105 thoughts on “A beer, a Bürgeramt and a bank”

  1. My husband and I are planning to move to Germany (We’re Aussies), recently stumbling across your blog I can’t thank you enough for all the amazing information and insights, but especially for your witty humour we’ve had loads of laughs! Cheers 🙂

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    1. Oh, thank you! That’s lovely to hear! Best of luck with the move here – I guess you guys will have extra issues with visas and stuff – fun, fun 🙂 I’ll be following with interest haha! Linda.

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  2. Hi, Linda, I’m a Latvian planning to move to Germany in the beginning of next year and your adventurous and witty blogs are surely encouraging and entertaining! I did an internship in Berlin for 4 months some time ago, it’s a great place to be. Hope you’ll enjoy it entirely! Be sure not to miss out on the Mustafas döner in Meringdamm..hope it’s still as wunderbar.

    Cheers,
    Kristine

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    1. I’ve passed that a few times (as it’s near the Burgeramt and Finanzamt) but there’s always a long queue – but if it’s that good, maybe it’s worth waiting for! Best of luck with your move – let me know if you need any help when you get here. Not sure how much use I’ll be as I’m still figuring stuff out myself, but I’ll try! 🙂
      Linda.

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  3. Hey Linda! Simply had to check your blog and I’m lauughing so hard, not any less than with your earlier blog! I’m the one you once met at Stockpot Riga.. It’s a pleasure to read how you’re doing and what differences you have spotted!
    This “Chanel Latvian style” is so true!!! Hahahhaahhaa how much I laughed! But I have usually a style like that and guess what, I moved to Latvia in order to be tratead not as a weirdo but as a fully normal and acceptable human being despite my style (this was not the case in my home country Finland). I am so happy I found what I needed and wanted – haven’t felt any nasty stares about my style not even once! Feels liberating. I also love heels and Finns think not fondly of heels.
    Also…. You wrote about a Jürgen and a Janis… This is a lot on my mind, because every (EVERY) Janis around my age (I am 25, soon 26) is married. I am like HELL! I love Latvia and would gladly stay here but I also dream of a man and family but every nice guy I meet of course is taken. I have told myself now – if no man is found within 2 years, I will then move to some western european country. There I will be considered fully normal for being a bit less than 30 and single. And have all the chances to find one.
    First we’ll see what happens…
    Good luck to you!! Enjoy!

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    1. Yeah, the man situation in LV is not good! But they should all be divorcing their first wives in a couple of years, so you might get a husband second time round! And hopefully they learned something the first time 😉
      Nice to hear from you and glad you’re still happy in Riga!

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  4. Woah! That beer is bigger than you. I could never drink all that without starting a conga!
    Hats to ya and well done on getting Fritz to give you the documents and open a bank account in double quick time. To be fair though, the Germans are fab with paperwork in ther financial sector. I actually opened my German bank account whilst I was still living in England. I used to be with Westminister and their partner was Commerzbank. I’m still with Commerzbank after all these years ‘cos they’re nice to me and every couple of years, they invite me in for tea and biscuits. Actually, it was coffee and biscuits but whatever, and then they offer me pots of money which I never take LOL. I’m tempted though!

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    1. Ha, I chose Deutsche because their branch was 20 metres closer to me 🙂 And they’re affiliated with loads of other banks so the withdrawal fees won’t apply – unless I withdraw from Sparkasse (€5 – WTF?!) – but I could never be with a bank that sounds like Spark Ass anyway 😉 Wonder if Fritz will invite me for tea – I hope so!
      And I drank two of those beers and there was no conga 😉

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      1. Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank are affiliate partners so you can “withdraw” from both of them and some other ones in the banking group for free. Very handy.
        You didn’t do a conga or the hokey cokey? More fool you! We island people have to show ’em how it’s done. 🙂

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  5. A couple of congrats:
    1) In Bavaria, no self-respecting person would drink a small beer, and especially not at Oktoberfest. Congrats on your first Maß!
    2) Posts like this make me sooooo happy to live in a smaller city. The Burgeramt in Nbg was relatively painless, but after living in the Czech Republic, I feel like I’ve paid my dues on absurd bureaucracy. Congrats on surviving the lines. 🙂

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      1. Definitely one on the play we went there to see. And one on Dublin, though I have to figure out how to illustrate it without either blowing my cover or having it seem like a standard travelogue…. maybe Simone’s technique of looking at the details 🙂

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          1. It was “Our Few And Evil Days” by Mark O’Rowe. It premiered at the Dublin Theatre Festival and stars Ciarán Hinds and Sinéad Cusack. Also Tom Vaughan Lawlor, Charlie Murphy and Ian Lloyd Anderson. The best acting I’ve ever seen. Plus we got a backstage tour of the Abbey Theatre–incredible 🙂

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            1. Sounds fantastic! I did my Transition Year work experience at the Abbey Theatre – back when I thought I wanted to be a sound engineer, and before I realised I was crap at physics 😉 I loved the theatre though!

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              1. There’s something special about it, I suppose because it is the national theatre and very historic. The person giving the tour was so proud to be a part of it, and full of great stories. It was quite moving, actually.

