YOU ARE DRIVING ME CRAZY!
I went to the bank today in an attempt to get a German bank account. Per the status quo, I was unsuccessful. They refused to give me a bank account because I have temporary visa that is only valid until my appointment at the Ausländerbehörde (immigration office) on the 12 of August. Without at least 3 months left on my visa, I am ineligible to open an account. 12 days does not seem like such a long time, but when nothing has gone right for the past 6 months (in terms of a visa and work) it seems like an eternity. This is due to the fact that to do anything official in Germany, like getting a job or registering for a community education class, one needs a German bank account. I want to do those things! I have been living in this uncomfortable limbo for more than year. I am sick of my own company. After awhile I am just not that interesting.
It started when the master’s program that I want to apply for announced that they are restructuring the format, so study places will not available until next year. This would have given me a task and a means for integration. Now that I will have to wait almost a year to study, I want to get a full-time job. Not only for money, but because I need to meet people and get out of this apartment. I would do other things, but I don’t have very much “play” money to work with and most activities in a city cost money. Sometimes it sucks being responsible, but I still need to make sure that I can pay to get the cats here, for updates on the bungalow (it is essential because I want to try to start a small horticultural business and will need to be there to tend to the plants), and to pay for things like food. I have already started applying to jobs here, but have been repeatedly told that they will not give me a contract until I have Arbeitserlaubnis (work permission). Oddly enough, the Ausländerbehörde told me that I will not be given Arbeitserlaubnis until I have a work contract.
Now, I am learning that I need a Steuernummer (tax number), too. To get one of these little gems, I need a German bank account – which I can’t have until I have a different visa. As an added bonus, the process of getting a Steuernummer takes approximately 6 weeks. This means that I can’t really start applying for jobs until October.
Then there is the fact that I am terrified that they are simply going to say, “No you may not have a visa. You can’t seem to get your s!”%& together, so we don’t want you. That will be $40 Euros.” And no, that last part is not a joke.
Last time I went an appointment they told me that I could not have a visa and then charged me $40 Euros for 5 minutes.
But, everyone keeps telling me that I need to stay positive. From that perspective, I will be able to get a visa to prepare for studying – at the very least. That would enable me to work for 90 days in the year. I certainly won’t be getting rich, but at least I won’t have to worry whether I can eat and bathe…with soap.
I also know that I should not complain and be so frustrated that the German system is trying to protect itself and the citizens. I actually wish that the American government would think more about the well-being of its citizens. However, this process is driving me absolutely insane. I just want to live like a normal person. I want and need to be something more than a Hausfrau – especially after studying for 10 years and leaving a job that I loved. Ho hum.
Until next time…
the severely frustrated gardener(in)