Yesterday I went on a journey to become a member of the Bavarian State Library here in Münich (Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek).
You may think I am studious, but rather, I am cheap. I don't want to buy (expensive) textbooks here and rumour had it that if I became a member of the Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek then I would be entitled to not only use the books there, but also the library of another university in Münich, which has a larger range of Business textbooks in English.
And so, following this lead, I went with Rohana to become a prestigious member. Or something like that. However, it is difficult to gain this prestige as we needed several documents that we hadn't brought. I guessed we might need a passport, but they also wanted to see our immatrikulation paper, and registration of living in the city of Munich.
Later, armed with these documents, I entered the giant doors once again and happened to be listening to a particularly intense piece of Phantom of the Opera. I think I audibly giggled as I found myself walking up the stairs in the photo above to the entrance of the library while listening to Phantom. In my head, I pretty much live in a fantasy world of Opera and old European buildings.
I soon became a prestigious member, and registered speaking only German. Until....at the end, the (somewhat cranky) Librarian said blah blah blah really fast, and pointed to my Visa in my passport.
Now, to be honest, sometimes, when people speak to me in German and I don't understand, I just nod and smile and hope to goodness that this was the appropriate response.
However, in my head, this fast blah blah blah became, We will only give you this prestigious membership if you give us your Visa.
So I didn't smile and nod, and instead asked her to repeat it slower. To which she said in perfect English, (somewhat sarcastically?) Your membership is only valid as long as your Visa.
Sigh. Speak to me in German!!
And so, the good news at the end of this story is: I am a prestigious member AND I get to keep my Visa. Take that, Librarian.