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[Germany]life

Arjunkumar Shastry
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Joined: Feb 28, 2005
Posts: 986
I will be in Berlin for three months.I have few questions.
1)Is daily life very difficult if you don't know German?I wanted to learn but time is too short.!!
2)How is food etc?(My non-vegeterian food is limited to lamb,chicken,goat and fish)
3)How much 2 BHK for rent costs in/around Berlin?


Namma Suvarna Karnataka
Ulf Dittmer
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Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 39547
    
  27
You can generally get by with English in cafes, restaurants, bars and shops. In most business settings it should be fine, too.

Being a large city, and the capital (and a huge tourist destination), Berlin is an international place, where you can find markets and restaurants that cover just about every culinary taste. You should have no problems finding whatever suits you.

I'm not sure what a "BHK" is, but housing is plentyful, and quite cheap compared with other big German cities. There's also extensive public transportation, so you don't necessarily need a car.
[ June 08, 2007: Message edited by: Ulf Dittmer ]

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R K Singh
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Joined: Oct 15, 2001
Posts: 5370
Originally posted by Ulf Dittmer:
I'm not sure what a "BHK" is,


BHK => Bedroom, Hall, Kitchen


"Thanks to Indian media who has over the period of time swiped out intellectual taste from mass Indian population." - Chetan Parekh
Barry Gaunt
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Joined: Aug 03, 2002
Posts: 7729
BHK also known as BOK. "Basic 'ousing Kosts"


Ask a Meaningful Question and HowToAskQuestionsOnJavaRanch
Getting someone to think and try something out is much more useful than just telling them the answer.
Deepak Bala
Bartender

Joined: Feb 24, 2006
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    5

BHK also known as BOK. "Basic 'ousing Kosts"


yay ! you got 8k


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Chetan Parekh
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Joined: Sep 16, 2004
Posts: 3636
Arjun, see if you can visit Oktober Fest.


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Arjunkumar Shastry
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Joined: Feb 28, 2005
Posts: 986
thanks.I will try.
Bhiku Mhatre
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Joined: Apr 08, 2002
Posts: 127
1) Lack of German language skills :
Generally should not be issue in big German cities even though in average grocery supermarkets(Aldi,penny,rewe,lidl), you are likely to encounter staff who can not speak in English. Ones(kaufhof, karstadt) with English speaking staff,tend to be pricey. Carrying a small pocket dictionary will help.

2) Your non-veg option is very limited.
Germany is pork eating society. "Authentic" German restaurant do not offer much other than Pork and Beef cuisines. If you are offered a business-lunch/dinner, express your love for Italian/spanish food pre-emptively.

3) Coming from India, expect Sundays to be very dull and boring as All the shopping malls/supermarkets are closed. They have had extremely restrictive shopping hours,though off late, the country has adopted modernity.

4) Public transport is one of the best in world.

5) If you are single and ready to mingle or even otherwise- , you can enjoy Berlin love parade usually organized in July.


The difference between winner and loser is making things happen and letting things happen.
Ulf Dittmer
Marshal

Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 39547
    
  27
Originally posted by Bhiku Mhatre:

Germany is pork eating society.
In the sense that you can get pork, yes. In the sense that you have trouble getting anything else, absolutely not. Also, thankfully, "authentic German restaurants" are few and far in between.

3) expect Sundays to be very dull and boring as All the shopping malls/supermarkets are closed.
Even though shopping may not be possible, many exciting and interesting things are possible on Sundays, so dullness would only exist if nothing but shopping is contemplated.

5) you can enjoy Berlin love parade usually organized in July.
The Love Parade ceased to exist a couple of years ago.
[ June 11, 2007: Message edited by: Ulf Dittmer ]
Bhiku Mhatre
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Joined: Apr 08, 2002
Posts: 127
Originally posted by Ulf Dittmer:
Originally posted by Bhiku Mhatre:


[qb]In the sense that you can get pork, yes. In the sense that you have trouble getting anything else, absolutely not. Also, thankfully, "authentic German restaurants" are few and far in between.

