extemporanea: a picture of the Trifid Nebula (Default)
[personal profile] extemporanea
As I am an EU citizen, I didn't need to get a visa or work permit or anything before I came to Germany, I just got on a plane and then, a little bit later, got off the plane. However, there are some admin bits that do need to be done, even for EU citizens, if you intend to live for more than three months here. The first requirement is to register with the local municipal registry within a week of arrival - this was a painless affair; the building was easy to find and all I had to do was show my passport and then sign a couple of forms. The only bad thing really was that I had to wait for around 45 minutes to be seen, but there was a ticketing system, so I could sit down while I waited. There is some further administrivia to be done (I need a residence permit) but for that I need to have proof of health insurance and that requires me to have a bank account with money in it.

So my next task of the day was to obtain a bank account. I was keen to have one that had online banking in English and I had seen references online to people using Commerzbank internet banking in English but I couldn't find reference to it on their website and when I asked in the bank they said it wasn't something they offered. I ended up going with Commerzbank anyway, in the end, as I wanted to go with one of the big banks and not the smaller, regional ones. For this I had to make an appointment, though luckily I was able to do it on the same day. I had a couple of hours to kill - not enough time to go up to the department as it is a 30 minute bus journey there and back, and not really worth going back to my apartment, so I ended up pottering around town. And I found a tea shop! The owner was lovely and her English was excellent so we had a good chat, and she had loads of loose teas, including some decaf ceylon, earl grey and darjeeling, and lots of tea pots and strainers and tea tins. I was so excited! So now I have tea again :)

Back in the bank, the lady who opened my account asked me the weirdest questions; she took my passport and wrote down the usual name, date of birth, place of birth etc etc. Then she asked me where the passport was issued. So I said "Great Britain, I'm British", thinking she wanted my nationality or something. But no, she asked if it was issued in a consulate and in which town. Uhm, I just wrote to the passport office. Never been asked anything like that before. She also asked if I wanted a credit card, to which I said yes; the she asked if I wanted a credit card or a prepaid card. So I said a credit card because prepaid card = pointless for a personal account, that's just like a debit card and I'm already getting one of those. But she gave me a prepaid card anyway. So confused.

I spent the evening trying to figure out how to log in to online banking and then trying to decipher what I found once I had managed to do so. And then I wanted to try and transfer some money from UK account - this is quite a faff. I obviously don't want to transfer all of my UK money as I will be getting paid here and I don't want to convert any more than I have to, but I will need quite a bit to set up here, what with health insurance, mobile phone, flat deposit, flat admin costs.... and that's not including the car and car insurance I want to get too. I spent ages trying to find the IBAN and SWIFT numbers for my new account, with no joy, and while I found magical calculators online that told me how to work them out, I want to be sure I've definitely got them right if I'm pushing significant amounts of money around so I'll check with the bank tomorrow.

There's still loads more to do, but at least I have checked two more boxes.
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extemporanea: a picture of the Trifid Nebula (Default)
extemporanea

October 2010

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