Tag Archives: Expat

German Speaking Dads of teenage sons needed for TV Commercial

Casting Call for a Commercial –

A casting company in Los Angeles is looking for Dads, who are not only fathers of a teenage son, but are also fluent in German!  The concept of the commercial “… is really charming and something most fathers would like to be a part of.”

Dads of all ethnicities & languages are welcome, but the agency is specifically looking for dads fluent in GERMAN.

Please check out the flyer below for more detailed information on the dates and more. If interested please email Elizabeth at elizabeth@broad-cast.tv  OR  Jasmine at   jasmine@broad-cast.tv

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Spring Break 2015

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Spring Break 2015

As nice and multifaceted California is, sometimes it is nice to get out and explore other parts of the country.  My personal goal each year is to visit a place I have never been before.  In April 2015, that place was Miami.  I was debating to travel to either Boston or Miami.  I love visiting cities and explore the architecture and culture.  But during Spring Break, all I wanted to do was to relax and soak up the sun, and so the decision fell on Florida.

It was the perfect time to travel to Miami since it wasn’t too hot or too humid that early on during the year.  What I didn’t expect though were some of the horrendous prices that were about to face me.  Beforehand I have to say though that I got some great deals on flight and hotel.  I booked early on, so prices for flights were still pretty decent.

For my stay, I looked at both hotels and private stays.  I ended up getting a hotel for a bargain price, but it was located a little outside from South Beach.  Therefore, I had to rent a car on top, which I had originally planned anyways since I wanted to drive down to Key West one of the days.  All in all, the sum I had to pay was still acceptable.

On my day of travel, I was really surprised to see that the plane was the size of those jets that I usually take when flying international.  The flight was pretty smooth and took about five hours.  When we finally arrived in Miami, it was already evening, and all I wanted to do was make my way to the hotel and sleep.

The next day, I got up early, ready to pick up my rental and explore the town.  Once I had my car, I made my may down to South Beach, destined to spend my morning in the sun.  It took me about 20 minutes driving from the Hialeah area to my destination.  My excitement to hang out by the water was about to receive a setback when I was trying to find affordable parking.

So here is a tip in case you consider traveling to Miami: either pack enough cash to pay for the horrendous parking prices, or park further away and walk.  I should have done my research beforehand, but I didn’t expect that there was no free parking anywhere, unlike in Orange County.  Well, I had to learn the hard way.  After I was tired of passing several parking opportunities that ranged from $10 an hour and up, I pulled into a parking area, paid $20 for two hours, and made my way to the beach.

I swore to myself to conduct research that same night to find cheaper parking opportunities, since I wasn’t willing to spend that much on parking.  But for now, all I wanted to was to relax.  When I saw the white sand and bright blue water, I was in awe.  As much as I love the beaches in California, after this trip, South Beach also had my heart.

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When my two hours of painful expensive parking were up, I made my way towards the Bay to participate in my first time ever paddle boarding (I had no issues finding affordable parking there, by the way.) Until that day, I never stood on a board before but have been dying to try it.  So to make this vacation extra special, I decided to book a guided sunset paddle tour.  The guys that took me out were great, and I managed to not fall in which, considering my terrible balance, was a miracle to me.  I enjoyed the beautiful Miami sunset before heading back to my quarters for the night.

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When I arrived back at my hotel, the first thing I did was researching cheaper parking opportunities.  And voila, it didn’t take me long until I found some useful recommendations.  So basically, if you intend to park cheap in South Beach, you have to calculate in some walking time, since the more reasonable priced parking garages are a bit of a distance, but definitely worth it.  I paid about $5 a day instead of $10 an hour for the rest of the trip, and was finally able to really enjoy the beach.

