So one of the many fun things of moving to a new country is dealing with all the paperwork and logistics associated with it. Today I tried to tackle much of this – setting up a bank account, enrolling at university, getting internet for my apartment – and I failed in almost every aspect. Hurray!
Let’s start with the bank account. In order to open a bank account I need to somehow prove I live here (my presence in their office is not sufficient) which is normally done with a letter saying I’m a student at university. Seems simple enough, right? But can I get such a letter, or course not. I can’t get a letter saying I’m a real student until I have my documents checked and I can’t have my documents checked until this coming Sunday because they are not set up to look at them (I don’t know what sort of setting up is required to look at the diploma I brought into their office but I can only imagine it’s extensive).
As well as not being able to open a bank account, I cannot get on the university’s wifi until I’ve enrolled. This created mass confusion in the student services office this morning as I walked in to try and find some sort of guest wifi or something, which is apparently a totally foreign concept. The conversation went something like this:
Becky: Hi there, do you have wifi somewhere around here that is open for me to use.
Very nice lady: Yes, we have wifi most everywhere but you have to log online before you can use it.
B: How do I log online if I don’t have internet?
V: Well do you have internet at your flat you can use?
B: No, that’s why I need to use the internet, to set up wifi at my flat.
V: Oh, well that’s a catch 22 now isn’t it?
In the end the women took pitty on my situation and let me use a land line to call Virgin Media and set things up. The nice internet installer people are coming on Wednesday to install something that already exists. The result of another fun conversation in which I tried to explain to the man on the phone that I already had all the Virgin media equipment (the girls living there before left it) and didn’t want/need new stuff and he tried to explain to me that the router would “break” if they didn’t change it. Whatever.
On a more positive note everyone here is extremely helpful even if the way the services are set up tries to stop them at almost every opportunity.