17 September 2012

Bureaucracy Roller-Coaster

So I have been in Berlin for a few days now. And so far, I have accomplished quite a few things with respect to the bureaucracy that is involved in settling down here.

I've blogged earlier about getting an apartment. That's just one of the things I have done here. There are more.

I now have a German cellular phone number. I have a prepaid account, so all I need to do is buy a phone card when my balance goes low. I don't have a contract, so there is no obligation to pay it until a set time. I can just pay as I go. In getting a prepaid phone number, I had to give a local address. I gave my work address, and showed them my passport. That sufficed.

I am signing a lease in a couple of days, and paying the first month's rent as well as the security deposit. Once I get the lease, I can now go to a bank and set up a bank account. I went to a bank earlier, and they told me that I should have a document proving where I live. So the lease can do that. I have an appointment with a bank manager next week to set up an account once I have all the paperwork ready.

I am slowly filling the paperwork for my employment. Jeez, they ask weird questions. There was a form where I had to check whether or not I have previously lived in the German Democratic Republic, whether I used to work in the former GDR's Ministry of State Security, whether I did military service with the GDR, and so forth. It was quite interesting.

I also paid a visit to the Philippine Embassy, which turned out to be just a couple of blocks from where I live. I went there because I decided to register and make my presence known. Hence, in case of emergency, there will be people that are notified.

So there, so far so good. After this, I still have to take care of the electric company and report my new domicile. And I am also looking for Internet providers for my new apartment. And in doing all these errands, my German is slowly coming back. Well, that's the idea, right?

(Men with Nude Girl, from my Museum of Modern Art Series)


  1. It's probably a good idea to register with your embassy. I neglected to do so until last year (I went under the radar for 7 years!), and it took me a while to update everything. I still should renew my French paperwork actually, because all of my IDs are expired by now.

    France is so bureaucratic... and it doesn't help that the only Consulate is in Toronto.

    1. Zhu,

      I suppose it is unavoidable for countries to be bureaucratic. But then, I was wondering, you live in Ottawa, the French Embassy should be there. Can't you do your paperwork there, instead of having to trek all the way to Toronto for it?

  2. Part of the big move is always finding more errands to do - more so in your case since you're in a different country now.

    It's a smart move on your part to register right away. And how convenient to be so close to the Philippine Embassy!

    1. TNP,

      Ah yes. It takes a lot of effort to plant some roots in a country, as you pretty much begin with nothing. No bank account, no tax identification number, no history. By now, I can get a breather and relax a little bit.