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Here’s a sampling of some of the questions I’ve been asked by readers over the years. I picked the ones that I think are most likely to pop into more than just one persons mind, or that were just odd. It was surprising to go back through all the emails and see how many there are!

Favors

I am a student working on a project on expats/Germany.  Can you tell me about your experiences/fill out and/or publicize a survey for me?

Sorry.  I have done this for people in the past and I have not once received a “thank you for your time” in reply. “Thanks in advance” is not really a thank you for taking the time to do this, it means “Please do this for me.”  If you are working on a project and some one takes the time out to help you, sometimes hours of time, you should spend a minute to thank them for their time after the fact.  Unfortunately, all the other people who did not thank me have poisoned the water for you.  I am no longer going to respond to these kinds of emails.  If you send one, I’m going to have to assume you haven’t even bothered to read this.

I am looking for X. I have found no website yet that ships to the US/Germany/my country. Do you know of any websites or stores (I am willing to call) that would ship to the US?

I probably don’t know of a place that ships X to the US, I never order from shops here to ship to the US. You’ll have more luck, I think, if you try contacting the manufacturer of X directly (through their website) and asking.

Can you proofread my book/design my site/critique my 1000+ photos… for free?

I’m a busy gal and can’t afford to give away my goods for free. Plus, none of those things are a specialty of mine, so I’d have to so no. If you want some statistical analysis done, and I have some time on my hands, we can negotiate a price, but other than that…

About Regensburg

Do you know of any English speaking groups meeting in Regensburg?

Check out the Events and Meetups forum at Toytown Germany.

About Germany

Are there World Markets in Germany?

Not that I’m aware of.

I’m moving to Germany and I’ve heard stories, but what is it really like for Asians in Germany?

I wish I could be totally reassuring to you, but it’s probably best that you come to Germany with your eyes wide open. I never felt like a minority in the US. I was just me. I’m very aware now that I am a minority, even when I go back to the US for a visit. Some Germans have issues with minorities, especially in the former East. Some younger Germans explained it to me that some of the older former East German residents see all Asians as refugees from Vietnam and because of this treat them badly. I was sometimes pretty miserable in the east, but have grown to love Germany now that I live in Bavaria.

About Moving to/Visiting Germany

I’m traveling to Germany soon, what should I see?

You will probably first want to search the web or go to your local bookstore or public library and browse through the travel guides for Germany. Find a site or book you like and read it. If, after that, you have specific questions about an area that I’ve lived (Berlin, Rostock, Potsdam, Regensburg), I’ll be happy to try and answer them.

I want to move to Germany. Am I going to have a terrible time with this? Is it feasible?

It really depends on the person. Not knowing you, there is no way I can give you an answer. But if you really want to do it, you probably will do fine. Read some blogs by expats in Germany (there’s mine and there are blogs by other expat on my Links page). That’ll give you an idea of the issues expats face. I am not a legal expert , so I am no help when it comes to knowing if it is feasible for you.

I am traveling with my family for the first time to Germany. Do you know about how one would travel between the airport and the Inn we will be staying at? Is it a easy thing to get a train or taxi from the airport?

It is no problem at all to get a taxi from the airport and there are usually public modes of transportation available as well.

About living in Germany

How can I find an English-speaking mother group in Germany?

Try googling for an “English-speaking parents group [your town]” or “Englischsprachige Eltern-Kind-Gruppe [your town]”. Look for flyers at your pediatrician’s office. Finally, listen for parents speaking English at local playgrounds and don’t be afraid to go up and ask them.

What is brand is Charmin in Germany? What toilet paper will I like?

Charmin is called Zewa here. Whether or not you will like it or any other toilet paper, I can’t say. I’ve never had a problem with toilet paper here. We use recycled toilet paper in our household.

About Me

Why didn’t you reply to my message?

There are a couple options:

  1. My spam filter got it and I haven’t gone through my spam folder yet or I didn’t see it in my quick scan.  Sometimes it’s hard to pick out the 1-2 real emails out of 1000 spams.  Especially if, like one guy who emailed me about a feminine hygiene campaign he wanted me to participate in on my parenting blog, the subject of your email is “Love your vajayjay.” There is no way I could suspect that was not spam.
  2. Between caring for a preschooler and a baby, I just haven’t had a chance – my to-do list could fill a book at this point and just seems to get longer every day.
  3. Your message was a little kooky/crazy/scary.

