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Wind, Obst, Wein und Spaß - living in Germany and Austria: the autumn edition

(578 Posts)
LinzerTorte Tue 16-Sep-14 07:35:29

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 (particularly as the previous thread has been so quiet recently). smile

The thread title comes from this song btw - they're not the first four autumnal German words that popped into my head. (It could have been worse; I did briefly consider "Nüsse auf den Teller, Birnen in den Keller".) grin

MrsNutella Tue 16-Sep-14 09:33:14

Thanks for the new thread Linzer DS is driving me nuts so I'm ignoring him for a few minutes.
He has a cold and keeps sort of blowing the snot out of his nose. Then he gets upset about being covered in snot and then he gets even more upset when I start to approach him with a tissue...

He is extra fun when he is poorly hmm

Fortunately DD is sleeping! Hurrah!

doradoo Tue 16-Sep-14 09:34:36

Good morning all!

Yes - gearing up for hols - there have been Kurbisfest etc going on here - full on autumn, we're bastelling our St Martin's lanterns in a couple of weeks too!

We're off to the UK for the half term to stock up on all the christmas bits we need from there - I hope it's hit the shops in the UK as it already has here - stollen & lebekuchen anyone grin

suenanlostamboresdelarebelion Tue 16-Sep-14 10:15:20

Hello all!!!

Thanks linzer for the new thread. Have you forgotten the holidays too? It's amazing how busy it all suddenly gets.

mrsnutella hope ds gets better soon. I know you are not going to like me for saying this, but learning how to blow his nose is very clever and useful. Admittingly, holding a tissue while doing so would be best smile DS couldn't do it until he was about 6 - most bizarre. How is life with 2? Do tell us more about babies and toddlers.

doradoo ah, St Martin's lanterns brings back memories. Trying to find the rose-tinted glasses, until I find them, I can't say I miss it much. There was Christmas food in the shops here in August. Two years ago, my colleagues and I started on the Hofer (had to be Hofer) Lebkuchen in August, and munched our way through packets of them, all the way to December. I still have the round plastic containers (and use them to take gesunde Jause into school), but I haven't been able to eat any since!

outer hello! I remember you too smile. Glad to hear dd is doing well, sorry to hear about ex-H. Yes, working and childcare is hard to juggle. Does your work (I know what you do, but don't want to put too many details here) make it easier to take time off, when not at work, iyswim? I worked out the dc have about 14-15 weeks holiday a year, and I have 5 weeks. hmmmm.

wooly does ds enjoy kindergarten? you do sound very organised with the baby stuff. Are you feeling fit and fine?

Also third week back here. Every September feels like an armed robbery, the dc and the schools being the baddies. Money for school stuff and more money for school stuff. I hope it slows down now, though have to go and get a recorder for ds - he's 7 and starting the recorder, I may need to get some ear plugs while I am out there. But it is taught at school in the afternoon, is cheap and it taught the girls how to read music. And just remembered some non-marking sorts shoes for dd2. dd1 has done her own shopping online, I then checked, deleted half the items and ordered.

outer Tue 16-Sep-14 14:56:27

sue I am definitely lucky to get the time off that I do, and my work is flexible as far as the odd emergency appointment or day of illness is concerned. I try very hard to keep them sweet as with the lack of anyone else around to share the burden, all the sickness, doctors appts etc fall to me!

I have also changed my role slightly so I have less responsibility and am less missed when I'm not there. It seems to be working well.

It's t-shirt weather here! Don't know where the rest of you are but it's been lovely here for ages smile

LinzerTorte Tue 16-Sep-14 16:07:38

suenan DH heard recently that the average spend per child per school year is something like €300, which I can well believe. Ever since the DC went back, it seems like every day at least one of them comes home with a request for money for a trip/arts & crafts materials/magazine/Schulmilch etc etc etc. And that's before all the stationery. Where did DD1 do her shopping? My Hofer stockpile is still coming in useful but despite having approx. 68 different types of exercise book, there always seems to be something that I need to go out and buy (unfortunately Hofer only sells vocab. books with two columns, not three).

dora Am very glad that we never had to bastel lanterns here; the KiGa took care of all that in the mornings with the children, same with Fasching costumes. Despite all the bastelling that goes on here, I feel that I've got off quite lightly when I see pictures on FB of projects that parents in the UK have had to do with their DC, costumes for World Book Day, etc.

