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    Registered User jeff.ferguson's Avatar
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    Thoughts on life in Germany

    I'm strongly considering packing up the family and moving to Germany for a few years. I am a Department of Defense civilian and have an opportunity to take a position in either Stuttgart or the Ramstein area next summer. I know the riding is amazing over there, but the purpose of this thread is to get some of your thoughts on living in Germany. So for those of you who have lived there - what can you tell me? I will make more than enough in salary to cover all expenses, so money is not an issue. I am fairly familiar with the DoD schools in the area, so not too worried about that. But info on everyday life, ie rules, taxes, quirks, and pros/cons of living there would be greatly appreciated. Of course any motorcycle specific info would also be appreciated as I will be shipping my r1150r!

    Thanks,
    Jeff

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff.ferguson View Post
    I'm strongly considering packing up the family and moving to Germany for a few years. I am a Department of Defense civilian and have an opportunity to take a position in either Stuttgart or the Ramstein area next summer. I know the riding is amazing over there, but the purpose of this thread is to get some of your thoughts on living in Germany. So for those of you who have lived there - what can you tell me? I will make more than enough in salary to cover all expenses, so money is not an issue. I am fairly familiar with the DoD schools in the area, so not too worried about that. But info on everyday life, ie rules, taxes, quirks, and pros/cons of living there would be greatly appreciated. Of course any motorcycle specific info would also be appreciated as I will be shipping my r1150r!

    Thanks,
    Jeff
    America is still a land of opportunity and today we call into remembrance of those that have died for this country. In addition, Mexicans and Cubans die en route in an attempt to get to our great land. And, of course you have who knows how many trying to get here from around the world. We have a statue in a harbor representing our great country. The riding here is amazing as well although perhaps not where you currently live. Many on this forum can lead the way to spectacular good 'ol USA riding. Are you sure you really want to leave America?

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    Registered User jeff.ferguson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy walker View Post
    America is still a land of opportunity and today we call into remembrance of those that have died for this country. In addition, Mexicans and Cubans die en route in an attempt to get to our great land. And, of course you have who knows how many trying to get here from around the world. We have a statue in a harbor representing our great country. The riding here is amazing as well although perhaps not where you currently live. Many on this forum can lead the way to spectacular good 'ol USA riding. Are you sure you really want to leave America?
    I think you may have misinterpreted my post. I'm not looking to leave the U.S. for good - just for a few years. It's a great opportunity to live abroad that my family may never get again.

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    Any place where WalMart can't survive has to be OK.

    Good luck trying to find a NAPA, PepBoys, or the like.

    Don't walk across streets against red lights, don't run with your rear fog light on after the snow or fog is over, in fact don't break any rules at all.

    At the Country/Western bars, guys will wear t-shirts saying "Remember Pearl Harbor," and the singer might be named Hank Williams Bauer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff.ferguson View Post
    I think you may have misinterpreted my post. I'm not looking to leave the U.S. for good - just for a few years. It's a great opportunity to live abroad that my family may never get again.
    I do realize you said for a few years and you are getting a lot of support from the forum and helpful advice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by billy walker View Post
    America is still a land of opportunity and today we call into remembrance of those that have died for this country. In addition, Mexicans and Cubans die en route in an attempt to get to our great land. And, of course you have who knows how many trying to get here from around the world. We have a statue in a harbor representing our great country. The riding here is amazing as well although perhaps not where you currently live. Many on this forum can lead the way to spectacular good 'ol USA riding. Are you sure you really want to leave America?

    I fully understand your post & opinion. And largely agree. But one thought.... "Mexicans and Cubans die en route in an attempt to get to our great land." One has to ask why?..is it to work hard and experience / achieve the American dream? Or is it because there are so darn many "free" programs just waiting for them to sign up? And what kind of "crap-hole" life are they leaving behind?

    Don't mean to sound so bitter / grumpy...I just look at the whole picture...and not all of it is pretty.

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    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 71243 View Post
    But one thought.... "Mexicans and Cubans die en route in an attempt to get to our great land." One has to ask why?..is it to work hard and experience / achieve the American dream? Or is it because there are so darn many "free" programs just waiting for them to sign up? And what kind of "crap-hole" life are they leaving behind?

    Don't mean to sound so bitter / grumpy...I just look at the whole picture...and not all of it is pretty.
    Indeed.

    I work with students at the University who were brought to the US as young children, grew up here, went through public schools here, and through intelligence and application have gotten to college. These kids are undocumented, and many have lived here since they were elementary-school age. I've had exposure to their families, who work hard for little money in jobs I wouldn't want, and live in pretty poor facilities. Just like the non-working domestic poor, they attend public schools and use ERs if necessary. One may consider public schools and the ER as "free programs," but it's worth noting that not all who entered illegally are sitting around collecting welfare.

    While I wouldn't say theirs is a great life here, their parents' sneaking in suggests it's better than what they left behind.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 71243 View Post
    I fully understand your post & opinion. And largely agree. But one thought.... "Mexicans and Cubans die en route in an attempt to get to our great land." One has to ask why?..is it to work hard and experience / achieve the American dream? Or is it because there are so darn many "free" programs just waiting for them to sign up? And what kind of "crap-hole" life are they leaving behind?

