Ha! I’ve heard it from every expat: with the telephone-and-internet people, the immigration people, City Hall, the insurance people, the bank, every stupid power-tripping desk jockey you deal with in this country, you get a different answer every time. It’s like dealing with the Deutsche Bahn (this is also proven: someone from er, Der Spiegel maybe? Asked six different Bahn employees the same question, and got five different answers).
SO the insurance company that covers my husband and sons (OHRA) initially didn’t want to cover me because I’m too foreign, “please call back when you have a residence permit thank you very much drop dead goodbye.” So once I had the permit, DrBob called and requested the forms and they said “sure thing, we’ll get that right out to you!” And then they didn’t. So he called again, and eventually the forms turned up and we filled them out and sent them, along with the requested copy of my passport and residence permit.
And even though we gave them everything they asked for, I was pretty sure we hadn’t given them everything they wanted. This is what I have learned in four months of signing up for things. Sure enough, a week or two later, we get a letter saying that they can’t process my application because they need my “beschikking,” which I should have gotten from the Immigration people.
So I called Immigration and they said I needed to send in a written request, and they gave me an address in Rijswijk. Two days later I called again (see above re what I have learned), asked the same question, and they said I needed to send in a written request and gave me a completely different address, in Hoofddorp. Not surprised.
While I was waiting a couple days to call again and see if the third answer agreed with either of the other two, another letter arrived from OHRA. This one was in English, and requested a copy of the back side of my residence permit – so if this letter’s true, then those phone calls to Immigration were a waste of time. Of course, I may yet get a third letter (in French?) requesting a recent copy of my birth certificate and a feather from the tail of a one-eyed bird, or something.
But at least I have written proof now: there may be rules here, but nobody – not even the people whose job it is to make sure they are followed – actually knows what they are.
Song du jour of the day: I Don’t Want to Live on the Moon, by Shawn Colvin and Ernie.