Besides the parking issue, I can’t recall any bad memories about my vacation in Miami.  The vibe was pretty similar to what I am used to here in Huntington Beach.  The weather was amazing, and being able to actually swim in the ocean with no huge waves was a big plus.  One of the highlights was my short trip to Key West on the third day, but more about that next time…

Images: © Anne-Kathrin Schulte
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Anne-KathrinAnne-Kathrin Schulte, is a contributor for CaliforniaGermans.com. She writes on 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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From Glamping to Camping

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From Glamping to Camping

Those who know me really well know that I am usually not the “Camping Type.”  I prefer sleeping in a room with four walls, a comfortable bed, and a running shower.  But for my girlfriend’s birthday, I made an exception.  I am aware that this sounds like total diva behavior, but I went on a camping trip back in 2010 and it was brutal.  But more to that in another article.  This week I want to give my girlfriend’s birthday trip the attention it deserves, because it ended up being freaking awesome!

The idea arose about a month before Laura’s (name changed due to privacy) actual birthday.  She is well-known for celebrating her birthday in style. Last year, we all went to Catalina for the day, which was a lot of fun.  So I wasn’t very surprised when she told me her plans for this year.  Even though I was not a camping admirer, I was excited to spend a weekend with a group of fun people out in the woods of Santa Barbara.

So when the actual weekend finally arrived, I left my house all packed up at 6 a.m. to make my way up to Santa Barbara.  This was literally the first time I didn’t run into any traffic driving through LA, something that usually never happens.  With only two-and-a-half hours of driving I made my way into the woods, meeting up with my friends who had already resided at the campsite since the night before.

I arrived at the perfect time.  Eggs were already broiling on the camping cooker, and everyone just started gathering around the picnic table.  The campground was really great structured.  Each site was spread out so nobody ended up being crammed to a strange neighbor.  It was also equipped with a big table and grill, even though at this time of the year campers weren’t allowed to BBQ with charcoal or firewood due to the fire danger.  Thankfully we had planned ahead and brought small portable grills that ran on propane.

Since I had decided to sleep in my car through the duration of the trip, I didn’t end up taking space from my other friends who brought three tents they had to set up.  Even though with two small tents and a five person one we still had plenty of room to spread out, which we used for setting up an additional camping table and a game of corn hole.

We cleaned up breakfast right on time before a bunch of nasty flies invaded the campsite, buzzing around our ears for almost an hour before it became too hot and they disappeared.  That was when we decided to explore the nature hood around us by going on a hike.  That was not a very smart move.  With two cars filled with six people and one tiny French bulldog called Stout, we drove a couple minutes toward an open hiking trail.

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While on route, we witnessed firsthand the damages the severe dryness of the mountains had caused: the forest on one side was half burned down.  What used to be a sandy walking trail was now only black ashes.  Once we arrived at the open trail and stepped out of the car, a wave of pure heat blew right into our faces.

We had left camp way too late and didn’t manage to avoid the massive hot temperatures.  Trying to keep up a positive attitude, our group made its way up the mountain, only to decide that five of us would be going back to camp ten minutes after we started our hike.  One of our friends, also known as the daredevil, withstood the severe heat and continued to climb up the mountain.

Back at camp all of us searched for shade and didn’t move out of it for a while.  After three hours, our one hiking survivor made it back to the campsite and joined us for an afternoon filled with a corn hole tournament, barbecuing, and playing games before it turned dark.  As every camper knows, that is the time you start telling scary stories, which we did.

Once it was time to hit the sheets I really tried to make myself comfortable in my car.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to put the seats all the way down, nor did I fit onto the back bench.  What can I say, it was more of a sleepless night than I would have imagined, and I would rather sleep in a tent in the future than re-positioning myself the whole night.

The next day we had breakfast and then started packing our belongings together.  While four of the group decided to part ways early and head home, four of us wanted to explore the surrounding area a little more.  We drove to a nearby lake, or at least to what was left of it.  While we thought we would be greeted by deep blue waters, in reality the lake looked more like a puddle.  A big portion of it was dried out, showcasing big cracks on the ground.  It was very saddening to see how far the drought has actually come by now.  This experience was definitely an eye opener.

