That’s not to say I ever have much of a plan or anything, but I guess I do more or less have a routine. That’s all.
One of the first things Travelling Companion said to me when she got in the car last night was, “You have to go tomorrow and renew your Residence Permit! You’re meeting the lawyer at nine.”
Whoa! Oh cr*p. I thought that was next month?
Then I took a closer look at the thing and realised that I’d be in deep do-do in fairly short order if this didn’t get sorted out by the end of the week. OK then!
So that of course meant that I would need the car, which also meant doing the taxi driver thing again this morning. The “Magistrats Amt 35” or MA 35 (Immigration Office) is on Dresdenerstrasse. Oddly enough, I was just in that area last week when I was trying to unload my propane tank, so at least everything about how to get there was fresh in my memory.
The only slight wrinkle was, I had run out of the tiny “passport” type photos that one needs in abundance in Europe for everything from these types of permits, to your every day subway pass. And no, I don’t have a subway pass.
I had meant to get this sorted out, and had completely forgot.
So, what that meant was, the young Lawyer Lady (whose name I instantly forgot within seconds of her introducing herself) and I had to TAKE A TRAIN to the next station, where we then went into the Mall (Millenium City) to find a place that took photos. They’re not as sticky about the whole process as they are in Canada when it comes to getting passport photos, and nobody needs to sign the back or any such nonsense. (can’t they see it’s me??) so at least that’s a consideration. Most times you just go to one of those photo booth type of arrangements, but we couldn’t exactly find one.
And of course, the way these things go, when we found a place, there was some issue with the equipment (or something, I’ll be darned if I know) and it was going to be about a 10 minute wait.
So fine, we wandered off to a little coffee type joint in the mall there and had a coffee.
At one point her boss called to see just what the heck was taking so long…
It’s OK though. He’s made us wait a couple times, which is probably why the appointment was for NINE a.m. and not eight, as had been the case the last two times. He was late each time. I hate late. Don’t be late.
Now, if you’re wondering just where the heck we are, it’s an electronics shop called “Niedermeyer”, and we have a Niedermeyer (that site’s all in German, sorry) right around the corner from our front door, which meant it would have been easy peasy to get this sorted out at my leisure, IF IT HAD ONLY OCCURED TO ME!
So now I have enough flippin’ little head shots of myself to quite likely last the rest of my days! Gah!
And don’t ask me who the blond chick is either, she was just on the envelope.
So once we got that minor cock-up sorted out, we discovered that, for an “extension”, we should have acquired some sort of form or other from one of the official type places here in my district. We’re in district seven. The MA35 is in district 20. I’d elaborate if I had the slightest clue, and it has nothing to do with the language or anything like that. Even the young lawyer was a little flummoxed, but her solution was to simply go and have a little chat with one of the clerks who works there, and “Bob’s yer Uncle”! we were able to meander right in to her office!
Holy crap on a cracker! I’ve never been able to go to the head of the line. And, should I feel a twinge of guilt since my new young ‘friend’ happened to be acquainted with someone in the Immigration Office? Let me think about that.
I mean, there was a whole sea of people (the place was mobbed!) dutifully waiting there for their number to magically appear on the tote board, and we quietly waltzed on in, past them all.
The thing is, I’ve sat or stood around in Immigration waiting areas enough up to this point in time that, if somebody knows somebody, and we can just get in there to “explain” the whole situation, and get things stamped or recorded or whatever, then I’m IN! No regrets. And I’ll be on my way, thank-you very much.
There will still be some communication from the lawyer’s office concerning when to get back in there to pick up the new bits of plastic, but the main thing was to have the process underway before the end of this month.
We did sort of cut it close there.
Keep those sticks on the ice.