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  1. #1

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    Default Moving to Germany

    Title says it all. I was offered a position in Bavaria for three years with two year options after that and I accepted without much hestitation. This all started a few weeks ago and was supposed to happen pretty quickly but the woman that was handling it took a three week vacation so it's dragged on for a while.

    I and my family are very excited about going over there and being able to travel and soak up some history and experience the different cultures and food. I'll probably be leaving in about 2 1/2 weeks with my family to follow later.

    If anybody has tips, tricks, insight or advice, it's always welcome.

    DJ
    "The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage." Thucydides

  2. #2

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    You WILL LOVE it. I spent 6 1/2 years in Stuttgart. Christmas is extra special in Europe.

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  3. #3

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    that sounds like an incredible opportunity! My buddy got a similar offer from his company to move to England years ago.. he's stayed because he loves it so much. Very cool!

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  4. #4

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    That sounds like an awesome opportunity. Good Luck.
    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy Smith View Post
    WOW!

    That's like working your way through Katie Perry in order to get to Rosie O'Donnell.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by steveinaz View Post
    You WILL LOVE it. I spent 6 1/2 years in Stuttgart. Christmas is extra special in Europe.
    Everybody that I've talked to that has pent time in Germany absolutely loved it, that made me a little more comfortable with this decision.

    Quote Originally Posted by punk-roc View Post
    that sounds like an incredible opportunity! My buddy got a similar offer from his company to move to England years ago.. he's stayed because he loves it so much. Very cool!

    Jason
    I'm hoping we love it that much
    Quote Originally Posted by Joe08867 View Post
    That sounds like an awesome opportunity. Good Luck.
    Thank you!
    "The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage." Thucydides

  6. #6

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    That sounds great. A wonderful experience for you and your family. Have you ever lived abroad before?

    I can't comment on Germany because I've only been in airports there but I've spent significant periods in Greece and China; several years to be exact, in the past. Make sure your kids learn the language it will help them later on.

    And get out among the people..don't spend too much time with the expat community! Though it's good to blow off steam over a couple of vintage German beers with your American peers from time to time.

    cnh

  7. #7

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    I have never even been abroad so this will be a totally new experience. Outside of Canada, Mexico, Bahamas and Jamaica, I've never been outside the country.

    We've already been trying to learn the basics of the language. I'd have to say German is more complicated then French by far. We'll definitely get out and about. Doesn't make much sense to go over there and insulate yourself.
    "The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage." Thucydides

  8. #8

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    You're gonna love it man, congratulations! Their highways/public transportation are simple to use, and true to German "ways" strictly on time. If the bus schedule says the bus arrives at 11:31; at 11:31.15, it's pulling out. Chronically "late" Americans hate it--too bad I say. You only need to know "Abfarht" and "Ankunft" to navigate--"departures (also exit)" and "arrivals."

    Remember, Sunday is "quiet day" in Germany. No washing your car, no loud music, --hey, when in Rome....
    Last edited by steveinaz; 07-13-2011 at 12:55 PM.

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  9. #9

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    If you are into history, architecture and other cultures...you are in for a treat. Having that amount of time will allow you to actually appreciate the culture. Spent my teenage years in U.K. and even though I yearned to be back stateside with baseball/football I still greatly enjoyed everything British and am looking forward to going back...soon, I hope.

    I learned German language in High School, it's not a terribly difficult one to pick up on and will benefit you a lot even though many also speak English there.

    ....and, if you like beer OMG!

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    Beer...there's none better than Duetschland baby. (that spelling doesn't look right)

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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by steveinaz View Post
    You're gonna love it man, congratulations! Their highways/public transportation are simple to use, and true to German "ways" strictly on time. If the bus schedule says the bus arrives at 11:31; at 11:31.15, it's pulling out. Chronically "late" Americans hate it--too bad I say. You only need to know "Abfarht" and "Ankunft" to navigate--"departures (also exit)" and "arrivals."

    Remember, Sunday is "quiet day" in Germany. No washing your car, no loud music, --hey, when in Rome....
    I read that about Sundays in Germany. Forced relaxation... what a burden.
    "The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage." Thucydides

  12. #12

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    Good luck, man! Germany is my homeland but, alas, I've never been able to visit. One day.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by muncybob View Post
    If you are into history, architecture and other cultures...you are in for a treat. Having that amount of time will allow you to actually appreciate the culture. ....and, if you like beer OMG!
    Quote Originally Posted by steveinaz View Post
    Beer...there's none better than Duetschland baby. (that spelling doesn't look right)
    I like good beer but don't drink a lot of it, I have a feeling that might change.

