ATM Card Blocked

Last Friday I went to the bank to withdraw from my ATM. Actually, it was already my third time to try to withdraw from my account. I have already falsely punched my PIN code twice and I was praying that this time I’d do it right. (That’s what happens when you don’t get to choose your own PIN.) Anyway, for the third time I did it again! Boom! Blocked! Waaaah! Yeah, yeah… I should have written the code on a piece of paper or saved it in my phone. Oh well.. I went straight to my bank and tried very hard to speak to the account consultant in Deutsch and luckily he understands me very well. I know banks have policies that complies with international standards like the Information Security Management System where ISO27001 is covered. ISO27001 specifies a management system intended to bring information security under explicit management control. Banks should have effective and efficient policies governing their security policies. Blocking a card is a simple yet effective security measure to protect not just the client but also the bank itself from further issues. By the way, I just noticed that it’s different on how we do it in the Philippines. There the ATM card is captured by the machine and you’re supposed to report to and claim it from your own bank unlike here where you can still get the card but just couldn’t use it. Hmm..

So, I signed a document and went to the ATM terminal to try again. Finally, I’ve done it right! Now, where’s my money? It’s gone. I paid for the photos of the kids from their Kindergarten. 😀

German Traditions on “Pfingsten”

Pfingsten or the Feast of Pentecost was celebrated last Sunday here in Germany and in other Christian countries. It is the day when the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles according to the New Testament. The apostles were able to speak different languages meant to spread the Gospel and this was said to be the birth of the Church.

Yesterday was Pentecost Monday and was a holiday here and certain customs are observed in some areas. In Bavaria, people dress in the national costumes of their region, walk in processions to church and pray for a good harvest. In Franconia, horsemen perform the annual Pentecostal ride. Led by priests, they carry church banners and crosses to church.

Our Maibaum here in Aalen

Here in Baden another practice is called the Birkenstecken. Bachelors put up a birch tree outside of his loved one’s housewall on the night of the Pentecost. This symbolizes his love for her. In some parts though, birch trees are decorated and erected on the 1st of May. It is called Maibaum or Maypole and is seen at the city center.

Why Horse Riding is Worth Doing

One of the most elegant sports in the world to take up, horse riding is every bit as entertaining as it looks to participate in. With the London 2012 Olympic Games on the horizon, horse riding is going to play a big role in the games, and with good reason. As challenging as it is exciting, there are many reasons why horse riding is worth doing. Here are five reasons why it’s worth buying horse equipment to help get you started:

  • The clothes: by looking on the websites of specialist horse riding equipment retailers such as equestrian clearance chaps, jodhpurs and jackets look so much better than clothes worn in other sports. They combine style with comfort, and help to keep you safe while riding your horse.

Equestrian chaps

  • Another reason why horse riding is worth doing is that you get to spend plenty of time outdoors. When riding a horse, you get to explore vast amounts of countryside, and you can go wherever you want your horse to take you.
  • Horse riding is ideal if you love animals, especially horses. By riding with one that’s been trained, you get to build up a rapport with them, and by putting your trust in them; you can ride safely.
  • Taking up horse riding can be very comfortable to do. While wearing the correct horse riding equipment, you will be able to ride without experiencing any bumps as you’re secured onto your mount.
  • Horse riding is also fun to take up because, if on a special course, you can jump over numerous obstacles such as fences and ditches. Jumping one of those obstacles is one of the most exciting things you can do while riding a horse.

Ryz is fond of horses lately. She’s been watching this cartoon series, My Little Pony, and has a collection of their miniature characters. I wonder if she’ll still like them and be responsible to take care of them when she grows up. If she will, there will be a big possibility that horse riding will be her sport and hobby.

A Guide to Buying Clothes Online

Like many other consumer products, the world of fashion has taken a big turn to e-commerce. Buying online can be a truly fruitful experience. A lot of the time, items on the internet, especially those from abroad, have subtle differences from those you can find on your local high street. Quite often you can be happy in the knowledge that you won’t be caught in that awkward moment where you are wearing the same thing as someone else!

Another great point for internet shoppers is that it is often cheaper and you can shop anytime you like day or night, perfect for those whose busy schedules won’t allow for time to shop during the day.

