Category Archives: Life in California

The One Time I Filed a Police Report

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THE ONE TIME I FILED A POLICE REPORT

If the title of today’s post might give the impression that it contains a high crime thriller story a la CSI, I unfortunately have to disappoint you.  It doesn’t involve any car chase or robbery (even though our house in Germany was broken into once, but that is a whole other story), just my first (and hopefully last) visit to an American police station.

My encounter with the law enforcement happened over a year ago when I was house sitting in Playa Del Rey over Easter. I had been staying at this location many times before and never encountered any issues – until this particular visit.

The house is part of a fourplex and located a block from the beach, and parking can be very scarce, especially during spring and summer.  The owners of the place I stayed at allowed me to park in one of the parking spaces behind the house, which never had given me any problems.

It was one particular night when I took the dog of the house out for a last stroll and noticed a piece of paper on the windshield of my car. I took it off, and when I unfolded it I saw a handwritten note stating that the parking spots were only for residents.  I didn’t think any of it since I had the OK from one of the tenants to park there, and so I ripped the note apart and threw it away.

I forgot about the incident and kept leaving my car behind the house. Two days later, on Thursday morning I walked out to take the dog to the park, when I discovered another note on my windshield – this time around it wasn’t a very friendly one.

Since I am not planning on sticking to the same level these lovely people went to, I omit the swearwords.  But what it basically stated was, “Hey a******, if you continue to f****** park here, we will make sure that your car will be towed.”

At first, I didn’t know what to think.  It wasn’t until I walked to the side of my car when I noticed two long scratches along the door on the driver’s side.  I could tell that they were done with a key and maliciously.

Since they appeared on the same day I received the nasty note, I was convinced that the person who wrote me the note probable also scratched my car.  Needless to say, I was furious.

I didn’t want to bother the owners of the house and disrupt their vacation, so I went ahead and reached out to a couple of my friends for advice.  I didn’t have any proof, just assumptions, but my friends told me to go ahead and file a police report just to be safe.

I was dreading going down to an actual police station, but I also wanted to know what my chances were (I figured probably 0%, but I went ahead anyway).

So that same afternoon, I dragged myself and my vandalized car to the police station at LAX.  I was nervous walking in, imagining it would be an atmosphere you witness in the movies, with criminals in handcuffs all over the place.  But, as it is with many movies and TV shows, the reality looked a little different.

In fact, I was the only person in that very small police station, and I didn’t have to wait long until one of the officers paid attention to me.  He looked as bored and uninterested in my case as could be, and so I was eager to get this over with.

The officer took down all my information, gave me a copy of it, and basically reassured me what I had been thinking all along – there was not much the police could do.

I could not wait till I was able to get out of there and head back to be with the dog and just put that day behind me.  Until this day, I have no proof who left me the nasty note and scratched my car, but ever since one of the neighbors moved out of the fourplex, I never experienced another issue with parking behind the house – just saying…

Images: pixabay.com

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Anne-KathrinAnne-Kathrin Schulte is a contributor for CaliforniaGermans.com. She writes about her personal experience of the American Dream as well as on working as an au pair in CA. She was born and grew up in Düsseldorf, Germany, where she completed her degree as a state-approved Kindergarten teacher. After her au pair engagement in the US and a quick return to Germany, she decided to attend university in California and moved back to the United States. She has been living in Southern California since 2011.

If you would like to contact Anne-Kathrin, please send an email to californiagermans(at)gmail.com and place her name in the subject line.

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What’s Next? – Celebrate Spring with German Events

Check out what’s happening in the German community next!

Its’ Spring and you’ll find festivals and celebrations everywhere inviting you to the outside to enjoy the warmer weather in the company of your friends and family. The German community in CA has been busy to plan some spring events for you. Check them out below:


April 21-22  – German Theater in San Diego

If you are longing to see and hear some German theater and want to share a laugh in the company of other German expats, this one is for you.

