Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Earthquake in Indonesia-RedCross Help lines

My hubby usually gets up earlier than me and gets ready to leave for work. Like everyday he switches on radio (probably to wake me up :-)). I try my best to avoid listening to German radio and continue sleeping. But somehow I overheard Tsunami on the radio which took my sleep away. I tried to concentrate on the News and I woke up hearing about Tsunami in Samoa Islands triggered by an earthquake. I still have that scare of 2004 Tsunami in my mind which has killed 230,000 people. I quickly browsed thru the News online to check out its impact. Thank God it was not devastating as it was in 2004, yet again many lives are lost. I was really wondering where all these Tsunami Warning Technologies have gone which were developed investing huge amounts of money after 2004. God knows if there are any! My deep condolences to all those lives lost in Samoa Islands.

Well, that is not the end for today, when I was browsing online before going to bed in the night, then the earthquake news in Indonesia has shocked me a lot. A powerful earthquake has rocked Padang of Sumatra Islands, Indonesia. Thousands of people are feared dead and thouands more are still trapped in the wreck.

I am hereby posting some compiled links of the Help Lines for the powerful Earthquake which rocked Indonesia on 30th Sept 2009 has killed more than 1000 people and thousands more are trapped.

Indonesian Red Cross Society:

Palang Merah Indonesia:
PMI Padang Earthquake Disaster Response:
Ria Thahir, Kepala Sub Divisi Humas Markas Pusat PMI, Hp. 0816 131 0911, Tlp. 021-799 2325, ext. 201.

Surf Aid International:

Relief Web:

If you have updated links post in the comments and please forward it to those who are in need.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Angie Wins Elections in Germany

Well, well much awaited and much anticipated German Elections 2009 results have come and Angela Merkel has managed to stay again as a Chancellor with a different Deputy this time. Merkel belonging to CDU (Christian Democratic Union) has preferred a different coalition with FDP (Free Democratic Party) which is headed by Guido Westerwelle dumping her older partner Steinmeir from SPD (Social Democratic Party).

This Black (CDU) and Yellow (FDP) coalition has tougher challenges ahead with the economy yet to be reeled out of recession, German Army's presence in Afghanistan against the will of many Germans etc. We just have to wait and watch. Yet Angie being the most powerful woman of the World (chosen by Forbes) may atleast live upto the Faith and Trust entrusted in her.

Overturned and Dumped Steinmeir:

Joyous Angie and Westerwelle:

Image Coutesy:

Sunday, September 27, 2009

EU Blue Card - European Union opens doors for Highly Skilled Non-EU Nationals

Well, good news for all who dream to work and live in Europe. European countries known to be very conservative and reluctant to accept English language has deterred them from opening themselves unlike United States to Non-European nationals. European Union (EU) has been planning for so long to introduce something similar to American Green-card to attract highly skilled Non-EU nationals to live and work in EU and aid in its advancement similar to United States.

European Union (EU) has recently adopted a temporary residence and work permit scheme so called "BLUE CARD" directive for highly skilled Non-EU nationals. Blue-Card similar to that of American Green-Card, is intended to facilitate non-EU nationals access to the EU Labour Market and entitle them to socio-economic rights and favorable conditions to bring in their families and move across EU.

The admittance criteria for the EU Blue Card concerns the following:
  • highly educated or highly qualified professionals are eligible for applying Blue Card
  • the applicant of EU Blue Card must have been offered a job in any of the EU member nation for atleast one year.
  • the Gross Monthly Income shall not be less than 1.5 times the average monthly income in the EU members state.
To apply for Blue Card any third-country national can apply for an open poisiton which may suit him well in his chosen EU country (except for Great Britain, Ireland and Denmark) and once he signs the employment contract with his employer in EU country, he can apply for Blue Card with that particular EU country. The EU nation has 90 days to decide upon the application.

Blue Card holders' Benefits
  • Blue Card is valid upto 4 years and is renewable. 
  • It does not entitle the holder for permanent residency.
  • Blue Card entitles the holders to enjoy the equal social status and benefits of a member country to that of its nationals.
  • Blue Card holders can relocate after 18 months of legal residence in one member country to any other EU member country for the purpose of highly skilled employment
Well personally after living in Germany for quite a while now, I feel living in Europe is much safer and you are entitled to lots of social benefits and comforts here, yet it is difficult to socialize yourselves unlike in English speaking countries for the very specific language barriers. If one can manage to adopt to the local language then it is more pleasant life.

Excerpts from:

Friday, September 25, 2009

Germany Polls- Funny Caricatures/Cartoons of German Politicians

The 17th German federal election is scheduled on 7th September 2009. Not only Germany but the whole world  is eagerly awaiting for the end results. As the German elections are getting closer, The world´s media is portraying funny sketches of German politicians. 1,300 artists from 140 countries have sent more than 5,000 sketches of famous German politicians ( Angela Merkel, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, etc...). I hereby post some of them :-)

(Image Courtesy:


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Munich's Oktoberfest 2009

I donno if you have heard about Munich's Oktoberfest before or not, but for surely I did not hear about it. Well, it is all the fuss about "Drinking Beer". It is one of the biggest Beer festivals held every year in Munich. I donno why it is called Oktoberfest (October festival) as it starts in September. But it does surely ends in the beginning of October every year.

