I’ve been in Berlin for exactly one week, so I figured I should document it. I’ve been wanting to write about everything that I’m experiencing, but it has been such an insane whirlwind of sights, people, emotions and tasks, that I have mostly just been processing.
Today is the first day I’m on my own. For the past week, my parents have been in town, helping me set up shop. But now they’re in Bruges for a few days, and so I’ve been out and about by myself.
My first major to-do item was to register with the city. This is because unless you are registered, you really can’t do anything. As I told my parents yesterday, I’m lucky that I went to a CSU for both my undergrad and graduate studies, because they prepared me for the bureaucratic nightmare of paperwork that is Germany. And in reality, it all makes perfect sense, but I understand how the specificity of the German way can stress people out a bit.
This afternoon, F. made some calls to the Bürgerämter locations in our locality and found that one of them was not incredibly busy, so we took the train a few stops away, where I filled out my registration form and he took care of obtaining a new passport. Now, I am an official resident of Berlin, which means I can open a bank account, get a cell phone number, obtain a work permit and more.
I also purchased a monthly transit pass, which allows unlimited rides on the S-Bahn and U-Bahn lines, as well as trams and busses within the city. While 74 euros seems like a lot, it’s an advantageous and practical purpose, because if the past week is any indication, I know I’ll be riding public transit on the reg.
Now, with my aforementioned registration in hand, my next plan of action is to meet with a Deutsche Bank representative and open an account tomorrow, so I can pay my rent and finally get a German mobile number.