So ist das Leben!” (That’s Life) and evening that promises to be a lot of fun with humorous and thought-provoking skits, poems and musical numbers presented by The German Theater Group San Diego.

It’s next week and last year’s event was sold out! Get your Tickets here:

Find out more about the Cabaret Evening at our previous post.

Dates: April 21, 2018, at 7:30 pm and April 22, 2018, at 2:00 pm
Price: General Admission $12, Students (with ID) $9
Place: German American Societies, 1017 S. Mollison Ave., El Cajon, CA 92020


May 5  – MayFaire Celebration in Mar Vista

Tivoli Rainbow Garden Preschool invites to their annual Mayfaire celebration with Maypole dancing for the children, Puppet show, Music Performance, Flower Wreath Crafting and Face Painting.

You want to be part of this fun family event with scrumptious foods: Brezel, Bratwurst, Kartoifeelsalat, Kaffe und Kuchen await you.

Celebrate May with us from 11am – 2pm on Saturday, May 5.

$10 donation per family – Everyone is welcome – Proceeds go to Tivoli rainbow Garden preschool. More info here.

Tivoli Rainbow Garden Preschool – 3170 Stoner Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90066


May 6  – Maifest and Kinderfest in Anaheim

Welcome Spring the German way at the Phoenix Club in Anaheim.  Come celebrate Maifest and Kinderfest in the Biergarten with live music by the Bluebirds Show Band,  a Traditional Maypole Dance, and the election of our Maikönigin (May Queen)!

The Park opens at 11 am, and the joint Program by the Phoenix Club, the German American League, and the German American School Association Südkaliforniens (GASA) starts at 1:00 PM,  with a Parade of the German American League Clubs.

We know the weather will be perfect to enjoy great Bier and German cuisine. The Kinderfest will provide lots of fun activities such as Arts and Crafts, Bounce House, Plant Potting and Cards for Mother’s Day, Pony Rides, Bouncers, Entertainment, Kid’s Train, Dancing for Mom and Dad. Don’t miss the used German Book Sale and in the afternoon be part of GASA’s BIG RAFFLE with prizes you don’t want to miss like the First Prize of $ 500.00 cash!

Admission is $7.00  Children 16 years and under are Free!

Phoenix Club, 1340 S. Sanderson Avenue, Anaheim, California Ball Road 


May 11  –  ‘Weisser Spargel’ Dinner Event in San Francisco

One night, three courses, one exclusive ingredient: Join the GACC West for their annual White Asparagus Gala Dinner in San Francisco.

It is the season in which one of the German’s favorite vegetable is being harvested: white asparagus.

This vegetable is so exquisite that the German American Chamber of Commerce (GACC West) dedicates an entire evening to it – an evening to which the GACC West would like to hereby cordially invite you.

The White Asparagus Gala Dinner is a one-of-a-kind event showcasing the German delicacy, which is harvested at one of Germany’s best Spargelhof and flown in exclusively for this very evening. This “edible ivory” serves thereby as the core ingredient in the exquisite three-course meal, which will be complemented by an exclusive tasting of Bluxome’s locally sourced fine wines.

Find out more at  www.gaccwest.com/2018asparagus or register directly via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/white-asparagus-gala-dinner-wine-tasting-2018-tickets-43633227157

White AsparagusDinner Event at Bluxome’s Street Winery | San Francisco, CA


May 19th – Maifest and Kinderfest in Huntington beach

Join  GERMANSCHOOLcampus.com for their Maifest and Kinderfest. You will find a music and dance program specifically for children. The Donauschwäbische Volkstanzgruppe Los Angeles (Danube Swabian Folk Dance Group of LA) will perform the “Maibaum Tanz” with its Jugendgruppe.  Austrian therapist and author, Claudia Tichy, will read in German from her new book (Tesha Discovers the World – Healing Stories for Children) and sign copies. Old World Restaurant will serve German delicacies while children get entertained with crafts for kids.

