Posts Tagged With: Moving

Een jaar geleden verhuisde ik naar Nederland!

One year ago today I moved to the Netherlands. One year ago today I nervously had this conversation with the passport control worker at Schiphol:

Worker: And what is your business in the Netherlands?

Me: Ummm.. I’m moving here? (pause as he looks a bit confused. He definitely wasn’t expecting that response!) But there’s an MVV in the back? (MVV being a sticker which gave me permission to enter the country with the purpose of moving here.)

Worker: (flips to the back of the passport) Oh okay. (stamps the sticker) Thanks.

And that was it… done. We (I) fretted about that moment for weeks, and it was that simple!

Christmas tree in Bijenkorf

Christmas tree in De Bijenkorf, Den Haag

Categories: Marco&Niki | Tags: , | 7 Comments

IND (Or: Approval for the VVR)

Three business days.

Maybe three and a half… That’s how long it took to get approval for my VVR (residency permit). Marco and I had our appointment with the IND and The Hague’s GBA this past Friday on the 11th, and when we came home yesterday the approval letter was already in the mailbox.

VVR approval letter from the Dutch IND

Of course, there are a few factors which help:

1. I am American (not a country they typically scrutinize).

2. I already had my MVV (not required for Americans) so I had already received permission to move here.

Happily, the letter also says De arbeidsmarktaantekening luidt ‘arbeid vrij toegestaan. TWV niet vereist.’, which translates to “The labor endorsement reads ‘work freely permitted. TWV is not required.’ ” Though the economy is not the best so I don’t expect to be able to get  a job tomorrow. ;p

This is just the approval letter though. Since we live in The Hague, the visit to the GBA and the IND are combined into one. IND had a quick turnaround, but the GBA might take 2-3 weeks more. So the letter I received said that I can’t come pick up the document yet – probably because the GBA has not assigned me a BSN yet. I will receive another letter when everything is truly ready to go.

Categories: Forms, etc. | Tags: , | 1 Comment

First day (Or: Tired but here)

So I have arrived. Marco and I are alone, after the guests have all said adieu and gone home.

The first flight was JFK to Dublin. In the morning, Roger, Marco and I checked out of the New Yorker hotel around 10am (which pretty much meant just dropping off our room keys in the key drop near the elevator). Then we went and had a late breakfast at Ellen’s Stardust Diner, a 1950s retro themed restaurant where the waitstaff sing at you. I had a Brooklyn bagel, which was a bagel with scrambled eggs and American cheese on top. The singing was fine – it was mainly the waitstaff walking around with a microphone singing.

Eventually we made it back down to the New Yorker hotel and grabbed our bags from storage, and then made our way on the Long Island Railroad to Jamaica station. Once there, we transferred to the air train which would take us to JFK. At least it was much more spacious than the air train that connects the NJTransit stop to Newark airport, the airport we usually use.

I didn’t have any issues at all dropping off my luggage at the Aer Lingus desk, and the lady also helpfully printed our boarding passes for the next flight (Dublin to Amsterdam) as that had not been an option on the website. Security was annoying (when isn’t it?) but nothing that we haven’t seen before. We then waited around a bit for our flight to take off.

On the flight over, Roger and Marco managed to get some sleep (a bit – not great) but I mostly just dozed. Roger and I used the inflight entertainment option to listen to some music. The options were okay but not great, but admittedly I need to listen to more music. It also took forever to get from page 1 to page 24, for instance. But it was good otherwise.

We then arrived at the Dublin airport just after 5AM, as planned. We ended up sitting up on the 4th floor somewhere outside of the Burger King, where we camped out waiting for them to tell us what our gate was. And waited. And waited. The gate opened at 8:40AM and the gate number flashed up on the screen just after 8:30. Crazy.

We also had a delay with the flight, boarding at 9:25AM for our 9:30 flight. I started to doze off more heavily here, although I was jerked awake by the announcements at times. But we still only arrived 5 minutes late, although taxiing from the remote stretch of land that is the outskirts of Schiphol airport took at least 10 minutes. No joke.

Getting through passport control was a breeze. The worker asked what my purpose was for coming to the Netherlands, and I said to move. I then told him to look in the back for my MVV sticker, which he stamped and said I was good to go. So very anti-climatic…

After that we grabbed our luggage and made our way to the arrivals hall, where Marco’s mom was waiting to greet us. After exchanging some hugs and pleasantries we then made our way to the train which we took home to the Hague. Marco’s dad and his wife were waiting in his apartment. We chatted for a while, sharing banketstaaf (“bread” with almond paste in the middle).

After the house guests were gone, Marco and I napped for a while in our new bed (very firm!). Sleep is good – we definitely have our priorities straight!

Categories: Moving | Tags: , , | 6 Comments

Today’s the day

life in the hague

Categories: Moving | Tags: , , | 6 Comments

Counting Down II (Or: #finalcountdown)

From Marco…

Yesterday Niki wrote about her final days ‘here’.
Today it’s my turn to give you a bit of insight..

