Friday, June 20, 2008

Becoming a resident

Obviously I'm new to the Netherlands, so the processes are all foreign to me (pun intended). From what I've been able to make of it, I have a work visa from the Dutch government already, but that doesn't entitle me to stay. I still need to go to a meeting with Immigration to apply for a residency permit. The decision to grant a residency permit can take up to 6 months. After a residency permit is issued you can apply for a SOFI number, which is what's used to open a Dutch bank account. There's one Dutch bank that will open an account for you with just a passport, but unfortunately the online banking site is only in Dutch.

Since a SOFI number can take a while to get, I guess I'm going to have to become good friends with an online translating tool. Not my first pick when dealing with finances, but hopefully everything will be fairly straightforward.

In other news, we expect to sign a lease for a place on Monday. More on that to come.

Other discoveries/thoughts from the day:

1) Putting cantaloupe slices (or any other fruit) in a pitcher of ice water makes a really tasty drink.
2) I've eaten more cheese here in the last 2 weeks than I've eaten in the last 6 months!
3) A bag of several slices of bread is a typical snack here
4) Dog fur is really visible on royal blue hotel room carpets
5) I really like my co-workers in the Amsterdam office
6) It stays light out until past 10PM here
7) There are 4 Starbucks locations in the Netherlands, 3 of which are at the airport. Supposedly the Microsoft office has the 4th.
8) I probably shouldn't buy "reduced price sushi" from the airport grocery store - but so far I haven't been sick :-)

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