Nutella Great news on DD's sleeping, but boo to colds - hope DS is feeling better soon.

Outer T-shirt weather? shock envy

Had another of those "only in Austria" moments a few days ago when DH, looking rather shocked, pointed out the following question that DD1 had to do for her maths homework: "Three children in the class are dark-skinned. What percentage of the class is this?" shock Would this kind of question have even been acceptable in Britain in the 1950s where Austria seems to be stuck in many ways?

HeinousPieTrap Wed 17-Sep-14 13:13:11

hello everyone! Lovely new thread smile

Hold on to that jaw Linzer we're t shirt weather here too, it's sunny all week. Just right for the deluge to come on the class picnic on Saturday hmm

Suenan there's been a robbery here too! We also moved at the end of August, so we are scrabbling as best we can til payday. So much stationery, Klassenkassen, instrument hire… hoping October will be quieter too.

But the good news is both DDs have settled well into their new schools, in fact are very enthusiastic (even about the school dinners!)

Hello outer I've not been on this thread long enough to remember you, but very sorry to hear you've been having such a bad time with your ex, must be so stressful.

MrsNutella Wed 17-Sep-14 14:28:27

Heinous I think I just about know who is who and I've been lingering around the Germany threads for two years!shock smile

Blimey, would it be wrong to save up the monies in DS's piggy bank for his school supplies?wink

Speaking of the devil, DS is awake and has been for a few mins while I have been MNing. Better get him up.

MrsNutella Wed 17-Sep-14 14:50:27

Oh and it's T-Shirt weather here too today. It's lovely! But DS was a bit overdressed shock although it wasn't actually my fault. He insisted on wearing a jacket that was too warm for the weather.

outer Wed 17-Sep-14 20:03:48

27 degrees here today! However it's a bit chilly in the morning for dd on the back on the bike as we cycle to the cm, so I tend to put a couple of layers on her.

I picked her up in said 27 degree heat and she still had her socks and vest on, she was roasting! What is it with German ladies of a certain age and body temperature regulation? My cm is convinced of the benefits of vests and cardis even in the hottest weather.... With me she'd had been running about in just a t shirt and leggings.

I was almost knocked off my bike today by someone who pulled out without looking. With dd on the back.

I'm sure it was the shock but I ripped a strip off the guy. He had the audacity to argue back at me so I ended up completely having a go at him. I was so cross that my German came out as a completely fluent invective. I was quite proud of myself (and shaking like a leaf when I got home at what could have happened).

suenanlostamboresdelarebelion Thu 18-Sep-14 12:09:00

oh outer glad nothing happened. I can't believe the guy argued back. But well done on fluent German - it is there, you just have to lose your inhibitions! Hope the new role allows you the flexibility you need to look after dd.

27 degrees? wow! Well at least the sun is shining here. Sounds like your ds is turning out to be a true German mrsnutella. Did he wear his cotton scarf and hat too? Yes, start saving now! It's more expensive than sending them to college in the US smile.

heinous so glad that the girls have settled. What do they get for school dinners? Mine complain that the mashed potatoes that I make (from scratch) don't taste as nice as the ones from the Hort, out of a packet. Talking of out of packets - are you unpacked? How are you finding your new home- you moved to Berlin, didn't you or have I got sieve brain syndrome?

linzer I can well believe that figure. Sorry to confuse, dd1 did her clothes for winter shopping online, not school stuff. Every autumn seems to require another round of shopping, as they have grown out of so much stuff, it all adds to the expense. I was thinking about the dark-skinned question, I bet they wouldn't even get it if you raised your objection.

