Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Bürokratie, continued, and to be continued...

So the bureaucracy checklist continues...
DONE - Registration at City Hall
DONE - Bank Account
_____ - Registration at University
_____ - Visa at Ausländerbehörde
This whole process of getting any official paperwork taken care of is constantly going from one place to the other, getting the necessary Bescheinigung, certification/paperwork. You get one administrative office to stamp a piece of paper, and bring it somewhere else. In fact, there are a whole bunch of "Beamtenwitze", or jokes about civil servants/government workers in Germany. "Beamte" is a bit difficult to translate, because it is much more common in Germany and has a slightly different connotation.

Beim Bürgeramt. "Wie viele Beamte arbeiten denn hier?" wird der Bürgermeister gefragt. Dieser überlegt eine Zeitlang und antwortet dann: "Knapp die Hälfte."
At City Hall. "How many government employees work here?", the mayor is asked. He thinks about it a while and then answers, "About half."

Auf einem Tisch liegt ein 100 DM-Schein. Am Tisch sitzen der Weihnachtsmann, der Osterhase, ein schneller und ein langsamer Beamte. Wer bekommt den Hundertmarkschein? Der langsame Beamte, denn den Weihnachsmann, den Osterhasen und den schnellen Beamten gibt es nicht.
There is a 100-DM bill lying on a table. At the table, there sit Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, a slow and a fast government employee. Who gets the 100-Mark-bill? 
Answer: The slow government employee, because there is no Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, or Fast government employee. 

In order to register as a student at the university, you have to have proof of health insurance. So today we went to the AOK office (public health insurance). It costs about 77 EUR/month for insurance.

Tomorrow, we hope to register as students (pay some fees and get our U-Bahn ticket), and turn in paperwork to start the long visa process. Wish us luck! The office where foreign students can register is only open three days a week, Mon/Tues in the morning, Thursdays for 3 hrs in the afternoon! It's so crazily inaccessible...

No comments:

Post a Comment