Do you speak Italian?

Nope, only English and German.

About the blog

I really like your blog and was wondering if you could put a link to mine on your site?

That’s a difficult one, as I can’t link to everyone out there, then my links would be pretty useless. I’m not currently working on the blog, either, so my links are out of date anyways.

  • http://ladyrebecca.wordpress.com Becky Walker

    Just wanted to say thanks for the welcome to Germany. I, too, get bogged down with email (though no where near 60 a day…at least not in my inbox) and am somewhat slow at responding. We are near Wittlich. We actually looked for a car there but the military being as it is, buying a car that has not previously been owned by an American (ie. BMW, Merc, or an American land yacht) involves about three or four trips between location of the seller and the base, we had to keep our search closer to home.

    And I have a question. I ordered some stuff from Ikea.de and I think we are supposed to pay when they deliver it. Is this normal? This is my first time ordering something online from a German company and I’m not really sure what to expect. It all seemed to simple when I started. :)

    That is probably the biggest shock of moving to Germany. I had no idea how many things I took for granted were in fact cultural. I can not imagine ordering something online in the States and paying for it at delivery. It’s just not done that way and it’s a shock to find out that it’s a US thing not a global thing.

    Anyway, thanks and I thoroughly enjoy reading your posts. thank you for sharing your adventures with us.

  • http://www.amiexpat.com Christina G

    Hi Becky! We’ll be spending Christmas in Wittlich. It’s a nice town.

    It’s pretty typical in Germany that you order without first paying. I’ve never heard of paying cash on delivery, although I think it does exist, but it’s normal that you order and with your delivery is a bill that you then have 14 days to pay by bank transfer. Ikea take payment by credit card, but many of the large online retailers do. Also some places want you to make the payment by bank transfer before they ship (sometimes they’ll give a 1% discount for doing this too). That’s also normal. Good luck with your car search, I know that can be tough!

  • http://barongeorg.com Georg

    It is impossible to find an email address for you…I hope that this reaches you.
    As an American here in Wietze germany….. I found no good BBQ sauce….. so I brought my company name over from the states…………made my own sauce……….and now this Starting the 7th of December…will be distributed in Germany….(Europe too). Anyone who likes Jack Danial’s, Bull, etc will like this over any German sauce. Even 9 out of 0 Germans like it. Interested? See what I will bring out in the near future and what the first sauce is. “TEXAS 28” is really good. for 350g it sells for 4.50e plus shipping. Anyone who knows German cruise ships, knows about the MS Europa…. so far they have bought over 200 liters. info@barongeorg.com; subject line should be BBQ sauce.

  • Tom Freund

    Hello,

    I saw your old posting on the Geyer family genealogy. If you are still looking for information on where the records are then please contact me. I had been in contact with Doyle Geyer many years ago when I was reseaching the Freund’s but lost touch.

    Regards,
    Tom Freund
    Austin, TX

  • Marko

    Hallo,

    first, please excuse the errors: german native speaker :-) and only school practice.
    I just felt over your blog while checking the possibilities at weblogawards. (btw, I voted for fivethirtyeight.com and for yours, too!)

    Yes, I voted for your blog, but not to put some pressure to you to eat some tongue. Uhhh! I’m an nearly 40 y.o. german and NEVER ate it. Don’t think I missed something :-) Maybe it’s the bavarian part of life (you know, as a Baden-Württemberger, especially Badener, there are some friendly resentments towards the nice, bearded, leather-trousers-wearing and FC Bayern München-soccer-fan people of the so wonderful and famous last-century-state of bavaria).

    Have you already tried to make some Käsespätzle? Pasta with cheese and onions? Perhaps without onions? Millions of billions of calories, but worth it!

    I’ve also checked out some of the off-the-beaten-paths. It’s a fantastic inside-outside-look, especially Heidelberg (a female Wohngemeinschaft including an ex-schoolmate took me to the Koenigsstuhl and Philosophenweg – it was worth it!)

    Carry on, Christina.

  • http://www.amiexpat.com Christina G

    @Marko: Thanks for the vote, Marko! So far I haven’t tried to make any German dishes (other than cookies), so I’m pretty excited to get started on this challenge. I LOVE Käsespätzle and all the different roasts. I’m a big fan of south German food. My husband is from the Eifel and lived in Heidelberg, so I’ve gotten to enjoy plenty of food from those areas of Germany too. If I could pick someplace to live in Germany, I think it would be Baden-Württemberg, although I am fond of Bavaria too.