Free Event from 3pm-6pm

Old World 7561 Center Ave. #49, Huntington Beach, CA 92647

German Summer Camps 2018 – Deutsche Sommerferien in California (Updated)

German Summer Camps 2018 –

It’s time to get serious about thinking and planning for a summer camp. We had posted some of the camps in February, so this is a re-post with a few new updates.  Look through our list and find your favourite pick!

Most popular German summer camps up and down the California Coast. 


German American School Association (GASA) – 

Our 2018 camp is inviting all 7 to 16-year-olds to our exciting sleep-away camp from June 23 -28. Spend 6 days, 5 nights at the Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center in Orange, CA.

This year’s highlight will be the literary work of famous German author Cornelia Funke!  Students will get acquainted with Cornelia Funke’s writings, especially the book “Die wilden Hühner” and write and perform their own play/musical. They will also visit a mine and learn about rocks, minerals, earthquakes, tectonic plates and mining in a fun, hands-on fashion.  Special activities such as zip lining, swimming, 136 ft. water slide and wall climbing will be available during leisure time, and we will have fun activities planned such as nature hikes, dancing, singing, crafting, campfire, baking, sports, games, fishing, etc.  All activities will be conducted in German.  Join us for an adventurous week at Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center from June 23rd – June 28th, 2018.  You can find more about the German Immersion Camp on our website www.germanschool4kids.org


German School Campus – Newport Beach

Attention all scientists! GermanSchool Campus in Newport Beach is offering its German immersion STEM Science Camp again.  A week of exploring the oceans, learning about sustainability, recycling, clean air solutions, wind power, and much more starts Monday, July 2nd – Saturday, July 7th (Wednesday 4th of July is off) from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm daily.

We have exciting excursions planned on a pontoon boat to a local Science center in the Newport Bay, and again will enjoy sailing or kayaking on the bay. Campers will build a solar-powered hydro car with us and will learn about the various environments. Children ages 6-17 years old get immersed into hands-on scientific experiments while playfully being introduced to a new culture and language (German). All levels are welcome!  Find out more about the camp on our website www.germanschoolcampus.com


German Pacific School San Diego – San Diego

Ready for 4 weeks of fantastic summer camps? German Pacific School San Diego offers 4 weeks of German language camp at the Clairemont location with full immersion, 6 hours German per day for 4 different age groups, 4-12 years old. Reading and writing practice. Music, theater, games, building, painting, and baking.  Kids will enjoy many hands-on projects – Every week is different!  Camp time will be from 25. June to July 20, from 9am-3pm.

This year the school offers a 2-week special Art Camp: Students will learn about famous artists from German-speaking European countries, learn about art history, discover new techniques while doing their own artwork, experiment with various materials and colors and watch movies, all related to art. A student organized art exhibition at the end will be the camps’ highlight.   Art Camp Dates: 25. June – 6. July

Please check the school for more detailed information regarding program and location. More info at www.gpssd.org


WANDERKIND Preschool & Kindergarten – Glendale

WanderKind School in Glendale/Burbank will offer another German Immersion Camp for the youngest German learners. Mark your calendar for four weeks packed with outdoor fun and adventure in June for kids 4-8 years old.  If you have attended last year, you don’t want to miss out on all the fun this year. Reserve your spot today!

More information at  www.wanderkindschool.org/


BAKS – Bay Area Kinderstube Summer Camp –  Berkeley, Northern California

“Wir packen unsere Koffer” is the theme of our 2018 German Immersion Summer Camp for ages 5-13, and one for ages 3-4.  Join us this summer from, July 16 – August 10, as we explore the diversity of the many cities and towns of German-speaking countries. Our camp location will be on the beautiful Berkwood Hedge Campus.

Sign up by April 1st and lock in our Early- Bird Special. For more information check our flyer here or www.kinderstube.org


GASPA Summer Camp in Palo Alto, Northern California

Get ready, get set, Summer! Back by popular demand and new and improved! The German-American School of Palo Alto is pleased to once again a full immersion German language summer camp program from June 25th through July 20th in Menlo Park for ages 3-10.

