ignorance of the law


I confess that I’m ignorant of quite a lot of laws in this country. Citizens round the world make this seem like the ultimate horror and like to tell people what they should and shouldn’t know. In my case, it’s not out of disinterest. I actually like reading about law and reading the actual laws too.  For residents, permanent/ temporary, this seems just to be a part of the daily state of affairs. Someone once gave me a mini-copy of the Grundgesetz and I thought that was a pretty neat present (but maybe they had something else in mind).

It’s a bit sad that I’m ignorant of a lot of the laws that govern the country I reside in. But I never took a German civics course. I learn as I go. That’s probably not so uncommon. Citizen and resident alike.

This year, I was required to file taxes in 3 different countries. That’s a whole lot of tax law to comprehend. In the end, it’s only the unexpected refund (thank you Finanzamt!) that made a dent in my mind. The same reason many citizens know the ins and outs of the new Elterngeld law but not so much about Asylrecht. Or ask naively So did you become German (or substitute whatever nationality)? as if it was as simple and banal as signing up for a free trial at the local gym.

A couple of weeks ago it occurred to me that we’re having… (gender we haven’t found out yet) a dual national. Not in an absurd Ionesco kind of way… just the hey I better find out what the actual law states and what kind of fees come along with two of everything way. Guess it’s time to get my citizenship law on before the contractions start.


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