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4 Letter Words

1. krayker16 July 2010, 13:45 GMT +02:00

You can only change ONE letter, AND/OR rearrange the letters currently available. The first word is:


11786. gesinek4 January 2016, 11:54 GMT +01:00

I think Hamburg isn't a small town (Maybe the citizens of Berlin see that in another way ;-) ) but GP are not open at saturdays sundays or celebration days. A lot of them are also closed on Wednesday. The alternative is here emergancy room or a hospital, which offers general emerency care and treatment.
So I need a 4 letter word but nothing in the text above.


In Plural it is that's what I have to loose this year.

11787. xymonau4 January 2016, 14:06 GMT +01:00

Wow - it's almost as big as Brisbane. You can see doctors at all hours in Brisbane. That surprises me, Gesine, for a city that size. As far as kilos - I really ought to lose half of me. I need to get back on the plant based food.


11788. gesinek5 January 2016, 18:32 GMT +01:00

Hihi, we have a strenght law for working times. A GP needs assistants who want to be payed and must have working times according to law that is expensive and our health insurance need the money we spend (by law) to built an overhead of adminstration or build (buy) represantive houses for the administration or other things which looks good in their financial statements. Treatment is bounded to special catalogues the insurance companies have (and also the GP's, hospitals ... knows the rules.

So if you don't can wait to see a doctor outside the normal opening hours - go to an emergancy room else wait for monday. And it's better to have an appointment or you wait for hours to be treated.


11789. xymonau5 January 2016, 19:41 GMT +01:00

For us it's because there aren't enough doctors in small towns. We get all the worst GPs as a rule - people that nobody wants in the city. The decent ones tend to fulfil a six month contract then return to the city. When I arrived here I couldn't get in to see any doctor except a terrible one, because none of the doctors were taking new patients. I finally got into a better clinic, and the doctor gave me a lecture on how I had to do everything he told me to or he would refuse to treat me. I never went back. Two years later I was accepted at another - where I had to pay a lot of money per visit. Not too bad, but then a new clinic opened and they bulk bill the government, so you pay nothing. I started with them. Many doctors move on from here, though. It's not a town with anything to recommend it. There is a large maximum security prison here, and a lot of professional people would rather not live here. Many live in the next town on the coast and they commute.

We can't make appointments at the hospital, and depending on how they triage you, you could be there for ten hours or more. It's generally faster than that, but I've known that to happen a few times when they had emergencies. Still, if you aren't paying and don't need to pay for insurance, it's still a good medical system. I have no insurance and have paid nothing for operations or hospitalisation, ever.


11790. Ayla876 January 2016, 6:38 GMT +01:00

I join in on the illness matter - heavy migraine from sunday to tuesday with


and - even worse, I had to vomit about 200 times. That was heavy. I lost 4.4 kilos because of dehydration. I'm still a bit weak, but back to work today. My neurologist was available yesterday, but the treatment on the drip did not really stop all the pain this time. So I have to be patient for the rest to go and leave me alone.

11791. gesinek6 January 2016, 13:01 GMT +01:00

Poor Michael, Get better soon.

We pay in Germany about 40% of our wage for taxes and compulsory insurances. And however, a lot of treatments must be payed on your own caus the insurance don't includes them.


11792. Ayla876 January 2016, 13:32 GMT +01:00

That's right. To give you an example: I spend between 2.000 € and 3.000 € on my own every year because no insuirance pays for ayurvedic herbs prescribed by an alternative practitioner.

I still feel a bit like hit over the head with some


but I hope this will get better after a good night of sleep. Last night I could barely sleep. I think I need to take a sleeping pill to knock me out and give my brain the rest it needs to reboot.

11793. xymonau6 January 2016, 18:33 GMT +01:00

So sorry, Michael!

That's a lot to pay. Our current government is taking funding away from pathology tests - also all free (includes MRIs, etc). People with private health insurance always have to pay a gap payment, so to me it's better to pay the yearly levy in my taxes, and get everything free. The difference is that if you are admitted to hospital, you can't choose your doctor. We can't get herbs or vitamins - unless prescribed - at the cheaper rate. The most we pay for listed drugs is about $40 per script. People on pensions and other payments pay only about $6-00 maximum per script. We also have some scheme where after you pay a couple of thousand dollars for any medical treatment the rest is free for the year. I've never reached that level.