Admittedly, the Authentic restaurant are few and far in between.
However, that does not conceal the fact that menu card of company(not just my company) canteen, is 70% pork meat. Rest 30% choice is divided among other type of meat and veggie food. But,yes, in general, other kinda meat is available.

Even though shopping may not be possible, many exciting and interesting things are possible on Sundays, so dullness would only exist if nothing but shopping is contemplated.
There are activities for the residents and for short term tourists. However, 3 months stay is neither of them. My opinion about "Sunday dulklness" is resonance of accumulated opinion of many foreigners of diverse nationalities.


5) you can enjoy Berlin love parade usually organized in July.
The Love Parade ceased to exist a couple of years ago.


Sad to know this (:-
R K Singh
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Joined: Oct 15, 2001
Posts: 5370
Though I was in small town. Its true that Sundays were a bit boring.

And the TV we had there we were getting all channels in Germany except CNN so it was more boring.

But good thing about that city was that I did not see any police patroling at all.
Axel Janssen
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 08, 2001
Posts: 2164
Hi,

if I am looking for a flat in a german city for a time, I use this site. http://www.studenten-wg.de/ (there are more). You find there offers of people who don't need theirs for a certain period of time and try to rent it. Its with furniture and everything. Its difficult though possible without knowing german, but I think impossible to try that from India. (select Wohnungs-Angebote in first box and Berlin in second box). At least you'll get an idea about prices at the market. Most prices there are per-month.

Berlin is very different from small city. There are plenty of indian restaurants of the 3 categories which exist here (a) more fast food oriented, b) quality and more expensive or c) vegetarian individualist style). Currently in my neighbourhood in Koeln there appears to open a new indian or thai restaurant each week. Most supermarkets are cheap. Best is Kaufland (huge offer, cheap & quality).
My sister lives there and I visit her sometimes.
Case you enjoy cultural/arts events, there is plenty going on there. Maybe you can get some schedule from tourist office. It can be really interesting.
Museumswise I find Pergamon-Museum (my forefathers have stolen whole historical ruins from Turkey) and Checkpoint Charly (about time of Berlin Wall) most atracting.
There is lots of nightlife (no closing time). In summer the lakes are not bad, but don't go Wannsee as its too crowded. You won't have the time, but there is a nice lake region 200 km to the north (Mecklenburger Seenplatte).
Berlin has an unemployment rate of 20%. For german standards they are quite poor on average. Otherwise I find them relaxed. For example, in summer its common to see some natives who installed their desk and some chairs on the sidewalk having breakfast on the street. On the other hand they can have their very specific way of being unfriendly. One time I wanted to buy some baps (small bread) in a backery, which is called Broettchen in german, but Schrippen in Berlin dialect and they understand both.
Me: 8 Broettchen, please.
Salesgirl: We don't have that.
Me (pointing at the Broettchen): I would enjoy to buy 8 of those.
Salesgirl (angry): And why don't you tell at first that you want 8 Schrippen.
Others reported similar encounters.
Its safe except some quaters in the outskirts. Better don't leave public transport there.


Have a nice stay

Axel

[ June 12, 2007: Message edited by: Axel Janssen ]

[ June 12, 2007: Message edited by: Axel Janssen ]
[ June 12, 2007: Message edited by: Axel Janssen ]
Ulf Dittmer
Marshal

Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 39547
    
  27
Originally posted by R K Singh:
But good thing about that city was that I did not see any police patroling at all.

I assume that's good because you wanted to do unlawful things?
Arjun Shastry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 13, 2003
Posts: 1871
Which laptop(notebook) brand is popular in Germany?How is MSI laptop?Any local German local brand popular?


