Omid is leaving a housing information session organized by EJF Evangelisches Jugend und Fürsorgewerk, armed with new paperwork to complete. Upon arriving in Germany, the first few months of a refugee’s time and daily routine will be taken up by dealing with the logistics of settling into the status of an asylum seeker. There are appointments – Termine. And doctors’ visits, and more Termine: consultations, and forms to sign, and interviews, and the distribution of temporary documents in an indecipherable language. There are language courses. There will be a move from the initial intake center or emergency shelter to somewhat less temporary housing.
Omid has a more permanent place to sleep now, a shared room in a Wohnheim, and has just been issued a housing permit and allowance that will enable him to look for an apartment or a place in one of Berlin’s ubiquitous apartment shares – Wohngemeinschaften, for short WGs.