We do pay about $40% taxes over a certain income, but are hit at tax time by the government for about $1400 (or thereabouts) for the Medicare levy if we have no private insurance. Given all my operations, I'm getting the best share of the deal.

You must feel worn out, Michael. I wish there was something that could be done. Do the herbs help? If you stop them, are the headaches worse?


11794. Ayla877 January 2016, 7:30 GMT +01:00

The most important effect of the lots of herbs is that they manage to keep my stress level a bit lower and help to make me fell more wewll-adjusted. I think that


off for me. Today I'm feeling nearly fine again after a good nights sleep (the half sleeping pill worked fine). Brain efectfully rebooted.

Currently 85% of the German population is covered by a basic health insurance plan provided by statute, which provides a standard level of coverage. The remainder opt for private health insurance, which frequently offers additional benefits. The basic health insurance obviously is in many ways similar to your handling of this matter (the limited amount you have to pay per script and we also have that scheme where you can be freed from those payments when you have reached a certain amount. Probably it is generally easier to reach with chronic diseases).

I have opted for the private health insurance, which is more expensive. When you get older you will see that the monthly rates you have to pay for that insurance rise higher and higher, but you always have your gains because of several additional benefits available for you. One of the remarkable differences is that when you are privately insured you have to pay the full price of everything on the script (and that may be several hundred € on one script with migraine medics which won't last long) and you get bills for the treatments of all the doctors you visit and from the hospital. Dentists can be extremely expensive charging 1.000s of € for teeth replacements, or any OP at a hospital (including room rates of maybe 400 € per night, like in a good hotel). After you have advanced all the cost you try to get it back. About one half is payed by your private insurance and the other half by your employer, when you are a civil servant and that means you have the right to get aid on your illness costs.


To ask two instances for refunds of your cost means a lot more of papers to be filled out and you have to wait months (or up to a year) to get all your money back. Some things are not covered by any of those two instances, for instance glasses, so there is always a risk that you have to pay some 100 € totally on your own. Another example: The cost of my hearing aid (including repairs) is fully covered, but I have to pay all the batteries I need to make it work on my own.

11795. xymonau7 January 2016, 17:52 GMT +01:00

Over here, the workplace has nothing to do with your health care. The reason I won't get private insurance - apart from the large payments - is that I also can't afford to pay the gap. That is squarely paid by the consumer. So if the government or private fund will pay a certain amount of money, the specialist can charge whatever he wants, and you have to pay the difference. I can see a specialist privately without cover, and the government pays a set amount, and I pay the balance. Some funds offer to pay it all, but the payment is higher. There is almost no hospital cover that will pay it all, so not only do I pay thousands for private cover, at the end of it I am still in debt. That's ridiculous. In a public hospital I may be in a bed next to a private patient and we eat the same, are cared for the same, but they can choose their doctor and I have to take pot luck. If I was rich enough I wouldn't mind. But I refuse to be robbed every which way of my money when there is a perfectly good alternative in our free health scheme.

Unlike your country, we get our refunds the same day from a private specialist visit. We pay, then a machine refunds the government contribution amount to our bank account. Alternatively - as not all surgeries have those machines - we take our receipts in to the local social security office, and they put the refund straight into our bank accounts the same day.

The benefits for civil servants are excellent in Germany, even if it takes a while to get them paid.


11796. Ayla878 January 2016, 7:58 GMT +01:00

Yes, the benefits for civil servants are excellent in Germany. Civil servants don't need to be rich to start with such a private insurance, and when they are young and still trainees on their jobs they are lured into it with cheaper montly rates. Nobody will predict you then how much the montly rates will rise over the years of your life and what quite a large


of your wage you will have to spend later on. I have to pay about 600 € now monthly for Christa and me. That is nearly as much (or more) as the montly rent you have to spend for a flat. We can afford it, but when I'm a pensioner money may get tighter.

