nother email from my agency with - not news that my application is complete - but another request for another notary...another trip to Berlin. This time Olaf says he will drive up with me - this way it will not be as stressful and it would be a little cheaper.
So, early one morning we plie into the car and drive all the way to Berlin. Locating the Embassy, we start looking for parking. Not so easy a thing. Finally, a space. We cross the street to the building to line up…only there is no line. Something is wrong. It is the correct day – but no people. A guard asks if we need help – I say I need citizen services. A notary public.
“We are closed for renovations,” she replies. WTF?!
I tell her that is was not noted anywhere that they were closed. She says that it is on the website (mind you that I checked the website before we left for both the hours, days, and directions). Annoyed and disappointed, we get back into the car and head home. Looking online, I find the notice that the embassy will be closed, not on a banner or a box on the first page, but buried in the third paragraph of the section about the citizen services provided by the Berlin embassy.
Now I have to travel to another embassy to get this done. Frankfurt. Except Frankfurt is a 4 hour train ride (or car ride). And the embassy only does citizen services by appointment. And the appointments are quite full. I found one appointment in a few days time at 11:300. This will be difficult to make, but there seem to be no later appointments and any other day. So, this one it is. I book the appointment, book my train tickets, and plan my route to the embassy.
The website says that there are small cubbies available to hold bags and small electronics. The day arrives and I drive to the train station and park the car. The train is on time and several hours later I am in the Frankfurt main station making my way to the the U-Bahn/S-Bahn to get to the embassy. I get off at my stop and walk the (seeming) half mile to the embassy, wait in line to get checked in, and the wait in line to hand in my electronic devices. Except they cannot store my iPad – its too big.
There is a kiosk back at the S-Bahn stop I just came from (you know, a half a mile away). Now, instead of early, I am running late. I walk back to the kiosk, drop off my iPad (the place was a little sketchy), walk back, and go through the same procedure as before,
My documents now notarized, I leave the embassy, stop at the kiosk for my iPad (7 euros), and head back to the train station. I had planned plenty of buffer time (for unforeseen problems) but now I am early to the train station. I find a bench to sit and eat the food I brought (some cheese) and wait. It is cold – although the tracks are covered, they are not enclosed and soon I am very cold. And now my train is delayed…
More sitting in the cold, on the cold bench. I make it home an hour later than I should have – I am sure I will get a cold from this experience.
I was right…