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Thursday, January 29, 2009

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Visa Processing Tips

What are the tips and tricks in processing your Visa?
How to make your visa get approved quickly?
How to get a visa quickly?

Please note this: As I have said in this post,
I just follow their rules and guidelines. There are no shortcuts in getting a visa quickly but the TIPS below will help you process your visa. (Not unless your aunt or sister is one of the person in charge in processing visas ^_^)

1. Prepare your documents
- It is always good to be prepared and ready.

2. Immediately process your documents - Do not process your documents later. Don't be lazy.

3. Ask for the complete requirements - Do not just work on the papers because of what your friends told you. Always make sure and follow-up on the additional requirements.

4. Ask to the embassy directly - If you have questions that no one else could answer clearly or you are having doubts on what exactly you are looking for, ask the embassy. Not just do things because that is what your friends told you. That is what you have read in the internet. You "think" that is everything. Asking the people in charge (people at the Embassy) is always the best way in looking for answers.

5. Do make at least 5 photocopies of your documents - You might need these copies in processing your other requirements.

6. Scan your documents - It is always good when you have a soft copy of your documents. When you ran out of photocopies, just print.

7. Back up your scanned documents - Your USB or Hard Disk might not work later so make sure to make back-ups. For example, burn it in a CD.

8. Be patient - Do not ever fight with the person in charge. The counselor in your pre-marriage seminar, the clerks that work on your marriage papers, the people at the embassy, etcetera. I know some of you are very excited to go to Germany or US or any part of the world and you want your Visa to get approved quickly. BUT keep in mind that confronting the people who process your papers will not help hasten the processing time. Chances are your paper will be delayed because the person processing your paper is mad at you.

9. Plan ahead - Don't waste time. Plan and execute your next step.

10. Always check the official site of the Embassy for updates, read a lot from their website - You will never know what additional requirements the embassy might ask you. Like when the embassy required the Certificate of Basic German Knowledge which they asked last 2008.

Delaying to process your papers also delays your Visa. Keep in mind that Time is needed in every action you take. If you do not act immediately, then the progress of your Visa Process will also be delayed.

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Italian, American and Chinese Fastfood - Which is healthier?

An experiment was conducted by a German show last week on fast food. The experiment was conducted to 3 healthy men who love eating fast food. As I have understood, the objective was to know which fast food is healthier and to know what will happen to them. Every one of them has to eat fast food for 10 straight days. One ate Italian (pizza) fast food for 10 days, the other one with American (burger, fries, cola) fast food and the last one with Chinese (rice, noodles, spring roll, etc) fast food.

I personally thought that Chinese fast food are healthier. But apparently, none of these popular fast food are healthy. The man who ate Italian fast food gets tired easily, the man who ate American fast food gains more weight and the man who ate Chinese fast food developed skin rashes.

I guess the key is balanced diet. "Too much of something is not good". None of these fast food will give you problems if you also include in your meal healthy food such as freshly cooked food, fruits and vegetables.
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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Germany's Top 5 Frozen Food

I have just seen this on TV and I just want to share this with you. If you are a typical Filipino or an Asian, I am quite sure that you don't eat these food everyday. Here in Germany, most people prefer frozen food rather than freshly cooked food. I think the main reason is simply because it is faster to prepare. So here are Germany's Top 5 Frozen Food:

5. das Fischstäbchen (fish sticks)

4. der Spinat (spinach)

3. der Kuchen (cake)

2. die Pizza (pizza)

1. die Pommes (fries)

I am an Asian and I am not used to eating frozen food. I usually eat freshly cooked food. But these frozen food will "come in handy" if you have little time for preparation. For me, these frozen food taste good (especially the cake).

Do you like these frozen food? Or would you rather choose freshly cooked food? ^_^
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Saturday, January 3, 2009

3 TV Channels have no signal

For 3 days straight, there is no signal coming from these 3 TV channels. These TV channels are ProSieben, SatEins and KabelEins and I like these channels. I don't know what the reasons are. Is it because of the cable service provider which is KMS "Kabel Medien Service"? Or is it because of my Terratec Cinergy HTC USB XS HD TV Tuner? I rescanned the channels but still these channels have no signal. Are these TV stations doing some maintenance work? Anybody there who have experienced this using a TV Tuner card?

