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The Anatomy of a Beamter

What is Germany’s worst nightmare for both Germans and foreigners? Bürokratie. And who’s behind the insatiable bureaucratic monster? The Beamter.

Expat Gone Foreign, tXc, German Bureaucracy, Beamte, Bürokratie
To be honest, so far I’ve encountered a fair amount of decent government employees at the Ausländeramt (Immigration Office), the Bezirksamt (District Office) and even the Finanzamt (Tax and Revenue Office); but some months ago I started dealing with the LBV (the equivalent of the DMV) to have an American driver’s license transferred, and that’s when all the fun started. By fun I don’t necessarily mean the stack of official documents to be collected, but the fact that none of the many Beamte I’ve been dealing with seem to agree on the requirements and procedure for the transfer.

Also, I’ve started the series “the Anatomy of _______” to depict the different kinds of folks out and about. If you have cool ideas and want them cartoonized, leave a comment or send me an e-mail! : )

The Last Name Standing

Two issues at hand. First, coming from a Spanish-speaking country I have always thought the notion of dropping your name upon marriage is barbaric. Second, here’s the problem I have with incongruous feminists in this country:

Expat Gone Foreign, tXc, last names, surnames, marriage, maiden name

In Spanish-speaking countries, women keep their last names (yes, we have two) from the cradle to the grave. However, many countries are still under the spell of the 9th-century English Doctrine of Coverture. According to this law, women lacked an independent legal identity, they received their father’s last name at birth and automatically took their husband’s upon marriage.

I get it, societies were quite different back then, and women were mere property passed on from fathers to husbands like a football. But what about now? One would think that the world would have moved into a new direction by now, but here we are, in the 21st century, and the norm of married women taking their husband’s name remains ubiquitous.

We continue fighting for rights and claiming women’s visibility in society, without realizing that this is one of the many profoundly patriarchal and heterosexist traditions being perpetuated out of inertia, even by highly successful, educated, independent women. Ladies, it’s time to embrace our own identity and never it let go – unless your name is horrific 1, in which case, f*ck that shit.

The Culinary Combination Aberration

Germany is certainly second to none when it comes to creative mixtures of flavors in drinks, yogurts and other assorted beverages. The same folks that brought you Spezi (Coke and Fanta), the Erdbeerbier (strawberry beer) and orange chili chocolate, went the extra mile to enhance their flavor palette with their transculinary dairy products.

This week I spotted tzatziki pistachio ice cream in the neighborhood. But don’t panic just yet. If the ice cream fusion blowout is too much for your taste buds to handle, you can always wash it down one of Germany’s favorite sodas: the curry wurst coke. In the meantime, I’ll continue my quest for coconut yogurt – my favorite -, yet devoid of bananas, pineapple, artichokes or Kartoffelsalat.

Expat Gone Foreign, tXc, German food, gastronomy, ice cream