I registered with the Foreign Police/Municipality yesterday. It was the equivalent of the INS interview, I think. I arrived at 8:30am when they opened. There was a line of about 30 people ahead of me. The line moved quickly, everyone were given numbers depending on their situation and sent to different waiting rooms. I waited for fifteen minutes. The man spoke English, processed everything and had me out the door in 20 minutes. I was on a tram for the train station at 9:30.
Today: I went to my first Dutch doctor ... what an interesting change from the US system. My ears were blocked (as they always get - did you know I have to have them cleaned every three months? Some say people share too much on blogs - I say no) and I made an appointment with a doctor recommended by a 24 hour English speaking phone line I found in my guidebook. A woman answered the phone, asked me what the zip code was where I was staying, found a doctor right around the corner and gave me the number.
I called, they said they could see me right away, did I have insurance. I said, no - no insurance yet, and they warned me it would cost 25 Euros. I got there, the doctor saw me in 10 minutes after my arrival, I got my ears flushed out, paid the doctor (not the front desk) twenty four euros and eighty euro cents, and walked out the door - listening to bird song - thirty minutes after I arrived there! Can you believe it?
So far, Holland is doing well on the old Pros v Cons:
- Cute Men
- Good Produce
- Fresh Bread that is cheap (no more Safeway Baguettes for me)
- Great Holiday Celebrations
- Friendly Efficient Immigration Services
- Friendly Efficient Healthcare
- Don't accept credit cards at the train station