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All in all this entire trip changed my perception of camping in general.  One point that contributed tremendously to the shift of my emotions toward it was the fact that we actually had a flushable toilet. This really made a difference to the whole camping experience, let me tell you.

But what really made this trip amazing was the particular group I went with.  When you are going with the right people, everything else becomes kind of less important.  I didn’t care I was wearing the exact same dirty clothes the next day or that I wasn’t able to take a shower.  I just enjoyed the great company and rather focused on making my friend’s birthday memorable.  I wonder what she will have in store for next year…

What Doesn’t Kill You…

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What Doesn’t Kill You…

Before I started my great adventure at CBS, or so I imagined, I had about a month off to get prepared.  Since I attended school as an international student, there were certain regulations I had to follow and documents I had to organize.  As it usually goes with bureaucracy, difficulties arose, and I almost didn’t receive all necessary documents in time, fearing to lose the internship position.  But thankfully, one day before the estimated beginning of the job, I was able to pick up everything I needed.

I was starting my internship on a Friday in January.  That Thursday before, I went out with a girlfriend for dinner, trying to get distracted from my emerging nervousness.  Unfortunately though, all the good Thai food we had didn’t calm me down one bit.  I had a pretty sleepless night, waking up at least once every hour before my alarm rang.  Feeling like a Zombie but trying to portray a motivated attitude, I made my way out of the door two hours before my orientation appointment in Santa Monica.

The heavy LA traffic that I was supposed to be stuck in three times a week from that point on didn’t lift me up either.  But once I arrived at the HR offices and felt the cool vibe that was going on there, I felt a little better.  Also, the people that held the orientation were super nice and friendly and made me feel comfortable.  After an hour of listening and signing papers, I was sent off to drive to Television City located right in the middle of LA where the office I worked in was located.

During the 20-minute drive, I kept reminding me that everything will be fine, it was my first day, and that I was there to learn and nobody expected me to be perfect.  Unfortunately, on that day I became my own worst enemy.  Once I proceeded through the entry gate, parked my car, and was guided upstairs on the third floor where my work space was located, my nervousness resurfaced pretty strong.  And the encounter with my boss as well as supervisor didn’t help that emotional stage.  I instantly got the impression that something was off, but didn’t want to judge anything too soon.

I received a quick introduction and run-down of what I was supposed to do from now on before my supervisor took me around the lot to get my ID I had to use from now on to be able to access the studio and the building.  I was beyond tired, but tried to remember every little detail she was telling me.  Once we got back upstairs to our work spaces, I was directed to go over the intern information one more time, and then go on my lunch break.  When I came back and my supervisor wasn’t there, I felt a little lost.  And that was when things started to take a turn downwards for me.

At first, I had problems logging back in to my computer, due to a typo in my login information that was provided to me.  After a couple minutes of trying, I finally figured it out and was able to access my computer.  Puh, first small challenge survived.  I checked my emails and saw that my supervisor had asked me to do the table of contents for that day’s press clips. She had attached a template of how to do it, and so I instantly got on the task.  It probably took me an hour to finish it, with my supervisor asking several times when I would be done.  That and the fact that I made a lot of formatting mistakes put a lot of extra pressure on me.

My personal problem is that I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself and want to please everybody instead of realizing that nobody expects me to be perfect on my first day.  But I wasn’t able to think like that, and so all I wanted to do was to finish the table of contents as quick as possible, regardless of several typos I had to fix anyways.  My supervisor sent me an email of what I needed to keep in mind in regards to the table of contents in the future.

After I was finally done with this task, I was asked to start the clips for the following Monday by putting them in a Word document and saving them under a specific folder my supervisor told me earlier about.  Unfortunately, I forgot which folder, and when I asked my supervisor, she wasn’t really pleased.  In a moody voice she told me, “The one I told you earlier about.” My brain was still blank and I couldn’t think of the location of the folder.