MH
Marc Peabody
pie sneak
Sheriff

Joined: Feb 05, 2003
Posts: 4727

Originally posted by Ulf Dittmer:
[qb]Germany is pork eating society.
In the sense that you can get pork, yes. In the sense that you have trouble getting anything else, absolutely not. Also, thankfully, "authentic German restaurants" are few and far in between.[/QB]

That depends. When I was there on a concert tour we stayed with host families, so nearly every meal was prepared for us. I couldn't eat processed pork again for a couple years after that because I got so sick of it. Pork three times a day is a little much, especially since I wasn't a big pork eater to begin with.

Tonic/seltzer (carbonated) water was very commonly served as well, which most of us didn't care for either. Every once in a while we'd get this stuff called Toucan which was a lot like a Sprite or 7Up - mmmmm. Sometimes there would be juice on the table which we would mix with the seltzer to give it some flavor.

I also stuck myself with a plate full of saurkraut thinking it was coleslaw on two separate occassions. Bleck!

Most of my problems you probably won't have, as I imagine you'll have the freedom to go and eat as you please.

I highly recommend visiting bakeries frequently for yummy deserts, fresh breads, and pastries! Also, if you like granola, it is very common in many shops (and of all kinds - many are loaded with nuts), so that could be a good veggie option for a few morning meals. And there's always plenty of chocolate!


A good workman is known by his tools.
Marc Peabody
pie sneak
Sheriff

Joined: Feb 05, 2003
Posts: 4727

Originally posted by R K Singh:
And the TV we had there we were getting all channels in Germany except CNN so it was more boring.

Did I read this correctly? CNN is the only channel you find not boring!?!
Ulf Dittmer
Marshal

Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 39547
    
  27
Originally posted by Marc Peabody:
Did I read this correctly? CNN is the only channel you find not boring!?!


Well, CNN is the only English language channel you'll get (unless you have cable), so if your grasp of German is shaky, then that's really the only option. Nowadays, there's also BBC World Service.
Marc Peabody
pie sneak
Sheriff

Joined: Feb 05, 2003
Posts: 4727

Originally posted by Ulf Dittmer:
Well, CNN is the only English language channel you'll get (unless you have cable), so if your grasp of German is shaky, then that's really the only option. Nowadays, there's also BBC World Service.

Interesting. I didn't get to watch much TV. One night I turned it on and could only get a few channels. Some people were having sex on the first channel - not something you'd see on US network TV. The other channels I don't remember what they were because the first channel shocked me so much.

One other night the family I was staying with was excited to watch a James Bond film on TV. I think it was Moonraker. I'm not a big Bond fan myself, and since German voices replaced the normal ones it made it all the more boring. Unfortunately, they hadn't shown me my room yet for the night and I fell asleep on the couch shortly into the movie. When the movie finished, I guess they all sat there and watched me, not knowing what to do with me.
Ulf Dittmer
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Joined: Mar 22, 2005
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  27
Yes, James Bond is huge in Germany. The first time each movie is shown on network TV is a big event. For me, There Can Only Be One Bond, and that's Sean Connery, so I had tuned out the series by the time Moonraker came along.

Another strange phenomenon is that David Hasselhoff is a huge hit amongst girls (who don't understand a word he sings - maybe that explains it).

And yes, there's not much difference between what network TV and cable TV will show. There's some discretion early in the evening, but after 10pm most things are fair game.
[ September 03, 2007: Message edited by: Ulf Dittmer ]
Max Habibi
town drunk
( and author)
Sheriff

Joined: Jun 27, 2002
Posts: 4118
Originally posted by Ulf Dittmer:
For me, There Can Only Be One Bond, and that's Sean Connery


Really? I thought the Daniel Craig movie was really, really good. Did you see it? Thoughts?


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Ulf Dittmer
Marshal

Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 39547
    
  27
Originally posted by Max Habibi:
Really? I thought the Daniel Craig movie was really, really good. Did you see it? Thoughts?


