When the fabulous Agy of Green Issues wrote about the world’s most liveable cities I was pleasantly surprised to see Berlin on the list…even more surprising? It was ranked 21 out 50! The best part? She wanted to know exactly what made these cities so “liveable” and I got to write about Berlin!
without further ado…
here’s my groovy Berlin liveability interview with Agy
After years of complaining about stinky, packed trains, rental car prices & having taxi companies rob us blind we finally decided it was time to invest in a car of our own…a frustrating adventure that finally ended with the purchase of this bit of fabulicious family functionality:
Here’s the least painless way to get your own…
Unbelievably in a country as chock full of bureaucratic BS as Germany it really did only take 4 relatively simple steps to exchange my Canadian driver’s license for a German Führerschein…
So, you’ve found love, a new job or for some strange reason think this dirty, unfriendly, xenophobic city is just fantastisch. Whatever the reason, you’ve moved to Berlin & now need a place to call home. Since relocating here in 2008 I have moved twice, once to a bigger apartment & the second time to escape a threatening asshat neighbour.
Update: I’ve now moved for a third (& hopefully last) time!
Finding a property is quite easy. Here’s a few good sites to start with:
Congratulations! You have successfully procreated! It’s a time of excitement, fear & joy! If you live in Germany it’s also a time of paperwork, confusion, desperately looking for a doctor you can get along with (or at least tolerate), peeing into cups, having your blood drained & scans…lots of scans! The German health service is fantastic…it’s the people working for it who can make it or break for you, especially during hormonal pregnancy time! Continue reading
Speaking from experience, (as a non-EU citizen) trying to get married to a German in Germany is as impossible as it is frustrating. The mountains of completely unnecessary paperwork; running from this office to that office; getting all of the certified documents within a specific time frame; trying to get a Ledigkeitsbescheinigung - a certified letter from a government office in your home country confirming your single status – something that the German authorities insist on having BUT does not actually exist outside of Germany, (the Canadian embassy now offers a “Certificate in lieu of non-impediment to marriage certificate for German registrar” for a fee) the list is as confusing as it is endless. This video made by the talented & clever Andrew Bossum (aka rewboss) illustrates all of the insanity perfectly (although rewboss is an EU citizen & had to jump through a few less hoops than those of us without EU passports)
DISCLAIMER: This my personal experience of how I (a Canadian) received my first 1 year freelancer/self employment visa (Freiberufliche Tätigkeit) in 2008 + how I extended it for 2 more years & then got my insanely easy unlimited spouse/marriage visa in 2010. I am unable to provide any further German visa assistance than the information provided below.
Please keep in mind that I am not a German visa expert & have not had any further “German visa experience” since receiving my spouse visa in 2010. Information may have changed since I applied for my first freelancer visa in 2008 so I highly recommend checking with the German embassy in your home country or contacting your nearest Ausländerbehörde if you’re already in Germany:
Ausländerbehörde Berlin: http://www.berlin.de/labo/auslaender/dienstleistungen/selbststaendige_en.html
The Self Employment visa is the least complicated to get if you are an architect, artist, language teacher or have profession that can be easily proven to work on a freelance basis (ie: graphic design, catering, hairstylist, etc…).