Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Random notes

It’s been a while since I did the “random” post about things we see or sometimes don’t see in Germany. Two out of three kids are sick and I haven’t slept in 3 days so please forgive the typos and grammatical errors ...
  • Most Germans have about 30 days of vacation per year, it is not PTO.  It’s actual vacation time.  On top of that there are about 8 days holidays.  PLUS on top of that if you have 1 child, EACH parent gets 10 sick days; for 2+ children each parents gets up to 25 work days of sick leave.  Single parents get 20 days for 1 child and up to 50 days for 2+ children.  Moreover, when Chris had his appendix removed he was in the hospital for 4 days and then on mandatory home rest for another week and a half.  Yes, it was mandatory because he was not allowed to even show up at the office.
  •  If you want to quit your job, you have to give 6 month notice.  I am not sure why in the world you would need that long to transition out.  2 week notice is unheard off.
  • We bought out Kitchen Aid with us from America, and to be honest we mostly use it as a mixer.  We have some other attachments such as ice cream bowl and slicer but very rarely have we used them.  However, in our house we don’t call it mixer , we call it Kitchen Aid.  I believe that’s common practice.  Now on to my point – Germany does not have Kitchen Aid.  They have other brands of stand up mixers, but not Kitchen Aid.  For some reason, it surprised me.
  • Higher education in Germany is nearly free, but the admission process is a bit difficult. You can only go to university if you went to a school that is geared towards university (Gymnasium) and pass specific tests called Arbitur that are pretty hard.  Unlike SATs that basically cover English and math, Arbitur tests specific subjects - depending on your desired major in college, you might have to take physics, geography, and some other less popular subjects.
  • I might of mentioned this before but EVERYTHING is closed on Sundays.  Churches are open and some tourist attractions are open but you better make sure that you have enough food to last you through Sunday because supermarkets are closed and you are not running any errands either.  It's something we got used to pretty quickly and actually kind of enjoy.

Some pictures from February
Anton picked his clothing and got himself dressed - extremely proud of himself   

Interactive theater at Ilya's school - they made a sled (out of paper) and now it's going down a mountain
Making sock monkey

Anton, the masseuse

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