So, feeling even more uncomfortable, I went back to my supervisor and asked her really nicely if she could show me one more time where I could find it.  Expecting another annoyed answer, I was very surprised that she kept calmer this time and quickly showed me where to find it.  But from that situation on, I had an even more uncomfortable feeling.  I don’t want to disclose too much, but sometimes, she made me feel stupid when I was just being an intern who was there to learn certain things.

In addition to this incident, I was also being told off that day for not properly following the call protocol, meaning that I forgot to ask who the caller was before transferring her to my boss’s phone.  I understand what I did wrong, but from that moment on, I was terrified to make that mistake again and to pick up the phone in general.

At the end of the day, I didn’t feel that my supervisor and my boss were really pleased with my performance.  It took forever for me to finish assignments, I had problems with handling the phone, and my electronic hour log didn’t work, so I had to run out to my car, get the paper version I was handed during orientation, had to scan it and send it via email to the HR department.  All this made me leave the office half an hour late on my first day.

I know this all doesn’t sound as dramatic on paper, but I was devastated.  I felt like a total failure and doubted that I would be able to handle the pressure well.  Once I sat in my car to drive back home, I started crying, not wanting to go back the following week.  It took many conversations with friends, patience, and my supervisor being sick to finally realize that I was capable of doing the job, and that I had the potential to learn a lot.  I just wasn’t able to see that right away.

Images: pixabay.com
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Anne-KathrinAnne-Kathrin Schulte, is a contributor for CaliforniaGermans.com. She writes on 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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Writing Is My Therapy

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Writing Is My Therapy

“You are kind of old to study!” “When can I expect more grandchildren?” “You are not the youngest anymore; it won’t be easy to find a job.” “Wait, you are relaxing and not writing applications?” “You won’t find a job with all your tattoos, and now you want more?” “You are working out too much; I don’t want you to get too skinny.”  These are just a few examples of what I get to hear from friends and family who think they know how I should live my life.  Don’t get me wrong, I am open to constructive criticism and well-meant advice, but I also do believe that I know best how I want to live MY life.

Yes, I do have tattoos, and I am not ashamed of every single one.  I understand that some jobs require you to cover them up, and I was pretty successful doing so during my previous internships with renowned companies.  I know that I can’t be too picky at the beginning of my career. But further down my path, I want to work somewhere where I am accepted for what I bring to the table, not if I have ink on my skin or not.

Speaking of jobs, my dream profession definitely includes traveling.  Lots of it, to be exact.  Something my family is not too thrilled about.  But let me explain something: I am not into the cookie-cutter life.  I do not desire to own a house one day, I’d rather be moving around the world.  I do not intend to have children; I want to be flexible to go wherever the wind takes me without worrying if this lifestyle is appropriate for my kids.

I do not want to be stuck in an office 12 hours a day and not be able to enjoy life.  I do believe that it takes a lot of someone’s shoulder when you earn a $100+K a year, but if you never get to enjoy it because you are continuously working, than that is not worth it. Of course, we all know that the California lifestyle is pretty expensive, and I am not saying that I wouldn’t want to earn a substantial amount of money to be able to afford my life here.

But to me, it is all about balance.  I truly do believe that we all need days off to recover, or that we all deserve a relaxing vacation for all the hard work we are providing to pay the bills. I do work hard: I nanny for two families while writing this column.  I also am a social media volunteer for an animal sanctuary, and I also draft countless applications.  So if I decide to relax one day instead of writing an application, than I do so.

I apologize that this post has such a negative undertone this week.  But writing is therapy for me, and maybe one or more of you have experienced the same issue and can relate.  We all should be able to live our life how it works best for us.  I do not tell you to not have kids, so please don’t tell me that I am missing out on life if I don’t plan on having any.

I do not tell you to go to the gym more often, so please don’t tell me I overdo it with exercise.  And first and foremost, do not ever tell anyone they are too old to change their life by going back to school or planning a new career.  We only have this one life to live, and it is never too late to change something for the better if you are willing to do so.

Image: pixabay.com
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Anne-KathrinAnne-Kathrin Schulte, is a contributor for CaliforniaGermans.com. She writes on 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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