I am having some customer related struggles here. First, the kettle. We splashed out on one where the temperature can be regulated (good for making hot water bottles and green tea), the battery on it ran out. I have been to 3 shops but they didn't have it,and in the end had to order a replacement battery from another shop. Said it would be with them at the end of last week, still no sign. Do they not understand that a (half) Brit cannot live without a kettle? Second, the shower. The shower tray is cracked and needs to be replaced . The first quote was too high for the landlady so she told us to get a second one. Guys from second place came round last week, still no quote. Do they not understand that a (half) Spaniard can't live without a shower? Third, the landlady and the security key. We need an extra key so that dd2 can let herself in after school. I emailed the landlady in August to ask for one (she needs to authorise it and send a special security card so that a key can be cut), she said it would have to be in September, I reminded her in September and she sent an email to the locksmith authorising an extra copy. I chased up last week with the locksmith and he said he hadn't received the security card yet. FFS! Thing is, I could kick that door down, it's so flimsy. And two locksmiths have told me they could cut me a key without the security card. What is the blinking point of it then?

I am tempted to put all of the above into the "only in Austria" box. I may be wrong.

Sorry, massive ramble blush. Just ignore and enjoy the good weather!

HeinousPieTrap Thu 18-Sep-14 14:29:56

I'm not sure what the actual temperature is tbh but it's lovely! I was out for a run earlier and sweating like a Schweinchen, and a lady ran past me the other way wearing a fleece! shock With shorts, but even so shock Mind you, round here lots of people don't wear anything at all (more shock but i'm getting used to it. Hoorah for FKK and letting it all hang out!!)

suenan that all sounds very frustrating. More shock at lack of kettle, I'd also hate no shower, despite not being even a bit Spanish wink Key thing sounds really stupid. I got one to our building cut for DD1, no card issue but was amazed how much it cost (it was in some way rare and special it seems. Bloody solid gold I reckon!).

outer that sounds like a nasty experience, how horrid. But well done on being cross in German! I'd have probably managed Arschloch and a stinkefinger wink not much else. I'm finding we have to be really really careful here because people park right up to and around junctions, so all that stuff you tell your kids about not crossing between parked cars is useless - you'd never get across a road if you obeyed that rule! For the shorter people it's particularly bad.

But apart from that, yes we're settling in pretty well I think - nearly a month here now. The flat's really nice, so pleased how well that turned out (cos it's such a big gamble isn't it, doing all the choosing in one hurried day with a pile of Schufas and recommendations?). School lunches are of the hearty German variety (though yesterday DD2 told me they had raw carrot for pudding. Odd, but she's not a very reliable witness!). And yes we are unpacked <expects large round of applause>, missing a few things but will have to wait til October to replace them!!

LinzerTorte Thu 18-Sep-14 17:02:03

Heinous Glad to hear you're all settling in well. Raw carrot for pudding sounds interesting! The DC used to have a sweet main course at KiGa about once a week, which I was always a bit hmm about - but that's Austrians for you, I suppose. Apricot dumplings was one of my MIL's stock dinners for a while, but not any more thank goodness; we get Eiernockerl every time we visit now.

suenan That's even more impressive (I think!) that your DD is doing her clothes shopping online. I think I probably need to double that figure btw; today DD1 came home with the following requests: €19 for a Topic Heft (whatever that is), €7.20 for RE and a "Happy 2,- Euro". confused
Sorry to hear about all your struggles; I think you're right about Austrians not understanding the necessity of having a kettle. As to the problems with your landlady, would it cheer you up to hear that we never had any problems with our landlord until he went bankrupt (taking our deposit with him)? hmm

outer How awful - but well done for having a (well-deserved) go at him. I often want to shout at drivers who don't stop at zebra crossings when we've already stepped onto them (or alternatively, get my phone out and take a photo of their registration plate grin).