    Don't mean to sound so bitter / grumpy...I just look at the whole picture...and not all of it is pretty.
    Most of them do work hard, probably harder than many Americans and their working at jobs your typical American is not willing to take. Of course, there are some here for the free programs just like there are some Americans doing the same thing. Being married to a Latina who at one time was also an illegal and kicked out she started out doing factory work (sewing) for crap wages and ended up taking night classes in accounting. Ultimately was able to break free of the factory and bring home some very respectable accounting wages. Has now been a US citizen for almost 35 years. Being married to a Latina also exposes a gringo to exceptionally large families, and although there are a couple of humans you might call garbage the vast majority of the family works their tail off with many being self-employed and working their way into multiple business locations. Most of them performed at crap work but did it long enough and saved enough to get ahead.

    Being a gringo I'm well aware of what "us" gringo's think of Mexicans and Latino's. I have also been criticized by a 2nd generation Italian for marrying out side my "race". Huh? I think the comments made by too many in this country are outrageous and most of the time they probably don't have an accurate grasp of what is going on in the Latin community. I'm probably more liberal than most as I don't get annoyed at people coming over here illegally as long as they are here to work in an honest manner. Not a popular opinion to have but so be it. What gets me angrier than anything else is when folks hire them at sub-standard wages and begin to take advantage of them.

    Yes, I do call it the American dream.

    By the way, the non-pretty picture you refer to includes many born-in-America folks. Bernie Madoff just may be an excellent example. And, Wall Street seems to take a pounding in that arena as well. There's a lot of blame that can be spread all over the spectrum of folks. No one group of people has a lock on being bad. It happens to exist all over the world.

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    Registered User jeff.ferguson's Avatar
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    Yikes - looks as if my thread has been hijacked! Any chance anyone out there has more thoughts on living in Germany? I've been doing a lot of research and I'm leaning more toward making the move every day.

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    Registered User WalterK75's Avatar
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    I encourage you to go. Just being in a different country is an education. In Germany you will be able to visit other countries easily. When there I love being in places and buildings that are several hundred years older than anything in North America. It puts a different perspective on things.
    Walter

    G. K. Chesterton wrote - "The traveller sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he came to see."

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff.ferguson View Post
    Yikes - looks as if my thread has been hijacked! .
    It always amazes me how quickly anything that is posted on the internet these days will move over into the socio-political arena...

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff.ferguson View Post
    Yikes - looks as if my thread has been hijacked! Any chance anyone out there has more thoughts on living in Germany? I've been doing a lot of research and I'm leaning more toward making the move every day.

    Well, I do apologize for my part in that. And since I have no knowledge [of] Germany, I'll wish you luck & good fortune...actually I'm a-tad jealous

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    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    We spent two tours living in West Germany in the 70s and 80s. Keep that in mind when evaluating my comments. I also made over 20 short visits to Germany for meetings and exercises.

    We lived in Heidleburg for a year, Mannheim for two years and Ansbach for two years.

    We loved Germany and having the ability to drive or ride to many countries. Where you live will play a part in how you enjoy your stay. We liked Heidleburg and loved Ansbach in Baveria. Try to live away from the American enclaves and find a place in a small German village. While assigned in Heidleburg we lived in a small village outside the city (St. Ilgen) and loved it. In Mannheim we lived in an American housing area and were far less happy. In Ansbach we again went out to a farming village (Aurach) and loved it.

    Watch your waistline. Eating in a German Gasthaus and drinking their bier and wine is a good way to put on the weight. My fondest memories are of running at 6 AM in a 10k Volksmarch followed by a couple of beers, and riding around Baveria in the fall visiting the small fests that every village seems to hold at the end of harvest.

    It will be a wonderful experience if you make an effort to absorb their culture and learn a little German instead of holding up in an American ghetto and occasionally being a tourist.
    Last edited by AKBEEMER; 05-27-2013 at 10:45 PM.
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    Registered User jeff.ferguson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKBEEMER View Post
    We spent two tours living in West Germany in the 70s and 80s. Keep that in mind when evaluating my comments. I also made over 20 short visits to Germany for metings and exercises.

    We lived in Heidleburg for a year, Mannheim for two years and Ansbach for two years.

    We loved Germany and having the ability to drive or ride to many countries. Where you live will play a part in how you enjoy your stay. We liked Heidleburg and loved Ansbach in Baveria. Try to live away from the American enclaves and find a plave in a small German village. WHile assigned in Heidleburg we lived in a small village outside the city (St. Ilgen) and loved it. In Mannheim we lived in an American housing area and were far less happy. In Ansbach we again went out to a farming village (Aurach) and loved it.

    Watch your waistline. Eating in a German Gasthaus and drinking their bier and wine is a good way to put on the weight. My fondest memories are of running at 6 AM in a 10k Volksmarch followed by a couple of beers, and riding around Baveria in the fall visiting the small fests that every village seems to hold at the end of harvest.

    It will be a wonderful experience if you make an effort to absorb their culture and learn a little German instead of holding up in an American ghetto and occasionally being a tourist.
    I'll have to find a balance between German culture and maintaining our "American" way of life. Four school age kids will dictate that we become a part of the local military community, but at the same time everyone is up for the adventure of living amongst the locals and embracing their culture. As a government civilian, we are not allowed to live on base/post, so out only option is to live in a local village.

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    Registered User WalterK75's Avatar
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    Drive right, pass left. This is strictly enforced I understand. Living in a smaller town sounds like great advice. I don't know if it's possible, but you might want to look into getting your children into local schools where they will learn German and make new friends. Finally, living outside of North America and hearing news etc at a distance changes one's perceptions of things. Sounds like you have a great opportunity and I strongly encourage you to go for it.
    Walter

    G. K. Chesterton wrote - "The traveller sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he came to see."

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