Thursday, September 24, 2009

Travel advisory issued for Germany

"The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens that Al Qaeda has threatened it will conduct terrorist attacks in Germany immediately prior to and following the federal elections on September 27.  This Travel Alert expires on November 11, 2009.

Al Qaeda recently released a video specifically warning Germany of attacks.  German authorities are taking the threat seriously and have taken measures to enhance the level of security throughout the country.

The Department of State urges U.S. citizens to maintain good security practices at all times, and to maintain a heightened situational awareness and a low profile.  Americans are advised to monitor news reports and consider the level of security present when visiting public places or choosing hotels, restaurants, and entertainment and recreation venues." Department of State

Many are aware of the recent terrorist threats made against Germany, for those who are not here is a brief summary BBC

In a very politically charged video, a German born al Qaeda member gives Germany an ultimatum. Elect the left wing party who supports the pulling of troops out o the middle east, or face holy war within Germany. Perhaps the most eerie part of the video was a warning to all Muslims within Germany to stay within their home for the 14 days post election. The video was widely distributed visa youtube, but unfortunately no fully translated version has been done. You can find select quotes within the varies news articles. Mostly it is a bunch of shit about the German people being able to choose their own fate.

So the question at hand is is there really much of a threat. There obviously is enough of one for Germany to elevate the terrorist level, and for the US to issue travel advisories. THe EU's open border policy does not make for much of a sense of security, one countries lacking of border control can be devastative.

A new barrage of news has come forward today, which sadly I am unable to find English news articles regarding. From the little bit I picked up was something in regards to documents being found within Germany regarding weapons and that airports may be the potential target.  Found one 

Does it make me uneasy yes, but I wouldn't say afraid. How many years did we live with heightened terrorist levels in the US? While Germany is much smaller, only about the size of Oregon and Washington together, I do not think I will find myself in danger. I do not frequent large social gatherings, have any plans to travel, or live in any large cities or politically charged areas. 

Will anything come of this? I have no idea. But I do know the election outcomes will not be fixed via threats. And at this point in time, it seems the US is more worked up about it then Germany. Here the threats seem to be pretty common place. So, only time will tell. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

4 day weekend whoohoo

I am super excited to have a four day weekend. Its rather funny when you are at home all the time you are bored out of your mind. But once you make an out of home commitment, even if just a few hours daily, you suddenly realize you never have enough time lol. 

So what will I do with myself for four days
1. track down my camera cord
2. Catch up on blogs
3. Clean my house (it looks like post wwII belin, j/k)
4. German (of course its never ending :D)
5. Watch some of my season 8 friends (I found them for 10 bucks a season, I only have 1 but hope to get more later)


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What makes an immigrant?

Let me start by apologizing about the lack of photos lately. I have lost my camera cord, in my house of all places. I am working on it. 

That said I found a side topic I wanted to talk about.

What exactly is an immigrant and what is your role within another country?

I was talking to my husband the other day about the recent terrorist threats made against Germany (another upcoming blog). I had made the comment what are we doing in Afgahnistan(sic)  anyway, with we as a reference to Germany. I was quiet surprised when he replied, "there is no we". He holds the belief that unless one is a citizen of the other country, they are not fully a part of it. 

Today while reading a news article regarding racist mailing sent out by the NPD I came across this quote “They still don’t understand that this country is our country too,”. Now that is not to say I feel my husband holds that belief. Nor am I saying he is wrong in his feelings. But I do want to address the issue of cultural identification.

First and foremost while I am not a citizen of Germany I hold very much the same rights and obligation, less a few features most prominently voting rights. I do however have the right to work, the right to social benefits, and at the same time the obligation to pay into the social system, to abide by local laws and regulations. 

So what makes an immigrant? We have many kinds. Those who come into another society only to reject social integration and further isolate themselves. And those who grab integration stead fast by the horns. Integration does not mean becoming absorbed by the country you have moved to, it means playing an active role within society, accepting the cultural norms and differences, and taking steps such as learning the language. 

I cannot for the life of me understand the people who immigrate and then try to argue against the status quo and legal system. You cannot come to Germany, commit a crime, and then say oops in my home country it is ok. I am sorry to say then go home. I do not understand people who come to the country to only reap the benefits of the social system without ever feeling the need or desire to contribute themselves. Go home. 

