Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The smell of goats filled the air

Things went swimmingly at the social security office with the sole exception that Cate could not get a number.

Apparently – when we applied for our visas in the US consulate in Vienna – someone input her birth date incorrectly.

This means that in her immigration records the date is not the same as her passport and birth certificate – an error which the keen eyed assistant at the social security office pounced on within a nanosecond.

He hesitated mid keystroke and said ‘Aha!’

The smell of goats immediately filled our nostrils.

Shaking his head sadly he said that he would have to send the paper work on to a higher authority and that she would not get a card for maybe four weeks. This would not have been a problem except that the people lending us the money had said they would not close without a social security number – and (shriek) our purchase agreement expires today.

We threw ourselves on the mercy of the lender and after a tense day they came back at 4:30 to say they would close without the number – and we hope to do this tomorrow.

My name is also wrong in the immigration records – they have repeated my second name – but he let this go so we would not both be disappointed.

I should be able to get my number tomorrow and some of my problems will be solved. Of course I have quite a few people to tell.

In other news – to distract the cats from their tiny apartment I bought them some cat toys (actually one of them is a dog toy but they won’t know). So far they have shown no interest but I am hopeful.

I hope in the next day or so to show you some pictures of our fabulous apartment complex and – with luck – some pictures of ducks in the swimming pool.


  1. seriously - you are too funny. when is your book coming out? when it does, I can contribute a short (actually, a long) chapter on trying to get a social security number for a nanny. talk about keen eyed assistants. it ended up being a wild goose chase but we got it! 11 months later!

  2. To get rid of the smell of goats (which happen to be animals that I know well and adore), maybe you'll be obliged to get in contact with the local Tea Party or a well-chosen church. I'm inclined to feel sorry for you, Badger. During your Vienna days, I used to think of you basically (with a few interruptions) as a decent straight-minded Aussie. As a rural Down Under offspring, brought up on Vegemite (which I happen to detest, personally), you surely didn't deserve to end up as a hostage, in God's Own Country, of Ducky Pharma and all the rest. I'll be interested to observe how you attempt to handle things. Maybe you'll succeed in integrating yourself into the American mess, and keeping your head above water. But, at what price? In any case, the narration of your adventures and trials is likely to be good reading.

  3. As always I love reading of your adventures. I figure if we ever move from Australia to either Vienna or USA, you will have a wealth of information that I could draw on (of course if you don't mind sharing) - or maybe it would just be a case of reading back through your blog to find it !!!!
    Have the best day with your SS number when it arrives !

  4. All those strange problems give me great hope that I can find a job soon if people who have one do those kind of unkind things. They sure know how to put both the dip and low into diplowat. (I spelled diplomat wrong on purpose for your amusement by forcing the m to be upside down, so don't think of it as a w. I am practicing for a govt job.) A headhunter called me yesterday about a job in Utah.

  5. TNDW: Gracious - I hop we don't have to wait that long.

    William: I am attempting to adapt. This is not an easy task after Europe but one must do one's best. I can assure you that I will not be communing with the Tea Party or joining a church.

    Me: Thanks: I can give you lots of good information.

    esb: Good grief: What are you going to do in Utah?

  6. From Jim again, this time on the correct page:

  7. Utah? It would be a chemist job with maybe a little computer science thrown in for good measure. I just have a resume sent in for now, no other word back from them just yet, talking to the headhunter at the moment.

  8. Life is just one big adventure for you Badger. I would be envious if it weren't so painful for you. "The Life of Badger", always looking on the bright side, would make a good movie. Good luck.

  9. mate- want to come to a Maalie get together next year in the uk?

  10. Annie; The same everywhere - at least here they speak English (after a fashion).

    esb: Well good luck with that!

    Sandy: Too much adventure at the moment!

    Simon: Would love to

  11. You know the U.S. is a world leader in bureaucracy, right?

    P.S. You need to see my latest post.

  12. Wanderlust: I actually expected better. Love those kitties.