Weimar for the summer
March 19, 2011 2:07 PM   Subscribe

I am going to be working in Weimar, Germany for 3 months this summer. I would appreciate any advice from people who have temporarily relocated their families to the region. A few pertinent details inside.

I don't speak German, however I spent a couple of months (solo) in Cologne a few years ago. This time my daughter, who turned 1 at the end of January, will be coming with me; her father will be with us for some (as yet unspecified) part of the time.

The academic center where I'll be working has arranged for a daycare for my daughter, but as I am not familiar with German childcare norms I am not sure what to expect (e.g. here in my U.S. city, kids routinely come to daycare when they have non-feverish colds. I have no idea whether such practices are tolerated in Germany.)

As we are an interracial family I am also interested in learning about the experiences of other interracial families and/or people of color.
posted by Morpeth to Travel & Transportation around Weimar, Germany (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Seeing that no one has responded to the specific region of Weimar (in the smallest and least known state in Germany), I thought I will pitch in with generic information about smaller cities in Germany.

I have stayed in a village(!) in northern Germany as well as a couple of smaller cities in Baden-wuttenburg, so take this with as much salt as you need.

1. Day care for a 1-yr old is not going to be very different from the US - the kids are too small for specific needs, but any differences will be with respect to food mostly followed by clothing needs, supplies etc. What your child may be having in the US may not be the available there, so you may have to put some effort to prepare them at home. Immunizations are another factor you may want to consider before leaving the US, in case your health insurance in Germany is still not finalized.

Regarding your question, practice varies by region, but in general, minor colds and fever should not be a problem. There are qualified nurses attached to most day care centers, who can administer any prescription medicines, if required.

2. Smaller towns do have a small bias against people of color regarding renting out places, especially for those from Asia (brown-skinned), but if one of you is Western, it is ok. Your best bet is to go through your academic support services to find a place to stay. Restaurants are much better in this respect, although some bars/pubs have subtle biases. One of my Asian friends was denied access to a hip pub in Hamburg, while the rest of his white colleagues were allowed. There was no reason given (dress code, shoes etc), so we are assuming some racism.

3. Work places are mostly ok, although German work culture can seem a bit stiff (this is true for anyone, not just people of color). My opinion (YMMV) is that unless they respect you for your expertise/knowledge, they don't tend to accept suggestions easily. Take it slow while interacting, but quick in work, for best results.

If you have specific questions, please feel free to memail me.
posted by theobserver at 8:40 PM on March 19, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks for your help--I will definitely check about immunizations for day care. It's great that they have affiliated nurses. That seems very civilized.

We've located an apartment through the support staff so hopefully won't have to face any difficulties in that department.

Again, your help is much appreciated.
posted by Morpeth at 7:54 AM on March 22, 2011

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