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!