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Es herbstelt schon! Autumn in Germany and Austria

(324 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 13-Dec-13 15:42:35

And yes, if you can use your debit card to pay on the UK site, you'll be able to use it on the German site too.

scripsi Fri 13-Dec-13 16:34:10

Thanks so much LinzerTorte, I think I have just ordered a couple of months' worth (probably not the cheapest combination of available tablets on but I got very confused with the various options!).
I will do more research in future too.

AmblingAlong Fri 13-Dec-13 18:01:13

scripsi just checked the online pharmacy that I use in Germany and the tablets are cheaper on so you've got a bargain not counting the shipping costs!

outnumbered thanks for trying to explain the system, still sounds complicated! My dc are on the 12 year Abi so no 13th year either. It's all crammed into year 10 and 11 now. Ds is sailing through year 10 though so I guess it'll get harder in year 11. Year 10 is called the Qualifikationsphase as far as I've understood.

FrauEnglisch interesting about the Fibel or other methods of learning to read and write in Germany. My ds was taught by a new, very young teacher who used the method you heard of from someone - not being taught how to spell, so they just write down the sounds (phonetic spelling) at first, Hauptsache get them writing and enjoying it, pariase them lots etc and they go onto worrying about the correct spellings later in year 2 and 3. Ds loved it and loved reading (and still does), it worked well for him.

Poor dd had the Fibel (in Berlin) and it was very dull and she hated it and didn't start writing much until the end of year 2, lots of copying poems, handed out by the teacher, red pen all over the page if there were mistakes, stress, headaches, tummy aches sad Thank goodness that phase is over!

Just been to get our xmas tree, put it up with dd and she's now covering mini pretzels in white icing for her gingerbread house which I hope she is going to want to do on Monday and not now as I'm officially entering weekend and I don't do kitchen stuff at weekends (and she'll leave a sticky mess if I let her do it alone)!

scripsi Fri 13-Dec-13 19:29:43

Thanks Ambling! MN saves my mental health and not for the first time ;-)

AmblingAlong Fri 20-Dec-13 10:26:27

How is everyone?

I guess everyone is dashing about trying to get things sorted for Christmas, attending parties or braving the shops (not looking forward to that one). Who's leaving/left for the Uk? All our Verein, Schule and work xmas parties are done and thank goodness school breaks up today!

I think I'll try and do my food shopping today, need to go to a couple of shops to get all the veggies I need. Got loads of xmas dinner vegetable recipes and treats lined up and the men (dh and ds) are going out on Sunday for their meat fix at the Greek restaurant! Dd has invited her Turkish friend round on the 25th as her family don't do xmas, she's a vegetarian too. Dd has put her a couple of parcels under the tree aswell!

Dd wants to go into town tomorrow but I've said only if we get up and are there really early as I hate crowds and it will be busy for sure later on. Still waiting for a parcel to arrive with 2 presents each for the dc, meant to arrive yesterday.

Well, hope you're all having a relaxing festive time and will enjoy the holidays!
Our 'es herbselt' thread fits well to this mild slightly damp weather we're having too, not going to be a white one this year!

hupa Sat 21-Dec-13 16:41:07

Ambling did you brave the shops today? We went out early to do the food shopping and it was surprisingly o.k. I think this is the most organised I've ever been. I'm probably tempting fate and I've actually forgotten something important.

I'd like to write more, but I'm on the i Pad and it's driving me nuts.

I hope everyone has a lovely, relaxing Christmas.

platanos Mon 23-Dec-13 14:28:39

That sounds very organised hupa. And fingers crossed you have not forgotten anything!

Ambling did you go into town? I have been avoiding the shops --dh bought the dc's presents. did your parcel arrive? Your Christmas sounds lovely. We have gone for the favourite dishes meal (everyone picked their favourite dish), which we will have over the 24th and the 25th. If I make it to the shops for the final bits and bobs- I wanted to bribe the dds into going this afternoon, but they have a friend round so am planning to go tomorrow at 8am. I am going a bit mad trying to feed this family of mine: vegan with ds being allergic to nuts and others with soya, tomato, lentil, and mushroom intolerance. All we need now is a gluten intolerance grin.

I am not sure through what method ds has learnt to read and write. His teacher did not explain it to us, but she did (modestly) mention she had the best method. But I do know they learn the letters slowly and she does expect correct spelling. And that ds, has suddenly become interested in letters and reading.

