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2 B.) LEARNING AND USING THE GERMAN LANGUAGE : Mary and I have left a German / English translation hand book, a German / English translator ( hand held unit ), and photos and names of people - who will offer you assistance while you are in the medical center or in your room. We also have left a list of names of people who speak English - people whom you can depend upon for translation at any time...day or night!!
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3 B.) ACCOMMODATIONS : Rooms, similar to a hotel room, are offered for your stay. They are located on the hospital grounds. Each room has been newly renovated and furnished very nicely by the hospital ( krankenhaus ) to accommodate special patients and staff!! Cost is 80 DM per night ( a little less than $40 US per night ). These rooms will be reserved for you - at your request.
You will have the choice of a room with a double bed or with two single beds. There is a private bath for each room, with a shower; and a TV ( BBC is in English!! ). Only persons associated with the medical center may use these rooms!! You will share one kitchen per floor and a laundry in the basement. Private refrigeration units are provided in the kitchen and you will be given a key to your unit!
Mary and I have left a small coffee pot, 2 coffee mugs, some coffee packs, an electrical conversion unit, and soap for washing laundry. We've also left 2 umbrellas, photos and names of people who will offer you assistance while you are in the medical center or in your room. And we've left information about a few trips we took when Mary was feeling better - and they were VERY reasonable.
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4 B.) FOOD IN GERMANY : You can elect to eat in the hospital cafeteria. The ladies there are so nice!! A nice meal in the cafeteria runs about: 6 -10 DM ( $3 - $5 US )
We had some difficulty here!! The German people eat lots of breads and buns, sliced cheeses, sausages and processed meats. The vegetables and desserts were great and plentiful! NO eggs at breakfast. Lots of dill pickles in their food combinations - heavy foods! We didn't like the food - but that was us!! We could have cooked our own food -but we didn't!! We did go to a Chinese restaurant once; but that didn't offer us much help; because the menu was written in GERMAN - what else!!!
Water is served carbonated. Unless you like carbonated water, you will have to ASK for "wasser" ( out of the faucet!! ). They do not serve ice cubes readily in Germany. The hospital cafeteria is the only place we could get ice cubes!!!
There is a kitchen on our apartment floor, which is meant for our use; but Bev doesn't cook! So Mary wasn't able to have food that she might have been able to tolerate better. You may be luckier than Mary - depending upon who you travel with!! Mary adds these words of wisdom: "Choose a cook to travel with!" ( Bev and Mary laughing here!! )
Please keep in mind that this was OUR interpretation of the food! You may really like German food and find it to be very tastey! We know that there are probably good places to eat in Duisburg; but we are leaving the Gaststätte ( restaurant ) experience for the next person who travels to Germany to be a patient of Dr. Korell's.
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5 B.) PHONE : By placing a deposit of 30 DM at the hospital desk, you will be able to have the use of a phone your room . You will then get an outside line assigned to your room...$15 US allowed us to make several long distance phone calls before we had to put anymore down.
FROM GERMANY TO CANADA AND THE USA: You must use the International country code when dialing Canada and the USA!! The International country code number for Canada and the USA is: 001. This number precedes ( comes in front of ) the long distance number, which you are trying to reach. In other words: To make a long distance call from Germany to Canada or the United States: The International country code number is first - followed by the phone number you are trying to reach in either Canada or the USA.
FROM GERMANY TO OTHER COUNTRIES: If you are from different country - and want to be able to place a long distance call from Germany to your country - be sure to find out what the International country code number is for your country BEFORE you go to Germany!!
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6 B.) COMPUTER ACCESS : A computer will be available for your use while in Germany. Please discuss this with Dr. Korell.
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7 B.) SMOKING : Smoking is accepted almost everywhere in Germany! It is very difficult to find areas set aside for NON-SMOKERS - even in restaurants! Smoking is allowed in the hospital cafeteria and immediately outside of the doors; but we did not notice smoking anywhere else in the hospital.
Smoking is not allowed on buses; but is "big time" on the trains!
A word of caution : Smoking may cause healing problems as well as anesthesiology problems, etc. It is your life!! Be smart and quit - or at least cut down - if you possibly can!!!
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8 B.) TRANSPORTATION IN AND AROUND DUISBURG...
BICYCLE : A bicycle will be furnished for the use of anyone accompanying the patient to Germany - or by the patient for exercise. We may be able to ask Dr. Korell for TWO of them. The housing units for special patients - us included - is 3 minutes from the main hospital.
BUS : Bus transportation is very accessible - but the bus comes around only once each hour! If you plan to use the bus, you will need to keep this in mind - so that when you are ready to return to your "home away from home" that you will be in time to catch the bus!!
TAXI : Traveling by taxi is NOT cheap!! We were taken advantage of a few times! If you are going to take a taxi, it is important that you act like your know where you are going, how far, and long your trip is!! Once we started speaking a few words of German - and could indicate how far the trip was by taxi - the rates went down for the same trip!
TRAINS : Trains are used to a very high degree between towns! They are fun and reasonable!
A trip to Amsterdam, Netherlands takes only 2 hours and costs 41DM round trip ( $20 US round trip ). Food in Holland is great!! Amsterdam is not only a fun city but super interesting - and alot of English is spoken there! We visited the "Annex" of Ann Frank, the church where "Rembrandt" is buried, and the "Madam Trussuald" wax museum! Lots of history - and windmills galore!!! We took a bus tour from one end of Holland to the other - and we stayed overnight. But that was costly!! A day would be just fine!!
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9 B.) THE CITY OF DUISBURG : The City of Duisburg will be providing alot of local information and also maps for you to use to help you enjoy the many nice things Duisburg has to offer...sightseeing, restaurants, etc. And all of this will be in English!! Talk about accommodating us!!
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10 B.) TOURS AND SIGHTSEEING TRIPS : The hospital is going to offer the opportunity for Dr. Korell's patients to schedule mini tours and sightseeing trips!! This will make your stay in Germany much easier and more enjoyable for you!!
Beautiful paths wind through a large wooded area across the street from the hospital. Some cute rows of houses nearby are worthy of a walk down the street. Out to the front and right - you will find some nice cafes, a bakery, as well as small grocery stores and shops! NOT tourist shops - but mom and pop type stores!! There's a nice, quiet, quaint area around the hospital.