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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 Wed 19-Jun-13 07:56:06

I've gone ahead and tempted fate and started a new thread here.

itsMYNutella Mon 17-Jun-13 20:50:10

Linzer and admylin do you not feel that starting a new thread would be tempting the gods/fate/rain lords?

Hupa depending on where you are heading on your hols I thoroughly recommend - St Jean de Luz (like Biarritz but nicer), Biarritz, Sauvterre du bearn, Salies de Bearn (they have a salt museum - closed on Thursdays I think) there was a chateau near Sauvterre that we didn't get in because it was closed on Tuesdays - chateau du Laas.
St Jean pied de port is also lovely and has some lovely old town walls/ ramparts that you can walk around.
If you tell me where you're headed I can give you some more tips or i'll happily ask my mum if you need some extra tips.

admylin my mum lived in Biarritz when she first decided to live in France and that's where she met her man. Where she lives now is the middle of nowhere but the view in the morning is stunning! could only be improved if it wasn't accompanied by the smell of sheep yes I'd gladly live in France! If our bed wasn't here in our flat I probably would have told DP I wasn't coming back. Honestly I think my bed was the only thing I missed!

Poor DS was his usual smiley self but he did have a few problems with his cough and had to have some more Kinesiotherapie and we are currently giving him an inhaler. I'll give him a day or two to settle and then talk to DP about taking him to the Dr
Right, better get on and do some tidying before bed time.

LinzerTorte Mon 17-Jun-13 14:30:30

admylin Chocolate always seemed to go down well, especially if it was with marzipan. But any kind of European chocolate seems to be appreciated; I don't remember much being available there (they had Cadbury's, but made by Hershey and it was vile). I wonder if Jenny's around; maybe she'd have a better idea?

hupa DH bought quite a bit from M&S, which was the main reason for our trip - he gets almost all his clothes there. OTOH I rarely find anything I like (apart from underwear), but did buy some food and we got swimming costumes/trunks for DD2 and DS plus a raincoat for DD1 from Next.
Hope you have a nice time at the Freibad; DH took DD2 and DS yesterday, but I'm not a huge fan as a) it's too big to read and supervise the DC simultaneously, and b) our town's entire population descends there in the summer, and I'm not keen on being sociable while wearing a bikini (think we may have had this discussion before!). grin

Had a phone call from DS's teacher this morning asking whether I'd forgotten to pick him and his friend up. blush I'd completely forgotten that his RE class was cancelled today, so he finished at 10.55 am. The DC are finishing at all different hours at the moment - an hour earlier here, an hour later there - and I have to admit I've been relying on my memory (which is fine when it comes to the DDs, as they walk home on their own and also have phones in case of emergency). But this is a reminder that everything needs to go in the calendar straight away, at least as far as DS is concerned.

I was also thinking this morning that it's time for a summer thread. Do you want to start one, admylin? I was trying to think of a title, but couldn't get any further than our usual variations on Sonne/Strand/Sommer, etc.!

admylin Mon 17-Jun-13 10:04:50

Should we start a new thread as going by the temperatures we could say we're in Summer endlich!

hupa Mon 17-Jun-13 10:04:02

Planatos I hope you´ve made your decision about ds - it can´t of been easy. Is your dd looking forward to changing schools? Our dd hates change and has been a bit tearful because she´d like to stay in the Grundschule forever with her current class teacher. We also found out the new class last week and 8 of the girls from her current class have been kept together and just dd and 2 others put in a different class. She then spoke to some older girls who said her new class teacher is horrible, so all in all she´s not very happy at the moment.
Ds´s teacher is teamed up with the dragon for the whole 4 years.

admylin I´m glad your ds enjoyed the trip. I´m very impressed he managed to do the 11m Hochseil. I never used to have a fear of heights, but seem to be getting worse as I get older.
Hameln is a lovely little town, with some beautiful old houses. We´ve been there a few times because one of dh´s uncles lives close by.

Linzer Did you buy much in Bratislava? I´m always envy of your ability to pop over the border to M&S.

I´ve forgotten who asked about braces, but I´m not sure what they need because dh has taken them to the appointments because he would also like a brace to straighten out his bottom teeth. I just know that dd´s treatment is quite complicated and will take years (and lots of money) to sort out.

