Hello, everyone! I hope you are all having a lovely spring welcome, and that you had a good Easter break. I, unfortunately, had to stay in bed and wrestle with a bout of flu, while the rest of the world is taking a stroll in the first rays of spring sunshine. Lesson learned: even when it is officially spring, thta does not mean your body adjusts to the temperature accordingly. Keep on wearing that extra layer until your body says it is warm enough to take it off! I got really angry at myself for ignoring the advice I gave earlier.
Anyway, moving on, let’s take a look at what I’ve been up to last week, shall we?
1. A trip to the Ausländerbehörde. After months of waiting, the day of appointment finally came, and we went to the “Foreign Office”. Depending on the country you’re from or purpose of visit, there are different buildings that you have to go to. When we got to the floor that I had to register in, boy, was it full. Good thing we had an appointment number, so we just waited for our turn. Once our number showed up on the board, we looked for the room that was also indicated there, and headed over. After we handed in the application, we were told to pay the fees, and wait for our turn again. The fee can cost anywhere from 50-120€. Payment is made at a machine they direct you to. Once you’ve slotted in your cash notes or card, you receive a receipt, and then you can go back to the waiting room.
After we’ve made the payment, we waited for the board to flash our numbers again. Thankfully, we didn’t have to wait too long. The officer told me that I had to register for the integration course within the next three months, and gave me the papers to help explain all about it, as well as the list of recommended schools where I can go. She also gave me back my passport which now has the residence permit on it.
Tip: Government offices are usually fully booked for months depending on your area, so make sure to schedule your appointments well in advance.
2. Taking a Deutsch evaluation test. Since I’ve been given the go-ahead by the German government to do the integration course, we went to a language school right away. Within 5 minutes of entering the school, I was told to do an evaluation test to see where I am at with the German language. This was totally unexpected, so I was panicking on the inside, while keeping a (or what I hoped was) poker face on the outside. Most of it was difficult, so it came as a total shock when the school official said that I am ready to go to B1. I’m really glad that the hard work is paying off, but of course, I will still be going for A2 classes, to make sure that my German has a good foundation, and no fundamentals will be missed.
3. Celebrating Easter. This occasion seems to be a big deal here in Germany. You can already see chocolate bunnies and Easter eggs being sold at the supermarkets as early as January.
We were planning to go for a walk to see Berlin’s popular spots, but, as I mentioned, I was sick, so my father-in-law just sent a picture of this awesome Easter bonfire that I missed. Oh well, next year then.
4. Watching German reality TV shows. One of the things I have been wanting to improve on were my German listening skills. While listening to the radio helps, most of the words they use when they are reporting the news, are words that are too deep for me at this point. For now, I have resorted to watching English movies dubbed in German and German reality TV shows. Reality TV shows are not my cup of tea, but German ones are really helpful in learning the language. Do try it out if you need help with your hören.
5. Setting watches one hour forward. Aside from the ritual of taking a layer of clothing off, another thing that people do with the arrival of spring, is they set their watches forward by an hour. Yup, we lost one hour last Sunday, but no worries, we’ll gain it back at the beginning of fall.
Here’s an extra new experience from me to you: Seeing a cat sunbathe. Yes, I saw the cat basking in the sun for a good half an hour just to let his fur absorb some vitamin D. It was really cool and funny at the same time. It was admirable how the little guy knew he needed some sunshine, and insist on staying under the sun for a while. Nature rocks!
That’s it for this week, folks! I have a few drafts that I still have to edit, before they can be good enough to publish. I’ve been looking forward to publishing a few posts this week, but that plan had to be diverted because of the flu situation.
Anyway, as always, let me know- what’s that new thing you’re trying this week? Or is there anything that you’ve been wanting to try out this year? Let me know below. 🙂 Thanks to @scarletpen28 for sharing hers last week! 🙂