Hallo! My name is Kelly. I grew up in New Orleans, LA. I married my husband Billy in Oct 2000 in N.O. We have three children and have moved from Abita, Springs, Louisiana to Stuttgart, Germany. This is something we have dreamed about and it is our first expat experience. I hope everyone enjoys reading about our adventures because I am very excited to share.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

First New Blog!!!!

This will be a short blog but I had to take a minute and acknowledge that I have officially lived in Germany now for half a year, today marks the 6 month point.  It has flown by quickly.  I have days where I miss home but I honestly do love it here.

So many things are different but just to name of few of the differences I have seen/experienced in the last 6 months:

1.  Healthcare.......everyone has medical insurance and prices are not through the roof, it is affordable!! Also, not feeling well?? Just stop in the Apotheke (pharmacy on every corner) and they will hook you up with meds to help you, no script necessary, unless it requires attention and is serious.  Need contacts or glasses but don't have much money, no problem.....eye exams are free in Germany:) 

2.  Germans pay very high taxes.  They are taxed 40% of their earnings! everyone across the board! and every purchase everyone makes has a 19% tax added in to the total.  Seems crazy but in return they have health care and many other benefits.  One favorite being bike paths and walking trails everywhere you look, they are endless.

3.  There are a shortage of births in Germany.  Yes, you read correctly.  Germans don't have many kids, most have maybe 1.  This leads to the problem, the Germans are afraid because their population is rapidly declining.  The solution, he make it beneficial.  As a citizen if you have a child you are paid 300€ a month.  Huge, unfortunately it's not helping their problem so they are trying to figure out another solution.

4.  There are still butcher shops and backeris everywhere you turn.  Yes, every village has at least 2 or 3.  Fresh baked goods everyday, especially the bread.

5.  Heaters..... In each individual room, not the whole house.  Kinda nice to control each room but when you leave that particular room it is cold.  Especially when you wake up in the morning.  And NO AC.  Although it is only really hot for 10-15 days a year the AC would be nice.

6.  Toilets ......... Are in separate rooms then your shower.  Completely separate rooms and yes it is literally just a toilet in the room.  Bathrooms are known as WC.

7.  It is decided in 4th grade if you will goto college or not. Starting in 5th grade you either goto a college prep known as gymnasium or a trade school where you actually wind up with a decent paying  job and paid experience with that employer throughout your schooling.  They are able to have a say on college choice because college in Germany is FREE!!!!!!! You pay about 60€ in fees/books.

8.  Germany is the hub to all other European countries.  The positive of this is that we can be in at least 5-6 other countries in 4 hours or less, driving.  That's amazing!!! It's more countries than that but I am not sure how many more.  The negative of this is because of quick and easy transport system Germany is number one in Europe for human trafficking:/

9.  On Sundays and holidays ALL stores are closed!!! Not just big holidays but regular small church holidays will even close stores down, this includes grocery stores.

10.  In the Summer everyone heads to their village's freibad, the community pool.  Sounds gross but Germans are very clean and orderly and their pools are amazing.  Pools are about 2€ to enter and it is several pools! large grounds! play grounds! water slides! high dives and biergartens! all together:) awesomeness!!!!

There are several other differences I have learned since moving here but these 10 random hings give an idea.

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!!!! My mom has been here for almost 2 weeks so I haven't been writing much but I hope to have something produced this weekend!!

1 comment:

  1. Happy 6th month marker!!! So proud of how well you have taken in the new culture. It has gone by so fast!!