I feel as if Germans give you paperwork solely on the basis that they like paperwork. One instance is registering your TV, because guess what? In Germany there is a TV tax, you have to pay a tax just to own a TV. They may come to your door and actually ask you how many TVs you own, and you will have to pay taxes on each one.
Now something that every Fulbrighter is required to do while they are here in Germany is to register in the city that they are living in. And if you don't... they know!! We received a letter in the mail just shy of living in BS for one month, it stated that we had three weeks to register with the city. They keep on top of these things, and you can't lie to these people.... I almost believe that they have tiny little surveillance bugs in every living place in the city. They are watching you!
And of course registering for the city isn't as easy as sending in a piece of paper, like all bureaucratic necessities you must do it in person. Luckily the professor that Mariko work for has a secretary that was able to help us with everything. This was our experience:
- We met her at 8:30am and walked down to the registry office.
- The office opened at 9am, and we were 20 mins early and the second person there
- By 9am there was over 40 people waiting in the small foyer for the doors to open.
- Ding doors open
- Mad rush from everyone to get into the doors as fast as possible, including old people trying to run over in the hopes they get your spot in line
- Everyone trying to figure out where to go- 1st floor was for nationals, 2nd floor was for foreigners
- To the 2nd floor we go!
- 2nd floor is a long hallway with scary looking doors. Above each door are letters, random letters from what I can tell. You are only allowed to go to the door that has the letter for your last name.
- Door number 102 is for M. That door is not working, you must now take a number from the correct door on the list.. for us it was Door 103
- Wait for 5 people to go before us
- Enter (knock and then open) and give our info to the Civil worker.... wait what we didn't fill out the form?
- Take form back out into hallway to fill out.... luckily for us no one else is to be helped while we fill it out.
- Go back into room and give our info back to worker..... wait we have to go student section? Even with a non-student? Yep
- Go to different hallway, and take a different set of numbers.
- Wait some more
- Enter when our number is called and give information to new Civil Worker (including the ORIGINAL copy of Marriage license)
- Copies of everything made... 3 times
- Registry complete 10:45am