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  #41  
Old 12.02.2015, 17:14
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Re: Giving up..

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Why are people taking this so personal? I don't get it. I would never assume it's because of me as a person if I don't get an apartment in the center of e.g. Zurich. Chances I get it are likely close to zero to begin with, even as a supposedly 'ideal' candidate (whatever that means). So keep trying, something will turn up, and by all means, there's a world outside the center of Lucerne - expand your scope. Or if that's not an option, be fine with what you have, and take the occasional look on what's available out there.
The reasons for people to take this personally can be really complex - depending on how much time one has to search for flats (e.g. due to job stress), how tight one's income is (having to get into a cheaper flat because the current one has become too expensive), how the personal circumstances of the searcher are (perhaps they have an ailing family member or friend they need to be close to, their pets need quick rehoming because their current neighbors are kicking up a fuss, their kids are being placed in a school in a different district for whichever reasons), it can be very hard to not be disappointed when one gets turned down for a flat. "Something will turn up" - despite being well intentioned - sometimes just isn't enough to stay motivated, but receiving practical help (e.g. friends helping with the search, advice on how to act during viewings, help writing letters) can be more helpful. It all depends on the apartment hunter in question - one size definitely doesn't fit all here.
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  #42  
Old 12.02.2015, 20:26
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Re: Giving up..

Good afternoon and sorry for my late replies..

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I have managed relocations in Luzern and this is not an easy place to find a flat, particularly if you want to live in central Luzern, as many do.

The minimum flat size you should be applying for is 3 rooms. Given the way rooms are counted, that means there are at least 2 bedrooms. Anything smaller and you are going to be rejected. In Luzern there are a lot of older buildings with apartments with strange layouts. These are sometimes on the top floor of buildings with no lift. There might be a loft area which can be used for a sleeping room and this could also be considered a bedroom if there is some privacy from the living area.

Is the ratio of rent to income you are comfortable paying far less than landlords usually work with? If so, then you need to examine this.

I cannot tell you how many times I have met clients in your shoes, desperately seeking housing, very frustrated, asking themselves why they came here and ready to head home. I understand how you feel. My advice to you is to hire a relocation firm to find you a flat. It is not that they are magicians, but it is about knowing how to present clients and their applications and get them approved. Landlords treat relocation professionals completely differently than individuals.

There are several firms covering the Luzern area. Perhaps your employer has used the services of such a firm? It cannot hurt to ask HR. Whatever you do, negotiate a fee payable only on a successful search.

I wish you all the very best of luck and while I am not in a position to help you, if you send me a PM with your email I will stay in touch. I have a lot of contacts in the Luzern region.
Thank you very much for your reply. It is definitely something to consider as even if i am defeated these days, i am not a quitter. I will think about it and maybe MP you to get to know which firms are working in Luzern.
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  #43  
Old 12.02.2015, 20:40
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Re: Giving up..

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I know it's easier said than done, but good on you for not being a quitter!!!

An idea for future applications:

Scan all your documents (Betreibungsregisterauszug, permit etc.) as single documents and write a template motivation letter for an apartment in such a way that when an ad comes up, all you have to do is fill in the info which is specific to the apartment (e.g. number of rooms, apartment location, special things about the apartment like balcony etc.)

E.g.

"Application for [number]-room apartment in [location]

Dear [name of agent]

I am applying for the [number of rooms]-room apartment in [location] because my daughter [name] and I ([age, profession, non-smoker, type of permit]) are looking for an apartment due to [reason].
The viewing today [date of viewing] with [name of tenant/agent present at viewing] convinced me that your apartment suits us perfectly because [school district, nice balcony, nice view, suitable public transport stops etc.].

I am a [insert positive thing about you] person and my daughter is a [insert positive thing about her] child. You are welcome to contact [your employer] and [your last landlord] for references under [phone number/e-mail].
I am confident I and my daughter would be a good fit for your flat in [location].

Therefore I would be ever so glad if you were to consider us for your flat. I hope to hear from you soon.

Sincerely
[your name]"

When an ad comes up, call agencies (if late in the evening, e-mail immediately) and ask for a viewing at the next possible date.
Go to the viewing in nice clothes and in a good mood. Take notes of what you like best in the apartment (e.g. floor in living room, sunny balcony, pet-friendliness etc.), ask some questions (e.g. how many months deposit does the landlord require, are there kids in the building etc.) get the present tenant's/agent's name (make sure you get the correct spelling, business card if possible) and contact details and the Anmeldeformular (form which agencies supply to find out more about prospective tenants), and head home.