No, I didn't. I might have seen the first one or two starring Roger Moore (although I don't remember), but nothing after that. All of them since might have been great movies for all I know, but for me, if it doesn't have Sean Connery, it ain't James Bond.
[ September 03, 2007: Message edited by: Ulf Dittmer ]
Max Habibi
town drunk
( and author)
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Joined: Jun 27, 2002
Posts: 4118
Originally posted by Ulf Dittmer:


No, I didn't. I might have seen the first one or two starring Roger Moore (although I don't remember), but nothing after that. All of them since might have been great movies for all I know, but for me, if it doesn't have Sean Connery, it ain't James Bond.

[ September 03, 2007: Message edited by: Ulf Dittmer ]


I sincerely wonder how you'd feel if you actually saw the Daniel Craig movie(which, to be honest, I had expected to hate). Or, for that matter, the first Bronson movie.

Moore was no bond: that's for certain. And neither was what's-his-name. But I was impressed with Craig, and the (first) movie of his(Craig's) predecessor.
Bhiku Mhatre
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Joined: Apr 08, 2002
Posts: 127
Originally posted by Marc Peabody:

One night I turned it on and could only get a few channels. Some people were having sex on the first channel - not something you'd see on US network TV.


Some Germans gleefully brag.
"We exported sex to America and imported violence(gun-culture) from them." I,along with my american colleagues, chose to ignore from time to time.
Kail Limas
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 09, 2007
Posts: 24
Originally posted by Ulf Dittmer:

Another strange phenomenon is that David Hasselhoff is a huge hit amongst girls (who don't understand a word he sings - maybe that explains it).

[ September 03, 2007: Message edited by: Ulf Dittmer ][/QB]


Quite frankly... I don't understand how they can like him... not that I know any girls that do. So either I don't know many girls, quite possible^^, or I live somewhere they don't like him. Also possible.

Oh and about germany beeing rude. I'll have to admit many of us have a superiority complex. Mostly undeserved.^^
Marc Peabody
pie sneak
Sheriff

Joined: Feb 05, 2003
Posts: 4727

Originally posted by Kail Limas:
Oh and about germany beeing rude. I'll have to admit many of us have a superiority complex. Mostly undeserved.^^

We were told by our resident expert to expect that many shop people know English but will refuse to speak it, especially in smaller towns. I chose to stick to saying just "bitte" (please) and pointing to what I wanted, while giving sad puppy dog eyes. No one was ever rude to me and most shop owners spoke English. I left with a terrific impression of the people there.

Another interesting memory popped in my head...
Once I asked for regular tap water to drink with dinner because I really didn't like the seltzer water. The mother of the house looked at me puzzled and said "Why? You are not poor!" The water wasn't dirty or anything, it was just some status symbol because years ago everyone had to drink tap water when they were poor (as I was told). The family was shocked that I drank tap water all the time at home. Of course, I was also shocked to find that their children hated McDonald's, which is quite often a kid's favorite place to eat in the US.
Kail Limas
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 09, 2007
Posts: 24
Depends where you are and which people you talk to I suppose. Funny thing is, at a concert I went to I got tot talk to a girl complaining about people not wanting to speak english with her. I couldn't understand that, I would like to speak english both to get better at it and because I like the language. But apparently many others there didn't. Oh well, their loss^^

About the tap water, lately the reverse is happening, of course we still use a tool to add CO2.^^ Could be my limited scope though. About MacDonalds, well me and my siblings used to love it. Could be because we only went about once every 3 months. Too much of good thing and all that(Though I suppose the good thing is debatable^^)
Arjun Shastry
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Joined: Mar 13, 2003
Posts: 1871
Why drinking water isn't free ?Its very surprising to see especially if you are coming from country like India.Despite water shortage in many towns India I never found any restaurant refusing me glass of water.I won't claim it would be 100% bacteria free but I never had any stomach problem because of that.
Kail Limas
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 09, 2007
Posts: 24
Originally posted by Arjun Shastry:
Why drinking water isn't free ?Its very surprising to see especially if you are coming from country like India.Despite water shortage in many towns India I never found any restaurant refusing me glass of water.I won't claim it would be 100% bacteria free but I never had any stomach problem because of that.


