Saturday, April 19, 2008

Heitraten: Kein Witz

I wasn't sure whether or not to write about this whole wedding/marriage thing here, it can get a little "fluffy" (for lack of a better word), but there are just to many oddities in the process here, I can't keep it all to myself. Up to now, I have had to swear twice (first, way across town at the US consulate to the tune of $30) that I am not currently married (the consulate gave me a certificate and threw in the fact that I'm not a member of the armed services, which is true, but I didn't swear it like they say I did). Despite demanding this certificate (charmingly titled, the Certificate of Eligibility, which sounds like it should list how many camels I'm worth, no?) the German Standesamt or Bureau of Status made me re-swear it (mein Freund didn't have to swear even once....). We also had to attest to the fact that we are not each other's parents or (half-)siblings, though the Official commented that seeing as how we are from different countries, this was unlikely (???). Anyway, my favorite part of the Standesamt is the xeroxed article they have posted on the wall, telling of an Austrian (same-same, but different) civil ceremony in which the bride jokingly answered no when asked if she took this man...The ceremony was therefore postponed for 10 days! At the bottom of the sign is noted: "This applies to Germany too!"
As a foreigner, my documents had to undergo a special inspection, which the efficient Germans completed in less than half the time promised (got to give credit where credit's due). It's hard to believe, but either they missed the teeney discrepancy in my birth certificate (long boring story) or didn't care. In sum, after all the swearings and paying of various fees based on my lack of official income, and being inspected, we have now been cleared to wed by the German government (only the official ceremony, the real fun comes later)...assuming we can both keep a straight face.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Apologies to my few loyal readers for the little pause here. Much has happened, but not not all of life lends itself to blogging. In any case, here and now for your viewing pleasure...

A friend left a bottle of elderberry syrup at my apartment after our last party and while it is delicious splashed into sparkling wine (Sekt as they say in these parts) and I do plan to drastically up my consumption of such beverages in the coming year and a half or so (it's my duty being recently engaged and all (or verlobt as they say in these parts)(serious apologies if I should have told you in person or personally via email -- I have been far away from Miss Manners (and probably you) for a while now)), I must admit that I prefer my Sekt/Cava/Champagne (call it what you will) straight up. I made a half-hearted effort to return the bottle of syrup to its owner, but she politely refused. To make long story short, the syrup (diluted ever so slightly) joined up with some leftover agar agar to became these pretty (if a bit toothy (I'm still figuring out the proper agar agar to liquid ratio) gelees.

And! The first rhubarb of the season: getting reading to be cooked into compote (a requisite springtime granola accompaniment).