Now you have to be quick because whoever is quicker and makes the better impression gets the apartment.
Go straight to your motivation letter and enter the info corresponding to the flat in question in the motivation letter [nice balcony, number of rooms etc.]. Make several copies of the blank (!) Anmeldeformular (you won't want crossings-out/errors on it) and fill in the requested information. Scan the nicest written form. Save all documents (Motivation letter first, agency's form second, Betreibungsauszug third and so forth) as a single PDF document.

E-mail the lot to the agency immediately.

If you'd like a translation of the motivation letter drafted above in German, I'm sure someone on EF can help you or I can do it for you and send you a PM.
Good afternoon Glow and... thank you very, very much to have decided to "glow" in my thread and to take the time to reply, i really appreciate your advice.

I have a presentation letter in english and in french, saying aprox the same. When i present a dossier i have even calculated the order of the documents:

- Anmeldungformular
- Betreibungauszug
- Presentation letter - English and German
- References from my CEO - German
- References from the mother of my daughter's friend - German
- References from my direct supervisor - German
- B Permit copies of my daughter and me
- Spanish passport copies.

I alwazs scan all the documents toghether so that thez can see them in order and have them in a single file, just the way i also like to be sent documents.

I always present the dossier in this order. Maybe i should change it and put the presentation letter first and add to this letter a picture of us both.

When i call the immobilien and speak to the concerned person after seeing the flat and meeting the person, i am under the impression that i am annoying them because they always tell me: We have your documents, we have to considerate other candidates and we will let you know our decision. And then comes the e-mail or the letter returning my documents.

Lately i have to say, it has been very hard for me not to look desperate, i need to control this as they might not like it as well.
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  #44  
Old 12.02.2015, 20:43
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Re: Giving up..

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There is a will, there is a way! Fight for you and your daughter for a better life!

I myself experienced a similar situation. Before our move to Zug, we had applied many flats for over a year. We started as soon as we knew that I was pregnant and we lived in a 2.5 rooms flat so there was a need for a bigger flat. We had a dog n a few cats and we only applied for flats that allowed pets.

Although they said all pets friendly but it turned out every single flat we applied, they rejected us, it is hard not to think that the rejection was due to our dog. So I had to make a decision between my 10yo dog which I raised since puppy and my unborn baby. Sadly I was forced to make such hard decision and as soon as we declared on the application that we don't have a dog, we got a flat!!!! I was happy but also mad! And the most ironic thing is, there are many dogs in my building!!!! I can't tell you how bad I feel when I had to give up my dog for my baby and I always feel some sort of regrets towards him. And I know I won't have a dog again after this.

So don't give up, I thought it was personal too and felt hopeless after over of a year on trying, but sometimes it is just unlucky as well. Look for family /kids friendly area, it might be easier for you to get the flat! Good luck!
Thank you very much for taking the time to leave me these kind words and to share your experience.. We all have our circumstances and it's never easy to make the right choice..
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  #45  
Old 12.02.2015, 20:43
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Re: Giving up..

OP - Sad to read your posts and just wanted to send you some positive energy and tell you to hang in there, although I know it feels very difficult right now.

My partner and I went through this a few years ago, and we were constantly feeling disappointed and rejected when we were not successful in our apartment applications. Thank God, an apartment came up for us eventually, and we've been living happily in it ever since. Just wanted to share that to give you some hope!

If you need to talk anytime, PM me We live in Luzern too!

Keep your head up!
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Old 12.02.2015, 20:48
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Re: Giving up..

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In my limited experience (trying to get a bigger flat) they seem to give preference to couples with children. Problem with us single mums is that we are only two people looking for a 3.5 or 4 zimmer, we always lose out to three people, even though both need the same number of bedrooms. I have even see adverts that specify married with children will be given preference.
Good luck OP, I know what it's like to feel embarrised to invite your kid's friends over because of the lack of space. But spring is comming which means picnics etc,
Hi MsWorWoo, thank you for participating..

And yes, they prefer couples but it is logical if you get to think that if there are two adults and one loses the job, the other one might be able to cover the rent and this is some kind of "insurance" for the immobiliens.

I have been trying to avoid inviting her friends at home. We live in a one room flat, at least the kitchen is hidden but does not have a door.. But well.. At some point i will have to invite them.. My daughter's 6th birthday is approaching and i also have to find how to celebrate it this year and i have no idea of what to do..
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  #47  
Old 12.02.2015, 20:57
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Re: Giving up..

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Good afternoon Glow and... thank you very, very much to have decided to "glow" in my thread and to take the time to reply, i really appreciate your advice.

