Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Top 5 things famous about Germany

Mercedes, Lamborghini, BMW, Rolls Royce, Mini cooper, Audi, Volkswagen, Volvo... and the list can be still extensive. When it comes to cars, the Germans have mastered not just from tip to toe but also from inside out. German automobile industry contributes largely to its economy and holds a strong market worldwide. With the local transport as Audi and Mercedes, the country is home to several numerous world renowned car brands. They say if it is a car, it has to be German!

Germans are very fond of Breads, and thus one may find at least 10 types of breads in a bakery or supermarket here. The breads here are made from different types of grains, cereals and flower seeds and are like their staple diet.

Politeness and Patience
Many people say that Germans are very polite, and I am also of the same opinion. One often finds politeness even from a stranger, who is German. If you are in train and the train is jam packed (which is not a common sight here), you may still find people asking you if you were standing fine :) Hello and bye to everyone (even if you do not know them) at work place, good evening to the bus driver, thank you and sorry couple of times each day and so on... These experiences make one experience the warmth and politeness of Germans.
When it comes to Patience, you could be in a restaurant and waiting almost 10 minutes to get the menu or for getting your bill, but that is normal. Germans have lot of patience. People are not in absolute hurry to get inside the train or to drive their way zooming off the city roads. To let someone with really less stuff to bill go ahead at billing counter at supermarket is normal. If you are in Germany, asking after 10 minutes of ordering ‘How long will it take for my order?!’ restaurant is not normal.

It is very known fact that Germans have a strong national football team, recently portrayed by their winning of FIFA 2014. Football fever, especially World Cup is celebrated in a manner no less than national festival. Children are often found getting trained in football and their elders too are never tired to play it :) I think it is like the Cricket fever in India. Apart from Football too, Germans are often active in Sports like handball, fencing, basketball, etc. Swimming, jogging and cycling are often carried out on regular basis. 

Be it trains, bus, office or party, Germans are very particular about time. ‘A minute lost is a penny lost’ is literally followed. The time schedules are followed up to the mark and you cannot be late if you are in Germany.

Although there are other things too which are famous about Germany, I will keep that for the coming posts and keep this one short ;) 

Image source: https://www.deutschland.de/en/topic/life/lifestyle-cuisine/rich-in-variety, http://wonderfulengineering.com/best-bmw-wallpapers-for-desktop-tablets-in-hd-for-download/, http://www.lagunaunited.org/faq/about/

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Happy Diwali ! It's festive time...

It has been long since I have been studying, working and exploring in Germany. I wish to dedicate this post to my nostalgia, pouring out during the festive days of Diwali!

Pre-Diwali festivities were mostly cherished with shopping for Diwali dresses and decorating our house. The glowing lanterns not just at my house but also at every window in the vicinity brought a smile and assurance that cheerful holidays are on the eve. Searching hours for an elegant and eye-catchy Rangoli design and then getting right logistics through bargains at local street shops was an inevitable part. The smell of brown sand and night long Rangoli making, sometime with friends and sometimes with family, are memories forever. I also remember how everyone were suppose to wake up early morning and help mom cook sweets and then we all got dressed up in newly bought clothes. On the day of Diwali the house was lit with numerous Diyas (similar to candle) at windows and doors. The Rangoli on that day is special and large, to welcome Bhagwan (God) and the happiness together. The evening family Aarti (prayers) and then the firecrackers are still a vivid memory. The next day, was visiting and wishing day, cause its New Year. We visited all our relatives and friends to wish them prosperous New Year and share some joyful moments together. Eating sweets and snacks at the visitors is a must and one if the rare things that over-satisfied my sweet tooth. 
These are not just memories but one of the reasons of being the way I am. There are millions of others who have been molded differently due to these traditions. There are not just some emotional attachments, but the strings of life which are so strongly tied that there is literally nothing that can break them. 
I have relished and been part of the joyous tradition of Diwali since several years, but it is now that I profoundly understand the main motive of these festivals and the values behind them. I miss my Gharwali Diwali. The recent advertisement of Pepsi has been successful to positively lure me in pouring out my feelings, and I am sure it will motivate many this year to spend a Gharwali Diwali. Check out the video at this link or watch it here (below).

