March 30, 2006

so london kicked ass, and then I worked two days, and then amsterdam kicked ass and now this week or work is kicking my ass! I agreed to work a few more fridays in may and june because I want the money. I got a refund from the german IRS somehow, I just did some proofreading work for Caritas, a project where they want to build 300 homes for some people in India who lost their houses with the tsunami, and now this weekend I have to grade 27 term papers. This is one of the few times in the year where money is good but it could easily turn against me! 🙂

I’ll shout out again this weekend, just didn’t want you to think I’d forgotten ya’ll. All two of you.


letter to many of my students today

March 15, 2006

Hello students and former students,
First off, cheers and I hope you’re all having a great 2006. It’s already 20% over so if you haven’t gotten started yet, now would be a good time! 🙂

Anyway, first I have a little story for you…
I was just by the “Foreigner work permission” office to today for what should have been an ordinary 2-yearwork extension. Well, things have changed a bit.

They wanted me to get two employers to fill out an official job description form with all sorts of interesting
information like what are the qualifications of the
job you have. How much is it paid an hour and how
many hours a week? These forms are to be signed and
stamped from two employers and shipped off to the
Employment office for “about three weeks” where they will be
evaluated on some level and then sent back to the Foreign work permission office.. I’m not sure when I’m
notified when it comes back. All I know is that I
spent 20euro for a 3-month extension today when a 2-year extension costs 30euro.

2 years ago it was like this:
Bring some work contracts, bank account information that shows that money is coming in, current health insurance and 25euro,you get the passport stamped, thank you have a nice day.

I feel offended by this change. I have already been to the Buergeramt two times now. Clearly stated: I will have to take off work tomorrow to try and deal with this more. It’s ridiculous. I want to show them how silly this is and you can help.

So here’s what I’m asking:

Would you please write a short letter (definitely less than a page but enough so it looks real!) addressed to these two offices that says something like:

Jason Brown has been my teacher for XX months. I am really glad to have him as my english teacher (or use the past tense if you’re no longer a student of mine) and I can see that he was educated for the job by his enthusiasm and correctness with grammar questions. I’m glad that he lives here. He makes Freiburg a better place.

Of course the letter will be in German. Please mail it me or email if you prefer. I just thought that the Arbeitsamt and Buergeramt might understand that I have so much work as an English teacher that 20 students have written letters about my work here in Freiburg. I had to cancel work to go there. He pays his taxes. He has a German girlfriend. Hmmm, okay, he can stay.
Jason Brown
Little Nail Lake Street. 3
79102 Free Castle (address translated into English!)
p.s. I’m happy to keep any of you updated on what happens in this little situation.
p.s. Now would also be a good time to offer an invitation to my second photo exhibition on May 12, 2006 at the Art Cafe. I’ll give you more info soon.

today was my most stressful day as a foreigner in Germany.

March 13th

March 13, 2006

No, nothing special about this day but I’ll give you an indication of what happened so you can get an idea of what my life is currently like:

*woke up at 8:30
*out the door at 9:04
*went by the copyshop to drop off the CD which contains Using Toonies on it. This was my second novel, written in the Fall of 2000 in a “staggering” 100 days. I’m getting 4 copies published and it’ll cost about 40euro.
*went by the bank, transferred 500euro to my other account so that I can pay my American credit card, namely my plane tickets to California at Xmas. It was cheap (470euro) but I’ve got to pay for 9 months before I travel!
*took the train from 10:08 to 11:28 to Lorrach
*walked 15 minutes to the school
*made photocopies, bought a little something to eat
*worked from 12:15-2:30pm and then 2:45-5pm
*got a ride from a student most of the way home and then had to wait about 20 minutes for the train to take me to Freiburg. I ate a bread roll but didn’t have enough for a pretzel!
*arrived at 6:18pm, and then had a private lesson from 6:20-7:20pm with a nice Japanese woman
*took the tram home from Stadttheater and walked in the door at 7:40pm with the smell of fish sticks in the air
*had a nice dinner with Assiyeah and now it’s 8:40pm

what’s left for me?
*clean the bathroom(yeah!)
*organize my things for tomorrow’s long day: 1-4pm in Lorrach, 6-9pm in Freiburg
*relax, if I can

Much love to you guys. I’m making money but am poor as hell now, especially with the German IRS breathing down my neck and some unforeseen expenses, all of which are my fault, such as Amsterdam in two weeks and Holland in 3 months. Things are great but I’m somehow not quite getting everything done that I’d like. Is that common? Methinks so.

the german irs

March 9, 2006

what a full day for not having worked really…I wanted to get my work permission extended but it didn’t happen. Next week. I bought a shirt and had some letters put on it, did a workout, got a letter from the german IRS that they want more information from me about my taxes which freaks me out. Seriously, I hope I don’t have to pay a bunch of money in taxes. It’d ruin my travel schedule for the year!!! 🙂 I had new class called Current Affairs, learned that classes at another school will be happening for the next semester which is huge and tomorrow I have to get up at 7am, take an 8:08 train and teach from 10:15 to 3pm but it’s totally worth it. Interesting students, a ton of money (57bucks/hour) and then it’s weekend! We’re going to London next weekend, I’m going to Amsterdam the weekend after, then to California three weeks after that. We are going to Holland again in June. Things are good, ya know?