Lovely weather here today, so I might brave a visit to the Freibad this afternoon.

admylin Mon 17-Jun-13 09:53:03

Linzer would you have an idea of what I could get to send back to Texas with them? Is there a sort of chocolate that they would like that isn't available in the US (that you can remember from your time over there)? I need something for the other niece as she has 2 small dc so I would get them something too.

LinzerTorte Mon 17-Jun-13 09:11:48

DS hasn't said much about going into the 1. Klasse but I think that, as long as he's with his best friend, he'll be happy. One of the teachers has a really good reputation, the other not so much, and then there'll be a new teacher replacing one who's retiring at the end of this month. His best friend's little sister will be in the same class as them too; she seems tiny in comparison (and won't be 6 until the end of August), although I suspect she may find school easier than DS - her drawing is certainly far neater!

Exciting news about your niece's visit; a trip to Hameln sounds good too, as does the wish list! I miss DH's business trips to the US, as I always used to send him over with long lists; now, apart from the occasional trip to the UK, he never goes anywhere "useful". grin

admylin Mon 17-Jun-13 08:10:52

Linzer hope your ds gets one of the nice ones! It certainly makes all the difference to how the dc enjoy school (or not). Is he looking forward to the change?

platanos ds was quite positive about the trip when he got back. His friend who had been reporting back to his dad the whole time was very negative about it all. They weren't happy that there had been no toilets at the camp site but it was worse for the girls. Ds even manage dto go up the 11m hochseil thing in the forest and most of the class gave up at 8m so he was proud of that as he thought he was afraid of hights. Hope your dd's allergy and rash calms down. Is she taking something for it?

We've just heard that our niece is coming over for a few days next week from Texas. Dd is so excited as she's bringing her some things over that she has on her wish list and are only available in the states. I have to plan a few trips and things to show them. Might take them to the city of Hamlyn of Pied Piper of Hamlyn fame.

LinzerTorte Mon 17-Jun-13 07:12:48

After a rainy day yesterday (perfect excuse for a trip to Bratislava - although we discovered that Mothercare and the ELC, which were always a good source of clothes for the DC, have closed down), it's already quite hot here this morning. We're forecast temperatures of 30° and above all this week; it's either one extreme or the other.

platanos Hope you had a nice meal out on Saturday. Have you decided about the Vorschulklasse? It was definitely the right decision for DS, but we're also gespannt about which teacher he'll get next year. It turns out that his teacher will be teaching the Vorschulklasse next year as well (we were originally told that she'd be moving up to the 1. Klasse, although the class is divided up so DS wouldn't necessarily have had her anyway), so we have about a month to wait before we find out who he's getting.

platanos Sat 15-Jun-13 14:28:38

admylin how did ds find his trip? Hope it went well. We weren't allowed to contact the children. DD2 had a great time, though she came home and burst into tears - exhausted and overwhelmed by it all. Luckily the other two were still at school and kindergarten so we lay on the bed, chatting and cuddling. She's come back with bad allergy eyes (skin goes really red around the eyes from the scratching) and skin. But otherwise full of great stories.

hupa good news on the KK covering the braces. What do they need? It is a shame ds's teacher has a dragon as a model. How long are they teamed up for?

linzer glad you got the internet sorted!! Has it been okay since? Ours has, it was just a blip I think. I turned everything on and off about 10 times! I would have phoned the helpline but I couldn't find the papers with all our customer numbers etc. And then it all came back. Thanks for the information on the health check. Dh's colleague was talking about going to an internist, a lung specialist...but then she had had a bad skiing accident and I think she just wanted to make sure all was well.

We still don't know who ds will get as a teacher. I am still wondering whether I should insist on the Vorschulklasse. DH and I are going out to dinner later on...that is on our "agenda". There are just so many things that we don't want to talk about in front of the dc, and by the time they have gone to bed we are both too tired.

Hope you all have some sun shining down on you!

platanos Wed 12-Jun-13 15:19:34

I shall have to tell that teacher that she started an international internet discussion on pencil sharpening grin

admylin Wed 12-Jun-13 12:36:56

I was never told to sharpen any pencils but I used to help dd do hers as she used them alot (colouring pencils). Ds had his year 1 set of pencils right up to year 6, he did the absoloute minimum colouring-in that was required! He still has his first year HB pencil too! It's about 2.5cm long (now in year 9).

