June 13, 2008

Quick catch-up post

I wanted to update with some specifics about the IND appointment, the bank account, the whole registration issue - but I'm going to hold off on that until next week. Hopefully it will help someone else out if they're planning a similar type of move.

I had a busy week with the legal issues and starting a new job. Just getting back into the mindset where I have to wake up at a certain time every day and leave the house is a pretty big change. I'm really, really happy that I had enough time to enjoy unemployment - almost two months. Not bad at all. My first day of work was kind of insane and I didn't end up leaving the office until 9pm, but even though I was exhausted, the very fact that it was still bright and sunny outside motivated me to keep my plans for the night. I met up with a group of couch surfers in Westerpark for a picnic dinner. Now, this is what I love about couch surfing/hospitably club/etc. When I went out that night, I only knew one guy. But as soon as I showed up, I was offered wine, veggie spring rolls, quiche, cheese, etc. I had so much fun with my new friends that I lost track of time - we ended up sitting on my (new) friend's roofdeck, listening to music and drinking, and enjoying the sounds of the city celebrating from a distance (Holland had just won a football game that night). So on my second day of work, I showed up even more exhausted, but got through it. It was worth it to hear a Dutch guy sing the Canadian national anthem after a few beers and a glass of tequila.

The Big Thing going on in Amsterdam right now is football madness. I'm not really a football/soccer fan (or a fan of any kind of spots-on-television), but I admit that I get a kick out of watching everyone get all worked up about it.

Kind of a weak update, I know, but next week I'll get back into the blogging spirit. At least two posts - one about logistics, one about all the fun stuff. And I'm sure I'll find some way of bringing up how much I love my new bicycle every time I post something. One of the best things about working in Amsterdam is my commute - riding through a beautiful park and along the canals. There really is no better way to travel (I haven't had to commute to work in the rain yet, obviously).

And thanks for all the comments on my last post, I appreciate that you're all reading!


Anonymous said...

Glad that it all went well!

Do you have a Knowledge Migrant visa then? I've just never heard of anyone getting an arbeid toegestaan visa at the IND on a first visit, that's all. I'm a permanent resident who's lived here for years, so just curious about how these things work now.

Anyway great that you've been able to start work & that you're enjoying it. (this the the first anon :-)

Another American Expat said...

yeah, the knowledge migrant visa is a pretty amazing thing. my appointment at the IND literally took ten minutes! things are constantly changing in terms of immigration here, I know - even setting up a bank account is taking an extra week due to some new procedure for Americans that just went into place two months ago.

Anonymous said...

OK so now I understand! Kennismigrants don't need work permits.

For others: here's a list of companies that are currently able to submit kennismigrant applications:

Weird about the bank account. I came here years ago (and I'm not American) but I just walked into the bank and opened an account.

One word of absolutely unsolicited advice. I have no idea why you would want to set up an account for your mobile phone instead of a pay-as-you-go. They can be REALLY hard to get out of (you will learn this about all sorts of things here, it's not usually a good idea to let any company take money from your account unless you absolutely have to, except with one-off acceptgiros of course). I have had a pay-as-you-go for years, you don't have to go to the shop and buy a coupon and upload it (unless you want to), you can connect it to your bank account and just add extra money directly from your phone whenever you need to. Anyway that's just my opinion, I just wanted to point out that having a pay-as-you-go can be a perfectly valid option and often cheaper and better (and just as simple) as setting up an account. Just my two cents, I know you didn't ask for it, but I was a bit surprised that you seemed to take ditching the PAYG as a sign of legitimacy here. My phone is very 'real' ;-)

Nomadic Matt said...

wow! I lived in amsterdam for 2 months (mostly just being a slacker) but I sort of tried finding work it was tough!! I;m jealous you get to live there. Can I get a job! lol

You have to root for the dutch- you live in Holland now!! I was just there for Queen's Day visiting friends and get to go back next month.

ahh I love Amsterdam...and holland...I'm very jealous.

Another American Expat said...

Hey Anon - it's not quite as simple to open up a bank account here for me - I'll go into more detail in a future post (coming soon). But really, getting a mobile phone with a real contract, I don't know, that has just always been the dream. No more having to buy credit or freak out about running out at the wrong moment... I used a prepaid phone for close to 2 years in France, and obviously it works just as well as contract-type phone but... I don't know, there's something about having an actual phone plan that really makes me feel like I live somewhere, and I'm not just passing through. :) just a personal thing, really.

Hi Matt! I've been kind of after the job I'm currently in for the past six months, and it was a combination of perseverance and luck that I ended up landing it.

Anonymous said...

Fair enough! Again, some unsolicited advice: ask all sorts of questions about the "opzegtermijn" - how much notice you have to give, and when, after the contract ends (eg three months' notice may mean "three months from the end of the quarter in which you notify them". I'm honestly not trying to be the voice of doom here, just want you to be forewarned that these things can be unbelievably difficult to deal with.

Anyway, the hard part is done, you just have to wait for the IND now.

Another American Expat said...

hey, I wouldn't keep a public blog if I didn't want unsolicited advice. :) I appreciate it!