Well, we’re still exactly where we were before (physically), but we have now adjusted our sails and are now officially side eyeing Germany instead of the UK.
There is of course now more paperwork to be done, and in bewildering (to me at least) German. And speaking of bewildering German, I need to get myself and Nicola up to speed in a hurry. I may or may not need to pass an A1 level test for my visa (one possible route), or get to the equivalent of a B2 to work (although a lot of people say you can work just fine without it in bigger towns or cities). Nicola doesn’t need to write the test, but once we hit Deutschland she needs to go to school in German. And with or without needing this A1 certificate, in three years I need to write a Life in Germany test in German, so you know – it’s happening one way or another.
Luckily we both have a good ear for languages. I thought I had a fantastic ear, but she has been consistently wiping the floor with me at our twice weekly German lessons via Zoom. I am delighted, no sore loser here. The reading is pretty easy actually, there are A LOT of similarities to Afrikaans (albeit the more formal version and not what is spoken these days). Listening and understanding we need a lot of effort on, because fast paced German leaves me understanding maybe two words per sentence at best, and Nicola doesn’t even bother to try bend her head around it yet.
We’ll get there I guess. Tackling it from all angles at the moment. We have German lessons twice a week, we listen to two episodes of whatever German podcasts I can lay my hands on a day, and I’ve downloaded close to 100 children’s books for us to battle through. I also have a German for Dummies book that I’m working my way through on painstaking chapter at a time. Of course if we get stuck we can ask Andy for a bit of help, but he’s mostly ducked out of this process since he says he can’t teach us. He has however valiantly fallen on the paperwork chasing sword, such an angel this husband of mine.
Other good news on this new country front. We were under the impression that Nicola could not get a German passport, but it looks like we may have been wrong. So we’re going to try it. If she gets it, it makes a lot of things much easier…for instance I would not need to write the A1 exam to get a visa, and we wouldn’t have to take out private medical insurance for her for the first three years until we naturalise, only for me. Obviously also she could go wherever with that passport and almost never need a visa, plus she could invite my parents to join us on a family reunification visa…this would be a massive benefit if they decided to come, although they would need the A1 test and neither one of them look keen to do it.
And another thing, moving our dog is much easier and cheaper to Germany! She can go as hand luggage for 100 Euro or there about, if we went to the UK we would need to use a Pet Travel Agent, she could only fly as cargo and with or without clearing on the other side it would probably cost about R22 000 – R26 000. That’s about R2 000 vs R26 000 – what a bargain! (Thank you Germany, you already being awesome!)
Right…so nothing has actually happened yet…we are as always still hunting paperwork… and funds…and we are learning German until the smoke comes out of our ears.
I am so insanely tired. *sniff-sniff* I hope I don’t use up all my oomph before we get there, I’ll have to sleep in the plane to build up reserves, hahaha! (I’m only sort of joking about this).