Communication

    Cellphones, Internet, Mail

    Hello :) How are you?
    ID? Credit card? Toothbrush? ☺ I’m sure you have everything you need... one thing though: don’t forget to write down the addresses of all your family members and friends!
    Well, they would be happy if you wrote them a letter or a postcard!
    HaHaHa :) yeah, I know, and we’re even chatting now! But I rediscovered how great it is to get personal postcards and letters here in Germany. I wrote my family for Christmas, even. You wouldn’t believe how happy they were!
    It’s just like us in the Philippines. Since we’ve got internet, less letters and personal greetings are sent by post. It’s a very special thing to get a hand-written letter.
    … Wait. It’s not that simple here. You often have to show an ID. That’s how it was with me, at least, two years ago when I bought a SIM card in a phone shop. Afterwards though, it was activated relatively fast. When you buy a card online or in a technical store, you need to register online and let it activate.
    But that should be fast. I suggest that you buy a SIM card at a phone shop when you arrive, and go to an internet café, or ask friends if you can have it activated by them.
    … but I have to warn you: there aren’t as many internet cafés in Germany as in the Philippines anymore. That is why I would generally advise you that you should get yourself a SIM card with an internet flat rate. It costs a bit more, but it is still cheaper than if you would use a normal prepaid card and apply for internet access.
      Social Networks

      You can also take one in your long underpants. :)
      They’d just laugh :) But maybe they don’t even have Facebook.
      You’re right. Many, many people use Facebook and everything in Germany, but not really as much as we do in the Philippines. We are known as the "The Social Networking Capital of the World“ because we have the most active users in social networks worldwide.
      Dunno. But I remember that I wondered why the people I met here didn’t have Facebook. It wasn’t that rare, either; private messages are usually sent through text, What’s app, Viber, or other messaging programs, that people can also use to make calls with sometimes.
        Media Rights and GEZ Television Licenses

        Yes, of course I do that too! Most TV programs are available through a media library. You can find the latest news, reports, and movies. It’s quite practical if you don’t have a TV.
        That’s right. But even if you don’t have TV, you have to pay the television licenses, or the so-called GEZ-Gebühr. The television licenses finance the legally open programs and must be paid for per apartment unit. Right now, that’s around 17.98 Euros monthly. You can also free yourself from some conditions, but I don’t know much about that. If you want to know more, try going here: http://www.rundfunkbeitrag.de/informationen/buergerinnen_und_buerger/index_ger.html
        Well, the programs in the media library are sometimes really good. You can learn German with the videos and you can also put subtitles on a lot of films.
        Then your romantic heart had better be careful… you should never download illegal data. Most recent films that you see in file sharing websites belong to that category.
        I wouldn’t be so sure about that. Copyright in Germany is very strictly guarded. Someone with the license, like an international film distributor, can ask for the names and addresses of people who are known to download illegal films from the internet. Once they have your address, you can expect a letter from a lawyer…
        Unfortunately yes. A friend of mine got a message that she would pay a really big penalty. All she wanted to do was have a comfy film night with her boyfriend… these licencing rights are also the reason why some Youtube-Videos are not available for watching in Germany, even if you can watch them in the Philippines without an issue.
          Too friendly for Germany?

          Yeah, you can get used to that frankness. ;) Oh, and don’t get mad…
          Well, you might start out feeling that people are unfriendly to you because they are very direct when they give their opinions. At least, that’s how it was for me: I had to get used to the frankness of the Germans. Generally, we Filipinos tend to be so nice and polite…
          Right! Because we never want to hurt anyone’s feelings. That’s different here…
          Nonsense :) But when something isn’t right, you can say it, naturally and not impolitely, but direct.
          Ah, well, then you know it already. Then I’ll tell you right now that I don’t have time to chat with you anymore today. I have to meet someone, and I must be off…
          Thanks! I’ll show you a picture of my meet-up through Facebook – just for you ;) Bye.