If you are worried about the authenticity of products go for well-known retailers. You can shop for all types of clothes online so don’t forget about underwear and nightwear. Figleaves nightwear offers great prices with the guarantee of quality.

Midnight Grace Nightwear

If shipping costs worry you, many online stores offer you free shipping over a certain amount of purchases and next day delivery is available in loads of internet stores.

Another concern of shopping online is sizing, you aren’t able to try something on before you buy. If this is a distressing element of shopping online make sure you go for brands who offer refunds and exchanges. This isn’t something that can be enjoyed with shopping on bidding sites. Another great way to tackle this problem is going for a brand that offers extensive sizing guidelines. This is especially important for underwear. Again Figleaves.com has a really helpful section on size and a phone line for those who are still confused; this even goes for men’s underwear from Figleaves.

Payment is one of the biggest worries out there but if the site you are using allows you to use your accounts for global payment methods you shouldn’t have any worries. In this way if you do have any anomalies in your account you can get in touch with the provider and they can act as a middle man between you and the e-commerce site.

 

 

 

Signal Boosters

Hubby left for China this morning. Part of his work is traveling to other countries where they have clients, sometimes to check on their machines upon clients’ request or conduct trainings. Anyway, minutes after he left I received a text message from him telling me to scan a copy of his itinerary he left for me and send it to him via e-mail. He realized he brought the wrong copy with him. Could not wait for my reply, he called up to ask if I received his message. I was dictating to him some data when our call was dropped all of a sudden. Hay.. I think we really need that cellular phone booster I saw in one site. According to the site, signal boosters can widen the call coverage by constantly boosting the signal of your cell phone thus proving a better communication even in farther places.

It’s hard to have unreliable means of communication especially in times when you need them. Good thing with the technology nowadays it seems everybody is within reach.

 

 

A Language Software Could Help Me

Few weeks from now I will be taking the Deutsch-Test für Zuwanderer (DTZ) or German language test for immigrants. For those who do not know, every immigrant should attend an integration course here in Germany. In this course, Ausländer or immigrants are taught the fundamentals in German communication from alphabets and numbers to various important aspects of one’s daily life like shopping, housing, work and career and so on. This lesson aims for you to pass the DTZ and once you pass this you will receive a “Zertifikat Integrationskurs” or Integration Course Certificate. Aside from certifying that you have the basic knowledge of the German language, this certificate aids you in naturalization if you plan to apply for German citizenship and settle here. Knowledge of the German legal and social system is also required when applying for permanent settlement permit.

Anyway, in preparation for the exam our teachers are giving us exercises which are the same with what we’ll be doing in the test proper. They let us listen to conversations and ask questions to test our listening ability. They also give us situations where we have to write letters or e-mails in German. And the hardest part for me is they ask us questions to test our verbal communication skills.

Honestly, I have really been struggling with my German, especially on the verbal part. Funny thing is the question that was asked to me this morning is “Welche Probleme haben Sie mit Deutschlernen?” or Which problems do you have in learning German? Of course I answered that it is my Deutsch sprechen. It has been a problem for me since my only chance to speak German is when I attend my Deutsch course and whenever I buy something from the market. Sometimes I get to talk to my kids’ teachers and I really thank them for being patient with me. So to compensate this, I search online on applications or software which I can use where not only German translation is available but ones that have interactive features. I have tried a few free sessions and I can say that they can also be beneficial in practicing the language. I use them usually to review myself and see if I still know the basics. But I’m still looking for something that could help me in my verbal skills. An American classmate told me of the Rosetta Stone software she was able to buy when she had a vacation in the US. According to her it was really good because she’s able to train and hone her verbal skills and it also checks on her diction. I thought it was really cool because the ones I’ve tried only let me follow the audio and no feature of correcting me in my pronunciation. I also went to its website and I saw that it also offers different languages. I was even glad to see my own language there. Hehe.. Just what my classmate told me, I can see that anybody who wants to learn a new language or develop their communication skills foreign to them can achieve it through Rosetta Stone with its vast features. And with live coaches to teach you online, you can’t go wrong.

