Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Schneeflocken und Weihnachtsbaum

Just a quick update...

We bought our first Christmas tree last weekend! It was entertaining watching Felix hack away at the stump so it would fit in the stand we borrowed from his Oma. Nevermind the fact that we could have had the guy at the Bauhaus trim down the stump for free before we paid for it with his fancy machine. Ha, ha.

Our first Weihnachtsbaum :)

It looks pretty adorable, if I do say so myself. I think the trees in Germany are quite different from the US. Of course, it could just be that I am used to fake trees, but I'm going to stick with my previous theory. And I had forgotten that reals trees BITE! Each time I put a decoration on the tree, whether it was a strand of beads, string of lights, or adorable moose ornament, it stabbed me in the fingers with it's daggers needles. Believe it or not, this is Felix's first Christmas tree... EVER! His parents aren't Christians and Indonesia doesn't really have a huge Christian population, but I guess I had just always assumed he'd had one at *some point* in his 27 years of life. Shame on me.

Last Tuesday I had an interview-ish meeting with a woman who is the head of the Human Resources Solutions department at Felix's uncle Robert's company, Deutsche Telekom (think T-Mobile). It went well I suppose. They don't have a position already that they would be considering me for and they don't really understand my degree, but the woman I met with, Elke, was eager to see if she can figure out a way to use me and hire me on. Their focus is IT solutions for HR departments, so I don't exactly see how I would fit in with that because I have no formal IT training. I'm not holding my breath, but I will be sure to let you know if something comes of the meeting.

Finally, the most exciting information! We met with a gruff man at the Aliens office yesterday regarding my visa. He spoke with Felix only in Deutsch, so I only know what Felix told me (like usual), but here's the gist:
There are 3 options for my visa-
  1. Try to see if the arbeitsamt (work office) will accept a sort of unpaid internship with the DJK to qualify me for a visa (which is what I'm essentially doing now). The guy doesn't see why they wouldn't accept it, but it's not a guarantee.
  2. Enroll in an intensivkurs language school (intensive course). This will give me a 9 month visa while I am in language school. After that, the easiest course would be to get married or for me to find a job.
  3. Basically to go the sponsored route where Felix claims all responsibility (legal and financial) for me and my life in Germany.

We are going with the language school route because it makes the most sense and is the most certain. Tomorrow we will be going to visit with the people at a private language school and see if it's a good fit. It will be from 9-1 on Mon-Fri (which fulfills the 25 hr/week requirement from the Aliens office) and would begin in January sometime. It will interfere with the “work” I do now at the DJK, but I am completely okay with that. I can still work the Sunday basketball games, but that's about it.

Exciting stuff! (Look how happy they are??)

I also have a booklet of information regarding the eAT (Visa card) I would be issued that I have to study. In a couple of weeks, I have to take a test on it (in German). If I don't pass, I don't know what happens, but I only have 1 month left in my legal stay here to get this sorted out. The information so far has been incredibly boring and irrelevant for me, but not difficult. Wish me luck! 

Oh, and we got our first snow last night/this morning! Beautiful! :) But of course it is mostly melted now.

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