Wednesday, January 30, 2008

1st & 10 on Muller Strasse

So we were supposed to register with the city (I think...could be the police...?) within our first week in Berlin. I think that everyone except those of us who are from (or have lived in) The Americas took care of this right away. Draw whatever conclusions you want, but we've been busy and Berlin's version of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles has some pretty limited hours of operation. Imagine that.

Erica and I finally caved in and got it done yesterday. First, we followed VLB's directions to the Rathaus Wedding (city hall). Once inside, we found it very...not open and rather confusing. After an initial failed attempt in locating the appropriate room, I decided that we would wait for a human and ask directions. My human of choice was a very old German woman with a hunched back. I asked her where we were supposed to go in my best, bad German, and from her response I gathered that we were in the wrong building, we had to go outside, and to the right. I'm pretty sure that she said more than that, but that's what I got and it was a start. We started down the side walk and when I turned to look back, I could see the old woman waving me on like it was 1st and 10 in Lane Stadium. Guess we should keep walking. A few more steps and then Erica and I paused to contemplate whether or not the next building could be the right place. I figured the old woman was gone by now, but glanced back anyway, where I immediately saw her vigorous 1st down signal was now perpendicular, indicating that we had found the right spot. I waved back and we went inside.

Once inside we went to the information booth. I explained to the lady behind the window that my German was bad, but that we both needed Anmeldebestatigungs. She said that my German wasn't THAT bad and that we should get a WAITING NUMBER from the ROOM with the LINE COMING OUT OF IT. Erica asked me what the info lady had just said and once I told her she replied, "You mean we have to wait in line to get a waiting number?" Yep, just like DMV. An hour later, we were on our way and now Berlin knows where to find us if it needs us.

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