Hope you all have a very merry Christmas! fsmile

PinkFondantFancy Sun 29-Dec-13 23:41:59

Hi all. I have a bit of an odd question for you, I hope it's ok to ask it here. It's very hypothetical but my husband is an automotive engineer and could probably get a good job in Munich. My eldest DD is 2.5 and we currently live in a London suburb. I've been wondering whether we could have a better quality of life in Germany. I was also particularly wondering if anyone could tell me how schooling works, especially whether if we lived in a professional 'middle class' suburb of say, Munich, do the majority of people send their kids to the local school or do you end up having to play the catchment area game and have the brightest/richest kids being taken out of the state sector into private school (which is what happens around here). It's one of the big worries about where we are at the moment and a catalyst for considering whether to make a big move.

Also, on quality of life, has anyone made a similar type of move? Would you mind telling me what you like/dislike about it? Thanks v much.

FrauEnglischLehrerin Tue 31-Dec-13 14:16:32

Hi pink. I didn't want to leave your question unanswered for too long, although I'm not sure I'm the best person to do so. Germany is very different depending on which Bundesland you are in and I don't live in Bavaria, or in a large city. However, I am fairly sure that London is a more expensive place to live than anywhere in Germany. Munich is possibly the most expensive German city, but it won't come close to London. The SoL in Germany is generally very high and the pace of life less frantic than in the UK.

Re schools: you could search on toytown for info on Munich schools, but afaik there isn't the divide between private and state schools here. Where I live there is a privately-owned Gymnasium and a state Gymnasium, but the cost to parents is virtually the same. Schools in Bavaria are generally thought to be very good, but the curriculum and methods are not what you would get in the UK.

There's a poster on this thread who lives near Munich and who will hopefully be along soon with some much more helpful information smile. In the meantime if you have any more questions feel free to ask.

MrsNutella Wed 01-Jan-14 07:42:47

Happy 2014 everyone! Cannot believe Nuttelachen is 1 today!shock Feel a little bit sorry for him that he will be spending the next 10 hours ish in a plane... Hope it goes well. See you all in a few weeks. We are off for our honeymoon to Florida. Yay!!

PinkFondantFancy Wed 01-Jan-14 21:40:42

Thanks so much Frau - I'll check out toytown. Stuttgart also under consideration if anyone from here is around there.

WoollyHooligan Sun 05-Jan-14 12:25:00

Happy new year everyone!
I never seem to have time to post these days, but I will try & pop on for a catch-up soon.
Hope everyone is well!

FrauEnglish I think central Munich probably does come close to some areas of London - you can easily spend a million € to buy a terraced house or appartment without even being right in the centre, rents fo way up to €5000 a month and beyond for a really plush 3 bedroom apartment in the centre... but of course there are cheaper options too and you can get a 1 or 2 room flat in a not very popular area for €650, or move out into the sticks to the north of Munich and commute in by overland train, and get a house for under €1000... I haven't read the thread, and am a bit rushed atm but will read today and replysmile

Pink look at,muenchen/mietwohnungen.html

Pinik I am in the countryside about 50km outside Munich. There is an excelent fb group called Parents In Munich which I recommend - I hate Toytown personally, though it can be useful for some things.

I don't think there is the catchment area game here really - local school is the norm and you certainly can't select a choice of school - your address dictates your school, unless you go private.

I have a 2.5 year old too, and also an 8 year old in her 3rd year at school here and a 6 year old in his last year of Kindergarten. We moved from Surrey when my eldest was 19 months old, and in many ways I would say the kids do have a better quality of life, yes. However I wanted to be a SAHM, it was one of the 3 main motivations we had for moving - state school here in Bavaria still finishes at 11.20am in the first year, with a gradual lengthening of school day as the kids get over, but still 1pm finishes are the norm even for older children, with 1 or 2 long days a week at secondary level. If you want to work more than a few hours here and there you will shell out a lot for childcare.

FrauEnglischLehrerin Mon 06-Jan-14 11:30:27

Happy new year, everyone!

Mrtumbles - €5000 a month rent shock Can't imagine many people could afford that! I shall be glad I don't have any intention of ever moving to Munich...

Mrsnutella - hope you're enjoying your trip and happy belated birthday to nutellachen.

Woollyhooligan - nice to hear from you. I'd just fb stalked you to check you were still around!