11797. xymonau8 January 2016, 17:53 GMT +01:00

Wow! That's an awful lot of money. I know with chronic health problems you need it, but I'm quite shocked by that. I'm also impressed with your cheap rent in a city like Berlin. Sydney rents average around 500 dollars per week for a one or two bedroom unit in a less pleasant suburb with about an hour's travel on the train to the city. You can get cheaper a lot further out, but they are not nice.

rent can be a real


11798. Ayla8711 January 2016, 6:36 GMT +01:00

Actually our own rent is higher (950 €), those 600 € are more like an average monthly rent for Berlin. The rent differs a lot because there are suburbs which are cheaper and those (where we live) which are more expensive. The major cities in Germany also have different rent levels. Berlin is not too expensive, but rents are currently rising quite fast. I think Munic is Germanys most expensive town. But most people who can afford to live there also have the higher income paid in that area.

Generally cheap rents here become more and more a thing of the


11799. xymonau11 January 2016, 18:10 GMT +01:00

Someone has to


it all, as it has become ridiculous. Sydney is classed as one of the most expensive cities in the world. Only double income families, or the wealthy can afford to live close to the city, and to buy is impossible. Poor people on fixed incomes can't possibly even pay rent in most places these days. I live in one of the cheaper places, and a house is still about $300 for a basic place. Something nice would be $450 per week or more.

Where I lived on the Sunshine Coast was incredibly expensive. Most houses were at least $500K to buy - and that was for just a basic house. Many, many houses were in the millions. And there were hardly any rentals.

Berlin really sounds reasonable, though, and from what I've seen of it, it's a really pretty place.

11800. Ayla8712 January 2016, 7:59 GMT +01:00

In Berlin 84% live in rented houses or flats. We are a "city of renters". This is not too unusual for German citys. Most of the inhabitants spend their money when they


and don't save enough to afford to buy a place where they can live. Also the typical Berliner is quite mobile, he changes the place where he lives (here in Berlin) every few years.

Yes, Berlin is a very green city. There are more than 400.000 trees which grow along the sides of every street. And 18% of the area of Berlin is covered by forests. These foresty still are part of the city and many people walk there alone or with their dogs. Christa is also quite fond of our possibility to walk in the nearby Grunewald forest.

These photos don't look like being taken in one of the largest citys of Germany:
http://www.rgbstock.com/searchgallery/Ayla87/grunewald AND forest

No wonder people like to live here and more than 40.000 people move to Berlin every year. There are also lots of refugees from many countries of the world currently fleeing towards Germany. All together about 100.000 every year have to find a place where they can live here. This means that a lot of new houses have to be built, or current houses have to be built higer. And rents also rise higher and higher at a very fast pace.

11801. xymonau12 January 2016, 12:45 GMT +01:00

Some gorgeous scenes there, Michael. Brisbane is full of trees, but not as lovely as these. And only a few nature reserves. 18% is great planning. Queensland in general is one of the fastest growing States. A lot of southerners want to come here for the warm climate and beaches. Unfortunately, like Berlin, that pushes up the rents everywhere, because they are used to paying high rents elsewhere. And if there is a tertiary education place like a university or branch of a uni, people are very inclined to live there and raise their kids. When I left Bundaberg the population was around 50,000 people. You could still buy land and build a new house for $50,000. They had just built a branch of a university there. When I went back to visit a few years later, the prices had leapt to $120,000 average. Areas in town that had big open fields were now built out. It was a changed place. The population in the whole region had virtually doubled.

Refugees are such a difficult issue. I can't blame people for seeking asylum, but I understand some of the problems that come with that. If Western countries would stop bombing other countries, none of this would be happening. If it's a so-called war on terror, it certainly hasn't worked.

Berlin is the size, roughly, of Melbourne. A lot of Europeans like Melbourne. The climate is familiar, and it had a lot of European immigrants , so the environment reflects that. The odd thing about Melbourne is that it's home to many extremely wealthy people, and also the crime capital. Sydney is the most violent as far as behavioural stuff, but Melbourne is home to the crime syndicates and they have more shootings than elsewhere. Even the police are trigger happy, and they have shot dead so many people who were just mentally ill and waving a knife around, when they could have shot them in the leg to stop them. My sister loved it. She lived there for a lot of years.