The much-awaited 176th, 16-day long Oktoberfest (locally called as "Wiesen") has started on 19th Sept., 2009 at Theresienwiese Fairgrounds in Munich. People started thronging the place from as early as 7:30 am on the first day so that they can get an early access into the massive beer tents which can seat upto 6000 people. Well, about 6 million people from across the world are expected to arrive at the Oktoberfest this year despite the Swine Flu scare.

Well, people throng the massive tents set-up there for drinking beer. You need to wait longer to get access into the tents as they are very much crowded. The tents are buzzed with the people, beer and music. They are very loud and hardly you can hear to your neighbor. But the atmosphere seems to be amazing with everyone in a party mood. You get beer in big mugs called "Mass". And each Mass costs approx. 8.3 to 8.6 euros.

I am hereby posting some pictures which highlight the Oktoberfest hype. Well, guys if you are interested, we can plan to visit next year, wats say!!!

Image Courtesy: www.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Range De filling new colors in the lives of the needy!

Today when I was browsing, I came across The concept has really impressed me a lot. Rangde is India's first online micro-lending platform offering low-income households micro-credits with low interest rates. Rangede provides the platform for the individuals to make social investments by lending small amounts of money (in multiples of Rupees 500) to the small business peoples from Indian villages and towns who have less access to the bank credits.

Anybody can be a social investor and can choose their borrowers from the geographical area of their choice by selecting the potential borrowers from the lists which are consistently growing in The investor gets a nominal financial return on the money they invest and they also get some tangible social return through evaluation reports and updates from the field.

Rangde provides loans for micro-enterpreneurs at 8.5% interest rate and for students at 5% interest.

May be small investments we make can bring big changes in somebody's lives.
Range Education:


Friday, September 18, 2009

Non-traditional German names are discrimated by Teachers

Well, I happened to read a news article on the results of one of the strangest research conducted in Germany. It seems are German teachers are prejudiced against certain school students by their names from they moment they first read the school registers.

According to the research, the majority of teachers make presumptions about the behavior and performance of a student based merely on their first names. The students with traditional names like Charlotte, Marie, Hanna, Sophie, Alexander, Simon, Lukas, Jakob etc are considered to be well-mannered and intelligent. Whereas the students with non-traditional names like Chantal, Mandy, Angelina, Kevin, Justin, Maurice etc are regarded to be weak and ill-mannered or with bad behavior.

Undoubtedly, the names with positive connotations are among the top 10 names given to the newly born in Germany.

Well, if teachers themselves dont have faith in students just because of their names, then who will? Obviously the confidence of the students drop and may lead to negative traits and low performances.

Im wondering how Indian kids with Indian names are being considered by teachers???

Image Courtesy:
News Excerpts:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Travel into the Future with German trains :-)

Recently, I was traveling from Düsseldorf (the city where I live) to Dortmund (city where I used to go for my German language course) in famous Deutsche Bahn (German Railways) Regional Express from Düsseldorf to Minden. I found some unsual thing in the train, the display in one of the wagons I was sitting in showed as you can see in this picture below

Well!! Well!! the train was a time-machine leading me into the future :-) . Wow! I wished it would have been true so that i can travel to the future and sneak into where and how I would be after 20 years!!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Düsseldorf - Kaiserswerth

After 3 weeks we have relocated to Düsseldorf from Oberhausen, we could manage to find some time off from busy unpacking, adjusting and building furnitures to visit Kaiserswerth, one of the oldest city parts of Düsseldorf. Well it is a worth visiting place in Düsseldorf. You can find a different glory of river Rhine. I never did enjoy the sight of Rhine as I did it here. It was an amazing place.

We took U79 Undergroung Tube which nearly took 20 minutes to reach. As soon as we got off it, we were welcomed with traditional German Beer tents at the centre. Lots of people are gathered and enjoying the beers in the warm sun. Well, we managed to grab an Ice and started walking towards the river Rhine. Then we came across the Flea Market for books and paintings. We just hurried towards the river Rhine just looking at some of the paintings from the distance.

While walking along the Rhine river we came across the ruin remains of Kaiserpfalz (temporary seat of the Holy Roman Emperor) built in 1045.
We had some coffee at one of the restaurants on the river and then spent sometime in warm sun along the river-side snapping pictures in different poses. Well, we could able to snap some beautiful pictures of river Rhine too.
It was quite warm and we were very much tired. Especially, I was very much tired after posing for so many pictures :-)
We set off our return journey, and on our way back to U-Bahn station we tried to snap some beautiful old-buildings.
Well, we found this Lamp post interesting, so we did snap this too.
Though it was a small trip, it did leave memorable impressions as we did enjoy the true beauty of river rhine.