New this year, you can sign up for individual weeks. Sign up before March 31st to take advantage of early bird pricing. Full program details and pricing and can be found on our website.

More information at www.gaspa-ca.org


GISSV -German International School Silicon Valley

This summer we have 2 different camps going on at two locations.
German language classes are paired with art, music, science, sports, cooking and more!
Mountain View: June 18th -July 13th (Kindergarten to middle school)
San Francisco: June 18th-22nd ( Kindergarten to 3rd grade)
You can sign up for a full-day or half-day camp. Extended care is also offered. More information at www.gissv.org

Innerweaving Immersion Camp – Fairfax (NorCal)

Begining July, Silvia Schroeder will hold another Innerweaving camp. The camp offers a combination of indoor/outdoor creative fun. “Throughout the camp we will talk German and introduce language based on nature and craft activities.” Family members are invited to celebrate their children’s powerful Nature-Earthcraft accomplishments on the final day.

Dates are not finalized yet. For more information please contact:  Silvia Schroeder at coaching@innerweaving.com  

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Image: Pixabay.com

You Know You Are Truly German…

YOU KNOW YOU ARE TRULY GERMAN…

…When the phrases listed below make you laugh (or cringe).

Every language has its proverbs.  Some well-known English ones include:

  • “The early bird catches the worm.”
  • “Too many cooks spoil the broth.”

Or

  • “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”

Here are some examples that we are familiar with in the German culture:

  • “Aus den Augen, aus dem Sinn.”
  • “Kommt Zeit, kommt Rat.”

Or

  • “Alle guten Dinge sind drei.”

Now, some of these proverbs can be easily translated into the other language.  But there are certain ones that just sound silly if you do translate them word by word. Some of my fellow German readers might have heard of these before.  .

And if not, I hope you still get to enjoy this guessing game and get a good laugh out of it.  I sure do every time one of my friends comes around the corner with one of these (See what I did there?)

  • “I only understand railroad station.”
  • “You go me on the alarm clock.”
  • “My dear Mr. Singing Club.”
  • “This is not the yellow from the egg.”
  • “Now we have the salad.”
  • “With me is not good cherry eating.”
  • “There tap-dances the bear.”
  • “Everything is in butter.”
  • “He doesn’t have all the cups in the closet.”
  • “He has bumblebees in the bottom.”
  • “That is jacket like pants.”
  • “There we have the salad.”
  • “To be washed with all waters.”
  • “There becomes yes the dog in the pan crazy.”
  • “It’s pouring like out of buckets.”
  • “Only the hard come into the garden.”
  • “I do believe my pig whistles.”
  • “Enjoy life in full trains.”
  • “Life is no sugar licking.”
  • “That is me so what of sausage.”
  • “Butter by the fishes.”

I could go on and on and without becoming tired of it.  But since all good things have to come to an end, I will leave you with this video by German actors Matthias Schweighöfer and Friedrich Mücke.  Enjoy!

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Credits: Images – Pixabay.com / Video – ©SonyPicturesGermany

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Anne-KathrinAnne-Kathrin Schulte is a contributor for CaliforniaGermans.com. She writes about her personal experience of the American Dream as well as on working as an au pair in CA. She was born and grew up in Düsseldorf, Germany, where she completed her degree as a state-approved Kindergarten teacher. After her au pair engagement in the US and a quick return to Germany, she decided to attend university in California and moved back to the United States. She has been living in Southern California since 2011.

If you would like to contact Anne-Kathrin, please send an email to californiagermans(at)gmail.com and place her name in the subject line.

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You Know You Live Close to Hollywood When…

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YOU KNOW YOU LIVE CLOSE TO HOLLYWOOD WHEN…

… You run into famous celebrities from time to time.  I have always been fascinated with the film and television industry, and it was like a dream come true when my parents took me to visit Hollywood for the first time during a vacation back in 1998.

