So far the transition has been smoother than I could hope for. I arrived the 14th of January and quickly began work on the 15th. It was an early morning to be sure but I have to attribute my lack of jet lag this go around to immediately forcing my body into the rhythm of the Central European time zone. D (mom,) T (dad,) R (oldest daughter,) E (youngest daughter,) and I all dropped the girls of at school and then I went with T to the Ausländer office. We were a little nervous because since I had already been in Germany/Europe for so long (90 days,) specifically the Schengen Area (80 days,) we only had 10 days to secure a Visa because you can only be in the Schengen region for 90 days per 180 days. However, the Visa usually takes 6 -8 weeks to attain. I am one of the lucky ones. It will only take 4 weeks for mine.
So instead, they offered me a Fiktionsbescheinigung – a temporary residence permit. This allows me to live in Germany but not to reenter. In essence, I am “stuck,” in Germany for the next month and am not allowed to leave….life is really hard! I now have a new phone number complete with WhatsApp (WhatsApp works with both my American and German number) and have applied for a bank account. Life seems simple and as it should.
Yesterday, I went over to Esther and Thilo’s house to visit and to gather my belongings that I left last year! It was so wonderful to see them and reconnect! The kids were excited to see me,especially Tira. She basically lunged at me in a fashion only Tira can and then ran to the piano bench and patted it asking me to play for her! We ate cookies and cake and just enjoyed life! I hope I get to see them often because they are my family and community here! Last night, I met up with another Au Pair in the city, Alice! We bonded quite quickly and it’s nice to continue making friends here!
Today, I woke up to snow lining the streets. My view across is as picture perfect as they come! We will journey together into Cologne to watch a concert hosted by a local radio station, WDR and then I will go to Church for the first time in a month! I am so excited to see my church family here!
Much love to you all on this quiet Sunday!