Monday, July 24, 2006

District Huis Monday ...

I knew it would go wrong ...

We arrived early and were allocated a number. Our turn came and it was the woman who had previously approved the papers I had, telling me I would have to get another birth certificate, with Apostille ... the woman who told me that my passport wasn't enough proof of ID, the one who wanted one other paper as well.

I wasn't sure that I liked her ...

So she took our papers and went back to some paperwork she had been working on when she invited us in.

I raised an eyebrow and looked over at Gert. He raised an eyebrow too.

We were patient, I had a book and two booklets in my bag. I muttered to Gert about reading.

When her paperwork was completed, she looked through our papers and said they were fine but she wanted originals.

I said, 'See I told you something would be wrong' to Gert.

He pointed out she had approved them last time. He showed her the ticks she had made on the list she had presented me with ...

When someone finally riles Gert, he is impressively businesslike and rational while being firm.

She came round.

Oddly enough, this woman who had the power to say I had to bring in original documents, suddenly had the power to accept the copies.

She disappeared with the papers and came back with a colleague. They were discussing someone else's problem. I pulled the cultural centre's booklet out of my bag, Gert and I discussed coming movies she and her colleague worked on some other more interesting problem.

Eventually she returned, the phone rang. She answered it.

Call over, we moved on ... cash was required, we were 5euro short.
Gert raced out to the money machine.

Gert had just returned with the money when one of the district alderman came in and said him, 'I saw your car and I've been searching the building for you'.

I didn't see our immigrant processing woman's face but she must have wondered some why the alderman was looking for Gert.

The aldmerman left after a short conversation but within moments the district council chairman popped in to chat with Gert (open plan office).

The immigrant processing woman was looking less comfortable at this point in time.

Finally papers were signed, it was over ... one hour and 10 minutes after beginning.

We burst out laughing on the stairs. Gert would never use anything about what he does to get different treatment however it was a hilarious ending to an appointment this immigrant woman had been dreading.


Pam said...

Ho HO! Excellent. You know, my "foreign" mate is a military employee. He doesn't wear a uniform, and actually, he's "just" a contractor, but every time we've been in with the Fremdenpolizei - immigration - he's let drop that he's "on the army base in town." It has the same effect every time, and every time, things get just a LITTLE bit easier.

awomynda said...

Witch! Lots of deep breaths I suppose. So is that it then? Time to start making your millions in Europe??

Anonymous said...

Ha! I bet you felt like a super star.. well, maybe something similar to a super star? I can't believe that these people are so full of you know what.. She actually asked you for orignals and then said copies were OK. How many other people have fallen victim to this treatment witout the aid of a sharp, snappy Belgian to sort it out? Well Miss Di, I'm happy that your seemingly sad post ended on a funny note : )


wandering-woman said...

But it didn't go wrong!!! It didn't go wrong!!!

Your Belgian guy firmly stood his ground in an "impressively businesslike way", and got bureaucracy to move!!!!

It went good, says me!!!

BTW, while I was impressed with Gert's influence and the impact of his friends in high places, I got a little worried about how it all might turn out as I was reading---thinking about that post of yours a while back--when even a friend of the Queen couldn't get residency, wasn't that it?

I knew the gods of immigration were with you. Congrats!

woman wandering said...

Lol Pam, well our 'guests' didn't appear till near the end but you could see the woman wondering who Gert was ...

Millions indeed Amanda ...
Now it's time to see if I still remember how to work and if I'm good enough to earn enough income to fly home.

Hey Shannon ... yes, it seems best that an immigrant take along a fluent native friend.

It was your blessing w-w, I'm sure that got us through ... twas the most imaginative hilarious blessing I've ever read ... it still makes me laugh.