Waiting waiting waiting…….
I am sitting here imagining that somewhere in a back room a very studious middle aged German lady, with glasses, a slim and angular build and slightly frizzy blond hair, sits pouring over my visa application, passport, and anmeldung (address registration). She is cross referencing information with international databases, making sure I am not wanted for diamond smuggling in Ruanda, espionage in Bolivia, or homosexual acts in Singapore (I’m not into Asian guys, it wasn’t me). She is not finding anything, but from the handsome, 007 like quality of my passport photo (not to mention my name!) she is sure there’s something out there.
Finding nothing she decides to have coffee. And a snack. Then calls home to her loving husband who doesn’t need to work because of the huge salary she pulls in working at the Ausländerbehörde, which she only has to do the 3 days a week it is open. They spend the rest of the time together, happy, and well rested. This all takes time of course, so she has yet to ring my number.... but she'll get to it soon.
Meanwhile we all sit in the waiting room. Every time the “BING! Bing, booooong…..” of the number/room announcer machine sounds our heads all snap up, like hamsters for food pellets, hoping and dreading that it’s our number. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to the numbers called. A few people that were ahead of me were called back into the number issuing room, only to come back out moments later, perhaps with a different number, I have no idea.
But certainly my little German Frau with the frizzy hair and glasses knows the system, understands the rhyme to it all, and while the machinations of the Ausländerbehörde machine are a mystery to us on the outside they whir away behind the walls like a Mercedes on the Autobahn, gliding along with precision and comfort, squashing everything in its path.
Truly this is German engineering at its finest.