I have a presentation letter in english and in french, saying aprox the same. When i present a dossier i have even calculated the order of the documents:

- Anmeldungformular
- Betreibungauszug
- Presentation letter - English and German
- References from my CEO - German
- References from the mother of my daughter's friend - German
- References from my direct supervisor - German
- B Permit copies of my daughter and me
- Spanish passport copies.

I alwazs scan all the documents toghether so that thez can see them in order and have them in a single file, just the way i also like to be sent documents.

I always present the dossier in this order. Maybe i should change it and put the presentation letter first and add to this letter a picture of us both.

When i call the immobilien and speak to the concerned person after seeing the flat and meeting the person, i am under the impression that i am annoying them because they always tell me: We have your documents, we have to considerate other candidates and we will let you know our decision. And then comes the e-mail or the letter returning my documents.

Lately i have to say, it has been very hard for me not to look desperate, i need to control this as they might not like it as well.
Hi,

I'd put the presentation letter (only German, do you need help with that/are you sure there are no errors in it?) first (with a small, passport-photo sized pic of you and daughter, not a large photo) and the permit right after the Betreibungsregisterauszug, with the passport copies after the permit.
And put the reference from your direct supervisor before the one from your CEO (or get your direct supervisor and CEO to merge their references into one page), and after the one from your CEO put the one from your daughter's friend's mom (although I think this last reference isn't necessary/bordering on going overboard/being pushy). Do you have references from your current landlord/agency and a written statement that you always paid your rent on time? That could be incredibly helpful (especially the reference) as landlords'/agencies' goal is to get the rent for their properties on time without hassle.
In my opinion the most important references are the ones from your direct supervisor and your current landlord/agency.

So:
1. Presentation letter (German only) with small photo of you/daughter in top right corner, not more than one page of text
2. Anmeldeformular
3. Betreibungsregisterauszug
4. Permit
5. Spanish passport
6. Reference from direct supervisor (or combined reference from direct supervisor and CEO on a single page, if possible)
(7. Reference from CEO)
8. Reference from current landlord including mention that you always pay rent on time and that they would recommend you as a tenant

When do you make those calls to the agencies where they say that they have your documents? If you give us a timeline of a past occurrence as an example, we might be able to estimate if you might come across as pushy.

Hope this helps Any further Q's, ask away.

Last edited by glowjupiter; 12.02.2015 at 21:17.
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  #48  
Old 12.02.2015, 21:02
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Re: Giving up..

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So:
1. Presentation letter (german only) with small photo of you/daughter in top right corner
2. Anmeldeformular
3. Betreibungsregisterauszug
4. Permit
5. Spanish passport
6. Reference from direct supervisor (or combined reference from direct supervisor and CEO on a single page, if possible)
(7. Reference from CEO)
8. Reference from current landlord.
You forgot the essential:

9. In catholic canton: reference from the pope himself.
9. In protestant canton: reference from god himself.
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  #49  
Old 12.02.2015, 21:14
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Re: Giving up..

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Please Cascabel, what does this mean? Do you mean you've given notice on your current FLAT, or do you mean you've resigned from your JOB (maybe intending to leave Switzerland)?


Please, please, please, if you haven't already sent off that letter, don't!
If you have already sent it off, my feeling is that you should immediately take whatever steps you can to withdraw it.


Why?
Because everything you write tells me that you're exhausted, desperate, frustrated, weepy, a bit angry, probably on a general down trip about being foreign in Switzerland. That happens. And I guess the whole tedious flat-search, as a single mother, is probably making you feel something along the lines of lonely and unwanted.


Of course I don't know you, and can't possibly know if what I'm presuming here is accurate. But since you affirm that what I wrote before is in the general direction of understanding you, I dare to write this: My guess is that you are simply FAR TOO WEARY for taking any serious decision today.


I don't know if it is the job or the flat you mean in your letter as of the 27th February.
  • If you don't have another FLAT to go to, you should not be giving notice on the one you've got.
  • Even if you do have another JOB to go to, you should probably not be resigning the one you have until you've at least had a few nights' sleep.
You're not a quitter, and major changes should be done only when more rested than you feel this evening. Please, try to get some sleep.

Then tomorrow or the next day, you could re-read this thread and pick out any suggestions you haven't yet implemented (e.g. looking on the notice-boards at Coop and Migros, or paying an agent) and whether these could work for you. You might also adapt glowjupiter's draft letter as it applies to you, and if you need something along the lines she suggests, take her up on her very kind offer.


For tonight, though, please try to sleep, (maybe with a hot-waterbottle, or a cuddly blanket) so you can be clearer to take better decisions.