  • Grace Ong

    Hi! Great site! Realy enjoy reading it.

    I’m married to a German – his family lives just north of Frankfurt. We have been living in London and there are no plans to go back to Germany. However, it is still a possibility.

    The idea of living in Germany scares me to death. I’m a Malaysian Chinese who has lived in the States and HK. I love my dimsum and roast duck and other Asian food which you can get at your doorstep in London. I also don’t speak German. And I hate it when Germans stare at us in public and make ignorant comments about my race and Asia.

    How did you deal with all this? I try not to let it bother me but sometimes Germans makes my blood boil…

  • http://www.amiexpat.com Christina G

    Hi Grace!

    I don’t know if I just got used to it or the reactions to Asians just aren’t as bad in Bavaria, but I hardly notice any reaction to me anymore. It was hard to deal with in Potsdam though, so it seems to be a very regional thing. Missing good Asian restaurants and dimsum and having all the ingredients for cooking Asian foods is tough. I considered making trips to London just for some good Chinese food when I first came over, but now I’ve learned to cook everything I love myself. That reminds me. Last summer at our yearly street party, I made summer rolls. I think Germans know spring rolls, so I’d see them go to my platter and they’d poke the summer roll, then make a face (one even said, “Egelhaft”). Nobody was eating them, then finally a neighbor asked if they needed to be cooked. I said no, word got around, and everyone tried them. And they loved them. Not sure there was a point to that story, just that Germany isn’t that bad. No need to be afraid 😉

  • Grace Ong

    Lol! Thanks for the story. That is such a classic German behaviour!

    Guess it’s all about adjusting. 😀

  • Stuart Wilson

    I was hoping one of the FAQs might be: “What’s the best Indian restaurant in Regensburg?” but I didn’t find it…anyway, I’ve already made some notes from your site on places to eat out at, so if you have any ideas about Indians as well, be nice to hear them! Cheers, Stuart

  • http://www.amiexpat.com Christina G

    @stuart: I don’t eat a lot of Indian, but I asked around and everyone says Ganesh on Maximilianstrasse is the only place to go. In sort of that direction (foodwise) is the Kurdish restaurant Exil at Weißgerbergraben 14. That’s pretty good too.

  • Stuart Wilson

    That’s lovely,Christina, thanks for the response! A Kurdish meal would certainly be a first for me! Cheers, Stuart.

  • Marilena

    Hello, I have beeing enjoying reading your blog and I have a question about health care in Germany. I know how it works and it seems like for the most part you are pretty happy with the care you receive in Germany. But do you think it is as good as the care you would receive in the States? Americans lately are getting so scared about Obama’s health plan and they think that if the goverment is going to control health care they are all going to be denied services etc. I am definally interested in your opinion.

  • http://www.amiexpat.com Christina Geyer

    @marilena: Thanks for your comment. It has got me thinking that I should do an indepth post on German healthcare. So look for that probably some time next week (I’ve got to do a little research and I’m getting a friend with incurable, but treatable cancer to write up her experience here).

    Short answer though, is that, while the system here isn’t perfect, it is SOOOO much better than in the US. I’ve never been denied treatment, and don’t know anyone who has. The waits for appointments are almost nonexistant. Instead of medicine being a business, it is a profession, if you know what I mean. Doctors are looking to cure you/prevent illness, they’re not looking at the bottom line and what options insurance or you can pay for.

    Here are a couple links to look at:
    NPR.org: Most Patients Happy with German Health Care
    Denialism blog: What is healthcare like in Germany?
    Huffington Post: Universal Health Care and a Small Village in Germany

  • heidi

    hello christina

    no response to my email…i hopefully dont fall under the category of “kooky/crazy/scary” and can comfortably introduce myself this way. have been living in germany since 74, near frankfurt since 75…(risking the possibility of disclosing my age with this one, yikes!). love reading comments and suggestions made, most interesting is how to deal with finding replacements for ingredients needed for recipes! have mastered this quite well myself in all these years and would be glad to help anyone out.

    ran across your blog not long ago and will certainly keep an eye on it. best wishes! …and keep up the good work!

  • heidi

    how could i forget to add that i am AMERICAN? born and raised in good ´ol pennsylvania…