While the Hollywood Walk of Fame may not be the prettiest and cleanest attraction on the planet, during our trip I was fascinated by it.  I loved seeing the names of famous people from various fields of the entertainment industry framed in pink stars scattered along the streets.  Little did I know that I was actually going to see an actual celebrity just the next day.

We had tickets for the Universal Studios Hollywood. It was a warm summer day, and the park was packed.  While we were waiting in line for the Jurassic Park ride, my mom was looking around and faced the back side, where the actual film studios are located. She suddenly let out a gasp and announced that Mr. Pretty Woman aka Richard Gere just drove by on the studio lot.

I quickly turned around, and there it was, my first major celebrity sighting. Even though I just caught a very short glimpse of Richard scooting in a golf cart in between the sets, it was still something I was very looking forward to telling my High School friends back in Germany.

My next major sighting occurred a couple years ago at LAX airport, also known as “celebrity central” (nah, I just made that up, but it suits the location.)  I was on my way to visit my best friend in Dallas and was hanging out at the departure gate for my flight.

As it was getting closer to boarding time, I stood up and walked closer towards the boarding area.  While I was standing close to a pole and checked my phone, I noticed two women standing close to me, one of them looking very familiar.  I took a longer peek over, and then it dawned on me: There, only a few inches away from me stood Kirsten Dunst.

She seemed so normal and no one was bothering her that you wouldn’t have noticed her. She and her girlfriend were just standing there talking to each other.  I kept glimpsing over, but since I am generally not the type that walks over to ask for autographs or pictures, I didn’t want to bother her.

What a fun coincidence it was that she was on the same flight as me.  But what stood out to me the most was that, instead of sitting in first class and participating in priority boarding, she actually joined the “normal” crowd and sat in Economy Class. This was by far my favorite celebrity moment and showed me again that, at the end of the day, Hollywood stars are just like us.

My latest celebrity experience occurred in 2014 in Laguna Beach.  It was on a Sunday, and a couple of friends and I had just finished a hike around the Laguna Canyons when we decided to grab some food.  We went to a burger place close to the beach.

I didn’t even notice it at first when we entered the restaurant since all I could focus on at that point was food, but two of my girlfriends started whispering to each other.  All I heard them saying was, “there is Batman.” I had no clue what they were talking about and just raised my brows, then put my attention back on the host who was guiding us to our table.

When we all set down, my friends kept peeking over towards the entrance of the restaurant.  Since I still hadn’t figured out what was going on, I leaned back in my chair so I could glimpse past them and then realized why they were so excited.  There, at one of the tables on the other end of the restaurant, sat Christian Bale with his family.

I was a huge fan of The Dark Knight Rises, and so were my friends.  While I was just enjoying being in the same restaurant as the latest Batman actor, my two girlfriends were arguing to go over and ask for a picture with him or not.  I was totally not up for it, obviously because I am always too shy to ask and second because he was there with his kids and wife.

My friends eventually decided against it and we just indulged our food until it was time to pay.  Christian Bale and his family had already left, but our waiter was pretty excited about the whole situation as well.  When he came to give us the check he blurted out, “Did you guys just see that Christian Bale was here?!” We all started laughing and then asked him a million questions about how it was to serve such a famous actor.

So whenever you are going on with your life in Southern California, be aware that around every corner a celebrity could be awaiting you.

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Images: pixabay.com

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Anne-KathrinAnne-Kathrin Schulte is a contributor for CaliforniaGermans.com. She writes about her personal experience of the American Dream as well as on working as an au pair in CA. She was born and grew up in Düsseldorf, Germany, where she completed her degree as a state-approved Kindergarten teacher. After her au pair engagement in the US and a quick return to Germany, she decided to attend university in California and moved back to the United States. She has been living in Southern California since 2011.

If you would like to contact Anne-Kathrin, please send an email to californiagermans(at)gmail.com and place her name in the subject line.

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