In spite of the fact you've had a really horrible day, I wish you, in as much as possible, a good night.
Dear Doropfiz,

The resignation i printed is for my job.. I thought of leaving my job, the flat and reorganise my life in my country, with my family and friends. Try to get my old job back and fight as i have always done.. I am a bit better today.. Let's see tomorrow..

I have four important pilars in my life and none of them is going well, this is why i am totally destabilized. I have to search the positive things appart from my daughter's stories and smiles to cheer me up.

Thank you, thank you for taking the time to send me these kind words..
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  #50  
Old 12.02.2015, 21:17
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Re: Giving up..

I live in Basel right next to a river. Our balcony is about ten meters from it.

Want to know how my partner got the unit?

I am no expert on this but she went into settings and modified it to send her a e-mail when the appropriate unit was available. When she saw our place she immediately sent a e-mail to the owner, within minutes of the unit appearing on the web site.

The next day the deal was done.

OK it sounds like you are not a swissy but this may help to get you to the front of the list or interested parties.

good luck.
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  #51  
Old 12.02.2015, 21:20
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Are you registered in any Wohnungsgenossenschaft yet?
I know that in zürich it is possible to be in a genossenschaft even if you're not living in one of their flats but you also get the ads which are often not out in public.
If there is a genossenschaft with appartments in your area, it might be worth becoming a member if that's possible.

In a genossenschaft you also have better chances if you have a child.
Hi! Thank you very much for taking the time to reply.. I had no idea of what this is, i will investigate it but there might be preferences, and swiss go first..

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What others have said about language.

Remember that the landlord may not be good at English. Even if you think he's understanding you perfectly, that feeling may not be mutual. Many Swiss underestimate their own ability to communicate in English and feel vulnerable when they have to speak it. Maybe he's not letting the flat to you because he's concerned misunderstandings and difficulties in communication may arise.

I don't know how good your German is, but if it is at all usable, use it and be confident in it. Don't worry about making mistakes. Most Swiss are extremely tolerant when it comes to that. But what matters is that the landlord sees he can communicate with you if need be and there won't be misunderstandings.
Good afternoon amogles,

I have notions in german but i have to say that not enough to maitain a conversation or to write. It's a shame because i do speak six languages but no german at all. I am learning with my daughter's "homework", some cartoons and a website i have was recommended today.

I try my best though, i always ask them to speak to me in german because i understand most of the times, i reply in english or french and they usually understand me. But yet.. No, i do not speak german.

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Jeepers, I think someone got off on the wrong foot here.
I don't think anyone was trying to imply that you abandoned your dog, just that you possibly could've kept him if you'd searched in a slightly different manner/for longer. It is understandable that you want to be supportive of OP by saying that you understand her situation and wish her luck. But the thing is, posters cannot direct where threads head off to, so our replying to the aspect of you not keeping your dog in your post instead of your support of the OP is something you'll have to get used to here. I've had some posts and threads of mine derail too, it's normal.

By the way, using proper English instead of txtspk would really help legibility of your post.


OP, has anything new happened yet? Would you like a translation of the motivation letter?
I really do not know what i should say, because i am unsure of what i could offer you in return, but yes.. i would really appreciate it..

And, do you think that it would be a good idea to make a list of the immobilien in this area and go to see them, present myself and give them a copy of all my documents? If a flat appears they might possibly remember my visit.. What do you think?

Last edited by 3Wishes; 12.02.2015 at 21:46. Reason: merging successive posts
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  #52  
Old 12.02.2015, 21:49
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Re: Giving up..

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In none of the larger cities is it easy to find an apartment, which is why I honestly don't get why people keep insisting on living in the center of pretty much any city in this country. It's not like the places are massive, it would often be SO much easier to just look into one of the suburbs, which really, in Lucerne, are basically right there anway and you don't even realize you're leaving the city. And in no place is the commute from a suburb into the city substantial, often even less. I used to live outside of Zurich and my commute was shorter than that of a colleague who lived in the city, but in another part of town far away from where we worked.

I also think people take a rejection WAY too personal. It's not a job application or job interview (and even there, it's often not personal). I have no idea what an 'ideal tenant' would look like. Affordable apartments in the city center receive 50, 100, 150 and more applications. I'd bet my head it's just a pure coincidence as to who is chosen - those that are absolutely not an option will probably be discarded right away, and then it's a random choice.

