Thursday, July 13, 2006

A new German sentence

Two days, while at the Foreign Authority, I learned a new sentence. Es hat sich etwas getan. I could make a bit of what it might mean but I did what I normally do in this case: I ask a question with a similar meaning to see if I was right. Ist etwas passiert? I asked. "Has something happened?" His answer was yes, something positive and then I stood up in my chair and said, "What?" And he told me to calm down, to get off his desk and to let the hostage go and so I did. He told me in his (now) endearing dialect that there had been a meeting the previous week at the Foreign Authority and apparently all people who already had a specific status in Germany shall be able to remain in Germany.

I rubbed my greedy little fingers together, waiting to get my mitts on that little elusive f*cker. The case worker stood up and left the room. Had I accidentally touched him in an inappropriate place? Did I fart? He came back a moment later as I was using some Nigerian guy's file to swirl the wind around. Hello, I said guiltily, and?

There is nothing written officially, he told me, which means that everything is going to be all right but that I cannot get the official two-year extension until something is received in writing. Will that come by the end of the month, I asked? He looked doubtful, actually doing the beauracratica math in his head: somebody's gotta type it, put it in an envelope, a stamp, postal service, it has to be opened and then another letter has to be written to me, enveloped and mailed. Doubtful. Okay, no prob, mr. cool california led on, I can wait as long as you can.

He gave me another 90-day extension that will end in October instead of when I will be in Peru. That was my main purpose of the visit. I had succeeded. I had had a successful experience at the Foreign Authority. My last experience had also been successful in some ways. Perhaps they were turning the corner, maybe they were falling in love with me. I'll have to check the next time I go in there and oh yeah, I will be going in there again. yeah...

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