I've just joined goodreads and am trying to get to grips with it. Is there a way to add people without linking the account to fb? And do you all read the reviews of books you are reading/have just finished? I finished a book this morning and was so irritated by the reviews I wanted to bang the reviewers' heads together. Still, I think seeing how many books linzer manages will inspire me to read more books this year (and hopefully by extension less internet).

platanos Mon 06-Jan-14 14:26:33

happy new year all!

Pink - I am afraid I can't really help, am south of the border in Austria.

*MrsNutella *- happy birthday to little one! Hope you are having a great time.

FrauEnglisch - that's funny-I just joined Goodreads over Christmas too. And the MN group on there. I am also struggling to find how to add friends - I am not too keen on using the facebook link as fear everything I will read will show up on my facebook page. But not sure if that actually happens. I came across goodreads looking for reviews on books I thought I might want to read. It can be useful as it gives you an idea of the plot and the way it is written. But they are all opinions so I don't pay that much attention to them. Maybe we should swap goodreads usernames and that way at least I would have one friend :-)

LinzerTorte Mon 06-Jan-14 16:54:09

platanos You can add me on Goodreads! I'm on there under my real name (as opposed to a fake one grin). You can search for friends via their name or e-mail address FrauEnglisch, although I think all of mine are either from FB or the MN group. I generally read one or two reviews after I've read the book, but like platanos don't always pay too much attention to them.

I include books that I've read to the DC just to make the numbers look more impressive keep track, but I'm definitely reading far more since I've been on Goodreads. I decided to do the 50 book challenge last year and got a bit obsessed by it, so kept upping the amount. Having a Kindle helps too, as it means I've always got a book to read when I'm out and about and I've read quite a few quick and easy reads on it. I tend to read at absolutely every opportunity, even if we're just going somewhere in the car for 10 minutes (and DH is driving, obviously grin). I got through a couple of books on the journey back to Austria; a few years ago I'd have been lucky to be able to read for more than 10 minutes altogether!

Frau-English obviously we don't pay €5000 a month rent or earn anything close to that altogether, never mind to pay out in rent but on the Parents in Munich group (for English speakers in Munich) I mentioned somebody was moving away and posted that their "lovely" rental appartment was going to be available, if anyone would like to snap it up - it did look lovely... as it would have to at that price! shock I assume they were the "type" of ex pat who moves around every couple of years on an ex-pat contract, wherever the compan sends them, with kdis private international school fees and housing costs and "don't lift a finger" removals where other people pack for you included in the package... but still, clearly very, very expensive appartements exist in Munich!

I don't think you could live in Munich on under €3k a month all in - and that is living in modest accommodation (2 bedrooms if in the city, or living a long way out) shopping at Aldi and watching the pennies very carefully - it is an expensive city, a beautiful, historic, child friendly one with a high standard of living and amazing countryside on the doorstep for mountain lovers too obviously, but a very expensive place to live. Also an old fashioned place too, with regards to things like schooling and Kindergarten... which has pros and cons.

AmblingAlong Tue 07-Jan-14 10:21:40

Happy new year everyone (bit late I know)!

Just been inspired to go back on Goodreads! Forgot about it for ages and now that I have the kindle I should hopefully read a few more books in 2014!
Linzer good idea to add books that the dc read. Ds reads alot. I've just read one of his 'to read' books from his kindle. It's good that both kindles are registered to one amazon account so we can transfer from kindle to kindle. He's reading an old classic now 'On the Beach'.
platanos I'm on Goodreads with my real name too! I did a search for you but no luck! FrauEnglischLehrerin you found me!

We didn't have a feiertag yesterday so my 2 were back at school. They coped quite well with getting up and had a full on long day from 8am to 3pm then both were back at their sport clubs in the evening and then sitting doing homework until 10pm. Straight into an exam day for dd today.

Dd announced that the next thing 'we' are trying is juice fasting! So up to now we've had the smoothie phase, vegan week and now it's the juice fast! Atleast the vegetarian phase has stayed and although my family don't realise it, they eat more vegan than anything else (except dh who can't live without meat - but I'm working on that)!

FrauEnglischLehrerin Tue 07-Jan-14 11:51:59

Ambling and platanos - I linked my fb account to goodreads to get the contacts and then disabled the connection again, so I got 11 friends that way. I'm not sure I've got you, platanos, though. I'm starting to make more sense out of it by going on the desktop site - there seems to be a lot missing on the app.

Ambling - do you have or have you flicked through any of Attila Hildmann's recipe books? I found a Thalia voucher in a pile of papers which I thought I might use to get one, but I don't particularly want one aimed at weight loss.