Why are people taking this so personal? I don't get it. I would never assume it's because of me as a person if I don't get an apartment in the center of e.g. Zurich. Chances I get it are likely close to zero to begin with, even as a supposedly 'ideal' candidate (whatever that means). So keep trying, something will turn up, and by all means, there's a world outside the center of Lucerne - expand your scope. Or if that's not an option, be fine with what you have, and take the occasional look on what's available out there.
I chose to live in the center of Luzern because of my job. I work from 08.30 to 17.00 and my daughter spends 20 minutes more per day within the Kindergarten and the betreuung. A lot.

The idea of having her spending one more hour, half more in the morning to be able to go to my job, and half more in the evening for me to be able to arrive home was not an option for me. I have to work for living, yes, but i also have to spend time with my daughter.

And Luzern is a nice city but i would prefer to live in Horw or any small village in the suburbs.
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Old 12.02.2015, 22:04
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Re: Giving up..

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I really do not know what i should say, because i am unsure of what i could offer you in return, but yes.. i would really appreciate it..

And, do you think that it would be a good idea to make a list of the immobilien in this area and go to see them, present myself and give them a copy of all my documents? If a flat appears they might possibly remember my visit.. What do you think?
Am I correct to understand that you'd like a translation of my motivation letter written on the previous page or would you like me to correct/check the letter you have already written?

Providing all agencies in your area with your info is good if they appreciate it - so I suggest you make a list, then call the agencies during business hours (morning is better than afternoon, generally speaking) and ask them if you should mail them your info or if you could bring it over in person so that they can put you on their waiting lists. If they give you the choice to come over or e-mail, dress nicely and go visit in person, and remember to say once you arrive that you are learning German.
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Old 12.02.2015, 22:08
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Re: Giving up..

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Am I correct to understand that you'd like a translation of my motivation letter written on the previous page or would you like me to correct/check the letter you have already written?
Yes please.. I would appreciate it..
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Old 12.02.2015, 22:10
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Yes please.. I would appreciate it..
Which one? My letter or yours?
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Old 12.02.2015, 22:16
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Re: Giving up..

Uuuhh.. I have just remembered one of the worst experiences i have ever had.

I saw a flat, i called the landlord, she invite me to visit the flat. Then i called her back and advised her that i was very interested in renting it. She invited me to a "meeting/interview" so that she can get to know me. When i arrived, she advised me that the flat was gone. I asked her why didn't she cancel the meeting? And then she offered me another flat, in a building that was going to be completely renoviert in a year with the promise to move us to another flat if any becomes available.. I am desperate, I went to see this new flat and saw that the walls were full of mold.. Of course, i politely advised her that i went to the interview in order to apply for one particular flat and that this flat does not respond to my needs, also that i am alone wih a kid and that moving in moving out costs money. The lady, which owns all the buildings of one of the largest streets in the city, got angry at me, and sent me the below e-mail:

"Guten Abend

Ich nehme das so zur Kenntnis, aber bei mir werden Sie leider keine zweite Chance haben.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen"

I keep this e-mail as a reminder on how cruel people can be..
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Old 12.02.2015, 22:18
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Re: Giving up..

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Which one? My letter or yours?
Yours, yours.. I could use yours.. and i will get to fill in the blank spaces.. Thank you..
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Old 12.02.2015, 22:20
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Yours, yours.. I could use yours.. and i will get to fill in the blank spaces.. Thank you..
You have a PM.

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Old 12.02.2015, 22:23
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Re: Giving up..

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OK. Might be able to do it this weekend. If any other EFer is quicker, they're welcome to do it too, of course
No rush.. and thank you, very very much..
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Old 12.02.2015, 22:23
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Re: Giving up..

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Hi MsWorWoo, thank you for participating..

And yes, they prefer couples but it is logical if you get to think that if there are two adults and one loses the job, the other one might be able to cover the rent and this is some kind of "insurance" for the immobiliens.

I have been trying to avoid inviting her friends at home. We live in a one room flat, at least the kitchen is hidden but does not have a door.. But well.. At some point i will have to invite them.. My daughter's 6th birthday is approaching and i also have to find how to celebrate it this year and i have no idea of what to do..
Oh, I understand, my daughter is 6 and a half. Luckily her birthday is in summer so I had a picnic in the communal area outside, only me and my daughter were allowed inside the flat, and I had a large tent (with the internal rooms left out) for a cover for the food etc. I tried to book the local hall, but my German wasn't good enough to get a Response. Year before I had a 'teddy bear picnic' in the same area, but it's harder to corral 5 year olds.
Could you go somewhere else? A cafe or a soft play centre type thing? One of my daughter KG friends (who lives in the same apartment group as me) arranged to go to tramoplino, another to a horse stables. Of course, these options are not cheap, but probably less stressful than lots of kindergartners in a confined space.
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