LinzerTorte Wed 12-Jun-13 12:14:34

Some teachers here insist that the DC sharpen their own pencils, others don't seem too bothered who does it as long as they're sharp. I quite enjoy doing it when I remember, as I find it strangely satisfying (only do it for DS, though). grin

EI recommended a table top pencil sharpener (the kind with a handle you turn) and making DC sharpen their own pencils - DD does her own and DS1, who is still at Kiga, does the home ones -you they love doung it for some reason!

LinzerTorte Wed 12-Jun-13 10:38:19

As some of you may have seen on FB last night, our Internet problems were finally solved by unplugging the modem and then plugging it back in again. grin After spending half an hour in the queuing system to speak to someone at the helpline, DH was not best pleased to discover that that wasn't actually the first thing I'd tried. blush Disclaimer: I have spent what feels like months of my life restarting the computer, switching modems on and off and sometimes unplugging them, etc. etc. etc., usually to no avail. (Several hours later will phone the helpline, only to discover that a pipe has burst somewhere.) We used to have all kinds of problems too admylin, but it's been much better since we changed to a different package.

hupa Good news about the braces; it can be a very expensive business.

platanos I thought of you yesterday when I was sharpening DS's pencils! (All very blunt, so I'm obviously not doing my job often enough.) The Vorsorgeuntersuchung includes a blood test, urine test, colorectal cancer screening and having your blood pressure taken. You can go and see any GP; the one I see is a Wahlärztin (the Krankenkasse covers all the costs) so she does a very thorough job and spends ages going through my blood test results with me, although I've usually forgotten most of it five minutes afterwards.

admylin We (more or less) banned screen time during the week as I was worried that the DC were forgetting how to use their imagination to entertain themselves. I hated the way that as soon as they were bored, they'd turn to the computer or TV.

We're having an awning fitted today, so there's lots of drilling going on. Fortunately the neighbours are having one fitted straight after us, so shouldn't mind about the noise too much!

hupa Wed 12-Jun-13 10:05:26

admylin I can imagine that quite a few of the children will be having computer withdrawal symptons. I hope the weather stays good for the rest of the trip.

We just had a letter from the Krankenkasse to say that they will cover the treatment costs for dd´s and ds´s braces. I´m sure I´ll be back with loads of questions once the treatment gets underway.

planatos I agree that the individual teacher is more important than the school. Dd´s teacher in the Grundschule has been really excellent and has a really nurturing attitude. Ds´s teacher is fine, but it´s her first proper teaching job and she has be teamed with a bit of a dragon and has taken a lot of her cues from her, unfortunately.

Strange that a lot of us have been having internet problems. We still have random high speed connection and then nothing at all. Even dh who is much more tech savvy than me, can´t get to the root of the problem.

I´ve only had a Tetanus booster here and a Hep (not sure if Aor B ) vaccination a couple of years ago.

admylin Wed 12-Jun-13 09:13:04

Linzer and platanos I hope you get your internet troubles sorted out. We had big problems with our connection and tried all sorts but upgrading to a faster speed falt rate thingy has sorted it for now. MAybe if you complain enough, your provider will upgrade you for the same price you pay now (ours did, for a year we pay the old prive then it'll be 5€ more a month).

Heard from a father of a class mate who is with ds on his trip and who smuggled his mobile with him to the campsite. Weather is good but they are all abit bored and don't know what to do with themselves in the middle of a forest next to a lake! That's what the dad said and I had to laugh as his son is more or less addicted to computer games and alot of them are, so they've lost the ability to use their imaginations. In the good old days we would have been up to all sorts on a trip like that from building dens to climbing trees. Have you heard from your dd platanos?

platanos Tue 11-Jun-13 14:52:42

linzer that is strange: we did not have internet yesterday either! Who does your Vorsorgeuntersuchung? Last year a dr came to my work and did blood tests but nothing like that has been offered yet this year...And does your check involve anything other than bloods? Dh's colleague was talking about going to all the specialists...I am confused. I do eyes and woman stuff regularly but nothing otherwise. shock at school teacher insisting on a second language. And well done for sharpening pencils once a week!

admylin good to hear ds has nice weather. dd2 is on away on a school trip this week too and I miss her too... I agree, it is such a lottery regarding teachers, more important than the school really. We have been lucky twice (though I have my niggles about both of dds' teachers I can see they have been good for my dds). But I am not sure about what is coming for ds...