Mrtumbles - we're well-off by most people's standard, but sometimes you get a glimpse of how the other half top 1% live which makes your jaw drop.

AmblingAlong Tue 07-Jan-14 13:09:28

FrauEnglischLehrerin yes, the Vegan for Fun is good and the Vegan for Fit is very low carb/sugar/fat but great recipes. The books are only 9,99€ on kindle btw. Sending the English version (the Fun one) to my dad for his birthday as he's into cooking and is a vegetarian already.

Well, one of my dc is home, has eaten and has gone to bed for a quick nap! Expecting the next one home in an hour and then he'll be very happy to see his xmas present has arrived from the UK (a fancy head-phone set for his laptop).

WoollyHooligan Tue 07-Jan-14 13:27:43

Ambling I've been thinking of getting Vegan for Fun for a while now. I might nip into the bookshop this week. I don't really like the idea of cookbooks on the Kindle but I'm not sure why.

I did the same as you with Goodreads, FrauEnglisch. I shall have to have a look and see if I have you on there. I haven't logged in for so long though that I have no idea what my username and password are anymore. I have the app on my phone though and I think it keeps me logged in all the time so I'll have a look there.

MrTumbles <faints at €500/month rent> Saying that, there are a lot of expats where we live, all on expat contracts (not us though, unfortunately!) and I know the US army at least pay a ridiculously high rent allowance. The wife of an acquaintance is a mid-level US government employee and I think he once mentioned that their allowance for rent was around the €4000 mark. This isn't exactly a poor city though. I've also heard a lot of complaints that natives of the city are being priced out of the area as the landlords all whack the prices up to attract the expats.

platanos Feel free to add me on Goodreads too!

Hello Linzer and anyone else I've missed. The hurricane is currently asleep after a busy morning so I finally have time to sit and post. He doesn't nap during the day any more and, although he is a lot less destructive now, it's still hard to find time to do anything that involves taking my eye off him, as that is when he rediscovers his inner danger mouse, for attention, of course. Luckily he seems to be the only one out of his little group of friends who hasn't hit the terrible twos in a big way, and is always happy and smiley and in a good mood. I do, however, have the fear that the threes will be hideous to compensate though.....

WoollyHooligan Tue 07-Jan-14 13:37:58

Oh and a question for you all: How do you deal with slightly bigger, slightly aggressive kids, when the parents aren't taking any notice? There was a little girl, about 4-5 I think, at the cafe this morning, and she was being quite aggressive towards DS, hitting and pushing him every time he came near where she was playing, trying not to let him on the slide, trying to push him down the slide stairs and I think she even spat at him once, but I can't be sure. If that was DS I would have told him off and explained that everyone can play with the toys etc (he wasn't grabbing toys off her or anything, he was just playing near her, if that makes sense), but her mum was taking no notice at all, so every time it happened I told her that it wasn't nice to hit or kick and that there was room for everyone to play, but I'm so clueless about these things that I don't know if that was right. DS wasn't bothered by it at all, but I don't want him to think that is acceptable behaviour for another child or for him. Normally I would just let him deal with it himself but she was really whacking him and trying to push him down the slide steps etc, so I stepped so he didn't end up hurt.
Was I being over-protective? What do you DO in that sort of situation?! I would have thought it was just common sense, but I'm a bit lost. I know when he's in Kiga he'll have to deal with these things, but I want to teach him how to deal with it as he's a total pushover with other kids as he loves being around them so much and she was quite a bit bigger than him.
(I'm perfectly willing to hear that I dealt with it badly, btw!)

I'd have handled it exactly the way your did Woolly and it usually works. I throw kids out of toddler play areas too :D At a toddler group I'd draw the parent's attention to the behaviour, pretending to be helpful to the parent ... but you never know with total strangers who have managed to bring up a 4 or 5 year old like that - if the child has known SN you'd think they'd be paying attention, and if not you have to wonder what sort of parent they are...

Not pfb to intervene when a 4-5 year old is repeatedly attacking a 2 year old, I am also a believer in letting kids solve their own problems, but that only really applies when they are evenly matched grin or between children who spend reasonable amounts of time together on a regular basis and both of whom are known to you (siblings, friends, KiGa classmates maybe) not strangers, esp when the child is 2.

WoollyHooligan Tue 07-Jan-14 22:05:05

My thoughts exactly, Mr Tumbles. Thank you for Tim reassurance!

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