15 October, 2009

bureaucracy central, and 'bending' the rules

It's been four hours.
You would think with my ninja internet skills that by now I could have set up 7 bank accounts, transferred millions to my offshore accounts, and also saved the world from the next chain-letter mass email.

But, instead, I have barely:
Set up a new bank account (in America- details and reason why to follow).
Made a bank transfer that SAID it didn't go through. Made another bank transfer after waiting 20 minutes for an online "code" to MAKE said bank transfer.
Got 2 confirmation emails of my TWO bank transfers.

Called my health insurance in the US to find out if I'm covered here because there is a magical worldwide network for blue cross blue shield, but you have to get permission to use it first.

Reason for new bank account?
1. Bank of America doesn't charge for a checking account. Wells fargo now charges 12/month!
2. Bank of America exists on the East coast, wells fargo does not.
3. Bank of America has FREE transactions from Deutsche-Bank ATMs!!

AND the number one reason that has nothing to do with needing a new bank account:
To get a driver's license in Germany without having to take a written or road test (in German).

WHAT? you may ask?
What does that have anything to do with bank accounts?

Well, my friends, there are THIRTEEN states in the US which Germany recognizes in a super-special agreement of DMV offices...which allow drivers from ONLY these 13 states, to automatically get a German license, WITHOUT paying 100 Euros, AND taking the driving test, AND taking a written test.

Yes, I know, international license. But that's no good if I'm here more permanently...and I'm thinking that in the future future (not to be confused with the future), I'll be here a little more than permanently..maybe.

SO. Among the 13 states that are acceptable: Massachusetts.
Yes, the Massholes that I learned to drive amongst for 5 years living in Boston for my undergrad(s), THEY get automatic German licenses? Ok, maybe it makes sense since there are no speed limits on the autobahn, and that is pretty typical for ANY MA suburb as well as the Pike.

New York? Vermont? Minnesota? Any of the other 2 or 3 states I've lived in/had licenses in for the past 10 years?
Just MA.

SO- since my grandparents still live in MA and have an address where I USED to get mail sent to, I am now on my way to once again becoming a Massachusetts resident! (again).

I need proof that I live there, and what better way to prove it than to get some mail from my brand spankin' new bank account sent to my 'new address'? --Followed by a box of checks...which hopefully WON"T say bank of america on them, which will give me TWO letters received at said address.

Now all I need to do is wait to hear that it has arrived, and, oh, yea, find some time to go up to boston for ONE day of standing at the DMV and transferring my license (for 100 bucks..at least it's not 100 Euros).

Take THAT German bureaucracy!
I REFUSE to pay you and take your driving courses! And--in addition, I'm NOT planning to learn how to drive stick--cuz it's scary and weird and the car rolls when I am on hills! Automatic it is!

Health insurance call. I can't even BEGIN to write about that right now...let's just sum it up by saying that whether you love him or hate him, at least Obama is trying to do SOMETHING so that I'm not paying 200 bucks a month plus a 3000 deductible to be told that I still have to submit a claim to be APPROVED if I want to go see an ENT here...and that I have to call in advance the hotline (in Minnesota) and have THEM approve setting up the initial appointment.

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