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    1. Ha ha, I don’t know! Paddy was just like ‘Um, this isn’t Oktoberfest…’ I think he was more confused than I was! They even played ‘The Wild Rover’ – in German 😉 I can’t think of a more Irish song!

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  6. Okay, so if I ever move to Berlin, I’m going to pick up one of those beers that could double as a small town’s water tower holding tank before I get in any official business waiting line. I’ll have enough sustenance to last me through the day. For the bank, I’ll remember to just bring along an afghan for a nap when I’m finished.
    Great post. What a hoot!

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  7. I’m glad you might be getting some upper body exercise with all the beer lifting. If it were me, I’d probably ask for a straw 😉 I can’t wait until you are Bjorn-free. While your posts about him are highly entertaining, I imagine that it is indeed quite stressful to share a flat with someone that incompetent.

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  8. You’d think the German systems for everything would be so organized and perfect…and it’s kind of refreshing to know they’re not 😛

    Also – Chanel, Louis Vuitton, meh….get some Louboutins and then we’ll talk!

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  9. Do I feel right that German process looses to Latvian regarding tax payer registration? It seems a little incredible story. Something similar we’ve experienced only in State employement agency when the crisis started (2009).

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  10. Success! I can barely drag myself to a 9am yoga class two blocks away so I’d probably just have to pay the stupid fine and be done with it. I admire your determination and fortitude!

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    1. I don’t like letting things get the better of me 😉 Especially when they’re stupid things!
      Ugh, need to start getting back in shape – can’t do anything with this fool in the apartment.

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    1. Ha ha! Thank you! I must admit, that one was a challenge, even for me! 🙂
      When the girl put it down in front of me, ‘Holy shit!’ came out of my mouth before I could stop it – the two bar girls burst out laughing and both started saying ‘Holy shit, holy shit’ after me 🙂

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      1. That is hilarious!! I am sure I would have said the same thing! And I have to say, It is SOO BIG you look quite miniature behind it! Here is the big Question>>> Did you finish it? Something tells me you did!

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  11. Remind me NEVER to move to Berlin! It’s so much easier in Karlsruhe… as long as you turn up at 8 a.m. on the dot and get one of the first numbers you shouldn’t have to wait too long.

    And yes, all banks close for lunch. And at 4 p.m. on at least two days a week. And don’t open at all on Saturdays. Going to the bank when you work full time is practically impossible! Oh, and most doctors are also only open in the afternoon on certain days (Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday normally). And on those days they close for 2 hours for lunch as well!

    The giant beer is calles a Mass, and ususally a large beer isn’t that large 😉 It’s an Oktoberfest thing. Some breweries also sell beer in Mass size, but if you just ask for “Groß” you’ll get an ordinary large beer (0.5 l – Klein is 0,3). Personally, I can’t drink a Mass without the beer getting warm long before I finish.

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    1. I managed that too 😉 Paddy’s a fast drinker – I couldn’t let the side down!
      You can move to Berlin – just make an appointment now 😉 Why do German opening hours sound a bit Spanish?? A two-hour lunch??

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    1. He STILL hasn’t come out of his room. He must be peeing off the balcony or something…
      It sounds like he’s shaking sheets of tinfoil in there – maybe he’s making himself a little outfit, complete with hat, so ‘they’ can’t read his thoughts? I’m sure I’ll put it in a future post – when I’m writing from the safety of a future apartment 😉

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  12. Hahahaha omg, that is, like, a lot of beer.

    And my mind went straight into the gutter.

    I have no idea why you have to line up in Germany for that thingy that you mentioned, however it does sound like they have some good couches in the bank. At least you’d know you’d be getting a good nights sleep 🙂

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    1. And I’d be safe as houses (or banks) – can’t think of a safer place to be! 🙂 Unless there’s a robbery, of course. Still, I’m pretty sure Fritz would protect me – we had a real connection… 😉

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        1. But AH HA! There’s nothing in it! And my f****** idiot of a flatmate has lost the key to the letter box so even I can’t access my own account… wait, this is kind of a shit plan. 😉

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          1. bwahahahahaha!!

            I don’t seem to recall any of the plans that we’ve tried to concoct being that good. This one can just be added to the pile!

            What?! You only had 1 key to the letterbox? I never let my housemates have the only key. I don’t trust them enough.

            Hell one of them is stashing all my good plates under her bed at the moment. Do you think I’d trust them with a key!!!

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            1. I wouldn’t trust him to look after one of my socks for 5 minutes. I asked him to leave the key somewhere we could both access it. ‘Of course!’ I then asked him to leave it with me while he went to Stockholm AND NOT TO FORGET TO LEAVE IT. ‘Of course!’ Not only did he go to Stockholm with it, he gave his house key, along with that key, to his wife (don’t ask) because he had no space in his pocket, and forgot to get it back. The guy is BEYOND stupid.

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      1. Be the hammer with you 😉 just have a go at the letter box with some force and no key will EVER be needed, then you could ram it with that spare part from you Ikea wardrobe so that it would not gape open. A sneaky go or two at you quickie flatmate could also improve things – I’ve heard some Lithuanian saying that you could hammer in some wisdom even into the biggest fools 😉

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