I arrived later than I'd wanted to, at 9:20 this morning. They open at 10:00 and I'd hoped to be here at 9. But, the line for my building so this was heartening. What was also heartening was watching the two hipster artists, presumably from some South American country by their language and general look, awkwardly stuffing print outs of their artwork into plastic binder sleeves, on the wet lawn next to the line. It was classic, truly. I think they were still high on whatever they'd been doing last night (which I understand is a bit hypocritical with the levels of Klonopin in my system right now, but as D.A.R.E. taught us "some drugs are good and some are bad. Mommy's Valium is good little Billy, mommy's valium is sooooo goooooooood.....). They got all the pages stuffed and thrown into a backpack just before they opened the doors and we were off to the races.
I went to the second floor where the signs (all in German of course) told me to go. Thank you again Mr. Moore for the 3 years of German, it is certainly serving me well now. On the second floor I went to where the sign said "names a-g" go here. A line had formed and I was about 5 people back. Other people went toward their own name area, but there was much milling about and much confusion. "Do we get our numbers here?" "Yes, that's what the sign says" "Do I wait here?" "What's your last name? No, you go there"
Then from the nice guy from Texas waiting behind me I found out something interesting. He and his wife had been in before and it seems that they only issue numbers from "a-g" line. This is not stated ANYWHERE, and I could hardly believe it. This guys wife was waiting in the other line just in case, but soon our door opened and people started going in to get numbers. The other door is still, an hour later, shut. There are still people sitting there waiting, the rest of us all have numbers.
Another American guy got his number and was called in fairly soon. He came back in about 10 minutes and came over to me to ask some questions. Seems he had made an appointment about 2 weeks ago for his visa, or I should say he requested an appointment 2 weeks ago. They scheduled him for November 23rd. So he came in today to see if he could get things done sooner. They told him "you have an appointment for the 23rd, you should come back then".
He also asked about his health insurance. He is younger so is still under his parent's insurance, and it is good in Germany, so there's no need for him to pay for other insurance. They told him, "you're school will be providing your insurance", to which he replied, "Yes, but I already have insurance that I wouldn't have to pay for, so can I use that instead?" "But your school has already said you can get insurance through them." "Yes, but the question is can I just use the insurance that I already have so that I don't have to pay more for this other insurance?" "Sir, your question is irrelevant, your school said you can buy insurance through them, so you will have insurance." .......... I'm sure there is a logic somewhere in there, but perhaps I Kant understand....
So, I am waiting for my number to be called, especially since they took my passport and my other paperwork and I will need to get it back before I leave, otherwise I'm officially an illegal alien who can't even get back to the U.S. I do have copies of my passport though, so hopefully if they run away with it I can go to the Embassy, prove I'm a U.S. citizen, and they can roll tanks into the Ausländerbehörde and anschluss my passport. I think they will probably yell at me, tell me to make an appointment (which of course they will not be able to do, but I will need to call the hotline which no one answers) and come back in 2 months at the first possible opening. In the mean time they may or may not issue a temporary visa, but they will probably not from what I've been told today.
So, it'll be time to hit the black market at that point. Where there's a will there's a way. Mommy needs money, before the Valium runs out.
More to come......