Well I don't know about restaurants, I never asked for tap water there, I suppose they wouldn't mind giving you a glass for free. But you have to pay for the water because cleaning it is expensiv and the water we get is often cleaned. The water that you can get in restaurants that isn't free is usually some selters or something.
Axel Janssen
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 08, 2001
Posts: 2164
Germany depends very on city / rural as on the region.
In K´┐Żln we drink water from the water tap for years, though its well known for its high content of lime.
Bhiku Mhatre
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 08, 2002
Posts: 127
Originally posted by Kail Limas:


Oh and about germany beeing rude. I'll have to admit many of us have a superiority complex. Mostly undeserved.^^




Here is the article published in "der spiegel", Germany's prestigious news magazine.
Germany
R K Singh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 15, 2001
Posts: 5370
Originally posted by Marc Peabody:
- not something you'd see on US network TV.


Outsider views:
In US we get late night XX movies.

In Germany, you may watch topless fat woman at 11:00pm
R K Singh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 15, 2001
Posts: 5370
Originally posted by Arjun Shastry:
Why drinking water isn't free ?


And be careful, few times I bough Soda water thinking that it is natural water
Pradeep bhatt
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 27, 2002
Posts: 8898

Originally posted by Arjun Shastry:
Which laptop(notebook) brand is popular in Germany?How is MSI laptop?Any local German local brand popular?


Hi Arjun,

Your Old id "Arjun Shastry" is active again?


Groovy
Arjun Shastry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 13, 2003
Posts: 1871
It was already active.I recovered it after 2 years almost.delete some of your private messages.
Axel Janssen
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 08, 2001
Posts: 2164
Originally posted by Bhiku Mhatre:

Germany

Really sad and confusing issues. Depends on region: east/west, rural/city.
This is still among the richer countries of the world and still some folks get nervous with globalisation, which is a bit funny if you watch our trade balance.
Some nationalist idiots here also try to become more accepted by riding the anti-muslim wave. Dangerously following letal old propaganda habbits by just replacing word jew with muslim. They declare themselves as good friends of Israel. Of course their warm feelings are not returned by jewish community.
Western Germany is safe, but currently if you have a darker skin and go to eastern regions of this country, you might better ask for some security advice.
Bhiku Mhatre
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 08, 2002
Posts: 127
Originally posted by Axel Janssen:

Some nationalist idiots here also try to become more accepted by riding the anti-muslim wave. Dangerously following letal old propaganda habbits by just replacing word jew with muslim. They declare themselves as good friends of Israel. Of course their warm feelings are not returned by jewish community.
Western Germany is safe, but currently if you have a darker skin and go to eastern regions of this country, you might better ask for some security advice.



The bigger issue is, men in authority are living in denial that the problem exists. The mayor of town where the violance against foreigner took place, simply downplayed it.Yes, in western Germany, foreigners are (relative to its east) safe.
I wonder, why politicians are helpless(or unwilling) to tackle the problem which has THE darkest past in known human history.

Note to moderator: I am not sure if meaningless/meaningful boundry is crossed here. If yes,please delete it.
Marc Peabody
pie sneak
Sheriff

Joined: Feb 05, 2003
Posts: 4727

Ok, this went from an attempt to disspell a generalization (of a superiority complex) to producing new horrible generalizations about the very same group of people.

I don't think it is fair to say such things. It's not nice and no one benefits. It certainly made my day less enjoyable.
Axel Janssen
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 08, 2001
Posts: 2164
Originally posted by Bhiku Mhatre:

The mayor of town where the violance against foreigner took place, simply downplayed it.

There was a lot of indignation about the attitude of this mayor. Zero apologies and a lot worrying about reputation.
Pradeep bhatt
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 27, 2002
Posts: 8898

Have you visited waiterless resturant in Berlin ?
Arjun Shastry
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Joined: Mar 13, 2003
Posts: 1871
No
 
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