In my own easy definition, it's a platform where people come and share their apartment, home or part of, in exchange for simply ... money. And in Airbnb you can be both Host and Guest.
How does it work??
So you go to the website of Airbnb, register yourself then searching the city you want, choose the apartment you like from photos, description and comments of people who stay there before you. When a nice apartment found, you just simply send a message to the host when you want to stay at there property, then waiting for a reply if you are accepted as a guest to stay there. As simply as that. :) Airbnb offer mostly an apartment/a house that you got it all for yourself, completely private, but sometimes also a room in a house or apartment, basically like living with them.
Traveling with Airbnb is like you stay at a friend apartment, (mostly) there is no breakfast served, you have to shop for grocery by yourself and definitely take care of the cleanliness. Sometimes there is an offer for breakfast and cleaning service but of course with extra cost.
So ... why would you do that?????
Answer: With so many reasons!!! but here let see 4 of them.
1. It's cheap!!!!! especially in big city in Europe where you can easily pay 120€ per night for 2 person in a totally normal 3 stars hotel with a space which barely enough to leave your huge luggage open on the floor. Not only the room is cheap. Most place include everything needed for living and of course ... a kitchen. So you can basically cook for yourself and that save a lot of money especially a city like Paris which eating in a decent restaurant could cost you loaded.
2. Most of them have a superb location!!! You can choose a place which is really in the city center, close to a lot of restaurant and train station and completely easy to go anywhere in the city. With a location like this, you either have to pay a lot for a good hotel or have to stay in a dingy hotel with cheap price.
3. For person like me who's not only traveling to see the attraction of the city, I also like to see the life of people in that city, this platform is a sweet due for me. I got to see where local people shop, eat and going about in their everyday life. Sometimes you also got a place with a totally beautiful view or a great expensive apartment with exclusive furniture which you can not find elsewhere.
4. It's good for traveling as a group. It's mostly really hard to find a place where you and 4 of your best friends can stay together or the price is mostly unbelievable. But a lot of places from Airbnb you can stay with your group of friends/family together in one place for a really good price. I have seen places where you can stay there from 3 people and some places up to 10. You can even rent a whole villa with private pool and you end up paying only 50€ person/night.
1. Cleanliness of the place : You just must be thorough when you choose an apartment/room/house. Read the comment!!! See what people say, see if the place is really as seen on the pictures.
2. Safety: Again, from my experiences I have no problem and again….read the comments!!!
3. It's my vacation, why do I have to cook and clean? If you are not a person who have to have someone to do your bed everyday, there would be no problem staying with Airbnb. It's not like you have to vacuum the place, just be take care about it like when you stay home. And for breakfast, of course there's no breakfast but when you stay in a city like Paris or Vienna, what would be lovelier than having breakfast at one of countless cute cafe in these city??
I totally enjoy using this service in Paris and Vienna and I would definitely use it again anywhere I have a chance. It was completely a wonderful experiences.
Knock yourself out and click here www.airbnb.de/c/rschlomann and register yourself. You will get a 19€ Vouncher for your first trip and we will get it for our next one ...
Have more questions?? Feel free to leave a comment. :)
Vermeer or Johannes (or Jan or Johan) Vermeer is a Dutch painter in the Dutch golden age, around 17th century. Until now there are only 34 paintings of him that confirmed by expert that it is authentically from him.
So....how my journey started?
First, I am not really an art expert or study art thoroughly....I am just someone who enjoy beautiful things...and history...so everything is just my feeling without any expertise experience. I have a chance to go to Amsterdam and visited Rijksmuseum,one of the most impressive museum I have ever been , and I found myself falling in love with the Dutch realistic painting.....the art in the Dutch golden age...kind of painting that you can call it a 3D movies nowsaday, with all the light and reflection.... And it is not just any painting .....I like the painting in the category of "genre art"....it is a kind of art which show things from everyday life....there is no one important...VIP or even identifiable in the painting....it is just everyday life so when I look into all the painting....to each detail...it feel like I traveled back through time. And when you see the real painting you can see the stroke of brushes in the painting....the actual stroke which was put on the canvas at that moment of event .....hundreds years ago.
