Monday, April 28, 2014

Some more humor....

My friend posted this blog article on FB and I thought it was soooo funny (and somewhat very truthful!)
It's a guide for us "Ausländer" to become Germans in a few steps!

Hope you enjoy and tschüüüüüüüüüüuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuusssssssss!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Traveling Throughout Germany

Hi guys!

As Germans wait anxiously for summer, many tourists plan their summer trips in and through Germany and here are some tips for those who are planning a visit:

There are many good options to travel around such as trains, bus, planes and taking rides.
If you choose to travel by train, there are a few options: you can travel with the faster train (ICE) which is more expensive but much faster than the normal train and has less stops. If you're not worried about the long trip and want to save some money, the regular train is also a great option.

The bus is also a nice idea and usually also cheaper than the ICE trains. The cheapest option of all is probably hitchhiking with people already driving where you're planning to go. You can find them in many websites and apps here in Germany. Apps such as "bla bla car" or "mitfahrgelegenheit" (the second one charges a percentage of the people giving rides) are a great and safe option. You can read reviews and look for many aspects such as which car they drive, the fastest speed they drive, if they smoke, etc….

If you're looking for a flight great and cheap options are German Wings and Ryan air. Even though they have strict luggage policy and offer no trip luxuries the prices are many times very attractive (sometimes as cheap as 10 euros!).

I hope you enjoy the tips and have a great summer trip!
If you guys have any other tips you can leave them in the comments below! Looking forward to hear from you!!


Friday, April 4, 2014

Some German Facts

Some curious German facts for you today:

-In Germany people go to sauna butt naked!!!!! 
And they don't care if it's a mixed sauna or a separated sauna they will go naked either way. Some cover up with a towel but basically most of them don't care if you see their intimate parts(!!!!).

-Beer is cheaper than water in most bars and restaurants

-Germans ALWAYS follow the rules
It's like they're meant for rules and it's not a bad thing just a very curious thing about Germans...there's no way around anything you either follow the rules or follow the rules.

-You have to pay to use the gas station toilets but you also get credit from it if you want to buy something at the convenience store.
For example: It costs 75cents to use the restroom and then you ger 50 cent credit (not that you can buy much with it but still...)

-Recycling is a reality
You have to recycle here. And everyone does it too! They separate the trash into: paper, plastic, compost and some places metal. There are also big containers to throw your glass bottles and jars in almost every street here. If you don't separate your trash correctly you can get a big fine from the government! 

-You have to hurry up at the supermarket line!!!
The cashiers are mega fast and efficient and people behind you will be upset while you might receive dirty looks if you don't pack right away so basically throw everything into the cart and run out of people's way! 

So now you guys know a little bit more about Germany :)
See you next time!


Some German Humor....

Meanwhile in Germany....someone is drinking beer and/or wearing lederhosen...

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Apartment Hunting


So, as promised, here are some tips on apt hunting for those who are about to arrive or have just arrived:

As I said, the easiest way is speaking German! Unfortunately, many foreigners have a bad reputation in Germany and not all pay rent on time (or at all!), which results in a lot of stress for the apt owner since there are laws that prohibit them to take someone who doesn't pay rent out of the apt.

So renting an apartment is one of the hardest tasks here. If you are coming to study, I would suggest a WG (student apt) because they are cheaper and much easier to rent then a normal apt since you will not have the whole contract under your name. You can find WG offers in most uni announcement boards on and offline. They are usually called "Schwarzes Brett" and are not hard to find.

If you decide you do want to rent your own apt. you probably either need a working German spouse or a good job contract from a known, serious company. If you are looking for an apt and you are not a student nor working at the moment, and intends to live just on savings for the first few months, it is extremely hard to sign a contract under your name, I would say chances are minimal.

I have a friend from India who recently lost his wife and wanted to move to a smaller apt. Even though he has a job contract and his boss was willing to write him a letter stating things like his paycheck amount and etc., he still hasn't been able to find a new place and he has been searching for the past 9 months! Usually, if you're interested in a place, you are probably one of many! So specially in bigger cities, you need to fill out an application with information about yourself and then the apt owner decides who would be the "safest" fill for the apt.

So I guess that's it, however, don't be discouraged! If you're new here have a German friend help you in the hunting, they will also provide you with great insight!

See you next time and I'd love to read your comments!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

First Post!!!!

Hi guys!

So through this blog, I'd like to connect and help people who live in Germany or would like to move/visit here for some reason! I'll post tips, experiences, practical day-to-day things, adaptation struggles and what to expect for those who are planning to come. This is basically a sharing of my experiences as student, professional and most of all a person trying to adapt to a culture that's completely different from mine!

So here's some background information about me:

I am originally from Brazil but have lived and studied in America for 6 years previously to moving here. I moved in here as soon as I finished my Bachelors degree in International Relations and came speaking 0 German (which I definetely don't recommend!!!!). Had I known I would move in here, I would have started learning the language at least 6 months before!

So I guess here is my first tip for those who would like to come: LEARN GERMAN FIRST! The language is exremely hard and for most people it takes years to learn! I've been here for a little longer than 2 years and can still assure that my German is nowhere near perfect! I had the expectation that learning German would be like learning English: easy and fast, and must say I was really wrong! I also thought that using English everywhere would be no problem - many Germans do speak English but you will be at another level and much more respected when you are able to speak German. Plus, only speaking English shrinks your job opportunities very very much!

I've studied German at a language course (VHS- probably the most popular in all Germany) for about 2 years from Monday through Friday and finished at level B2. I can communicate but still make  grammatic mistakes and lack on formal vocabulary.

Next time I post I'll share some tips about renting apts here! Hope to have your feedback!

Bis dann!