Der Prozeß

městský soud v praze

Městský soud v Praze
Municipal Court in Prague


As some of you already know, I hate the extent to which the word ‘kafkaesque’ is both overused and misused, especially in Prague. But I also obtain a perverse and masochistic pleasure at every instance when life in this city proves itself to be just that – kafkaesque.

And it never ends…

Over 13 months ago I described the process of trying to sort out my trade licence as ‘kafkaesque’. But the trade licence was eventually taken care of, I got my new long-term residence permit, and I thought – in spite of all past experience – that things would go smoothly from there.

But I am getting ahead of myself. The foreigner police, before they would process my visa last December, demanded a new print-out from the trade licence office. I went to Prague 3 to get the new print-out and tried to change my address at the same time. The beginning of that story is here (and it’s a good one). Anyway, as nothing ever goes the way you want it to, I didn’t manage to change my address and I had to go to Prague 5 to get the print-out under my old address.

So now we are back in 2007, April to be exact, and I returned to Prague 3 because I had moved 18 months earlier and I really needed to change my address.

The important thing to know here is that my original trade licence had been issued back in 1998, when I was married to a Czech and had permanent residency in Czech. When you have permanent residency you are treated as if you are Czech, which means that I had received a trade licence forever, i.e. without an expiration date. Being a permanent resident also meant that I did not have to submit an application to be entered into the Commercial Register as foreigners usually do. But I no longer have permanent residency.

The eventual result of my April visit was that they issued me a brand new foreigner’s trade licence with an expiration date and a direction to apply to the commercial court for registration in the Commercial Register. No hurry, the woman at the trade licence office said, there is no deadline, you just need to be registered before you can renew the trade licence or make any other changes.

Jesus fuck, I thought. Just what I need – more asshole bureaucracy.

Last week I had finally got together all the paperwork and the verified copies and the notarised signatures and the stamps for 5000 Kč, and my secretary went to the court to turn in my application for registration.

And today I got a letter that my application had been rejected. The reason? It turns out there is a deadline – it’s 90 days, and I had turned in my application 107 days after receiving my new trade licence. But that hardly matters because they counted the days from the issuance of my original trade licence 9 years ago.




3 Responses to Der Prozeß

  1. lasobalta says:

    Sons of bitches. I hope that you are able to find your way out of this bureaucratic mess. I took a course on 20th century existentialist writers during my first semester of college, in which alienation and “authenticism” were prominent themes. It sounds as though the pencil pushers in Prague are trying to alienate you thoroughly, which seems an unfortunately authentic experience around these parts…

  2. Max says:

    Dan, I am sure that I will find my way out. It will cost time, money and aggravation, but there you go. I do enjoy the absurdity of it all.

  3. Dane says:

    Ah, yes, absurdity.
    For more, see my blog today.

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