Day 1: It started off with an appointment at the Rathaus to register ourselves. This allows us to legally live in Germany for more than three months. To learn more about what goes on at the Rathaus, click on the link.
After that, we proceeded to open up a German bank account. This is quite different than how it’s done in America, but luckily our personal banker speaks English. We had to bring our registration papers from the Rathaus and fill out extensive paperwork. We had $4800.00 USD currency, which alerted their fraud department, and we had to prove it was not money that was being laundered. Everything is much more controlled and monitored here in order to keep money safe.
We also learned that in Germany, credit and debit cards are not used very frequently. It is hard pressed to find a store that actually takes credit cards. Bank (debit) cards are common, but they are not instantly issued, and many stores still accept only cash. This became a problem for us, as our Wells Fargo debit cards did not work as intended. Our cash was limited for a few days.
Day 2: We went to our flat (apartment), picked out paint colors, then drove for an hour to a huge store called ZEGMULLER. After hours of shopping, we were able to pick out: a couch, a kitchen table, 5 chairs, two bedroom sets with full closets (German flats do not have closets, you have to buy a wardrobe for storing clothing), a coat rack, a shoe rack, and two bedding sets.
We made it back to our village just in time to meet our new landlords, who barely speak english. We managed to nod our heads a bit and smile a lot as we struggled to discuss business and our hosts translated for us. I may have even nodded off once or twice because I was exhausted–but we managed to maintain our composure long enough to sign our signatures and secure our flat.
Complete exhaustion had set in, but we were determined to eat an authentic German dinner. As you can see, we had Schnitzel (made out of veal), roasted potatoes with rosemary, an amazing salad of mixed greens, and some German (Dunkel Weiss Bier) beer.