Friday, February 3, 2012

Die Siedler von Catan

We picked up my Aufenthaltstitel yesterday evening.  This card isn't exactly useful for anything because I had all of the "functions" turned off. It is pretty much just physical proof that I am allowed to come and go in this country until it expires. I have to remember to bring this card with me when we leave to go to the US and when we come back to Germany in March. If I forget it, they may not let me back into Germany. I was going to post a picture of the card, but even after I put pieces of paper over my name and signature, I realized after putting the picture in my blog draft that they have a hidden text that holds your name under a flash. It just wasn't worth the effort to cover everything and risk the minute possibility of someone trying to steal my identity. 

Instead, here are pictures of what I have, just without my information. 

Image credit
This is a picture of the stickers they put in my passport as my temporary Aufenthaltstitel. It takes up 2 pages. While we were waiting for Herr Elseberg to finish up my paperwork yesterday, I realized that I only have 4 pages left in my passport. That is essentially 8 trips. That may not sound like much, but if Felix and I make 3-4 trips a year the way we have planned for this year, I will have to get a new passport before its expiration date. And that is just trips to visit the US. If we take long weekend trips by plane outside of Germany as well, I will need a new passport even sooner. To be fair, the Aufenthaltstitel took up 2 pages and my visa for Indonesia took up a page. I was a little baffled because I am pretty sure that before I met Felix, I never would have thought I would fill up a passport, let alone need a second one. I'm only 25. I still have decades of travel left in me. Felix has brought a lot of enrichment and joy to my life in many ways, but some of the big ways have been exposing me to travel, different cultures, and helping me to embrace being outside of my comfort zone.