are always vegan. Some I manage to get officially vegan. DH and I barely buy anything for ourselves, trying to reduce our footprint as well as our belongings, but if course, DS is ever growing. His current shoes are officially vegan.

Food is easy, we buy mostly whole food stuff and I cook everything from scratch. I've totally pared down my toiletries and everything is vegan.

When we get our London home renovated, I will insist that all materials used are vegan - no wool for insulation, that's the main one.

Glad your little one had a good sleep, and awww at the raspberries! smile DS has just started doing that pop thing where you put your finger in your mouth and pop it out alongside your cheek. He actually says 'pop' after, as the pop he makes isn't very loud! smile

LentilAsAnything Sat 18-May-13 16:04:36

Oops, despite that being long, I should have added that if we did have to take unvegan medicine, we would. I would try and find a vegan version, but if I can't, so be it. For something necessary, not just a mild headache - that, I'd rather try and sleep through, or have a bath or ride it out. But I have always been this way about medicine, even before I was vegan.

I did have a tricky time as Xmas trying to find a nice advent candle. Could not find a single one that was not made out of beeswax. So I had to get tea lights and use them in a beautiful holder instead. Not exactly what I wanted, but I can't have everything. A good lesson for my child, I believe.

LentilAsAnything Sat 18-May-13 16:07:13

*Beeswax or stearin.

Hope that doesn't all sound overwhelming. I don't find it so. I like living this way, I feel I am being conscious about my impact on the planet and its inhabitants.

itsMYNutella Sat 18-May-13 16:52:03

Thanks Lentils that's really interesting. smile and has answered a lot of questions.

platanos Sat 18-May-13 18:23:10

lentils that is very interesting indeed. Food for thought! I am cooking dinner and realised I lied -all of our meals are vegan but the dc drink cow's milk, eat some ( v little actually) cheese ( mostly grated on pasta) and there are "happy- ish" eggs in the fridge. Have a relaxing evening all!

LentilAsAnything Sat 18-May-13 19:02:46

smile Those are my views, other vegans may have different standards. smile

LinzerTorte Tue 21-May-13 06:21:03

Lentils That's all really interesting. I feel inspired to try more of a vegan diet/lifestyle as talking to platanos yesterday, and have downloaded a plan for a vegane Schnupperwoche (with a scarily long shopping list). I doubt I'd manage to switch over to vegan completely, however; I have enough problems being a strict vegetarian. blush As I was saying to platanos, we'd be broke if I insisted on drinking only vegetarian wine (I think you can only get it from M&S here, and at British, i.e. extortionate compared to Austrian, prices) and I don't worry so much about things like buying only vegetarian cheese since I left the UK either.

Nutella I had to laugh about your DH discovering you MNing instead of writing a shopping list; that kind of thing is always happening to me!

We had a lovely meet-up with platanos and her DC yesterday. After sheltering from the rain in an Eissalon, it cleared up enough for us to go to the park - and we were actually able to chat uninterrupted for longer than 30 seconds at a time while we were at the playground (even if we did have to dissuade the DC from taking the playground's entire snail population back home with them).

No school again today, so of course the DC were up and dressed by 6 am (they're normally dead to the world when I wake them for school at 6.45 am). hmm Am also looking after the neighbour's DC this morning while she's at work, and then meeting up with an English friend and her DC this afternoon. I don't think I've had so much conversation in English with another adult for months. grin

hupa Tue 21-May-13 10:26:43

Linzer My two are back at school today and I had to wake them from a deep sleep at 7 am, but for the last 3 days they´ve been up and raring to go at 6.30 - so annoying.

Mrtumbles I hope you´re having a lovely time at Gardasee and get to see the sun.

Rain is forecast here for the next week. I really wanted to buy some new summer clothes this year, but I´m now beginning to think I´ll never get to wear them, so why bother.

We went to a restaurant for a Spargelbuffet at the weekend which was really enjoyable. I did think of the vegetarians/vegans on here because they had added ham to the Sargelsuppe which seems to be the norm here, but must be frustrating if you´re trying to avoid meat.

AntiqueMuppet Tue 21-May-13 13:48:11

I like the idea of a veganische Schnupperwoche, Linzer. I had no idea wine wasn't vegetarian (but then it had never occurred to me that cakes might not be vegan either. blush )
Glad you had a nice time with platanos and I hope both of your poorly boys are feeling better.

