Lots to go over, including our trip to Haarlem, but I’ll save that for another post (with pictures!). Yesterday was moving day, time to move into our permanent apartment (on a 1 year lease). As nothing we do ever goes smoothly, we ran into some speed-bumps along the way, and I was notified the night before our move that I may not be allowed to move in. More on this later.
Tuesday morning, we went to sign the lease. We arrived at the makelaar‘s (real estate agent/broker) office and met with our broker and the caretaker. Our landlords have moved out of the country, so they had appointed a local to take care of things. I paid the broker his commission, and we began signing the lease. They had sent the lease to me ahead of time, so I just breezed through signing it. Only when I got to one of the last copies did I realize on the first page, it said ‘No pets.’ Hmm. I had missed that before. It wasn’t listed in the lease itself, but on the first page, where my name and address were. At that point, it was too late to back out, and since we only had one more night at our current apartment, I kept my mouth shut.
Before moving in, we needed to wire transfer in the deposit and first month’s rent payment to the broker. That hit a snag because I attempted to wire the money from an online bank that I use. Evidently the wire information did not match their listed zipcode, so the wire was rejected. I sent off an e-mail to the wire service, and heard nothing back. The night before the move, our broker told us that unless we could prove the wire was going through, we would not be allowed to move in. I checked, and the money had been withdrawn from our account, so I took screenshots of the wire status and sent them on. Heard nothing from the broker, so I went to bed, not sure if we were moving the next day or not.
The morning of the move, we woke up and finished packing. We called a cab to come and get us and most of our belongings. Had some trouble communicating the destination to the cab driver, but we made it on time, and met our broker at the new place. Turns out he received an e-mail that the wire transfer was completed 3 minutes before our official check-in. Whew! Talk about taking it “down to the wire.” 🙂
After checking-in and unpacking some of our stuff, I briefly attempted to connect the TV and internet, and failed. Every time I tried to run their configuration software on my PC, the computer crashed. Finally gave up and headed back to the old apartment to collect our remaining stuff.
At the old place, we gathered up the cat, some food, and a few remaining possessions, and loaded them onto our fietsen (bicycles). We rode up to Amsterdam Lelylaan station to take the train. The ticket machines only accept local debit cards, so I stood in line to buy tickets. After waiting for 15 minutes, I got to the front of the line only to be told that they only sold Tram and Metro tickets there, the train ticket counter was inside a local grocery store. Oh sure, that makes perfect sense. After waiting another 10 minutes in line there, we had our tickets, and loaded the cat, our bikes, and ourselves onto the train.
A journey to Amsterdam Centraal station, and a 3.5km bike ride later, and we were back at the new place. We let the cat out of her carrier, and she promptly found a place to hide. I finally figured out the internet (it’s tough when all the instructions are in Dutch, and you can’t go online to Google Translate!), and we went to IKEA to buy some things. Got home, and collapsed onto the couch.
Today at lunch I need to head back into the Centrum to register with the city, and get my burgerservicenummer (BSN), which is the Dutch equivalent to a social security number. I will finally be able to open a bank account locally!