Friday, October 01, 2004

Good Company

This week Erika and I began the process of becoming a company. This is a modern method of marriage free from the scourge of same sex coupling. Ok it’s not, and neither do I think that same sex marriages are a scourge or a “virus” on society (as one Spanish catholic bishop/complete bastard said this week). No, we really are becoming a company. This is partly because it allows me to do various training courses here and anything else that comes my way. Partly it’s because it means I pay less tax when I do so. And it’s partly a step on the process of becoming a legal alien in Romania. The first method we tried of legalising my status here (not that it’s illegal yet you understand, but it won’t last for ever and I can’t work officially in Romania yet) was an interesting one. I was going to become freelance, but in one of those catch-22 situations beloved of bureaucracy, I needed the permission to live and work here to get the freelance status and I needed the freelance status to get the permission to live and work here. I think people coming to Romania without a job and without the immediate intention to marry are uncatered for in the law as the state hasn’t yet got around the idea that anyone would actually want to do that. The story goes that lesbianism was never made illegal in the UK because Queen Victoria could never believe that it would be practiced by anyone. The same goes for moving to Romania it seems.

Anyway, the upshot of all this is that becoming a company is the best way of living and working here. The two of us make up this company and we were asked to supply three possible names of our company in case the first choice sounded too much like an organisation already in existence here. We chose “Training in Education and Management” as our primary choice, and were very pleased with it – after all the acronym would be TEAM, and that sounded dead good. I was already imagining our website our logo and everything else. But we failed to get our first choice. The second was the more prosaic but still fairly professional sounding “Education and Management”. Again no. When we were told that we had to have three, we thought the last one could be something faintly amusing as clearly we wouldn’t get down that far – after all how many companies could there possibly be registered in Romania with long English names? So our third and final choice was “Hox and Erix’ (an ancient nickname of mine and an ancient nickname of hers). So, as you have no doubt gathered you are talking to one of the partners of Hox and Erix SRL. I’m actually beginning to warm to it already. It has a nicely peculiar quality to it. Like Google. Or Bang and Olufson. As you can see I’m already setting my sights high – thinking of the day that Hox and Erix is a multinational corporation, even though it has been set up in order to administer teacher training activities in rural Eastern Transylvania. I think I may need someone to give me the occasional slap in the face.

The legal papers were also funny. Having been awarded the name, our lawyers (i.e. the people we hired to take care of all this stuff for us) printed out the official paperwork of the company which we had to sign. This names Erika and me as the associates in the company and requires us to call a general assembly every year – to be made up of the two associates. That general assembly has the responsibility (if need be) of firing the administrators of the company. The administrators of the company are, you guessed it, also Erika and me. It’s a very labyrinthine and complex organigram. I’d draw it for you, but (a) I can’t, and (b) if I did so the whole thing would implode on itself and create a wormhole in the space-time continuum.

The upshot of all this is that Erika is now my partner in a sense other than the romantic. She’s also my administrator. (this is not some kind of bondage code word). And my co-assembly member. Oh and we sleep together too. Nepotism? We got it. I’m thinking of hiring Bogi as our accountant.

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