We’ve raised the subject of how Germans like paper mail more than once. They can’t live without it. And from this comes the following: if you are in Germany, then at every step you will be asked for a postal address to which different institutions, institutions and companies will want to send you letters.
For example, you want to open an account in a German bank. With a carefree view, go to the bank, walk up to the employee and say you want to open an account. “Okay, tell me your mailing address, please” – a bank employee asks you right away. “What do you need it for?” – You’d be surprised. “So we can send you the contract, your card and PIN-code” – the employee of absolutely any bank will calmly answer you, because this is the procedure everywhere. “But I’m standing here, right in front of you, give me a hand” – you will object. “No, sorry, that’s not how we do it” – you’ll hear the answer and then you’ll have nothing left but to give your address.
It’s the same with everything. If you want to enrol at a university, you must provide a Postanschrift (postal address) so that you can get a student address. Unless you have an address, you will not become a student.
The list is endless: phone cards, insurance, employment contract and many other benefits and obligations of the German society.
You may be reading, and you’re already starting to get angry, thinking what kind of Neanderthals they are all here. In fact, the system isn’t invented by stupid people. When you do the same thing in your home country, banks, universities, ATMs and all that stuff take your residence address. It’s just written in your passport, it’s automatic and it’s not as visible. The only difference is that with an 80% probability you don’t even live close to where you are registered. Therefore, in case of any problem situations, people from the military registration office in epaulets will catch you in your grandmother’s apartment, and the collectors from the bank will break down the door in your parents’ apartment, and they will not get to you.
Naturally, Germany is not a bureaucratic paradise, yet the same flaws may exist here. Just a smaller number. And, in case of anything, it’s harder to avoid responsibility for anything.
Our advice is always the same: Keep your documents in order and you’ll be fine.