Why Vermeer? ....at the Rijksmuseum there are many paintings from many great artist....3 of them are the painting by Vermeer hanging next to each other...there were "the Milkmaid" , "the love letter" and "the little street" ....I remember myself staring at all 3 painting with amazement of how he played with the light...you can feel the light (mostly he used window as source) touch the object in the picture especially the main person and how the light reflect on each object.....I was so impressed so I took a photo of each painting...post it on my facebook in order for me to remember that from hundreds of paintings in the museum which were my favorite. After that trip I did not have so much time to dig further....but lately I have a lot of time in my hand and I saw my post on facebook again and I start reading further about Vermeer....and his life and his other works are even more impressive......the more I read the more amazed I am.....it make me want to know more and see more.....
As previously mentioned that currently there are 34 confirmed paintings of him...they are scattered around the world...dominantly in Europe (Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Scotland, England) and the US (New York and DC).....since it's not that far from where I live now....and New York is in my must visit list....so I put it to traveling agenda that....whenever I go to the city with Vermeer....I must visit him!!!!!
.....so let see when....and if I can see all of the paintings that are available to see.
My journey will not limit....or not solely focus on going and seeing the real painting....I will continue on reading.....seeing and looking for the more amazing story about Vermeer's paintings.....what it implies....and life back in the 17th Century ........if I stumble on something interesting I will share it here..
Art....history and culture are things that make us human..............it was not to feed the stomach....it for the heart to be filled.
Hello world I feel like a really...... really...... lazy person leaving the blog for more than two month especially with and unfinished story…....So now the last part of all the documents epic…however…you know the end of the story already……I got the visa!!!!!…and I’m married so after I finished with this one I think about to write about Wedding…and married!!!
So….the story was left off when my documents arrived Germany….my fiancé (back then ) took the first chance to go to the city hall to submit the documents. It was really the last chance before the office is closed for Christmas. We thought that everything will be ready and the documents will be with the court before Christmas (it was around 10 of Dec 2012) However…..the staff was so nice to inform us a few days before Christmas holiday that…she forgot some signatures!!!….and the documents still with her!!!! So in the end……Richard had to go to the city hall again after new year holiday to give a signature. Finally our documents were with the court ….and only around 2 weeks later we got a letter that our married is approved and we have to pay 100 euro so they will issue the approval document. Richard paid already on that day….and our thought was that the approval document will be with us after Richard’s vacation in Thailand, around early Feb so it should be with me around late Feb……that was our hope……..
After the vacation….....the document was still not there….but there is a letter indicate that the court cannot locate our transfer…..with a few communications….some weeks waiting….the staff finally say….”Oh….I forgot….I will work on the document for you today….” ……..so finally the document arrived Richard on 08 Mar 2013….3 months after the my documents were sent to Germany. The approval document was sent to me on the next day…. normally it would take around 1 week for the document to arrive so…16 Mar but it would be too easy if it arrived on time….it took 5 days more of heavy hearted of waiting…..21 Mar the document arrived…..
Finally I got all required document to apply for the visa....after that it was quite a light story….I make a schedule with the embassy already on 27 Mar 2013 (3 times changes due to unexpected delay of the document). The submission of the visa went well….all documents were there and of course no problem with the interview. The staff told me to wait around 8-10 weeks before the visa is granted. However, unexpectedly on 12 April the embassy called and inform me that the my visa is ready ….turn out this time they only need 2 weeks….lucky me
So…...that's all…I finally got the pass to go to my wedding….there will be more documents to handle after the wedding…but I think after all this….anything is fine with me
So I think it’s time to start the second part….bring it on!!!!
Number 3: Completed and signed in a document called “Vollmacht” It’s a document that you give permission for your fiancé to submit the documents for marriage to the court on your behalf. You must sign this document at the embassy in front of the authorized staff. The document needed to be signed by a certified translator in case you cannot speak German…..if you can, you can fill it out in front of the staff in the embassy directly. This form may be a general one or in some city they have a city specific form. If you need a translator I recommend you to go directly to the Goethe institute. They are so much nicer than the staff (of Goethe institute) who stay at the embassy. For me I use the city specific form and when I go to meet the translator at the embassy to sign for me, she “aggressively” refused and said that she need the supervisor approval before signing this and I must not filled in the form before hand (I thought it would be easier that I filled in some parts already.) So I did have to go to the Goethe institute….surprisingly the German supervisor was so nice and he signed without a thought and also said that I save him a lot of time by filling in some parts already.