[Update: January 5, 2009]
It seems that the problem is with KMS not my TV Tuner. I was able to watch these channels last December 31, 2008 and suddenly lost the next day, January 1, 2009. I have searched the internet and found out that in the past, KMS did not offer these channels on DVB-C because of legal issues. Perhaps KMS' contract with these channels may have expired (or whatever the exact reason maybe). Maybe I'll just wait for KMS to renew contracts with these TV stations. ^_^

[Update: January 8, 2009]
ProSieben, SatEins and KabelEins are back! Maybe the people at KMS forgot to renew their contract with these TV stations due to a very long holiday vacation. ^_^
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What is Oktoberfest?

Oktoberfest is a beer festival held every year in Munich, Germany. The event starts late September and ends early October. It is one of the biggest festival in the world and around 6 to 7 million visitors come every year. It is held in a place called Theresienwiese and it is the official area of the Oktoberfest event. During this event, men and women wear traditional costumes. Lederhosen for men and Dirndl for women.

Food served on this event are:
- Pretzel
- Würstel (Sausages)
- Weisswurst (White Sausage)
- Knödeln (Bread Dumplings)
- Oxenbraten (Roast Ox)
- Schweinsbraten (Roast Pig)
- Käsespätzle (Cheese Noodles)
- Bier (The most important of all...Beer!!!)

One Maß (1 BIG beer mug or 1 litter) costs around 8 Euros, depending on the location (tent on backstage, frontstage, ...) and beer brand.

If you love Beer, don't miss this Event! ^_^ Prost! ^_^
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Friday, January 2, 2009

German Food - Typical Bavarian Dish

This is a typical Bavarian dish. Eierspatzle mit schwamalsauce (egg noodles with mushroom sauce), kartoffelknoedel (potato dumpling), rotkohl (braised red cabbage) and spanferkel mit sauce (baby pig with sauce). It costed around 7 Euros but its worth the price.

I have tried this dish when I and my spouse went to a Zoo (Tierpark) in Thalkirchen, Munich. It taste good! Especially the Spanferkel ^_^
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Basic German Language Visa Requirement, Required or Not?

Are you planning to move to Germany with your spouse?
Do you really need a basic knowledge of German before you can enter Germany?
Is Basic German Language required in getting a German Visa or not?

Many people are asking me these questions. As I have searched the web, many people really don't know whether German Language is required and necessary in getting a German Visa or not. This is because most people don't know that the rules in getting a German Visa have changed.

Before, there is no requirement for a Basic German Language. As I processed my German Visa, I was so relaxed because I had all the necessary papers and was just waiting for my spouse to arrive and get married in the Philippines. Last October 2007, I was browsing the embassy's site and found out that there was a change on their Visa Requirements. I was surprised to see that a "Proof of basic knowledge of German language (Certificate of language examination “Start Deutsch 1” of the Goethe Institute)" is required.

I was so worried about this requirement because it requires money and time (I was still working from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every Mondays to Fridays that time!). Payment for enrolling a German Language Course. Payment for taking the German Language Certification Exam. But most of all, I don't have the Time.

As, I have browsed more in the embassy's site, I found a phrase that caught my eye:
"Are there exceptions?" Yes. You do not have to prove any knowledge of German, as a rule, if one of the following statements applies:
- You or your spouse are citizens of a member state of the European Union (excluding Germany).
- You are incapable of demonstrating basic knowledge of the German language due to a physical or mental illness
or handicap.
- You have a university degree and probably be able to find work in Germany on the basis of your language skills (recognisably minor integration requirement).
- You do not wish to reside permanently in Germany.
- Your spouse has a residence permit as
  • - highly-skilled worker (§ 19 AufenthG).
  • - researcher (§ 20 AufenthG).
  • - company founder (§ 21 AufenthG).
  • - person entitled to asylum (§ 25 (1) or § 26 (3) AufenthG).
  • - recognised refugee (§ 25 (2) or § 26 (3) AufenthG).
- holder of a permanent right of residence from other EU countries (§ 38 a AufenthG). - Your spouse is a citizen of Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand or the United States of America.

I have a University Degree and I thought that I don't need this requirement. But still I called the German embassy to make things clear and hear exactly from them that "You are not required...". Fortunately, the German embassy told me that I was not required to submit this requirement because I have a University Degree.

When I arrived here in Germany, I was still required to take the German Integration Course. But I was not mad, angry or surprised about it this because I needed it. Do you think that because you are exempted, have a university degree and have a professional experience in your field means you will not have difficulties living in Germany? You are absolutely Wrong! Why? Germany is not your country, have a different culture, a different law, a different place and most of all a different language.

Have you attended a German Integration Course? How much did you pay? Have you already passed the German Integration Course? How do you find the German language? Is the German Language difficult? (for me its difficult, Grammatik! Grammatik! ^_^)

What were your experiences? What are your thoughts? ^_^

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