For the past couple of days I have been spending quite a bit of time dealing with German Bureaucracy and trying to look at future plans for the holidays. Both an arduous process right now.
First German Bureaucracy…
I think just about everyone knows that Ana and I are trying to get married in the somewhat near future but getting married in Germany is much more of a process than just about anywhere else. There is a list of documents that you need to apply for a wedding date and that wedding can only take place (the official one) at the Standesamt (city hall type of place in our neighborhood). But to get to the point of applying for an available dater there are a number of hoops to jump through, more if you are a foreigner (times two for us) and more if you have been married before (that’s me). So it is triple-y hoop madness for us right now. Plus it is a bit more complicated if you are from the US because the Germans require a document that doesn’t exist in the US that is an affidavit swearing that you aren’t currently married. And then if you are divorced you have to take your original marriage certificate, divorce papers, this document and all of them translated to ANOTHER office to have the German authorities certify that yes 1) you were married 2) you were divorced and then you get ANOTHER document that says that too. Basically, it says the same thing the doc from the US says.
After all of those documents are acquired, on top of birth certificates (no older than 6 months so we had to reorder), and translations obtained and forms filled out, we can return to ask for a date as long as we have hired a certified translator which thank God we found one that is certified for Serbian and English into German.
Yesterday I was at the US embassy then after much emailing because of course due to COVID all of these things are even harder to acquire because appointments are hard to get and hours are weird and everything keeps changing. But they had an open hour yesterday that by chance I had emailed them the day before and they told me and off to the embassy across the city I went. It is a while to get there and there is much security but I must admit that being in the US embassy is a lovely change of pace. I feel right at home in a weird way while I am there. People are so friendly and cordial and chit chatty. I love it to be honest.
I got my document quickly and then came home to email German authorities for some last steps. We shall see. We are getting there step by step and just thank the world that we aren’t in a rush. It will happen.
And now planning for future holidays…
I have been looking up flights and articles about flights and COVID numbers and then my brother sent out a text an hour before the announcement that Oregon would be put in “shut down” which sounds exactly like our lockdown lite situation for two weeks. The numbers are going crazy all over the US and essentially this means I need to wait longer to see if I can go.
Wait and see.
All things seem to be in this category.
What about Christmas? Wait and see.
What about the future of travel? Wait and see.
What about how long lockdown or shutdown or whatever we call it is? Wait and see.
What about…? Just wait and see.
This wait and see is an art form to be honest. It takes patience (not my virtue) and stress relief which is a constant process. It must include prayer and meditation. It has to include some hope some days but other days it is just a complete shit show. It includes creativity and lots of tv. There are days when it is productive and others where it is just too exhausting to move. It is constantly present and never quite finished.
We joke that our husky is perpetually up for anything. Any time we put shoes on he is ready to go. He comes into a room as if the world is his oyster. He will try just about anything and is happy to play just about anytime. He is the master of being present and really just truly up for anything.
Both Ana and I listened to a podcast that explained this a bit the other day. I listened to it and knew she would love it. It is an episode of Freakonomics about the thinking of dogs. The guest that day talked about how the world is always new for dogs each time they go out in it. Their sense of smell is so acute that everything has changed since the last time they were out there….people and other dogs have walked by, there is new trash, leaves have fallen and the wind has shifted. It means that when we see the same thing over and over again, they are experiencing something brand new. It was refreshing to think about since I am getting tired of the routes we choose from our doorstep and yet it was helpful to think that will never be bored of that route. It isn’t in them. They are all about the wait and see.
They live the wait and see even more acutely but it doesn’t stress them and doesn’t keep them up at night. They just live in the moment with it. It’s an art.
How’s your wait and see these days?