    I am anticipating enjoying the culture a lot. It seems that even in the small towns you can't help but trip over some amazing history and architechture. I also can't wait to eat my way through Italy.
    "The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage." Thucydides

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Disc Jockey View Post
    I read that about Sundays in Germany. Forced relaxation... what a burden.
    Yep, the Polizei will actually come to your apartment and ticket you. Their Museums are incredible, and around practically every corner. Italy is nice, but I preferred Germany. When Christmas comes around, check out your local "Kris Kringle Market" event, you'll feel like you're celebrating Christmas in the 1800's.

    You're in for a life changing event---enjoy the memories and take tons of pictures.
    Last edited by steveinaz; 07-13-2011 at 01:22 PM.

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    Awesome dude! That sounds like a real treat for you and your family. What an opportunity for a cool experience. I've never been to Germany, but have toured some of Europe and long to get back there again. One of my favorite places I've been to. Enjoy!
    ..... ><////(*>

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    I spent 3 months there with the family. Loved it. Wish I could go back. Driving is fun. Be careful of the left lane. Learn some of the basic traffic signs. Lots of stuff to see. Check out ryanair.com for cheap flights in Europe. Things will be different so you may feel uncomfortable at first, but once you get past that and learn how things are done in Germany then you will love it.

    My wife found buying baking products a pain. Also, many foods are different such as: milk, cereals, breakfast foods. Some foods are hard to find, i.e. peanut butter. Germans prefer chocolate for breakfast - Nutella, chocolate croissants (yum).

    I heard getting a driver's license is a little hard. There is a very lengthy exam. That is probably going to be the hardest thing.

    The bed sheets are weird too. They use blankets wrapped in a bed-sheet. And for a queen sized bed there will be two such blankets so there is a breezy middle of the bed.

    If you are into movies and TV then you may go lacking. You may have to find alternate ways of finding movies (Netflix-Europe). Germans love doing stuff outdoors, and there's plenty of site seeing. You may not miss the TV.

    Off the top of my head I think that is it. However, please feel free to ask any specific questions.

  17. #17

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    Congrats. My parents were born in the area- where exactly will you be? Munich, obviously, is the biggest draw. Bavaria in general is also probably the prettiest state in Germany, with a ton of farmland (gotta grow the wheat for the beer somewhere...) and close to the Alps. On a clear day you can see the foothills really well from Munich. The best part of living there is you literally are in the middle of Europe- everyone from the south of France to the north of Sweden are <2 hour plane rides (which can be very cheap!). If you're not sure how long you will end up staying over there, my biggest suggestion is to spend as much free time and cash as you can traveling around, seeing the vastly different cultures and scenery. Also, don't be afraid of eastern europe- some of the prettiest and most cost effective traveling can be done there!

    Germans in that area are also very apt to speak english with you, so if you want to learn German ask them / force yourself to respond in German. Another good tip is to get very used to a cash driven society. No one uses checks, and very few people use credit cards. If anything, people use an EC card (debit card), but by far, be prepared to use actual paper/coins. One of the first things I do when I go over there is switch wallets to one with a coin pouch- the coins add up really quickly so you don't want to lose them to the washing machine.

    In terms of other things to get used to, be prepared for people to be extremely environmentally conscientious. Everything gets recycled, and you will be called out if you don't. Throwing stuff away actually costs money. You are only allowed to curb trash in city-approved bags, which you have to buy (at a premium) from the store (can't just use the big hefty bags!). In addition, you'll have to get used to little to no AC in the summer, and only moderate heat in the winter. People use clothes and fans to regulate their comfort, not a giant HVAC system. Toilets have two flush buttons- big and small, referring to exactly what you think. If you will be paying utilities, you will notice you get charged for water in, and water out, so be careful when you wash dishes, brush teeth, etc.

    My biggest peeve about living over there is the drinking water situation- everyone seems to only drink fizzy water, and it costs $$. When its hot out, dont expect a restaurant to provide endless water, and expect a ,3 liter of water to cost more than a ,5 liter of beer! (not necessarily a bad thing all the time :)). I drink a TON of water all day at home, so it takes getting used to.

    You'll have a great time- congrats.

  18. #18

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    ALthough I won't be living on post I'll have post privileges so I should be able to get baking products, movies, etc at the PX. I still hope to do most of the shopping downtown. I've already started reading the driving manual - that thing is long!