Enjoy Italy, MrTumbles! I hope the weather is nicer than it is here. We've had nothing but rain for a few days now, but at least it is washing the pollen away smile

hupa A Spargelbuffet sounds nice. I keep meaning to pick some asparagus up but end up forgetting. I'm not sure how I manage to forget as its everywhere you look at the moment!

That is really interesting, Lentils. are you managing to make the most of your last few weeks here or are you too busy with packing and organising?

Nutella Baby raspberries are so cute! How old is Nutellachen now? DH is always catching me MNing when I should be doing something else. It's so easy to get sucked in!

I met up with a German girl who was looking for a tandem partner last night. I was a bit worried she was going to be a weird old man but she was absolutely lovely and we really hit it off and ended up going for dinner instead of just meeting for a coffee like we had planned. I'm so pleased!

DS seems to be learning new words every day at the moment and it's amazing what he picks up. Today he started saying 'bye bye,' 'Auto' and 'happy', although 'Nein' is still his favourite word. I realised that although he has a mixture of English and German words, most of his English words are food-related, which probably says a bit more about me than I'd like grin

LentilAsAnything Wed 22-May-13 20:02:19

Cool, Linzer. Hope you enjoy it!
You could always go tee-total! Hahaha! ;)

Aw at the food-related words! They are a reflection of us at this age!

We are pretty busy packing and organising. Drills home the message that I need to be even MORE minimalist in my approach to stuff. Getting rid of more clothes. I need to really work out the absolute minimum I can manage comfortably with.
Have discovered a wonderful park nearby that has a zip-wire! I DS loves it! smile

LinzerTorte Thu 23-May-13 18:51:17

Lentil What is this teetotal thing of which you speak? wink I went to DM this morning and stocked up on some vegan bits and pieces, including soya and rice milk. I had my first coffee with soya milk this afternoon and... well, let's just say I'm hoping it's an acquired taste. I managed to drink half of the cup and felt slightly sick afterwards! I don't think I'd have a problem with vegan main meals and could cut out eggs quite easily, but I'm not too sure how much willpower I have otherwise... Anyway, I should probably join your vegan thread, which I noticed about a week ago, rather than continue to hijack the thread further. smile Although I think I'd feel a bit of a fraud, as I can't even manage to be a proper vegetarian.

Antique Glad your tandem partnership (for want of a better term!) went well - do you speak English for a while and then switch to German (or vice versa)? I had a couple of friends in Berlin who I always used to speak German to and they would reply in English. It was a bit strange, looking back, but not quite as weird as me only ever speaking German to all my au pair friends (including ones from London and New Zealand) - fair enough when we were all out in a group, I suppose, but I would even speak German on the phone to the English-speaking ones. hmm
Yes, gelatine (among other things) is sometimes used in the wine-making process. I seem to have lost all my vegetarian principles since moving to Austria, however. It's virtually impossible to find wine or cheese here, for example, that's labelled as suitable for vegetarians, so basically I'll eat/drink anything that isn't obviously meat or fish.

hupa Restaurants here will have asparagus days/weeks too, but I just can't get excited about it. It used to be the vegetarian option at least once a week during asparagus season - and apart from its lack of taste, four or five asparaguses (asparagi? pieces of asparagus?) with a dollop of sauce just don't fill you up. I was always starving again by 1pm (instead of 3pm; I just couldn't get used to going for lunch at 11.30am).

DH is away in Germany until tomorrow, so ideally I'd like to get the DC off to bed early so I can have an early night with my book. However, DD1 is at the theatre and not due home until 8pm, when she'll no doubt still need to eat, so we'll probably all end up going to bed at about the same time!

LentilAsAnything Thu 23-May-13 19:02:41

Haha! smile
Some soya milks are nicer than others. Usually the refrigerated stuff is better than the longer-life stuff on the shelves.

admylin Fri 24-May-13 10:22:27

Linzer so what's on the menu today? Never found a soya milk that I liked and I find the almond milk nice in tea and with cereal but drink black coffee. I put some brown sugar in to sweeten it abit.
We're having sweetcorn soup today with bread dipped in so it's soft enough for ds to eat with his braces.

I'm trying to decide who to phone first, the kfo to ask him to take his brace off or the school to cancel this Klassenfahrt as ds will starve and probably pass out half way through.

platanos Fri 24-May-13 14:56:59

admylin what did you decide to do? Poor ds. Hope he was able to eat his soup.

hupa hope the weather improves and you can get some summer clothes. It is really changeable here at the moment. I really like asparagus, but mostly make a risotto with them, or bake them in the oven with other vegetables to be served on a bed of couscous -I sound like I have swallowed a recipe book.

linzer it feels like ages ago since we met up. It was lovely to see you all and I am so glad the snails stayed behind - saved by the oncoming train! Have you found a milk you like?

