Tag Archives: Germany

More than a meal

thanksgivingThanksgiving was a chance to introduce four Germans to the very American custom of overeating in late November. Or at least that’s what we seem to have accomplished. One of our guests called our meal ‘obscene,’ and I think we’re all still recovering from that.

We invited some characters to our Friday night presentation of a Thanksgiving meal. These included two old friends of M’s brother, who happened to be visiting us for work and for the occasion. His friend Uwe is full of wit, strong opinions, and a propensity to combine the two traits to put someone in their place when he sees fit. His niece, who lives with him, joined us after work, and before she arrived he said, remarking on the open seat next to him, “I don’t want to sit next to her; I have to see her every day,” which rattled us slightly but as M let her in the front door I slid over towards the miffed guest so he wouldn’t have to sit by her. Continue reading

A brush with bureaucracy, Part II


Interesting that “fiktion” is part of the German word for “temporary residence permit,” but that’s just the English major in me talking.

We returned to the Ausländerbehörden for our follow-up visa meeting yesterday, all five of us, plus our friend the professor who proved so helpful last time. We took the kids out of school early for this; German class, math class and Schülerläden were all skipped in favor of our visa meeting. Our experience this time around was more productive, though consistently inconsistent and in a few ways flawed to the core.

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A brush with bureaucracy, Part I

Buro resident visa office berlin

It’s a welcoming sort of place, as you can plainly see.

I have been remarkably blasé about our visa appointment. M, a stress monkey. I have been convinced there will be no problem; why shouldn’t we be allowed to stay in this country? We have everything we need to show we are a solvent family and will not be a drain on the state. What could go wrong?

As an American, you can stay in Germany for up to 90 days without a visa. If you plan to stay longer, you need to apply in person for a visa. There are two steps to this process. The first is to register your residence with the police.

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