YA! I’m good for a year!

2 10 2008

Well I took a trip to Utrecht today to pick up my permit at the IND office.  Now why didn’t they send us to this office in the first place instead of the one in Zwolle is beyond me. But today I got on my bike, headed down to the station, got on the train and realized half way to Utrecht that I forgot the letter they sent me in the mail.  Well…I can either see if I can get my permit with out the letter and just my passport or I have to hike it back home and go another day.  I’ll chance it.

The thing is that I’ve only been to Utrecht once before and I had someone with me so wandering the city was no problem.  Don’t get me wrong, all the cities are very well marked where the train stations are and tourist sites, I’m talking about INSIDE the train station.  See, Utrecht Centraal has a mall attached and it straddles something like 2 or 3 roads until it comes to an end at the plaza.  So trying to wander through the mall and trying to remember where I had to go since I left the directions at home too, makes it difficult to window shop.  Of course I get out on the wrong side of the mall, so I have to walk back to the station and over a ways to get to the street I wanted.  I think by sheer luck I actually found the IND.  

Luckily they didn’t have a problem giving me my permit card, or my verblijfsdocument.  They did some looking up on the computer and with in minutes I had this in my hand. I’ve blacked out my eyes because it’s such a horrid picture of me, and to think I’m stuck with it for a year.  But hey, at least I can now say I’m allowed to be here.  Not sure if they are still going to want me after a year but I’ll find out if I don’t get my renewal letter in a year’s time.

The nice thing about going to Utrecht today, besides the weather being some what ok, was that I was able to tour a little bit. Like I said I’ve been there before but I’m a loner of a tourist.  I like to do things by myself so I can take my time and not feel like I’m rushing people.  So I went to the Dom which is the tallest church tower in the Netherlands.  I am not sure if you can go up the tower, but if you can one of these days I would love too.  I didn’t spend too much time wandering the city, mainly because I’m not feeling all that great.  But Utrecht is only 30 minutes away by train so I can go there again another day and spend more time wandering aimlessly.  I did go back into the church while I was there.  The church at one point was attached to the tower until 1674 when a storm hit and destroyed parts of the church but left the tower untouched.  The two were never reconnected.   I did manage to take some pictures inside the Cathedral but I had to be stealthy again.   So most of the pictures are a little cockeyed since I wasn’t really looking through the camera at the time.

So my eventful morning turned out to be a very quiet afternoon after the church and tower, I strolled (ok walked very fast since it was raining) back to the train station, when suddenly out of the corner of my eye I see? 49,99 euros slashed out in BRIGHT red and 19,95 euros written underneath!  Oh a beautiful red Italian leather purse right there in the window of a store calling my name… so I listened to the purse and bought it.  That along with my new boots that I saw in the mall at the train station… So a few euros poorer, a little wet, coughing out my left lung I stroll back to the train to get the first one back to Schothorst.  But at least now that I have my permit I can get a job (and buy more purses and shoes), have health benefits (so I can go and get something for this cough), and take my Dutch lessons (that way I won’t get lost the next time I have to leave the train station since I’ll be able to understand the signs a bit better). 

All in all, Utrecht is a very beautiful city and when the weather is a bit better I would like to go and spend more time there… or maybe get a job there… then I’ll be close to the store that has all the pretty purses!


He loves me, he loves me not

13 09 2008

I love flowers, that is no secret.  I love getting them, growing them, giving them, having them in the house, around the house, in my office (when I worked) anywhere.  So when Frank came home with 3 bouquets of flowers on Friday it was a great night. 

The orange flowers were to spruce the place up.  Flowers can add so much to a room.  And in this vase with those flowers it looks so nice in front of the new cabinets.

The roses were for our 2 year.  Yup 2 years, who would have thought eh?  We were going to go to Zandvoort for the weekend, since that was the first place we meet but the weather wasn’t going to hold out so instead we went shopping to get a new bookcase and paint for the hallway. 

And the big bouquet was for me getting my permit.  Yup the IND has decided that I can stay!!  Which now mean…. JOB HUNTING!!  Oh Lord how I needs me a job!!  So as soon as I get my CV together it will be massive pedal power to get my papers out there.  I don’t have my card yet, I will get a letter from the IND telling me when I can come get it in Zwolle.  Also now that I have my card I can start my Dutch lessons, which I am looking forward too.  So needless to say the flowers were a great surprise, especially since the weather has been so grey and miserable.  The flowers have brightened up the room. 

Thanks handsome 🙂

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.