First off, I now have a German visa. I just got my passport back, delivered by FedEx overnight, and in it is now a shiny new sticker allowing me to enter the country and work. That's amazing. What is more amazing is that the process only took about 3 days. Usually, a work visa takes 6 to 8 weeks, but since my case falls under the scientific researcher category, it was expedited. In order for one to be in this category, one must be sponsored by a German scientific organization, be it a university or a research institute, like mine. Hence, I visited the German consulate on a Tuesday, and by Friday, my passport was back.
I also bought a one-way ticket. Yes folks, this seems to be happening. Come September, I will be flying on a one-way ticket from Buffalo to Berlin via Boston and Munich. This should be fun. And yes, I am quite excited.
I also selected a shipping company. I have a few boxes of stuff I need to ship, and most of them are already packed. They will leave Buffalo in a few weeks. I will drop it off to the shipping company terminal, and they will sail and get transported for 6-7 weeks, and delivered at my Berlin doorstep.
Next on my list is finding an apartment. I have been advised not to commit to an apartment before actually seeing it, which I think makes perfect sense. Hence, all I would be able to do is contact real estate brokers and agents and schedule viewings as early as I can once I arrive. I am arriving on a Sunday, so ideally, I would schedule for Monday viewings, make decisions, and hopefully, finalize an apartment by the end of my first week in Berlin.
Other than that, there are stuff about banks and cellphones. I own a GSM-compatible phone, so getting a new SIM card should be easy and hassle-free. It would be great to have a contact number as soon as possible, as other stuff such as banks would probably need a contact number from me. Aside from that, I need to open a bank account once I get there. I also checked my bank here in Buffalo, and it seems that I can close my account even if I am already in Germany, and have the remainder of my balance wired to my new account in Germany. I think I would want to do that, instead of withdrawing all of my money and lugging it across the Atlantic in cash.
So yes, this is slowly happening.