Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Deal or No Deal

After our first year's adventures in Deutschland including the peak of my life accomplishments thus far, passing the German driving test, I have avoided most government bureaucracy. That's a tall order in a country where one must pass a state test to get a fishing license, but with a few exceptions (a blurry visit to the city hall when Theo was five days old to pick up his birth certificate being one), I've remained under the radar.

My rapidly approaching passport expiration date necessitated another round of visits to the pencil-pushers, so last week I was back in the saddle. I began with a visit to the US consulate in Munich, where the very friendly guard approached me when I was a half block away, asking how he could help me. Apparently there's not a lot of guarding to do when the whole place is surrounded by barbed wire already. After I made it through airport security, my interaction with the cheery consular employee lasted roughly eight minutes, and that included some chitchat wherein he spontaneously recalled meeting me a year ago when we applied for Theo's birth certificate. Hmmm...not a lot of business in Munchen? Or else he just thinks mothers of newborns who are frantically trying not to leak breast milk on their outfits are sex-ay. I had my new passport in hand in less than a week. Anyone want to go to Thailand? (sob)

Today, Theo and I rode the bus to the city hall so that I could straighten out my residency permit. We entered a waiting room full of chairs, surrounded by closed doors, each bearing a number. It felt a little like those waiting rooms in old Candid Camera episodes, except there was no statue of David sporting a fig leaf that would shoot water at me when I lifted it. Or else I missed it while attempting to prevent Theo from licking the chair legs.

I will not bore you (further!) with the details (they are sordid but what's a young alien to do?). However, after spending some time behind door #2, I am proud to announce that I will be allowed to stay in Deutschland for a little while longer.

Who needs American Idol when my life is just one big game show?


daniela said...

Do you have to do your interview in German?

Blythe said...

Thank Gott, no. I think it depends on the bureaucrat who helps you, but mine was exceedingly nice and asked me a few English language tips. It probably helped that I had a screeching child with me.