    We do a lot of stuff outdoors here in CO and I expect that that will continue, ao I may not miss tv that much, we'll see. One of the things I'm tring to figure out now is which electronic items are worth it to take and buy a transformer for and which are better left behind.
    Last edited by Disc Jockey; 07-13-2011 at 01:46 PM.
    "The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage." Thucydides

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ace944gs View Post
    Congrats. My parents were born in the area- where exactly will you be? Munich, obviously, is the biggest draw. Bavaria in general is also probably the prettiest state in Germany, with a ton of farmland (gotta grow the wheat for the beer somewhere...) and close to the Alps. On a clear day you can see the foothills really well from Munich. The best part of living there is you literally are in the middle of Europe- everyone from the south of France to the north of Sweden are <2 hour plane rides (which can be very cheap!). If you're not sure how long you will end up staying over there, my biggest suggestion is to spend as much free time and cash as you can traveling around, seeing the vastly different cultures and scenery. Also, don't be afraid of eastern europe- some of the prettiest and most cost effective traveling can be done there!

    Germans in that area are also very apt to speak english with you, so if you want to learn German ask them / force yourself to respond in German. Another good tip is to get very used to a cash driven society. No one uses checks, and very few people use credit cards. If anything, people use an EC card (debit card), but by far, be prepared to use actual paper/coins. One of the first things I do when I go over there is switch wallets to one with a coin pouch- the coins add up really quickly so you don't want to lose them to the washing machine.

    In terms of other things to get used to, be prepared for people to be extremely environmentally conscientious. Everything gets recycled, and you will be called out if you don't. Throwing stuff away actually costs money. You are only allowed to curb trash in city-approved bags, which you have to buy (at a premium) from the store (can't just use the big hefty bags!). In addition, you'll have to get used to little to no AC in the summer, and only moderate heat in the winter. People use clothes and fans to regulate their comfort, not a giant HVAC system. Toilets have two flush buttons- big and small, referring to exactly what you think. If you will be paying utilities, you will notice you get charged for water in, and water out, so be careful when you wash dishes, brush teeth, etc.

    My biggest peeve about living over there is the drinking water situation- everyone seems to only drink fizzy water, and it costs $$. When its hot out, dont expect a restaurant to provide endless water, and expect a ,3 liter of water to cost more than a ,5 liter of beer! (not necessarily a bad thing all the time :)). I drink a TON of water all day at home, so it takes getting used to.

    You'll have a great time- congrats.

    I will be in the Vilseck area. Not sure if I'm going to try and find someplace there to live (close to work) or in Amberg which is a little bigger. I didn't know that about the drinking water, we drink a lot of water also, so that will take some getting used to.

    Where I live now, I have expensive water, heat, and septic so we're pretty used to conserving. Looks like pretty good training. Good tip about the wallet, mine is not designed to hold much cash, let alone coins.

    We'll be only 1.5 hours from Prague so I expect we'll spend a lot of time there.
    "The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage." Thucydides

  20. #20

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    Congrats, so much to do and see over there. Stay out of trouble!!! German women are gorgeous.
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  21. #21

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    Thanks, I'll do my best.
    "The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage." Thucydides

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    Congrats!

    I spent a couple of weeks in Germany many years ago.. Not long after the wall came down.. One of these days I'll go back and see how much has changed since then.

    Good food and beer, fun people and lots of history. This is something your kids will never forget and likely be thankful for when they get older.

  23. #23

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    After a little reluctance my daughter became very enthusiastic about the move. She's just going into junior high so it was going to be a big change for her one way or the other. At this age, I think she is going to get a lot out of it and have memories and experiences that will last a lifetime.
    "The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage." Thucydides

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    I spent 3 years there in the service living on the economy (off base). Awesome country for traveling, scenery, food, beer and, for the most part, the people. Not sure I'd want to be there longer than 3 years but YMMV.
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  25. #25

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    Buy all the small things now before you leave. You'll be hurting for the smaller things, so pack a grill, other things you can use. You'll be surprised how much things cost overseas.
    Shoot the jumper.....................BALLIN.............!!!! !

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  26. #26

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    I was offered a position in Bavaria
    I hope you like pork.

    Great country, I'm sure you'll love it.

    Oh yeah, the Christmas time marzipan is to die for.
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  27. #27

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    Congrats
    engtaz

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  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sherardp View Post
    Buy all the small things now before you leave. You'll be hurting for the smaller things, so pack a grill, other things you can use. You'll be surprised how much things cost overseas.
    The grill is definitely going. We're trying to get stocked up on some stuff. I'm getting a decent raise out of the move so I hope it's enought to offset some of the cost of living there.

    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    I hope you like pork.

    Great country, I'm sure you'll love it.

    Oh yeah, the Christmas time marzipan is to die for.
    I've got no problem with pork. You and Steve both mentioned the Christmas thing, it must be pretty special.
    "The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage." Thucydides

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