Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Getting settled in

We finally received our bank account number which in turn allowed us to order telephone service at our apartment. However, because the previous tenant did not have a land line we now have to wait a week until the telephone company representative comes to our building and connects our service manually. I guess in Germany if there has not been phone service in the apartment in the last 90 days then they have to come out to your place....Hopefully it only takes a week.
We have been settling into our apartment over the last 4 days. I now know where the local grocery store is located, the local pharmacies are located, etc. Oh yeah, yesterday (Jan 3) we went to the Standesamt. (I think that´s how you spell it) We met with a counselor who reviewed our paper work for our "marriage." We had almost everything the German government requires, but there was one item from me and from Matt that was missing. We will have those cleared up hopefully in the next week or so and will return with all of our necessary documents. At that time they will make an appointment where we will return to go through the actual marriage ceremony. Then I will be obtaining my visa to stay in Germany. I think it is so great that the German government is allowing me to live here based on our same-sex partnership. Too bad the US is so ignorant or slow to adopt what the rest of the world´s Western democracies have done. Oh well, it is inevitable so in the mean time I guess we just have to be patient...
I am enjoying Duesseldorf so far, however, as I knew it was going to be, it is COLD. Another observation is that the sunrises relatively late--around 8:30 AM--and never really gets high in the sky. It seems like a perpetual dawn all day and then the sun sets relatively early--4:30 PM. It seems strange for me coming from San Francisco. My understanding is that San Francisco is on the same latitude as Rome, Italy. I always thought of Europe as on similar latitudes with the US. Duesseldorf is on the same latitude as Montreal! (or fairly close) My understanding is that in the summer the sun will rise early and set late.....That I will enjoy! More time to sit in the beer gardens! :)
I hope the New Year is good to all of you! More soon....Bis bald.


Blogger Michelle said...

Hi James!

Glad to hear you made it safely and are starting to get settled in! I hope you start to get used to the cold. I grew up in New England and used to be able to deal with it but after 10+ years in the South I struggle now. Brrr!! Everytime I watch the international news about mainland Europe the snow seems to just be coming down. I also noticed that 'dawn-like' winter lighting that they have over there. I've heard some people really have winter depressions because of the low lighting.

Congrats on having almost all your paperwork on the first try. I'm still waiting on my visa but at least my work permit has been approved so it shouldn't be long now. *crossing fingers*

Talk to you soon!

3:20 PM  
Blogger Expat Traveler said...

Hey James - yes the winter sunlight was something that struck me right away in Switzerland, although Vancouver isn't really different than Dusseldorf (but it is warmer). But I always look forward to is the summer nights. They are wonderful! Think on the bright side, every day you are in Dusseldorf will be getting longer. Yeah!
I'm sure your settling with papers will all take its course. But you left the rain of california behind you. I guess it's been really rainy there.

3:54 PM  
Blogger Expat Traveler said...

p.s. you should change your time to european/germany.

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Adam said...

Welcome to Germany!

Sunlight in winter is on the sparse side, and sunlight in the summer... well... it can be excessive. I spent a month in an apartment where the sunlight would wake me at 4am--after having gone down at midnight or so.


7:43 PM  
Blogger Dixie said...

Yeah, we have dark winters here and of course spring takes her merry time getting started but summer is terrific. By the middle of June it won't be dark-dark until 10:30 or so but it'll start getting light sometime around 4am. I'm a notorious night owl and often don't go to bed until after 4am so in the summertime I never sleep when it's actually dark outside.

Get some blinds if you have east facing windows!

I'm so excited that you're getting everything straight at the Standesamt! Oh - and your first residency visa will likely be for only three years. After that they'll make it permanent.

1:25 AM  

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