Friday, 1 July 2011

Relocating to Berlin

It has been a very exciting week for me - one of my best friends moved to Berlin last Wednesday. E's staying with us until August, when she and A will get their own apartment. We won't live together the whole time, though: we'll be on holidays for two weeks and when we come back, E's going to Finland for two weeks, too. We have been getting along really well in close quarters, and I'm almost sad to leave for our holiday in Finland on Sunday. We've been taking it easy and have just been sitting in cafés, biergartens, parks or at home, chatting and catching up.

When escorting E to get registered at the Bürgeramt, to get a prepaid sim-card and to open a bank account I've realised just how easy it is for an EU-citizen to move around Europe. At work I hear the horror stories of Americans and Australians having to go plead their cases at the Ausländerbehörde. The only thing an EU-citizen HAS to do when moving to Berlin is to register their residency and address at the Bürgeramt. This took E about ten minutes: upon arrival to the Amt I realized that it was crowded and asked if we could make an appointment - a Termin - instead of just waiting for our number to come up. We got an appointment that was three minutes away. "Termin" seems to be the magic word around here! It can also be booked online.

Now I feel really guilty for leaving E alone in Berlin for two weeks... Luckily she's an independent girl and will go on a language course, bike shopping and on photo walks and will be just fine on her own. Plus some of our friends have offered to keep her company!

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