Now For The Next Plans…

A few weeks ago, I wrote about my latest visit to the Foreigner‘s Office here in Germany. I’m happy to report that this year’s application was successful, and yesterday I picked up my fancy new residence permit. Previously all my visas/res. permits were stickers that were put into my passport, but Germany has switched over to these more credit card-esque ones….

Via

They’re biometric cards now, so they’ve got your fingerprints and all that fun stuff stored on them as well. My picture is truly frightening, so you don’t get to see my real one. Plus you know, personal information and stuff. 

The pick-up process was pretty easy again, I had an appointment time, and was in and out within 10 minutes. That’s not bad, especially as I did go to the wrong floor, and was only saved by the guy who gave me my number passing through the room and telling me I was in the wrong place. To be fair, last year I did have to go to the third floor, but now you stay in the main floor and wait for your number when picking up. Some times it would be helpful to understand more when people speak to you very quickly in German. I should probably do something about that. 

But the main thing that I’m excited about, is that my permit is for two years this time, which is great. As always, I have no idea how long I plan on staying here, but for now things are going pretty well. The question is: what can I do in the next two years here? So I’ll pose this question to you all….

If you’ve never been to Germany, what would you want to see? (Don’t say Neuschwanstein, I’ve been there three times. But thanks!)
And fellow German expats/actual Germans, what do you recommend??

 

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6 thoughts on “Now For The Next Plans…

  1. I just got my new card too – so differnet htan the paper! Question – can we go through the EU line with this card at passport control? Because that would be awesome.

    And hmmm… I recommend beerfests, duh – but any of them, really. Duerkheimer Wurstmarkt, I've never been, but really want to do: Black Forest int he winter, Bodensee in the summer, Karneval in Koln

  2. I had a skim through my 'everything you need to know about your shiny new permit' book, and didn't see anything about the EU passport control line, so sadly I think we're still over on the other side. That would be epic though…

    Sadly I missed Oktoberfest this year, but I'm sure I can find another fest to dirndl up for. Was in the Black Forest/Freiburg two weeks ago (more on that later), and we drove to the Bodensee as well, but I think a summer return trip will definitely be in order. And I've barely seen anything in the northern part of Germany, so I think Koln will make the list as well!

  3. I just wrote about my new permit last week as well!

    Regarding passport control and EU lines:
    1. Back in my passport sticker days, nobody seemed to mind much in German airports what line I got into (EU/CH or Alle Pässe) — the few times I dared to get into the EU line on purpose or it happened by mistake.
    2. In Vienna at the airport, the border patrol guard got really stinky at me for doing that. I tried to apologize, saying that I thought it was OK, since the Germans didn't seem to mind. Sie sind aber in Österreich jetzt! Okay, tut mir leid. Nächstes mal besser!

    Maidult in Regensburg is a nice Gelegenheit to wear your Trachten! I certainly wouldn't wear the Trachten in Köln, however.

    Mrs.1976 and I did a week up on the North Sea coast of Germany this summer, since we'd never been, and…it kinda sucked. I think it was a combination of bad luck and wrong time of year: I couldn't walk much, having broken a big toe nail a few days before, and the weather pretty much sucked, and it was pretty much all Omas, Opas, and Enkelkinder up there then. Still, I'd give one of those 'münde towns up on the Baltic coast a chance.

    If you haven't already been, check out Dresden for the Saxon-elegance-turned-firebombed-disaster-turned-communist-neglect-turned-Western-rebuilt-elegance vibe. It's its own thing: neither Prussian nor DamnNearDutch nor Alpine nor Rhein-Main-Wine flavor. It's three hours away by train from us, which is pretty doable, but beware: our train was full to standing room only, and from here that route is diesel-operated, which means lots more curving and banking through the hills. Between that, standing room only, and some very smelly people in close proximity, we nearly horfed a couple times just getting there.

    Mrs.1976 and I have Leipzig on our list too, since we've heard good things.

  4. Leipzig is very nice. We spent just an hour or two there on a return trip from somewhere else, but I would love the chance to revisit and really have a good wander about. How about you do it for me?! Have you been up to the Baltic coast? It's really nice too. Wherever you go to, I'm very envious!

  5. Must be permit season or something! Sounds like your process was fairly smooth, which is always good to hear. I had to do the same thing in Prague when my old passport expired which was a massive pain in the ass.

    I've never tried an EU line, but maybe I'll accidentally wander into one next time I'm passing through an airport. But not in Vienna… I'm not big on getting yelled at.

    Thanks for all the tips! I haven't been any of those places (minus the Dresden station), and would like to check out things on the north-side. I've heard mixed reviews on Leipzig, but will definitely have to make a visit to see for myself.

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