Happy Diwali and A prosperous New Year to everyone!

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Work culture in Germany

Are you planning to work in Germany? Or are you interested in having a glimpse of the work culture in Germany? Then, keep reading…

Kindly note that this post provides information which is based on my personal point of view, developed through my personal experiences of working in Germany and learned through the experiences of my friends in Germany.

The work environment in Germany is employee friendly and one often finds supportive and friendly colleagues at work. Politeness and clarity of thoughts are often portrayed and occasional parties are cherries on top.

However, one may find peculiarities in German working environment. It is very essential to adapt to the German working culture and blend in to progress. It goes without saying that learning the language is essential to clearly communicate and socialize. Apart from this, the other important notes are as follows:

1.  Punctuality is obligatory
I may not be the first person telling you that Germans are very particular when it comes to punctuality. However let me stress here, that the resolution of their particularity in punctuality could be as high as 2 minutes. Although, your boss may not have pointed it out, but he will definitely notice if you are 5 minutes late in a meeting. Thus, it is very important to be on time for your interview, meetings, appointments, etc. If you fail to be on time, then you must back it up with a good excuse.

2.  Formal and informal conversations
One must be careful to use ‘Sie’ (Formal ‘You’) while having a first time conversation with someone at work. And then one might ask for the permission to use ‘Du’ (Informal ‘You’). Normally after knowing each other, one often addresses his/her colleagues as ‘Du’, even at higher hierarchies.

3.  Breaks and chats
    It is not often that one discusses his or her personal issues at work. Also, breaks apart from the lunch break are not that often. Coffee breaks after lunch however are common.

4.  Be clear
    One is required to be clear in expressing his/her thoughts without indirect hints and descriptions. This implies for the tasks at hand and also for the otherwise routine at office. However, one must not forget that adaptability is the key, and one must be open to accepting tasks which may not be of interest. This not only provides a wider exposure but also helps you to develop multiple skills outside your comfort zone. One must also be careful about the rights and duties as an intern. One may find flat hierarchy while working, where approaching even the senior most people is easy, however it comes with a responsibility of being clear about your lines. There are several decisions which must be taken after consultation with your immediate reporting personnel. Thus, one must be aware of the office culture and hierarchy to follow.

Image source: Microsoft Clipart

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Amazon Prime

The 15th most valued company in world, Amazon, offers students studying in Germany with several perks! One such benefit is a year of free Prime Membership. Amazon’s Prime membership has several advantages, including the most popular one day delivery. It also provides streaming of TV serials and movies to its prime membership holders. If you are studying in Germany and still don’t have an Amazon Student account, then you can grab one here. Note that you will need your student bonafide certificate (‘Studienbescheinigung’) to prove that you study in Germany.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Gadget shopping

A bull in automobiles, Germany also has a competitive market when it comes to consumer Electronic products. With giants such as Siemens and Bosch riding on its back, it also houses research centres for several leading electronic giants. Germany also houses several big and small local brands such as Grundig, AEG, Infineon, TrekStor, etc. For a common man or consumer to this growing market, it all comes down to the quality for the price he pays.

Media Markt and Saturn are the two defacto shopping places for consumer electronics. However, online shopping at amazon.de, ebay.de, notebooksbilliger.de, etc. is also common. Occasional sales and offers in this product range often helps the consumer save a commendable amount. However, one must be very careful in reading the terms and conditions, failing which one might end up paying high amounts after the end of specified low cost period. In case, you are still learning German, then kindly visit this page and also note that the translations of terms and conditions is not always accurate and might result in misinterpretations of some statements!
For those new to shopping electronic products online in Germany, here is a list of websites which will help you to buy, compare prices and get offers for online shopping of electronics product range.


