My German teacher (and official saint-of-the-month) Christian says there’s only one way to deal with German bureaucracy. You don’t push hard. You don’t plead, you don’t argue. You melt the ice.
Und jetzt: The ice is finally melting. We visited the Senate office for Business, Work and Women (don’t ask) today, and met with Frau Knispel, who handles media matters. Christian once again came with us to translate, but as soon as she asked us questions, we launched into our own explanations, in tortured German, of our professional lives, income, and interest in Germany. My theory: Speaking is the best defense against not actually understanding the questions being asked.
After about half an hour, she nodded. Ganz gut. SchÃ¶n. The laws are rigid, but they don’t fit everyone, she said. We should be fine.
And so hooray! We still must trek back to the visa office and go through the final application process. But apparently, if this office signs off, the other one should give us a green light. Looks like we’re in. Almost.
In our next episode, our heroes will get their first look at the tax system, and probably decide they can’t actually afford to live here after all…