Definitely MY Day

Yesterday was Mother’s Day. We had no plans really except that we visit my Filipina friend in a hospital in Heidenheim who just gave birth to a baby girl last Friday. After that I was thinking of going back home immediately because I had to iron clothes which the kids will use for the week. Driving back we chanced upon a sign that says “Schloss” which is the German word for castle. At first I was having second thoughts of going in ‘coz really I was thinking of the clothes I have to iron! Haha! Nevertheless, we went out of the car and Zyc doesn’t want to actually. He said he was hungry and just wanted to go home. Eventually we convinced him and told him that we’ll just be quick.

Good thing we did! We found out that it is the Hellenstein Castle which Heidenheim is famous for. (Will post about the castle on my travel blog. Hopefully soon. Hehe..) Actually, there’s nothing much outside the castle to see aside from the castle’s remnants and its beauty.

A view of the town of Heidenheim

 It has a museum inside but we didn’t go in ‘coz we only paid for the parking space that’s good for less than an hour. We decided just to take a tour outside and check out what could we see.

It was sunny and yet very windy. I was feeling the chills while we were having the tour. After walking around the castle we decided to take pictures where there was a wide open space. That’s when I really had fun. The kids were both in the mood, especially Zyc who’s the one who didn’t want to go out at first. Actually we all were, including hubby who gamely posed for the camera. He seldom does this and that added to my delight!

I felt the happiness every mom should feel yesterday. I laughed out loud which I haven’t done for a long time. The day was just perfect! It was definitely MY day!

Summer Fashion Giveaway

We are very excited to be working with Tammilee Tips, Fabnab and Planet Lulu to bring you this fantastic celebration giveaway! Tammilee Tips recently hit 20,000 Facebook fans and is celebrating with a Summer Fashion Giveaway! There is over $2,000 in Summer Fashion prizes available in this giveaway!

Fabnab.com is your weekly hookup for smashing deals on fashion, beauty care, kids gear and tons more! Save up to 80% and nab something… fab!

The original online sample sale, PlanetLuLu.com launched the “apparel flash sale” retail phenomenon in the USA. Planet LuLu relaunches in 2012 with their online & retail stores and deals up to 90% off apparel, footwear, accessories and more!

Summer Fashion Giveaway Prizes

Grand Prizes

1 Winner will receive 7 pieces of Nelia Adiato Jewelry -Value over $575
You can check out pictures and info on this great jewelry here -> Nelia Adiato

1 winner will receive a Summer Fashion Clothing Set – Value over $575
Prize includes 5 pieces of clothing and 3 pieces of Cosabella

Additional Prizes

2 winners will receive 2 pieces of Nelia Adiato Jewelry – Value over $150

2 winners will receive a Summer Fashion Clothing Set – Value over $150
Prize includes clothing and Cosabella products

We will be having a Twitter party on May 22nd at 6pm pst! We are going to be giving away Michael Todd Skincare valued at over $200 in prizes!
Make sure you follow @tammileetips on Twitter

To enter this great giveaway please fill out the Rafflecopter form

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Gift for Daddy

It was my dad’s birthday last Monday and I remember him telling me not to forget his special day even months earlier. That just means he’s requesting for a birthday gift. Hehe.. Unfortunately, I haven’t bought anything for him. He was requesting for a new cellphone but I don’t have that much money to buy him a new one.I thought of giving him a perfume since I know he loves perfumes. I remember when I was still back home, he would joke around and wear his perfume even if he’s just at home. He would hug mama just to let her smell his scent and mom would always be annoyed. Haha!

Good thing I saw a site that sells discount fragrances. I can just buy one online and get it delivered to our Philippine address.

Thought of giving this to him. I want him to try those used by younger men. Hehe..

Gruß Gott

When I was starting to blog, I wrote something about the Germans being friendly and polite. Smiling and saying “Hallo” to me while walking along the sidewalk or waiting at the bus stop.

Lately I have been frequenting our Hausarzt or family doctor due to chest pain, so I thought. But based on my ECG, my heart is normal and he thought it could be coming from my back. Anyway, while waiting for my turn, other patients coming in to the waiting room always say this greeting, “Gruß Gott“. I also hear this whenever I enter in a department store. Honestly I don’t know what this phrase means. All I know is “Gruß” is greetings and “Gott” is God. What I liked about the Germans is they actually answer back when they are greeted with this. I mean, we Filipinos don’t do this, right? I don’t know but sometimes I find myself smiling when I hear it. You might say I’m weird but I just feel good about. It’s just so polite.