While I’m a hothead and usually not a patient person,
I am actually quite cool and relaxed under pressure..but not this time around.

Last week when I was working on my apartment I felt overwhelmed, no clue how to start and what to do..
This week I’m much better. Well doh, obviously.
With the help of my friends & family it all worked out fine 🙂

So now the final countdown is really on. Niki got her mvv, my place is ready..
We’ve had fun so far at the mall and just hanging out etcetera.
But there’s also been some “serious” moments .. we’ve done a trial run of packing our suitcases.
It seems 90% fits in Niki’s and my own luggage. So that means that if we use the extra space in Roger’s luggage too we won’t need to use any extra space and thus pay for it.

Time’s going it’s already Wednesday (oooh new comic book day) and Roger and I will head into New York for some random fun. Once we get back, we will pack our suitcases for real this time, and then head back there WITH Niki on Saturday.

Yup. Time to put ‘the Final countdown’ on repeat on my ipod.

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Counting Down (Or: Under a week)

Three more days of work, three and a half more days in Pearl River… the countdowns are getting more numerous by the minute it seems. (In fact, today might have been the last day I needed to trudge up the hill, as I am probably getting rides home the rest of the days. But we’ll see…)

Work has been going pretty good. I still need to clear off parts of my desk, but I did the major bits of it last week. I finished a long-ago-promised project for the psychology department, and can deliver the .avi file tomorrow at some point. I still have 10 or so reminders popping up every so often in Microsoft Outlook, but the number of those is dwindling as well.

After work entertainment has also been good. Yesterday was a relaxing day at home eating beef stew (prepared the night before and placed in the slow cooker in the morning) and watching various tv shows. Tonight we went to the Palisades Center. I got a hair cut and we visited our favorite stores and said our final goodbyes to the mall. It’s been a good place to go over the last few years, all four floors of that gargantuan warehouse-like building. Mainly I will miss the convenience of tons of stores in the same place! One stop shopping to the extreme.

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Goodbyes (Or: Wrapping up at work

Friday the 14th is my last day at my job. It’s going to be very weird to not go back there again. I have walked the entry cobblestone path countless times, in warmth and cold; rain and snow.

This past week I wrote up a form letter of sorts to send to various faculty members that I have worked with over the past three and a half years on my job. The goal of the email was twofold: one, to let them know when my last day was, and two, to let them know a few details about my replacement. What her experience was, where she worked last, and similar things.

I put a lot of work into the information literacy aspect of this position and have spent time building up my relationship with the faculty for the benefit of the library. I don’t want to see things slide backward too far before they take off in a forward direction again… to be clear, she has a lot more experience than I do, so I am really hoping that things move forward even faster now. Hopefully.

I have also started to clear out my work drawers, but that is always an uphill battle! I was never a person who liked paper on my desk, but sometimes it is hard to escape it…

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: | 4 Comments

Fridays (Or: The Dutchies arrive…)

It seems like only yesterday since I saw Marco (early October), but he and Roger are returning again today! I suppose that’s the benefit of scheduling uneven breaks between trips: April to October, and then October to December.

But it is a break from routine in some respects: they have to fly into JFK on Aer Lingus rather than into Newark on Delta, so that I could secure a one way ticket to the Netherlands on an Aer Lingus flight. That airline sells cheapish one way tickets. Unfortunately this means landing at 6:20PM or so rather than 1 in the afternoon. No more getting back home by 5PM!

Because of this, we’ll be meeting at Penn Station as it seems a good not-quite-halfway point for all of us. I was able to get a ride into the city with a coworker, so I don’t have to battle the crazy bus traffic that crops up on a Friday afternoon.

Regardless of when we get back home, it’ll be fun to be back in the company of the Dutchies again. Even if my apartment is more of a mess than it usually is when they arrive…

flight from Dublin to JFK

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Celebration (Or: My Dutch MVV sticker!)

So I went back to the city yesterday morning to pick up my passport from the Dutch consulate.

And finally, after not-quite 5 months, here is my MVV sticker! (Well, I photographed part of it.)

Official stamp on Dutch MVV sticker

The entire MVV sticker is large enough to pretty much take up the entire passport page. It is a temporary visa which allows me to enter and leave the country as needed (though it’s not in the plans to come and go THAT early on). Within 8 days of arriving, one needs to apply for permanent residency. So oh joy, back to the IND again.

But at least we have a break for a few weeks!


Categories: Forms, etc. | Tags: , | 8 Comments

Cleaning (Or: Six trash bags so far)

So today’s fun was cleaning out the closet. I did a pretty good job – the only thing that is left is the clothes that are normally hanging there. But everything else is gone (from the shelves, floor, and top of it).

cleared out closet

So far I have thrown out another three trash bags, and my landlord was kind enough to take my old, broken down luggage pieces to a nearby dumpster which he has access to. I might do another bag tonight, but probably not anything more.

cleared out closet 2

Well, there is always the matter of clearing off my bed… But there’s not too much on it right now, thankfully!

Categories: Moving | Tags: , | 3 Comments

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