Now before people flip a shit and call me biased. I have never once said anything about certain groups of people, rather behaviors. And I feel the same way about Germans who do things such as abuse social welfare. And please try not to forget I too am an alien. But I am one who wants to integrate in society. I want to contribute. I am proud to be a part of a country where my health care is free, where I will always have a home, and a loss of employment is not a possible end of the road. But at the same time I will work damn hard to protect that. I will contribute to the best of my ability and always remember to never take those things for granted. 

People immigrate for a variety of reasons, but they should never be anything short of grateful. It is people who refuse to integrate who create a negative image for all aliens, especially those who work damn hard in hopes of a better life.

So back to the question at hand. I think anyone who has immigrated is an integral part of any country, regardless of weather they hold residency or citizenship. But at the same time I think that comes with responsibilities. By not becoming involved and playing active roles within out new countries we are perpetuating the negative stereotypes. And until we make changes within ourselves and our behaviors we cannot expect every country to open their arms widely and embrace us. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Coming soon new blogs

It is late so I will not post tonight but coming over the next week...

the overdue:
american food in germany
castle pics

Social health care viewpoints, from a person who has actually experienced it
video blogs
Learning German online
Photo shoot story & pics
Germany update
Life as an accidental hausfrau
wedding anniversary

and much more

Let me know anything you would like me to talk about. Leave me a comment. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The downside of Skype

Now I love skype, don't get me wrong. But it is far from perfect. Today I am only going to address one downside and this will be random skyping. 

For those of you who do not know, skype lists you in a public directory. Therefore anyone with skype can search and find me. More often then not I am found under searches of women in Germany. To my knowledge there is no way to change this and remove yourself. Please do correct me if I am wrong.

I have noticed there is a trend. When in the US I got skypes daily from places like Algeria, Palestine. After switching to Germany, I only get Turkey. Now I have nothing against men from these countries. And if they actually spoke the language posted on my profile I would give them a chance assuming  they didn't give off a weird, perverse, or strange vibe. But every time IT is people wanting to come to the country I am in, expect me to teach them all about the politics, or teach English.  Now there are sites for this. Sites for dating, sites for migration, and language partners. Why message me even when my profile clearly states I do not add random people. 

I have on a few occasions met nice people, and to this day I chat with them. But I am sick of men messaging me mainly for the purpose of hitting on me or asking me to chat on a webcam. And it infuriates me when they do this without even speaking my language. 

I had a similar instance like this last night. A Turkish guy wrote me, demanded I speak Turkish, insisted I must as I am from Germany??? WFT??? Asked for webcam and when he didn't understand my answer of NOOOO. Started calling me non stop. Did not stop when I declined his calls until I had my husband answer. 

This is the conversation posted in entirety. (Note prior to this I got a friend request from him at which point this all started) * My name has been changed in this text, it is not my skype name so don't waste your time :)

rena 9:18 PM
Do I know you?

9:20 PM
yok mu?

rena 9:20 PM
I don't speak turkish

9:21 PM

rena 9:21 PM
no no turkish

MÜZİSYEN_60  9:21 PM
9:21 PM
 no dont speak türkish

rena 9:21 PM
9:21 PM

9:21 PM
9:21 PM

9:22 PM
I dpn't understand Turkish

9:22 PM
9:22 PM
9:22 PM
9:22 PM
9:23 PM
9:23 PM
you speak türkish

9:23 PM
Yes I am in Germany, but I do not speak Turkish
9:23 PM
9:23 PM
9:23 PM
no turkish

9:23 PM

rena 9:23 PM
germans speak no turkish

9:24 PM

rena 9:24 PM

9:24 PM
9:24 PM
wep cam
9:24 PM

rena 9:24 PM
I don't even know you

( insert a smily here)

Serena 9:25 PM
you dont speak english, or german. Why do you want to talk to me

This was the point at which he started bombarding me with calls.

I put on my profile no random skypes. I even had up no men, no web cam, English only. Can people not read. I hate this about skype. I am paying a monthly fee not just using the free feature. I should be able to take myself out of this listing. While I can set it that people have to be approved to contact me, once I message them to ask if they are someone I know the block is removed and they can contact me. What is that for crap. 

I use this as a service to stay in touch with friends. I do not appreciate these messages and calls, which come through multiple times a day even in the middle of the night.

I am sorry, I hope not to offend anyone, but seriously it pisses me off.

So here is my advice for skype (if you choose to random PM)
1. read peoples profiles first, do not assume they have the same intentions as you
2. Do not contact people who speak a language you do not know
3. Approach with a question (do you have time...)  or intro (about me), not just hi
4. Don't assume all women want to play web cam games, mary men to bring to their country, or conduct language lessons.


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