Antique really pleased to hear the tandem went well. Are you planning on meeting often? I made some friends through my tandems. It is so exciting when you just get on...Laughed at your foodie ds - but maybe it says more about him than about you?

nutella funny you were caught on MN. Was DP relieved that you were on MN and not writing a very looooooooooooong shopping list?

lentils good luck with the last bits of packing and decluttering. I really need to do a declutter.

Hope the school holidays are going well for those who are enjoying them. Gardasee? sigh...

took ds to the dr yesterday and are none the wiser about allergies really. It is a question of trying things slowly and seeing if there is a reaction. Makes sense but a bit scarey. But she did take me seriously about constant illnesses (she is our dr, but is often not there and the other drs in the surgery are not as patient with the my gibberish) and told me to take him for a blood test next time he has a fever - that won't be fun.

my dilemma of the day - to buy a pair of shoes that are too big or ones that squeeze just a bit in one place and will probably give? first world problems as they say. Though better than my young, very nice but slightly mad colleague who is wondering how/whether another colleague will ever sleep with anyone. hmm.

LinzerTorte Fri 24-May-13 15:36:28

platanos But how does she know he/she hasn't? Or are we getting into TMI territory here? grin Worrying about shoes sounds much more sensible. Glad the doctor took you seriously - but how have you managed to find a surgery with more than one doctor? I didn't realise such things existed here!

admylin I made chickpea and vegetable curry today, but haven't tried it yet; the DC ate it for lunch, but I'll have it this evening. I've never had black coffee, but will have to try it - once I've worked my way through all the different milk alternatives at DM. I didn't spot any almond milk there; Al Natura only had soya, rice, oat and spelt milk, but I didn't look too closely at the other brands.
What a nightmare about your DS's brace; hope you can get it sorted out soon.

Lentil Yes, I've heard that taste can vary from brand to brand. I didn't think to look in the chiller cabinet, so that's another option to try. I wish they did small sample sizes rather than having to buy a litre or so each time, though!

I've almost got through my to-read shelf shock and just have the final Harry Potter to read after my current book (I'm ignoring all the books I still have on the Kindle). I've ordered a couple of books from Play and the Book Depository, but they always seem to take ages to arrive. Luckily, a friend has just forwarded me an e-mail about a second-hand English book fair so I'll have to go and check that out.

platanos Sat 25-May-13 15:16:27

linzer My colleague does not know, but assumes due to looks and behaviour hmm. And what a bizarre thing to worry about.
Our paed used to have her own surgery. But then we got a letter to say that some healthcare rules had changed and that they made it difficult for her to run her own surgery and she was moving into the bigger one with other drs. I've come across a few surgeries with a couple of drs round here, but the norm does seem to be just the one.

I saw yesterday that DM has hazelnut and almond milk but it is from Alpro, rather than its own make.

I am impressed at your reading! I read more since I have my kindle, but recently I have started doing something very strange for a kindle owner...if the book is cheaper than the kindle version, then I order the book grin. But we could potentially swap some books the next time we meet.

Those of you in Germany- have you seen the Amazon trade-in thingie (technical term!)? Have you used it or is it a rip off? Not available in our neck of the woods though.

And recently I came across internet schools. Can get a whole education through them. Here is one: I wonder if that would be allowed by the local authorities here..but I find it an interesting alternative if the local educational system is not working for a child. Or if a child is being bullied or struggling socially at school.

And another question - do any of your dc have an email on a secure site? I want to get dd one so she can keep in touch with friends who are off to different secondary schools, but would prefer to get her a safe one for children. Rather than a hotmail one with daily offers of enlarging pills.

Hope you are having a good weekend, and that teeth are not too sore.

LentilAsAnything Sun 26-May-13 17:23:10

A quick one for now. Finally getting to sit down, we have been busy packing today. There really is so much stuff.
Despite really wanting to be a minimalist, you just 'need' certain things, don't you. And they all take up space. Most things are now in boxes, and I cannot imagine how it will all fit in the van! We shall see soon - DH has just gone to collect it. I'm really exhausted. Looking forward to getting the van packed though, and a clear house.

cheaspicks Sun 26-May-13 18:31:56

Quick reply as can't keep up and don't have much time.

platanos I find that spam only comes once you've usd your email address to register on websites. I have a gmail account only for fb and never get spam.

cheaspicks Sun 26-May-13 18:39:28

...apart from google spam of course hmm

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