Monday, July 9, 2012

I can't speak any language and am not a legal Hamburger

Hi blog world,

Soooo bank accounts and government things...

Last week I tried to open a bank account and was told I would need proof of residency... or a Meldebestätigung. So I got up early the next day and went to the Hamburg residency office place and took a number and waited to speak with someone about registering as a Hamburger. The form was in German(obviously) but they had a sheet translated into English for reference. The German sheet was an updated version and the English translation was for the older paper... so the nice guy at the counter helped me fill it out. Waited the 30ish minutes to speak to someone, I think it would typically be a longer wait, but I got there right when it opened. I then found out that I couldn't register yet because my new roommates hadn't registered and they need someone from the lease to be registered as a Hamburger before I can become a Hamburger, or something. So no bank account yet... going to figure out the registering thing this week, hopefully, and then set up the bank account. I have a contact at the bank now so I can set up a meeting through email and head over to struggle through the bank process...

Saturday, I met Xenia at the Deichtorhallen for an Art Exhibition of news photos and advertising campaign things, she said last year there were more ads, but it was still cool. 

There were a few funny Ikea ads that I haven't seen before:

after we wandered through all the rooms, we had a coffee and then I went back to Malia's to finish packing and prepare for the big move. I called 5 or 6 taxi companies trying to speak to someone who spoke a few words in english, or spoke German slow enough for me to understand... most people said no or nein, and one lady hung up after 4 minutes talking to me.... finally got a nice lady who answered my tragic sounding 'Sprechen Sie Englisch?' with a laugh and 'a little' and she sent a cab over to fetch me... the nice cab man carried my suitcases to the door outside my new apartment building for me.... I must have looked really tired/dejected at this point haha. Vani and Bente helped me carry my things up to my room and then we went out and walked around the area for a little bit. They are both really nice and have sent me some links to Erasmus, foreign exchange group, meetings and have been setting up meetups or essentially play dates for me and some people they know. 

Saturday night we set up some things in the kitchen, built an Ikea shelf, always a struggle in any language. After that we had some wine and then some of their friends came over. Later on we were all talking(well they were talking and I was trying to follow...) and one of the guys turns to me and is talking in English about something, I was pretty sure he was talking about cocaine, and I politely refused 'oh no, I don't really want any cocaine thank you' 'oh you don't like cocaine' 'oh no, you know, I don't like putting things in my nose' ... this went on for a bit before some other guy across the room starts cracking up and tells me that he was trying to say 'cooking'... they really sound the same with a thick accent. So apparently I can't speak german or english and I looked stupid say I don't like cooking because of my nose.  whatever. also don't worry mom/ grandma, honest mistake, no one offered me cocaine haha

things I need to do:

-register as a Hamburger
-get bank account
-buy a bedframe, Vani and Bente both have cars and said I could go with them next time they go.... They both have their mattresses on the floor, but I feel a bit like a squatter, and could use the room under the bed to store things. Ikea sells a few frames for under €50, so I think I'll get one of those and see if I can manage to build it.
-buy curtains---I have a huge window, and should probably stop putting on a show for the pedestrians, this isn't the Reeperbahn
-health insurance
-tax man
-get hair cut
-learn german.

I started to watch a few movies in German with english subtitles, or in English with German subtitles... and I have learned some swear words. so my language skills are really coming along.

I am going to try to do laundry tonight, there is a machine in the basement/Keller of the building/Gebäude. I think it is €1 to wash and €1 to dry. must buy some detergent... and hopefully I can select the right settings and not ruin all of my things.

In other news, Morgen and I planned a trip to Copenhagen! We will be going there August 3-5! Huzzah!

Tschüß or Tschüss... can't tell which is right...


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