Posted in Speaking from experience

The perks of having a baby (bureaucracy edition)

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Sometimes, sometimes, some good karma is thrown your way.

When I was pregnant, I didn’t always feel Berliners were so forthcoming in helping me out, particularly when it came to public transportation – even at 9 months it was so hard to get a seat! Before 8 months it was virtually impossible, and in my last 3/4 weeks the situation improved, but I’d still have to wait 3 stops on the u-bahn before someone stood up. There were some nice exceptions however. Shout out to the 3 bus drivers who let me travel for free, or the lady on the u-bahn who physically escorted me to her (then, my) seat, or the strangers in the cafe who clamoured to pick up my loose coins when they spilled all over the floor.

I digress!

Today I headed to Mitte with a friend, and LG in the pram of course, to pick up German drivers licence. Immediately the concierge/receptionist was really friendly, making some small talk and directing us to the service lift since the regular one was broken.

Once upstairs, despite arriving only 20 mins after the place had opened, we joined a rather long queue. There seemed to be some confusion amongst others standing in the queue as to whether this was indeed just for picking up documents… Anyway. We stood for about 15 minutes, and then naturally LG started to get a little fussy, just some light grumbling that warranted me taking him out of the pram and walking a little.

LOW AND BEHOLD A MIRACLE HAPPENED.

The man in front of us smiled and politely gestured us forward. My first thought, “That’s really nice mate but to be honest, jumping one person ahead isn’t going to save us a lot of time” until I realised everyone was looking at us, and the clerk behind the counter was beckoning us forward and smiling. He explained that it’s better that we are served now and don’t hang around too long (on account of the baby). The funny thing was, the people in the queue seemed totally fine! No huffing, puffing etc. In fact the guy at the front of the queue was positively beaming at me. We were told to head to room 7, where my friend stood outside with the pram and I headed inside, with LG still in my arms. I was met with sighs and smiles from the very Berlin employee telling me to take a seat, even calling over to her colleague to have a look. She asked me questions about him, and was super fast processing my paperwork, even offering to pack all the papers away into the plastic wallet and open the door for me. Naturally, as with is all older ladies, she gave me some (unrequested) advice regarding his feet and how he needs to wear socks (it was over 25 degrees outside) because “Boys’ feet get really cold.”

LG gave her a little smile over my shoulder, she held his hand and said bye, and that was that.

Myself and Anne left totally gobsmacked (not before feeding him and changing him first) at how nice and helpful and accomodating everyone had been. This is not how people at various German Ämter behave (normally)!

We rewarded our success with Starbucks and baby cuddles.

Mama M x

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