mrtumbles I feel like you do about the german. All the parents I spoke to found this parent's evening dreadful too. Others I have been to have been quite civilised, but they were with just the parents and teacher of that class. Much nicer! And I remember dd starting reception in the Uk and the teacher being a bit strict with parents and children. I often feel that some teacher's forget they are talking to other adults when they talk to parents!

ds has two friends over and they decided to watch a film hmm. we did have other plans but it is pouring out there. i find it a shame that they don't want to play together but then...I get to go on mumsnet and cook dinner so not all bad wink

LinzerTorte Tue 11-Jun-13 14:21:05

I wonder if it's routine here now too. It wasn't back in 2004 at any rate, as neither DD2 nor DS were offered it. DD1 had the jab but still caught chickenpox when the other two had it, although had a much milder case.

admylin Tue 11-Jun-13 12:53:02

I'll wait and see what the doctor suggests but I guess I'll have to have tetanus for sure. I was just reading about the windpocken one and it seems to be one of the standard impfungen in Germany now (since 2004).

LinzerTorte Tue 11-Jun-13 12:39:51

I've never even thought about whether I need a booster for any of the vaccinations I had as a child (haven't had a chickenpox jab, though - are they routinely vaccinating against it in Germany now?). I have the Zeckenimpfung every 5 years and had a tetanus booster ages ago, but that's about it.

admylin Tue 11-Jun-13 11:47:01

Thanks Linzer!
Doctor said I have to update all my Impfungen too as last one was 13 years ago. Have you all had many vaccinations in your adult life? I know the last was just after dd was born and the midwife noticed from a blood test that I needed the measles jab (I think, or was it Windpocken?)

LinzerTorte Tue 11-Jun-13 10:52:35

Just very quickly as I'm on my phone - we haven't had Internet access since last night (have the feeling it's probably a provider problem, but will have to phone up later if it's still not back). admylin The check-up is called a Gesundenuntersuchung or Vorsorgeuntersuchung here. What's the betting it's called something different in Germany, though? grin

admylin Tue 11-Jun-13 10:36:54

Linzer it's a crazy price for school books isn't it? I don't know how people on low income manage to get their dc through school. Only people on social benefits don't have to pay if they send in proof. School trips are the same. Next year we'll have two expensive trips to pay for. Dd will be going on the one ds is on now at around 350€ and ds will have his Berlin trip that they are already telling us is Pflicht.

MrTumbles to be honest I have no idea why this thing really has to go back in ds's mouth but I think he said it would speed up the treatment slightly. I've cancelled dd getting it so we'll see how he decides to change her treatment plan (if he bothers to even let me know).

I'm missing ds sad and it's only Tuesday. Atleast it looks as if he isn't getting bad weather even if it's not as warm as it should be for this time of year.

Linzer meant to ask, what do you call your health check-up that you do once or twice a year in German? Last time I went to the doctor she said I should call and make an appointment for a check-up but I can't remember what she called it (only remember translating it in my head, as you do, and understanding that's what she meant).

LinzerTorte Mon 10-Jun-13 08:06:02


Another lovely sunny day here - hope you all had sunshine at the weekend too. It was Father's Day here yesterday so we had a trip to the Prater in Vienna (excellent views from the Riesenrad) and then went out for lunch.

admylin Hope DS got off OK this morning and enjoys the trip. Wow, that's a lot to pay for school books, especially if you're only borrowing them. DD2 has just had her list for next year, even though there are still another three weeks to go until the summer holidays (we don't normally get the list until the last day), but at least we get all the books for free.

Nutella Hope you enjoyed the rest of your holiday and that your DS recovered quickly. I was never brave enough to travel much when the DC were little; it's only really over the last couple of years that we've been doing more travelling again.

platanos That sounds like the Einschreibefest at our school, although tbf it was only the one teacher who would have put me off completely. She refused to believe that one boy only spoke German because of his non-Austrian name and no doubt appearance (his parents have a Turkish background, but his mother was born here and his father is German) and kept asking him what other language he spoke and where he was from. hmm We had a note home from DS's teacher not long ago reminding us to check every evening that all their pencils are sharp. I remember to do so about once a week. grin

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