Another very interesting week has passed. So here are three new snippets from Deutschland.
Buying from the Internet
One of the things that I really like about being in Heidelberg is that it is located in Germany, which means that it is big enough market for companies like Amazon or Google to actually care about it. A few days ago I bought my first MP3-album from Amazon.de. This is something I have always wanted to do, because download versions are usually cheaper, shipping takes time and I do not have a CD-player anyways. Unfortunately, I had to come to Germany to achieve this, because neither Amazon nor iTunes sell their music in Estonia. (As a side note: I used my Estonian credit card for payment, so theoretically a VPN connection or proxy should also work).
So why did I mention Google? Well because if you have an Android phone (like I do) and do not live in one of the few selected countries then you cannot download (or even see) paid apps from the Android Market. I have not tried to buy anything from there yet, but it’s pleasing to at least see that paid apps also exist.
The food at the supermarket does not seem to be much more expensive than in Estonia. Some things cost more but some things are actually cheaper. On average, I think that I am probably spending about 20-30% more on food. And now that I have even found kodujuust (cottage cheese, korner Frischkäse in German) there’s not much left to complain about. Still looking for proper hapukoor (sour cream) though …
Oh, and the food at EMBL is just great
I have actually encountered much less bureaucracy than I would have expected. Most probably the administrative staff at EMBL is doing a great job at hiding it from me. I just had to do first register my arrival at a local Bürgeramt and then a week later go to the Ausländerbehörde to get my Bescheinigung. The only interesting part here was when sent an e-mail in English to the Ausländerbehörde to set an appointment. They replied me in just a few hours, in German. Luckily I know some German so that I was able to continue the conversation in that language. It turned out that I actually did not need the appointment and could just go there the next day.
I have also added some new pictures to the Picasa album.