This place is an extra special treat if you’re living in Berlin. The love and care that has gone into restoring and designing this glamorous 1920‘s coffee house is extraordinary. Freshly opened at the beginning of December 2012, we visited just before Christmas with friends, and we left enchanted. Every detail, from the plates, trays, cups, chairs, cutlery, artwork, ornamentation, and even the serving uniform, has been lovingly thought out and charmingly executed.
Expecting Christmas presents from home? If you’re living in Berlin, or somewhere else in Germany, and are pining for Yuletide deliveries from Australia, the USA, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, or any other non-EU area, pay attention. The European Union might have its own very special Christmas present in mind just for you: import tax.
It will take some trial and error, some grinding and gnashing of teeth, some unexpected bills and maybe some frustrating confrontations. Often, your well-meaning loved ones in foreign lands don’t realize that their lovingly prepared parcels can cause so much angst.
Here’s how it works
This weary translator can be found tucked up in this cosy Wedding cafe between appointments at the Ausländerbehörde, and in this regard, the cafe’s name is quite fitting. Auszeit (Time Out) is on a picturesque corner of Kiatschoustraße in Wedding, a short walk over a quaint bridge connecting the quarter to Friedrich-Krause Ufer, where the foreigner’s office is located.
Red Tape Translation interprets for an appointment at a Berlin real estate agency and learns all about airing your apartment, German style.
The air was thick (but not stale!) with intensity as two Red Tape Translation clients picked up their pens, and signed the contract for their brand new Berlin apartment. Shortly before signing, we pored through the rental contract together and got to Appendix 3 – a 14 point list of instructions on how to heat and air your new apartment properly. Both bemused and bewildered by the thorough list of instructions, I decided to investigate further.
German language enthusiasts are spoiled for choice, with cheap and good quality German tuition on just about every street corner. Highly recommended: expath.de, Die Neue Schule, and of course the renowned Goethe Institut, if you can afford it. Unfortunately, your job doesn’t stop when the class is over. Berlin is international, so it’s hard to avoid speaking English. But the city is full of opportunities to immerse yourself in German. Here are five uncomplicated ways of going about it.
Force yourself to make friends who don’t speak English.
Recently dubbed “the queen bee of Berlin bureaucracy”, Kathleen Parker is now the proud recipient of an Agentur für Arbeit Gründungszuschuss – a government grant from the German Job Agency to support her freelance work activities. The process involved months of planning, extensive market research, and a 35 page business plan, written in perfect German with all relevant financial reports and outlooks. As only 10% percent of all applications for the grant are approved, the positive news was the source of some serious celebration at Red Tape Translation Berlin.
Thinking of Starting a Business in Germany?
Use Red Tape Translation to Make Important Phone Calls in German
Red Tape Translation just got a great rap in Elliot Herman’s blog, Lost in Translation. Kathleen was able to find a simple solution to a problem that was driving Elliot crazy. New apartment, new lights,new stove — installation necessary! Without speaking a word of German, Elliot was having a bit of difficulty getting an appointment with an electrician. Having tried Language Line, a telephone interpretation service, Elliot was floored to discover that the cost of using an interpreter there was as much as $3.95 per minute.
The design and printing of the new Red Tape Translation postcard is complete. You’ll be seeing this card around the traps in restaurants, cafes, German schools and hostels: anywhere where expats hang out. Kathleen Parker and Red Tape Translation Berlin would like to thank the talented Varsha B. for all her hard work!
Berlin is a vibrant, multicultural hub of artistic genius and entrepreneurship. You knew that already, that’s why you’ve come here. Hundreds of exciting startups are establishing themselves in Berlin every year. The city is teeming with projects for writers, artists, actors, musicians, IT gurus, marketing specialists and young business practitioners. Bright and funky work environments in Mitte, Prenzlauerberg and Kreuzberg, Friday night drinks, Berlin events and parties, casual dress, flexible working hours, no hierarchy.
Red Tape Translation talks to Kerry Kempton
Kerry from Australia loves Berlin. Originally from Melbourne, she’s been here since 2009 and never looked back. Kerry took a moment out of her busy schedule to talk to Kathleen Parker at Red Tape Translation about her previous experiences with immigration in Berlin at the Ausländerbehörde in Wedding.
An experienced and qualified travel agent and manager, Kerry holds two degrees and loads of business and management experience. Brimming with enthusiasm and confidence, she dove headfirst into life in Berlin and now speaks excellent German.
Red Tape Translation is setting up to start business on September 24th 2012. Until then, appointments can be made subject to availability.
Visiting the immigration office in Berlin can be stressful if you haven’t yet mastered German, and hiring a relocation agent or an immigration lawyer is costly. Kathleen Parker is a German-English translator and interpreter, based in Berlin. She will accompany you to your appointment and act as an interpreter.
You can also use Telephone Time, a budget solution for making important German phone calls.