I finally get this document signed on the same day I submitted the documents for legalization. (Time : 2 days but only around 20 min at each place. ; 1 day to Goethe institute and one day to the embassy. I need to trips because I use my lunch hour to go to Goethe institute…and the embassy closed already since 11:00 so I need to go to the embassy on another day. Cost: 600 THB for signing the document and 300 THB for the translator)
Number 4: The embassy will call you when all your documents are approved. Go get it and take it to the accepted Translator for translation. It will take you only a few days for this process. (Time: 3 days, Cost: 4,000 THB)
Number 5: Now…your documents are ready to submit to the court in Germany!!! Send all the documents (Legalized documents and Vollmacht) to your fiancé in Germany and then it his turn to take care of it. I recommend you to used TNT…my documents arrived safely with Richard in a few days ;) (Cost : around 1,300 THB)
So now…you think you can just lie down and relax….hmm…may be not…let hear what has happened in part 3….the last one, I told you…it’s not easy to get married…may be it’s good test to see if you are really sure about this
Since I finally got the final document that will allow me to go to Germany and get married (!!!! Excited!!!!) ....my visa!!! so I will tell you (initially a bit but now when I start writing seem like there're a lot of things to be told.) This entry is really about all the documents and process that we need to go through in order to marry in Germany and get it accepted by the law so I can live there with my love one.
The process can be summed up like this :
1. Get the permission to marry in Germany
2. Use the permission document to apply for visa.
As simple as that!!!! But….no.... don’t let it fool you!!! Before I can understand the process clearly like this…I have to try and get the hands on by myself
Process number one is the hard one because you cannot just easily write some forms and ask for permission. The first process can be breakdown to…..a few steps.
First: Gather all required documents which are : Your birth certificate, a document from your home district state that you are truly single!!, a document from the central office state that you are totally single and belong to no one!! (They need two documents to really make sure you are available ) and the last one is your home registration. This process take me a few weeks…it’s just that I have to go to work and don’t have that much free time….so if you are free…it take you 2 days. I will not get into detail how to get each document….some are pretty easy like you birth certificate or home registered. (Time: started 8 Oct 2012, Cost : 30 THB for issuing documents and copy)
Secord: Get all the documents to be ‘legalized’ by the German embassy. The way they do it is to send a letter to the office who issued the document to confirm that they actually done it by reply the embassy mail. A copy of your passport need to be legalized too but it take only the embassy staff to do it in one day. One big spot point ….make sure that if your document has been corrected you must make sure that the one available at the office who issued it has been corrected too!! Like my birth certificate…..it’s been corrected a few times for my real name and address by different distric offices….I already took the copy I have to the embassy but I have to take it back because each point of correction must be confirmed by each office who corrected it i.e. the embassy need to contact 3 Thai office….and you can imagine how long it could take to get all to reply. The only way is to make sure that the actual document at the district office who issued my original birth certificate is corrected too. So I have to go to the district office …contacted the staff to see my real birth certificate and get it corrected. So I end up needed 2 trips to the embassy and one additional trip to the district office. This legalization process normally need 6-8 weeks depends on how long the Thai office needed to reply….it can even get longer than 8 weeks……. For me it took only around 5 weeks because in my "single certificate" from the district office state that the document is valid for 90 days…..so the embassy was kind to expedite the process for me. But…don’t worry that the document will be expired…as long as it is not older than 6 month by the time it reach the court in Germany, it will be fine. (will be explain in the next step) (Time : Document submitted end of Oct, get it legalized early Dec, Cost : around 6,000 THB for legalization)
Oh…...I think only these 2 steps is too long already …so let finish this later with part 2…3 …or may be 4
Even though these process seem to be hard…annoying…it’s also a good experience…without this sweet fortune (to meet my hubby to be) I will not know the nice and cozy Goethe institute….don’t know how it works there in the embassy…may be I have a happy goal in my mind that is why I have made all steps happily (even with the heavy heart wishing that all step going well )
So.....where to begin......WE ARE GETTING MARRIED!!!! yeah!!!!!! Yeah...as simple as that....finally after step by step we have taken with heart full of love and thoughtfulness we finally taken this important step. The wedding will be held on 28 June 2013 in Rostock, Germany. A wedding in Thailand will be held later (most likely next year). We do everything (for this wedding and everything around) by ourselves with help for friends and family (Thanks you guy a lot)....so everything define us....and what we like. Thank you everybody for being a part of who we are today....so we have met...fall in love ....and a big big step is approaching...so you help shaping this love too. Thank you...and a big big hug
With heart full of love
Pia & Richard
PS.: I will write more about preparing for the wedding and everything around it....it's really a life changing experience...even before you really get married ;)
hmm...how should I start with this.......but I think...people with long distance relationship must understand me very very well....