Nutella shock at your DS being overdressed; he must already be picking up German traits! My DC have sometimes insisted on wearing hats in what I consider to be very mild weather; it must be either peer pressure or their Austrian genes. grin

I had a morning off work today as the Internet was down until about an hour ago. Luckily I didn't have any deadlines to meet, but it will probably mean catching up over the weekend. On a more positive note, we've been enjoying almost T-shirt weather here too - and it's forecast to get even warmer. shock grin

MrsNutella Thu 18-Sep-14 20:43:55

linzer it was cold when we left the house and I did worry DD was underdressed. Poor little newborn tiny that she is. And DS likes to get wet he pretty much swam in a puddle the other week, soaked to the skin he was oh and I had a towel and change of clothes with me, except for socks, but he insisted on being barefoot so... It's swings and roundabouts really.

MrsNutella Thu 18-Sep-14 20:49:24

Oh and shockshockshock at the cost of school!

And outer well done you! I struggle to respond in German promptly and it really makes me so annoyed. I was told off for cycling the wrong way in a one way street. There was a little sign explicitly allowing it, I calmly told the man he needed to read the signs. I was pleased I kept my cool actually.

lilacmamacat Thu 18-Sep-14 20:56:17

Hello, just moving over from old thread.

Yes, linzer DP is the main breadwinner at the moment and has a long day, so speaking German mostly happens at bedtime and the weekends. If we're still in Ireland next sept and can afford it, the plan is for DS to go to the German school in Dublin (although apparently not as 'german' as the german schools in other countries) hmm.

Having been thoroughly indoctrinated by DP wink that Bavarians are utterly, loopily conservative, you all make Austria sound even crazier.

Nutella when did your son start blowing snot out? I'm trying to teach DS (3.5yo) to blow his nose because all he does is sniff. Continually. <looks for smiley of gritted teeth>

MrsNutella Thu 18-Sep-14 22:23:25

lilac I hate sniffing!! Arghhhh!! That would bug me. Ummm he kind of learnt from watching DH blow his nose loudly he would grab a tissue and sort of blow into it although not ver effectively. But he does seem to be getting better at understanding the tissue and blow as a combination. He is 20 months old.

AmblingAlong Fri 19-Sep-14 11:25:11

Outer, how awful for you but well done on being able to stick up for yourself in German. I usually start ranting in English if something like that happens just because I have to get it out to calm me down.

Thanks for birthday wishes on fb Linzer and sue! I'll be celebrating on Sunday as too much going on today plus dh is away in Holland.

For school so far we've had to pay 140€ for ds's text books, around 90€ just to borrow the school books from the library for dd and then all the note books and folders - Nutella start saving! Although you could move to a Bundesland where the books are free, was just speaking to a friend in Baden Wurttemberg (can't spell it properly) and all their school books are provided, even most of the exercise books!

LinzerTorte Fri 19-Sep-14 12:21:03

Ambling Happy birthday (again!) - FB informed me both yesterday and then again today confused that it was your birthday, but I assume from your post that it is actually today. Hope you have a good time celebrating on Sunday, anyway!
Wow, €90 is a lot just to borrow school books. We have them provided here for free and the DC can keep them at the end of the year, which must be a huge expense - no wonder our taxes aren't exactly low. hmm

lilac Friends (well, more acquaintances really) have just got back from a couple of years in Dublin and their DC went to the German school there so are able to slot back into the system here fairly easily, although I don't know too much about the school otherwise.
I think Bavarians and Austrians are quite similar in a lot of ways and I struggle to tell the accents apart at times.

Nutella Your DS was soaked to the skin and insisted on going barefoot? Are you sure he hasn't developed pneumonia? wink

It's pancake today here today - as it is every Friday. hmm I seem to have got into the Austrian mindset that a pancake with jam is a perfectably acceptable meal on a fairly regular basis - or at least the DC have persuaded me that it is. I'm a little more relaxed about them having sweet things now (I would have gone mad here otherwise), but why does it have to be such a time-consuming meal to cook? Must get the DC to take over more of the cooking...

FrauEnglischLehrerin Fri 19-Sep-14 13:09:38

Happy birthday, Ambling!