Image Source: http://www.buy-sellelectronics.com/cash-4-electronics/home-electronics/

Tuesday, 7 October 2014


Last Sunday brought an end to the 16 day long traditional and lively fest in Germany. The fest was enjoyed with 6.3 million visitors and 6.7 million litres of beer, but it also accompanied 720 arrests, 3,646 lost and found objects, including 900 ID cards and passports, 530 wallets, 330 cell- and Smartphones! But not many know about the roots of this 200 years old Bavarian fest centred in Munich. The tradition was held first time when Prince Ludwig married to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen on October 12, 1810. Since then the fest has been celebrated each year (except twenty four times due to epidemics and wars).
The fest is also called a “Beerfest”. There are seven enormous beer tents line, called “Wirtsbudenstraße”. This beer is brewed by Munich’s six largest breweries and also has an extract value of about 13%. A litre of beer is called “Maß” and costs about €10.

A glimpse of the ten beer tents:
  • Augustiner: Only tent still serving the beer from large wooden barrels
  • Bräurosl (Pschorrbräu tent): It is 104 years old but still a capacity of 8400 seats
  • Hackerbräu tent: Only tent with a revolving stage in the middle
  • Hofbräu tent: Most international tent as it is well known amongst tourists
  • Löwenbräu tent: Traditional meeting place for fans and players of 1860 Munich football club
  • Ochsenbraterei - Spatenbräu tent: Ox eaters
  • Winzerer Fähndl - Paulaner tent: Bavarian charm and the occasional celebrity adds to the spirit of this tent. If you are lucky you might also see players from FC Bayern Munich sometimes here!

Apart from these there are also other smaller local tents adding to the celebration and serving the crowd. If you plan to visit this fest and also enjoy stay in Munich during this fest days, then you might wanna start planning today!

Munich Oktoberfest 2015: September 19 - October 4

Image source: http://www.beer100.com/beercalories.htm

Monday, 6 October 2014

Winter Jackets

Chilling winters are all set to set in, in coming days. The temperatures have started to drop and jackets are out of the closets again. Here are a few discounts and sales on winter jackets, in case you are looking for one. 
  • Free shipping until 19.10.2014 by C&A (online shopping), for offer: click here 
  • Upto 50% discounts by H&M (online shopping), for offer: click here 
  • Upto 70% discount by Sportsdirect (online shopping), for offer: click here
Image source: http://www.mormonshare.com/lds-clipart/outer-clothing

Finding a job!

As we drag ourselves to the end of our studies, we are challenged with a mighty wall, called Gateway to industry! We look for a lavish entrance to this industry, with a blazer and filled in pockets and dream ourselves with a BMW in just sneak of time. As much as this might sound exaggerated to some, it is true that finding job after your master’s or bachelor’s studies is a challenge for many of us. 

It is a defacto that one must search through the vast pool of available jobs on job portals such as stepstone.de, jobmensa.com, etc (find more here). However, there are some common mistakes that one might make. Here is a list of points to consider while applying for a job! 

Send required documents only
Send only those documents which have been asked for and preferably in the same order. It is not advisable to send extra documents and in case you absolutely must send an extra document then a note must be accompanied specifying the aim for the same. Also, if you are missing a document, it is recommended to write a note with the reason for the same.

Do not give stale or contradictory information
In this time of digital era where social networking websites spread the word, one must be careful not to unknowingly spill erroneous information to your prospective job providers. If you are present digitally on social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Xing, etc., then you should provide correct and consistent details. The employers often check your background and at times might need only your digital footprint online then your actual CV document. So don’t forget to update your online information today!

Company Connect
While applying for jobs, we often have doubts such as application requirements, awaited interview results, etc., however there is not much that one does to resolve them. In case of any such doubts one must always take the effort to call the HR contact provided for the relevant questions, in the job posting. This not only helps to place your application as desired by the employer but also to add a voice to that name on CV. Apart from this, one must meet (pre-prepared)  the appropriate personnel of their desired employment provider, during Job fairs such as "Bonding" in Germany. This step, efficiently helps to improve your applications. 

Note: The post contains blog author’s personal view and the tips are provided in view of her personal experiences in Germany.

Image source: http://sofuze.com/job-hunting-in-july/, http://churchillbrook.co.uk/5-reasons-why-need-job-to-get-job/