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2 years in Germany, impressions after moving from New Zealand

Almost 2 years since my wife and I moved to Germany from New Zealand. I want to describe the experience and a few life hacking, useful at first. All this can be found on the Internet, but rarely in one place. Perhaps in part everything will be too specific for Munich / Bavaria. The text is long!

How is the move itself, if you already have a working contract with a German company? First, a special visa is obtained at the German Embassy, ​​as a rule, valid for 3 months. It is desirable to immediately get the same for the whole family - they say, then it is more difficult to do. My embassy employee asked for a certificate of basic German language skills, or a university diploma. From me, it seems, nothing but a passport and a contract was required. The German Embassy in the center of Wellington is just superb. There are no queues, the employee on the mobile phone calls back and asks when it is convenient to call them.

Immediately upon arrival in Germany had to fill out a bunch of questionnaires related to taxes. Three key things.
1. Church tax. If the questionnaire in the column "religion" put "Orthodox" (Muslim, Jew, Catholic, etc.), then a certain percentage will be taken from the salary, and given to the church. For this you can discount or get baptized, get married, read the funeral, communion, etc.
2. Medical insurance. In practice, the choice is small - private or public. If you are a lonely young healthy programmer who does not plan to live in Germany for many years, then a private one will most likely be better and cheaper. In other cases, you have to think a lot. The difficulty is that it is not so easy to get rid of private insurance. To change from private to state, you have to lose your job. The state is% of ZP, and for this covers the entire family. Private costs some money from each family member. The amount of money depends on the state of health. If the client has private insurance, the doctors do a “ku” twice. This is expressed usually in the greater convenience of using honey. services. The services themselves are almost the same.
3. Tax class. If there is a spouse [a], and he [a] is not yet our [e] l [a] job, then somewhere in the questionnaire you can put not the default figure of the "tax class", and pay substantially less taxes.

The newly arrived person will surely be impressed by a huge selection of non-compulsory insurances. It is strange that many use them. For example, insurance against losing the key to the door is popular. Or from the accidental shedding of two liters of yogurt on an antique carpet at a party. Local advertising says that in Germany [there live] 82 million reasons to insure.
The question of finding housing is very specific for Munich, so I will not describe in more detail. I was just surprised that there is a registration in Germany! Especially wonderful is the presence of registration combined with the lack of apartment numbers - instead they use the names of residents. When registering at the place of residence, I had to personally come to the passport office with a piece of paper - proof that there is, where to live, and a residence permit was printed in a couple of minutes. In general, everyone loves paper. His wife had to show his passport even for the first time to eat in the student cafeteria - the LMU student ID card was not enough. In New Zealand we quickly lost the need to carry a passport somewhere. Yes, and nowhere to wear those 9 months of the year when you are wearing a T-shirt, shorts, slippers, a cap, and two layers of sunblock.

Within 3 months upon arrival, you must receive a permanent (if large salary) or temporary residence permit. It took us half an hour. It was just necessary to go to the kraisferwaltngsreferat for the Netherlands classerlaubnis. It was such a smooth transition to the story of the virtues of the German language. German at the beginning of learning is much more difficult than English, thanks to a complex grammar. But pronunciation is easier. However, the work does not give time to do the language seriously, so my personal success is not impressive. I can only read Bild (a newspaper of the type MK) without a dictionary or Süddeutsche Zeitung (a more serious newspaper) with a dictionary. The best way to learn German from scratch is if you have time to do this full time - a couple of months on any commercial course for beginners, and then 2-4 months on courses for taking DSH at any decent university. I know very many who have learned the language in this way, and very many who have not learned it in much more time, using all the other methods.

Because we live in the center, it is more convenient to move around the city and surroundings by public transport and bicycle. A single ticket for all zones to the suburbs for a month costs 62 euros, student - 47. Even in the subway there are no turnstiles, not to mention trains and buses (Muscovites, envy). Instead of turnstiles I meet controllers. It is necessary to present a travel card no more than once a month on average. Sometimes I notice how the controllers of a gaping hare take a fine of 40 euros on the spot, or ask for a home address to send an invoice for it. They say that in some other lands controllers are more common and constantly brutal, finding fault with penny errors in tickets. I go to work every day for 10 minutes by train, plus 5 minutes on foot. On average, once a week, the train is 5–10 minutes late, and people around are grumbling about the topic to which Deutsche Bahn brought this figlar P.Zh.

The local railways have a quite favorable tariff, according to which it is possible to ride for five days in Bavaria and partly in Austria / Czech Republic. This "Bayern Ticket" costs 27 euros. Unfortunately, it works only on slow trains. German fast trains are our Sapsans :). Usually they are quite empty, so I do not advise to pay extra 6 euros for reserving a seat. But a couple of times I was saved so much - on the ICE train it was packed, like in a train near Moscow at rush hour. If the train is very late, you can get some compensation for each full hour. Therefore, in my experience, if they are late, then they are 55 minutes late, 1 hour 55 minutes ...

Although there is no urgent need for this, I wanted to be able to ride on the famous autobahn. German rights are valid until the copyright holder has crashed to death do not have an expiration date. This is convenient, so it was useful to exchange New Zealand for German. It is easier and much cheaper to get the rights first, which are converted into German ones (for example, American or New Zealand), than to do them from scratch. We had to pass the theory and serve five hours on compulsory first aid courses. CTP still, damn it, expensive without local experience! After obtaining local rights, it was not easy to find a small car with an automatic transmission. The Germans are very fond of manual, and without demand, quite bad with the proposal. But you can find.

I was also surprised by the need to pay not only for the TV (this is in many countries), but also for the computer as for a radio . Many familiar Germans do not pay, because It's hard for enemies to prove that you have a TV and a computer. I decided not to risk it and every month I get poorer by 15 euros. The first year was especially insulting, when I still did not understand what they were saying on the radio and TV.

Shopping The choice of everything, especially cooked food and rags, is, of course, more than New Zealand. In just one year, you can get used to that on Sunday, _new_ does not work. Naturally, everything you can, buy online. I was unpleasantly surprised by ordering books and glands on amazon.com. Everything came quickly, but had to pay German customs. Now I use Amazon.de. There is almost all the same, sometimes (very rarely) is even cheaper. If there is no book on Amazon, then it can be ordered via ISBN in any large offline book.

The last few months have seen a lot of news and discussions in the internet about Muslims and immigrants in Germany, for example, of Turkish origin. I personally have not encountered this problem in Munich. On the contrary, for a good lamb or a quick, cheap and tasty lunch on a weekend meal in the Turkish region. In German restaurants they also feed tasty, but there are problems with “fast”, “cheap” and “on Sunday”. Turkish companies in public places strain me no more than companies of Chinese, Russian or Latin Americans. Maybe it’s so good in Munich, or just something I don’t understand.

Police. They everywhere! As a rule, they walk and ride in twos, often it's a boy with a girl. How they work is not seen. Only at Oktoberfest I noticed a couple of times that they helped me to carry them to the ambulances quite drunk. In New Zealand, I liked it more - they were not visible, moreover, in Munich, when they were in the service, they were tense.

There are a lot of interesting things around, but I spent a lot of holidays in the NC. South Island is really super . Sorry for a long time to fly.

PS Dear more experienced people in Germany. It is possible that somewhere in the text I made mistakes. Please let me know in the comments!
PPS Some details I have in LiveJournal.
PPPS I don’t write about work, because I work in an American company, not a German one, and therefore I don’t know almost any German working specifics.

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/107119/

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