Halloween for Trick-or-Treaters in Germany

Halloween and its custom of going trick-or-treat came to Germany in the late 90s. Since then, among some of the expat children out for trick-or-treat, there had been some unpleasant experiences. Not all Germans know or recognize Halloween, and if you do ring a stranger’s house, he might chase you away and then you are the one who’s scared. Angry German can sound pretty scary. :-)

I have been asked “How do I know it is safe and OK to ring the doorbell?”. It is safe and OK, if you see a Jack O’Lantern in front of the house. This is the sign you are welcome to ask for treats.

This information was given to me by a German mom for the Oberursel area.

Jack O'Lantern

Of course, I would always advise to go only to friends’ homes or other expats’ homes. Living the international school life, they are familiar with the custom.

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New Court Ruling on Consumer Credit Banking Fees in Germany

Yesterday, Germany’s high court ruled that bank charges (Bearbeitungsgebühren) for consumer credits are illegal and may be claimed back from banks if not older than ten years (since 2004). So if you had arranged such a consumer credit (e.g. to purchase a car or an apartment) between 2004 and now, please check your credit contract and if the bank charged you a handling fee/service fee. If so, you may claim it back.

For consumer credits dated 2004, the deadline is by the end of 2014.

In May of this year, a similar ruling determined that banks had to pay back three billion euro in now illegally charged fees. With yesterdays ruling, detailing the beginning time of the credit, when the bank charge was applied, and many other details, the additional payback amounts to another seven billion euro.

The website test.de https://www.test.de/Kreditbearbeitungsgebuehren-Erstattung-auch-nach-Jahren-noch-4444333-0/ has much information about the latest ruling, including a sample letter to be sent to the bank and various possible excuses from banks why they try to refuse to pay it back.

Ausrede der Banken https://www.test.de/Kreditbearbeitungsgebuehren-Erstattung-auch-nach-Jahren-noch-4444333-4488122/

Sample letter:
Musterbrief – Bank

Check your contract carefully to see if the charge was applied at the beginning (one-time payment), distributed over the monthly payments, or charged as a one-time payment at the end. If the time of your credit payment fee matches the new court ruling time frame, send your letter to the bank.

I’ve got one to check myself for the loan we took out in 2007.

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Vacancy at Frankfurt International School

Posted 28 Oct 2014:

Applications are invited for the following position:

►        Temporary 20% elementary school German teacher effective 12 January 2015 until 31 July 2015

Applications should be in writing and directed to Peter Baker with copy to Rita De La Cruz within seven working days of this notice.

Beate Nichols
Business Assistant
Frankfurt International School
An der Waldlust 15
61440 Oberursel
Tel: #49-6171-2024 479

Edit: Just got word the position is open as of  5 December 2014 (until 31 July 2015).

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Quote of the Day

Making money is a hobby that will complement any other hobbies you have, beautifully.

– Scott Alexander –


Arbeite fleißig!

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Vacancy in Early Childhood Education, Bad Homburg

Posted 19 October 2014:

– The Kindergarten are looking for new English speaking staff.  If you are interested and have a degree in Early Childhood Education, please get in touch with Frau Meinl at accadis International School:


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