let me start with the start of this story......Last year, on my flight back from Frankfurt.....the saddest flight i have ever had.....it was a connect flight and I think I cried almost the whole first flight. Nothing that sad...but I'm such a cry baby and flying away like that was a bit too much for me. Even I have put a brave face at the airport because I didn't want Richard to be worry...and I promise him I will not cry anymore after a little mental break on the last day . Now...come to the part I'm about to tell.....on that flight...I was lucky to sit next to an Australian woman who came to travel Europe alone...for a few month by quiting her job and everything. She was fascinating. So... we talk and we also asked for the purpose of our trip...and yeah..that's when I start to cry. She told me that her sister also have a long distance relationship. It's really hard for them....with techology...it can help a lot...but you know it's cannot substitute the real human touch. She asked me...when is our trip again....I said it's planned to be in July....( it was Apr at that time)...I said it's so hard and I miss him already. And then...she said one simple sentence to me which change the way I think about this hardness since that day..."look it like this....it's only 8 Mondays." ...wow...it's just a simple fact.....but with a different way to look at it....it difinitely change how I feel......let say...it's 8 weeks...it's 2 month!!!!....It sound too too long for me.....so now I see it only 8 Mondays that I have to get up to work...until the happy time come again (Actually...I waited more than 8 Mondays though )
So...the next time you wait for something....Just count how many Mondays left
Haha...that is as far as I can dare to write in German. I have heard somewhere that...'If you are about to write something...you should write about the thing you know best.' But..German is definitely not the thing I know best!!! Now...I can only say that...I know how to study it. My level now is 3/4A ...it's not yet A1 but it's almost......only 1 quarter left and I complete my A1 study. My hope is to pass the A1 test on the first try. Keep your fingers crossed for me please....
So...from my study...I can summarize two hardest thing in German....the number one...."the article"!!!!! Please...please....anyone....please tell me how to remeber the article....how can I know whether my nose is a woman....and my head is a man....but my eye has no gender!!! Moreover, it's must be changed when it's Akkusative...or Nominativ...or Dativ hmm....you see my problem!!! The second thing...I found it difficult to form a sentence....something always missing.. or....in a wrong order....or....not in a correct form....yep....it's hard....I still need a lot and a lot and a lot of time!!! Oh...and one more thing...I'm kind of a person who so bad with spelling I learn the language only by a lot of listening...reading and watching...oh...still so much thing for me to do!!! But on the bright side...I like to learn new things so it's fun for me to study German...even how hard and so many detailed it is. and another good thing....you can do many things with a good inspiration.
So I think it's time to end my (real) first entry ;) ...and if anyone have any idea how to remember whether my arm is a man or a woman...please feel free to leave a comment (By the way..Richard has told me to use my feeling about this ...hmm...I think this feeling has not come to me yet )
We not really start this Blog with a welcome entry ... but now it's time to say "Hello World". The start is Richard's story with Vodafone Germany ( He wait now more then 170 days for a DSL line) ... really unbeliveable. ....but nothing from me yet .... hopefully I can start something this weekend...may be about travelling which I like so much...and do so much...or my German study let see.
This is a private blog about and from us (Khanompia and Richard), we have some ideas what to write. But we will not write on a regular basis, just when we have a topic to share with you. What it will be ... let's see ... but it will be about our life for sure :) Hope that it will interest you one way or another.
A bit special is that this blog will be in 3 different languages: Englisch, Thai and German (My 'not yet' A1 German maybe, haha ).
Let's see what will we post next But now it's time for the weekend ... we wish you a happy weekend :)