Tuesday, October 06, 2009

My guardian angel!

I have the worlds best caseworker! And she's not even *my* caseworker. My caseworker is on vacation and the one who is supposed to be handling my case is... well, I'm not really sure, actually. But her office mate is the woman I talked to yesterday. This office mate is an angel.

This morning she called the Udlændingeservice on my behalf to find out what I needed to do before I left. She then passed along the information to me as well as the questions I should ask, so when I called the Udlændingeservice I could use those
magic key words "reentry visa" to get through to a person who could help me in my quest. I ended up talking to several people, one about the reentry visa, good only for 90 days, so it is imperative that I come back to Denmark in December and pick up my visa (because that will not be ready for pick up until half way through November IF I'M LUCKY) and one to tell me that, yes, I really can get a reentry visa while I wait in the office (open M-F 9-12, Thurs 12-1700) and that if worst comes to worst, I can come to Copenhagen and they'll do it for me, but that the Århus office should do it and if they don't they're prats.

Yes, I've already arranged with a friend that if I must run off to Copenhagen I have somewhere to crash.

Of course I'll run all this by the Århus office again tomorrow when I go, because the more people I can get to know where I am and what I'm doing, the more likely that information I need to be a good little immigrant will actually get passed along. 'Cause it's not like they tell you these things voluntarily. You need to know what to ask. They assume that now that you've got your coveted visa you will never again wish to step foot outside of Denmark. Silly silly me for wanting to work. I'm really hoping that because I'm working through a Danish university, it'll give me a leg up on the 'wow what a good immigrant ladder' even though I am doing it outside of Denmark.

I do feel like screaming to several people though. The next person who says to me "why didn't you ask" is going to get it in the teeth. If you don't know that you need to ask a question about something you didn't know about HOW ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO ASK IT? And I did ask UdServ if there was something I needed and they just told me to wait for my visa and that they couldn't discuss my case on the phone. It was only after my guardian angel told me what questions to ask and about this reentry visa that I even knew I had a problem. All I got from the UdServ
was a letter saying I could stay and that was only because I'd ASKED for SOMETHING to prove I was here legally in case I needed to prove I belonged here. Did they say, Oh, and a reentry visa is a good idea in case you leave? NO!

If I get my reentry visa tomorrow, I am going to send my voluntary caseworking angel a bouquet of flowers.

Meanwhile I am DRIPPING in sweat, because there is NOTHING like RUNNING down to an office only to find that it's closed to make one damp and wilted.

I shall put this smell to good use and clean the kitchen. Then at least I'll have something physical to
show for my aerobic exertions. I mean, hey, if you are going to sweat through your clothes, you might as well do all the sweaty things you need to do at once.

I think I'll skip the library trip though. It's a large building, but I'm very very rank at the moment and all my clean clothes are currently in the wash.

Be grateful that the internet doesn't have smell-o-vision. That's all I'm saying!

Oh, and my international drivers license is this little cardboard booklet! I feel robbed! It's like the old Danish drivers licenses. Seriously, this is going to let me drive abroad? I have my doubts, but I'm going to present it will all the confidence of an idiot and hope that they buy my assertions that "no, really, this says I can drive here.... in like 5 languages including Japanese! I know it doe
sn't have Arabic... how about Swedish? Does this look like the face of a liar?"

I've got to practice my poker face.

Acutally, first I have to FIND my poker face.





Definitely not.

Hmmmm, nope, looks like I never had a poker face. Can anyone suggest where I can buy one cheap?


  1. Dude, do you not watch MTV? Lady Gaga's got a poker face for ya!

  2. I saw a Lady Gaga makeup tutorial. It involves a lot of silver and fake eyelashes, hope this helps.

    Also, AMEN SISTER on the "how am I supposed to ask if I do not know the questions?" How.. are.. we.. supposed to ask?

  3. Ah, the international drivers license... I got one in March, I was travelling to the US+Canada and a few days before my trip, someone mentioned very casually that although you don't NEED it, it might be good to have in case you get pulled over by a hillbilly police officer who will not believe your Danish drivers license is genuine. Me, panic. It normally takes for-evah to get stuff like that sorted out and I had maybe 3-4 days. Call Borgerservice, on hold for-evah. Finally get through to helpful lady who, in reply to my frantic how-quickly-can-you-make-me-an-international-drivers-license enquiry says, oh, I don't know, maybe 8 minutes tops.


    I repeated my question, she repeated her answer. I thought she was taking the mickey, but went down to the library anyway (but of course, Viby bibliotek would be the place to go for an int'l drivers license). And the guy pulls out this grey cardboard thingy and starts filling it in by hand. I was amazed. But also a little disturbed - Americans always seem a little sceptical of handwritten documents. 6 or 7 years ago I was in the midwest somewhere and my American friends wanted to take me to a casino. But I wasn't allowed in, because my ID was my passport, which was handwritten. Nevermind that this was the ID accepted by US Immigrations when I entered the country - the casino was offlimits. Funny, that. Oh, and I didn't get pulled over by the police (hillbilly or otherwise), so could have saved myself the DKK25.

    Sorry for leaving comment almost as long as your original post. Just wanted to say I'm glad you've found a caseworker who actually does casework. :-)

    //Tine, Århus

  4. Sorry, I have absolutely no poker face, though apparently I do have an "I think you're an a-hole" face, judging by a reaction I got a work...

    I'd love to borrow your bug-eyed-dog face, though. Very win!

    And congratulations on finding someone to cut the red tape for you!

  5. I also have to praise that doggy's face--hilarious!

    What a nice young woman you've found. I hope she can retain her sense of initiative and pride in doing a proper job for many years to come.

  6. Hmm.. I dunno if this is going to help.. or even if it's relevant.. but I'll blab anyway. Last December I wanted to travel out of Denmark, but my visa was supposed to expire in January (while I wanted to re-enter in February). I sent in my request in October to have my visa extended. They sent the acknowledgement-of-receipt letter the DAY BEFORE I LEFT DENMARK, stating that I'd 'get the new visa 3-weeks later'. Right away we had to call, and they're like.. "well.. you'll need a re-entry permit, then you'll get the new visa when you return".. We're like.. "Uuuuuuuuuuuuuh.. we're leaving the country tomorrow". So.. the response is,"can you come into the UdServ office, this afternoon?" And we're all stressed out, cuz.. hmm we live in Ollerup, Fyn (Google it), and it's only coincidental that we got some family in CPH. We get there around 5:55pm (office closes 6pm), and the office is SO not what I expected.. can you say third-world mayhem? Anyways.. to make a long story short, I coincidentally had a passport pic with me, when they requested if I had one, and they just renewed the visa there and then.. No need for reentry permit. Like I said.. it's probably not even relevant, but maybe it could be for someone who reads you blog 4 years, later :)


Keep it clean, don't be mean....