crystal's capers

one girl's international adventures

Monday, March 26, 2007


That's what I'm doing right now. But it's not my fault. Since we moved into our new aparto we haven't had Internet access, which accounts for my lack of response to your emails, so we must get by on "very low" and "no signal" wireless connections that waft only into certain parts of the apartment. Anyway, we should have the Internet hooked up within a week or so. Apparently.

This news, however, enticed me to suck up my guilty conscious and sneak into the wireless waves nonetheless:

I found a FABULOUS job! Somehow I horseshoed my way into my ideal teaching job, and I barely had an interview before I was hired! The job will be a full-time teaching position at a State International Elementary School/Kindergarten (like public English Immersion school) that begins with the next school year. I will have my own classroom of rugrats, great pay and full benefits (because it's a government position), visa sponsorship, and it's only a 35-minute drive away! What's more, the International program is just a few years old, so there's tons of room for creativity.

So, in conjunction with my new employer, I have officially submitted my first application for a German Work Visa, and have high hopes as we've been assured by the VERY friendly ladies at our new local Foreigner's Office that approval won't be a problem! It's still "wait-and-see" at this point, but I'm optimistic... and still reeling at my luck!

Fingers crossed, thumbs pressed!


Monday, March 12, 2007

Quick Pics

Since we don't yet have any furniture to show you anyway, I thought I'd show some pictures of our new apartment as quickly as possible! Let me know what you think!!

I'll be emailing our new address and home phone number to everyone I think would want it within the next week or so, but if you don't get it and want it drop me a quick mail request. :D


    • At 6:45 AM, Anonymous Shawna said…

      Crystal and Riccardo

      The apartment looks awesome. So chic. I hope you guys enjoy your life together. So exciting. Just hope you don't get deported Crystal. Fingers crossed!!

    • At 6:05 AM, Anonymous Nori said…

      hello fabulous!!!
      Looks nice:) Iidesuyoooo
      Orange wall! SWEET***

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Last Ditch Efforts

Ah, the never-ending debacle that is my life.

Some of you might be interested to know how my efforts to get residency in this country (Germany) are going. On a scale (poor 1 - 10 well), I'd rate my success so far as a 2.

Why? -because I've got just 3 weeks left on my tourist visa, and no results. The government doesn't seem to understand that I'M NOT LEAVING! ha.

There's actually been a lot of flip-flopping. Very soon after I arrived here I met a lady who needs an Au Pair/Nanny. She wanted to share my services with her friend, so I'd work 2 afternoons per week at one home, and 3 afternoons per week at the other. The pay wouldn't be terrific, but the families live relatively close to our new apartment, and the working hours would be favourable.

Shortly after negotiations with these families commenced, I got the aforementioned "freelance" teaching position with a well-known International language school in Frankfurt. For this job market, the pay there is crap, and the drive would mean 200+ kms per day, but thinking that the visa would be a sure-thing, I told the families I was going to try for that visa instead.

Turns out that I am currently living in a bumpkin-district where the local visa office doesn't even grant the "freelance" type of visa the "sure-thing" job requires me to get. See, immigration services here are completely unregulated on the national level; each office can pretty much follow whatever methods and procedures they choose to. So now I've missed the March training session that I am required to take (at my own expense) in order to get this teaching job and have to wait until the next one, which begins at the end of June (too bad I'll already have been deported at that point).

Back to the families who I previously decided against. Thankfully they are bend-over-backwards-accommodating and ridiculously helpful, so they have agreed to try to get me a visa through one of the fathers' businesses. Now I must register my new address in our new town so that I can apply for my visa through that district; all of this will occur, hopefully, by the end of the week. The visa office then needs to contact the employment office and see if there are any current visa-holders who can do my job instead (so that they can try to fill jobs with nationals) and providing that no one is found, I may get this visa application approved.

If not, then I re-register a fake address in Frankfurt so that I can apply for the special "freelance" visa required by the aforementioned language school (which is apparently only granted by certain visa offices and one can only apply to those offices if they reside in the proper area). This, of course, would take place at the very last minute as I cannot apply for more than one visa at a time and government offices tend to lallygag where processing is concerned.

If both of these options fail, then I...??? - actually I have no idea. My tourist visa is not renewable. It'd be too expensive to stay here as a student. I'm too old for a real Au Pair visa, which are given out like candy to anyone under 25. This means I'd have to leave Germany for a minimum of 3 months to get a new visa, which is a no-go situation too. Any ideas?

And there you have it. Hope that clears up some of your questions.


Painting Party

Last weekend we were presented with the keys to our new apartment. First order of business: PAINTING!
In Germany it's the tenants' responsibility to paint the apartment either before they move in or after they move out (actually, I'm surprised at how little landlords are actually required to do here - I can see that property-letting might be a lucrative and not-too-time-consuming endeavour).

Realizing that we were in for a heavy workload in our very small time frame, we enlisted the services of our fabulous friends, Thomas & Jeannette, Andre & Melanie. With all the scrubbing, taping, and colour-mixing, the job turned out to be even bigger than we anticipated, but after two L-O-N-G days, we managed to finish painting every square inch of paintable surface.
Special thanks to our friends: we really could not have done it without you! we just have to wait for the living room floors to be re-finished, a couple tiles to be replaced and the bathroom to be re-siliconed and then we can move in!


    • At 11:01 PM, Anonymous Thomas said…

      And now it's up to you to enjoy this perfectly renovated appartment for a LONG time!

      And don't dispair of that visa thing. We definitely want you to stay here! And it's probably just a test by the authorities to select only the toughest candidates... ;-)

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Monday, March 05, 2007

Visas Suck


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