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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): March 2009

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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Location: United States

After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

No Waiting Outside for Dogs in Germany

Our dog absolutely loves it over here. In fact, I think he believes he's even more of a person than what he thought back home. Whenever we go out on the economy, he gets to go along. It's no wonder we see dogs everywhere. Did you know it's illegal to leave a dog alone at home for even just a few hours and God forbid you ever tie up your dog outside?! That would warrant a visit by the Polizei!

And with that, here is my incomplete list of where I've seen dogs and their owners in my journey throughout Germany, where I probably normally would not expect to see a doggie in a similar place in the US:

  • the local mall - yes, doggie shops with me in the stores, and then when we take a break at the cafe, he lies at my feet
  • any good restaurant - all good doggies are allowed begging and stay under the table
  • the hardware store
  • the clothing store
  • the Rothenburg Crime Museum - yes, I was surprised to see one here too
  • the subway and the train - yep, they're allowed, at least in Germany
  • many, many small B&Bs and hotels - the only place that wouldn't allow our dog was the American Edelweiss Resort in Garmisch
  • the flowershop
Where have you see dogs in Germany?

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Buyer Beware in Germany - Contracts

PCS Season is right around the corner. At least 75% of you who are moving back to the States this year will be going through the motions this summer. Hey, I got time, right? Wrong! The Germans look at contracts a whole heck of a lot different than we do in the States. Here are some things you should be thinking about now.

Germany is a land of order, and with that, you must cancel your contracts in writing. Most services and companies require you to do this at least three months out. Check your bills now. See what you are paying automatically, ie what is being taken out of your account every month, every quarter, or in the case of ADAC (the German version of AAA), once a year. See what else is going out every month and make a list of names and phone numbers you'll have to call.

Many of these services have forms you can fill out and fax in or mail in. Find out what they are now by calling or writing them. Call them and say you are moving in five months and for them to send you the forms or ask what you need to do. If you get something and can't read it, stop by your local Army Community Service, as they typically have someone on staff who can read German and can translate for you on the spot.

Here are some of the bills you may have:

  • Electric
  • Heating
  • Water
  • Landline Phone
  • Cell/mobile phone
  • ADAC
  • in country car insurance
  • TV or satellite service
  • Internet
  • Rental contract
Please be sure though you stop by the housing office before you send anything into your landlord. You want to make sure that you are indeed leaving, because if you turn in your termination notice, and then later you don't move, the law will be on your landlord's side, and you maybe be forced to move. Be cautious with that one.

If you know of any other contracts or things you may have to cancel, please post them here.