Another train ride and 6 months to stay…

15 08 2008

Needless to say I have the bike route memorized to the train station.  On Wednesday Frank and I had another little trip to take, this time to Zwolle.  I really don’t know much about this city except that the IND is located there.  Granted, Amersfoort is located in the province of Utrecht, and the city of Utrecht is only a 20 minute train ride; but yet they send us to Zwolle a 50 minute train ride.

Wednesday turned out to be a bit of “thiscan’thappentoday” type day.  First of we thought the appointment was at 1:30 giving us LOTS of time to get up, get dress, make sure all of our mounds of papers are together and get to the train station with time to spare.  I even planned it so we could get to Zwolle with time to spare so that we could grab lunch.  BUT  I was unceremoniously woken up by Frank at 9:30 saying our appointment was actually at 11:30 not 1:30.  So that meant we had to rush to get everything done, and anyone who knows me rushing in the morning is NOT my forte!  We did get to the train station on time, but the train was 10 minutes late.  Normally that wouldn’t be a problem, but when you are already running late every minute counts.  When we finally arrived in Zwolle we had to get to the IND building in a matter of 5 minutes, no problem… except we didn’t know where we were going.  We made it to the building and after a few questions with the showing of the passport we were handing a ticket to wait…. and so we sat…. granted not for too long, surprisingly enough.  The lady helping us was nice, but to be honest I wish they would all get on the same page when it comes to the paperwork that is needed.  We were told that we could just use Frank’s divorce papers .. well no.  We still need something from the city.  Then we were told I needed to get a statement from Canada or the Embassy that I have never been married.  No problem, did that on Monday at the Embassy.  Signed and legalized.  BUT that’s not good enough, they want it to come from Canada… um…I’m in the Netherlands right now, little difficult to get it from Canada unless they are willing to pay for airfare.  Granted they could always just call my grandmother, she’ll vouch I’ve never been married ;).  After a bit of arguing with the IND that really the Embassy IS Canada and that I had asked around to others that had come over from Canada and the IND itself.  So she went on the website that she had and said that it “should” be ok… “should be”.  *rolls eyes*.  What I don’t get is that we sent countless emails and placed many phone calls (at .10 per minute!) to get this information and there she is sitting with this list in front of her ticking off what we needed to bring.  Now why wouldn’t you just give us that list that you are using when we called????  UGH!  Plus there are other things we need to possibly get, but they’ll send a letter and let us know, probably once they go through their list and tick things off!   But all said and done, I got my little sticker in my passport and I can now legally stay here in the Netherlands for 6 months waiting for the IND’s approval for my actual permit.  They said it shouldn’t take 6 months but if it does then we have to go back to the office to renew the sticker.

After the IND drama we headed in to the center of the city for some lunch.  Since I really didn’t know what to expect in Zwolle, I wasn’t looking for anything in particular.  But I did take a few pictures in the not so nice weather we had.  From what we could see the centre of city is shaped like Naarden, only on a smaller level.  The city did have a beautiful gate located on one side, and it seems fountains are the thing for the city.   But one problem while we were there, so was the carnival and it took over the centre square of the city so we weren’t able to get around very easily.  I wanted to go into some of the churches but the carnival was set up right out front.  So instead we wandered, I bought postcards, we wandered a bit more, I took some pictures, and then we left since we had to catch the train back and bike home.

I think Zwolle is a city I would like to go back to one day and take my time walking around.  There seemed to be a few museums and a couple of churches that would be interesting to venture into.   Hopefully the carnival will decide to stay home that day.

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