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Newbie in Berlin
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twowheel



Joined: 03 Jul 2015
Posts: 640

PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2016 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The latest issue (August 2016) of GQ magazine has an article declaring Berlin as the "Coolest City on the Planet" for 2016.

That's nice and all, but scot47 and I have known for more than three decades that Berlin is the coolest city on the planet; it was back in the day, is so now, and shall remain so. It has been the coolest city for the better part of 40 years, but for reasons different from the ones mentioned in GQ.

Nice try, GQ, sorry that you got the memo very late in the game and are only getting the news now...HACKS!

I am getting closer and closer to booking a flight ticket to Berlin for August of this year just so I can get back and re-confirm all of this.

Last year I decided that a ten to fourteen day trip to Europe every summer would do me good. Last year I enjoyed a very nice ten-day trip to Switzerland. This year I am looking at a twelve-day trip to northern Germany. Berlin would be the highlight.

Cool

twowheel
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Hod



Joined: 28 Apr 2003
Posts: 1613
Location: Home

PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No argument it's cool to visit as I’m sure GQ wrote.

I have a slight confession, though, as whilst I was a teacher in two other German cities, I was working in a totally non-teaching role in Berlin and was even an employee in the German system with all the benefits that entailed.

That must sound a dream ticket to some, but the level of tax and social security was huge, even for a level 3 (married) tax payer like me. Although I was totally within the German social system, I wasn't saving very much, and that has to figure on just about everyone's wish list, because starving to death after retirement isn’t recommended, especially when the German pensioners of today are driving Mercs.

On a more personal note, and I'm fully prepared to admit this is partly an issue with me, I made no real German friends in six years there. English, Spanish, Italian and others? Yes, plenty and kept in touch and visited as have they. I'm pretty fluent in German and feel I understood them well. None of my German colleagues or acquaintances had foreign friends. A few of my English acquaintances claimed to have German friends, but when I saw them interacting, it was stilted and false. The English guy would suddenly laugh at jokes he’d previously found unfunny.

I’d go further than say just visit Berlin. Try and live there for a great few years, but you’ll want to move on after that. I’m way better off in the UK now and should have left Berlin three years earlier.
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twowheel



Joined: 03 Jul 2015
Posts: 640

PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hod wrote:
I’d go further than say just visit Berlin. Try and live there for a great few years, but you’ll want to move on after that.


No thanks. As I've said before, I'm not considering such a notion. Being in Berlin for six days and just doing some daily bummeln is good enough for me. In regards to my connection to Germany, I'm not interested in anything beyond that. I am satisfied with my current situation and with that I shall stay.

twowheel
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Dave Rochester



Joined: 08 Jun 2016
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avoid Germany altogether.
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Hod



Joined: 28 Apr 2003
Posts: 1613
Location: Home

PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, thanks. I was about to head to Berlin, but I've just cancelled.
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twowheel



Joined: 03 Jul 2015
Posts: 640

PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just returned from a ten-day trip to Germany. It was great. I am glad that I did not heed the advice to "avoid Germany altogether".

twowheel
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 15322

PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2016 6:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Germanophobe or Germanophile. I know which camp I am in !
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Dave Rochester



Joined: 08 Jun 2016
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lots of people are happy to live and work there, sure.

Still - I wouldn't recommend Germany for TEFLers, and especially not Berlin. It's a very tough market.
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twowheel



Joined: 03 Jul 2015
Posts: 640

PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 4:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dave Rochester wrote:
Lots of people are happy to live and work there, sure.

Still - I wouldn't recommend Germany for TEFLers, and especially not Berlin. It's a very tough market.


Yep, I keep Germany and Berlin in the "nice place to visit..." category side of the table...and leave it at that.

twowheel
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 15322

PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our German cousins do not need our help in teaching/learning English. they have reached self-sufficiency. they can do it themselves !
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Dave Rochester



Joined: 08 Jun 2016
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So why are 18000 Brits and Americans teaching English there?
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Hod



Joined: 28 Apr 2003
Posts: 1613
Location: Home

PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Because many of them have EU spouses with real jobs.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11498
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As Hod says, the majority are long-timers with significant local ties (and live in two income families).
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YellowMoon



Joined: 24 Nov 2016
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went to Berlin 10 years ago, such a unique place. But earning a living as an EFL teacher, I'm not so sure.
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maruss



Joined: 18 Mar 2003
Posts: 1144
Location: Cyprus

PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:40 pm    Post subject: Berlin for me... Reply with quote

I would add that I agree it's a fascinating city to visit and explore-I first knew it in the 1970's on both sides of the wall.But as for EFL jobs I think that would be another story, judging from my brief return there in 2008 and what others have posted on this site and also told me themselves: most jobs are freelance apparently and there is no guaranteed salary.Finding accomodation is costly and a big hassle too, especially if you don't want a room in a flat share and most places are unfurnished?Landlords also often expect you to re-decorate their place when you leave!
Despite the city's liberal, tolerant and Bohemian image, which is true in many ways, making friends with the locals is difficult- people are very 'clicky' and tend to stick with those they already know, making it very hard for newcomers to break into their circle and you could end -up being very lonely there unless you already have friends when you arrive.Not the best scenario so maybe Berlin is best kept as a holiday place?
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