Any 60 minutes spent waiting at an Amt can engender real fears that the time-space continuum has stretched, leaving you sitting on a hard chair clutching an increasingly damp queue number while the world carries on without you. Just opening a bank account can take over an hour.
Yet some Germans - and even some battled-hardened foreigners who have learned how to deal with it - seem to sail in and out of offices and banks, clear plastic folder full of the right documents safely in hand, simply getting their business done.
From having the patience of a saint to the organization of a drill sergeant, we've put together seven ways to contribute to a less painful trip through Germany's bureaucratic maze.
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