Friday, April 23, 2010

The Xenophobic Foreigner Office

Today I had to pay a visit to my local Foreigner Office or Immigration Office or whatever you want to call the Ausländerbehörde in English to clarify some things regarding my residency permit. When my number was called, a small Chinese woman rushed in before me, and the official called me in as well. The Chinese lady had a quick question, and when she walked out, the friendly official sighed and asked me to please close the door, because "The Chinese never close doors! They leave all the doors open! I have drafts in here all day! You'd think they don't have any doors in China!" Then when I explained my problem, the official was surprised, because German children living outside Germany do not receive Kindergeld, the money paid by the government to each child living in Germany. She looked at my kids and said, "Those are German children! Why don't they receive Kindergeld when they live outside Germany? We pay it to Turkish children! That is outrageous!" That was my most amusing visit to the Immigration Office ever! I was a little sad because I didn't get to see the Frau I usually see, but this one was ten times better.

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