Thanks for new thread, linzer. I have been periodically checking living overseas for signs of life, but keeping up with my antenatal thread takes all of my MNing time and more.

suenan your rant made me giggle (with sympathy, of course)! I could cooe without a kettle for a few days if I had to, but not without a shower. Hope both are fixed soon.

heinous and outer yes, lovely and warm here too. Mind you, I'm finding anything over about 13 deg t-shirt temperature atm. I witnessed a member of staff trying to persuade a 3 yo girl to put a jacket on kiga yesterday afternoon - lots of "your mummy won't be happy if you get ill now, will she?". Poor kid escaped outside only to be chased down by another member of staff with the jacket she'd rejected. Can you really catch a cold when it's 20 deg?

woolly I'm also totally in denial about how my life is about to change. Dd is at such a great age (5.5). She says loads of funny things, asks questions that require thoughtful answers (ok, this isn't always welcome), plays or reads for ages on her own, delights in doing stuff independently, goes to kiga without complaining, can be left with the neighbours, etc. I can't believe I'm about to go back to being woken repeatedly at night, being glued to the sofa for endless bf sessions, having to walk around the room with aching arms bouncing a baby and singing and not having the energy to feed myself properly hmm. I know, it's all worth it and in only 5 years ds will be where dd is now, but still, eek!

Big wave to everyone else. smile

MrsNutella Fri 19-Sep-14 13:30:27

Happy birthday Ambling!! thanks

FrauE a 5 year gap sounds great right now wink ooohhh more new babies.

Linzer he wasn't soaked and barefoot, please what kind of mother do you think I am? Just because I let my son swim in a puddle.... grin

He was soaked so I stripped him off, dried him, put him in clean dry clothes and then he was barefoot. Oh and there was a kindergarten who decided to play in the park and the teaching people kept looking worryingly at DS and the stuff I let him climb.

Seriously it's a wonder that DS is still alive. Let alone not seriously ill from all the germs that have used the opportunity of his bare feet to hitch a ride.

Yes. There may be some sarcasm in this post. smile

FrauEnglischLehrerin Fri 19-Sep-14 15:31:41

Oh yes, mrs nutella i don't envy you having to look after a 20 month old as well as a newborn. I just don't envy anyone having to look after a newborn at all (ok, maybe one of those mythical ones that sleeps all night) wink.

HeinousPieTrap Fri 19-Sep-14 17:08:14

Happy birthday Ambling! Hope you have a lovely day on Sunday (and today too of course!!) We moved from BW to Berlin, and yes it is a shock to pay for the text books… but we did pay for the girls' exercise books at our Grundschule. Even more of a shock after paying for precisely nothing at the English school. We didn't know how lucky we were! But, I think a lot of things about the German schools they've been at are better than the English school, so I'm philosophical. Well, at the end of the month I might be a bit more philosophical!!

Lilac funnily enough I knew a alumnus of that school - I did a masters in Dublin and he was on it too. He certainly had no problems conversing with the Austrian guy on our course. Though it would have all been a good while ago now. If we'd stayed in Dub (DD1 was born there), we would have wanted her there. Other advantages re religion too.

MrsNutella well done on keeping your young Bear Grylls (sp?) alive and well there with his reckless puddle-lovin' lifestyle wink

I thought of you all this morning when I saw one of DD2's little friends coming into school in a big coat and hat. It's been freezing here obviously, in that over 20 degree sort of a way wink

TFIF!! Hope you all have a good weekend!

MrsNutella Fri 19-Sep-14 20:01:54

Ahhh Heinous the need for hats hmm it is a very strange thing.
At the international playgroup there a couple of Germans and I'll own up and say that last year I did gossip with a good friend point out that the only kid wearing a hat in about 25 degree sun was the son of the German mummy.

And someone else called DS bear grylls the other day too confused he has started to climb shelves and has figured out he can use the handles on the drawers in the kitchen to stand on

MrsNutella Fri 19-Sep-14 20:03:24

Oops DD made me post too soon...

He stands on the handle of the bottom drawer and can look over the work surface hmm

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