Saturday, March 13, 2010

Almost German: The Wild Wild East gets westernized, again

Amerikaner, Buddhist, German, Schnell"Schnell! Schnell! Das Amerikaner ist so farking slow und stupid!" And so went my application for a residence and work permit these past few months. Happily it was granted and the ritual head shaving and uniform issuance will commence next week. Here's how the process works: To get a permit you need proof of govt. approved health insurance and to get govt. approved health insurance, you need to transfer the money to the company through a German bank account, but to get a German bank account you need to have a residence permit and to get a residence permit you need the health insurance and to get the health insurance you need a bank account and to get a bank account you need a residence permit. Hell, I could have just stayed in the US if I wanted this kind of govt. efficiency. But being a student of first world government idiocy, I simply put my head down and acted as if I were going to the DMV in the US looking for a driving license. This strategy worked perfectly. I was also able to find an insurance agent who already had a bank account where I could just walk up to the counter at his bank and give them cash.

"Ja!", now I'm nearly German. I will, however, give the public servants here a few points. They were at every stage, pleasant, courteous and spoke excellent English for the most part. I worried a bit at the final stages in that my agent at Kreisverwaltungsferat (Immigration) didn't speak squat for English and seemed visibly perturbed that I didn't speak much Deutsch - any Deutsch. For image understanding, please roll over here.

No problem. He told me to go back outside, have a seat. and in minutes an English-speaking aide was produced who was like, absolutely happy, to put his linguistic skills to the task, and push through my application. It was all in all, pretty cool. I have now succeeded in going from west to east and back to west again.Back on the grid, kids. Now, to figure out the European VAT tax system. I owe them money already. Hmmm.

1 comment:

  1. Ok, our European partners did start a couple of skirmishes and f**ked up the last century for us but in this one, at least, they are trying to be more accommodating.


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