So the contrast is the


and the crooked.

11802. gesinek13 January 2016, 15:08 GMT +01:00

Popular places are always expensive.


11803. xymonau13 January 2016, 16:47 GMT +01:00

Is Hamburg an expensive place to buy houses, Gesine?


11804. gesinek13 January 2016, 20:44 GMT +01:00

Yes it is. And I'm afraid it is more expensive than in Berlin. For a flat per m² between 9 to 17 Euro, without water, heating or something else. If you want to buy a house you pay chiefly for the m² of the property and then it is up 800 Euro per m². You don't pay primarily for the house. When the house is old it could be cheaper because the basic structure of the building is bad or old. When the house is new with ecologic energy, new windows, good isulation it will be more than the price for the property.


11805. Ayla8714 January 2016, 6:59 GMT +01:00

When a place becomes too expensive we have to


ourselfs together to move to a smaller place. (Christa, Mimi and I currently live in a flat with 60 m² + that 17 m² terrace).

On that terrace Mimi now managed to catch her first Mouse. That Mouse must have been stupid enough to run through the cat-web into the space where Mimi lives. Otherwise Mimi could not have cought her.. Mimi killed her effectively (poor thing that sweet Mouse with a lovely long nose, must have been a Shrew).


Mimi carried it into our flat and proudly presented her victim as a gift to Christa. She was praised a lot, of course, but Christa felt sorry for the poor Mouse and soon got rid of her.

11806. xymonau14 January 2016, 10:15 GMT +01:00

What a shame. And some of them are poisonous! Did Mimi think Christa ate the whole thing? My blind cat thought I ate the bird he caught, and he waited for days for me to give him his share. Do shrews enter houses often?

Mimi is no

fool -

she knows she is a predator

Regarding the houses, it's all about the building here. Yes, if there is more land, a place is more expensive, usually, but while real estate agents may work on a formula, there is no common rule for price per metre. If you have a nice house on a small block, you will get more for it that a terrible house on a larger block. That is, unless it's in a select area. They are selling old sheds in Sydney for a million dollars. Where I am, all the house lots are a quarter acre - in the old measurements. Roughly 1011 square metres. A comfortable size for a large house and a yard big enough for a family, a garden and a chicken coop. :o)

I find it odd that Hamburg - a smaller place - is more expensive. What are the reasons for that, do you think?

11807. Ayla8714 January 2016, 12:45 GMT +01:00

Mimi could see that Christa carried her precious toy straight to the wastebin and did not eat it. I think she was content with all the praise given by Christa. She certainly feels to be a


cat now with such a success. Shrews have no chance to enter our house. The terrace door is always firmly shut and only shortly opened 1.000 times a day to let Mimi in or out. But all Mice should realise that it is better for them to make a wide bow around Mimi's part of the terrace whenever she is around.

I think prices for houses are not related to the number of inhabitants of the citys. It is more a matter of the demand in relation to the number of objects currently available on the market. If many people want to move into a city because it is attractive to live there and/or they think they can easier find a job there nere the place where they live this screws the prizes higher and higher at a fast pace. You can make lots of money nowadays if you have to sell or to let a place to live.

11808. xymonau15 January 2016, 13:14 GMT +01:00

So the


on Mimi's face was pride, not resentment. LOL And such a good kitty to offer it to Christa. Not all people can deal with cat offerings. One of my old cats would come inside with tiny lizards in his mouth. He generally had them by the head, with their back legs and tails hanging out of his mouth, kicking and waving around. Then he'd let them go, they would die, and I would be trying to track down the source of the mysterious smell for days! Or he'd eat half and leave the other half to decompose.

11809. Ayla8717 January 2016, 9:56 GMT +01:00

I haven't seen any lizards near our terrace. Mimi will have lo look for other tasty things. But we won't


them for her.

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