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The Euro Cup 2016 “Public Viewings"

With the Union of European Football Associations European Soccer Championship OR The Euro Cup // Europäische Meisterschaft (EM) starting this June, you might hear or see the term "Public Viewing" quite frequently. You might hear/see this on the radio, at a bar, a restaurant, or in the paper. If you are unfamiliar with the term, it might cause quite a bit of confusion. So to clear things up, here´s everything you need to know about celebrating the EM in Germany this summer. Well, not everything but here are the basics:

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American BBQ and Root Beer float in Stuttgart at TC BBQ

American BBQ and Root Beer

I like to say I am a person of food and culture. I have been fortunate enough to have traveled most of my life and have had amazing experiences with different people. My love for food came from the basic need of wanting to eat something good.

I attended culinary school in Washington D.C. While in school I did some catering and worked multiple venues throughout the district. After graduation, just as I was finding my way in the culinary world, the opportunity to live in Germany presented itself.

Since being here in Stuttgart, I have taken in the German food culture and also what Europe has to offer for the culinary world. Everyday I stay connected with food trends and take every opportunity to cook, travel and eat.

I never thought that I would ever have an actual root beer float in Germany, let alone order one in a German restaurant. So needless to say I was pleasantly surprised when I saw an A&W root beer float on the menu at TC Original American BBQ.

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We visited for you the Achalm Hotel in Reutlingen

The Achalm Hotel in Reutlingen

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Not only with its Infinitypool with its glass edge, the exceptional food or the obliging service, the Achalm.Hotel was able to satisfy. Furthermore, the rooms of the Achalm.Hotel have their unique charm, straight design meets modern spirit and wood. Foresight inclusive.

Arrival

We almost could not believe that a hotel finally appeared in front of us after this long and curvy drive. On top of that, it was a 4 Star Superior hotel incl. wellness.

We parked our cars in the garage and took the lift instead of the staircase to the reception area.
Arriving upstairs, we were welcomed by the friendly staff who handed us the keys to our booked rooms. Greeting, promptness, kindness. Just as you would expect it in a 4 Star Superior hotel.
We left the reception floor where the bar and breakfast area also were located and took the lift to the 2nd fl0or.

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My experience with the VAT Form in Germany

The Value Added Tax (Vat) in Germany is 19% and included in the marked prices of all merchandise or on the menu items in a restaurant. So you can deduct almost 20% when using a VAT form. Since the VAT form cost a fee, I always figured it was most useful to use on anything costing more than 100 Euro - to me that made the fee and trip to the VAT Office worthwhile. We always kept a VAT form stored in the glove department of our car, so we could have one available when we needed it. It´s important to note that there is a different form needed for items over 2,500 Euro.

A lot of stores let you collect the receipts and do a VAT Form run every three months, Lidl, the grocery store is a good example. Just be careful to designate a VAT Form for each of these stores, because the issue date of the VAT form has to be before the date of the first receipt from that store. I always used a page protector to help me keep each VAT form and the collection of receipts for each store and put a note on my calendar when to turn it in - time flies away!

You can also only have a certain amount of outstanding VAT Forms - the VAT Office is very strict, but also very helpful. So make sure you keep track of all used VAT forms and turn them in on time. If you lose a VAT form, let the VAT office know right away so they can help you get it sorted. But with very little effort real money can be saved especially if you are thinking about purchasing larger items such as cars, furniture, electronics, etc.

As not all German employees know how to use the VAT form it helps if you learn how to fill it out, be sure to pay attention to which copy you keep, which copy the store keeps and which copy you are meant to turn in to the VAT office. Store owners are more likely to accept the form if you know how it works.

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