The more or less inevitable “Things I’m looking forward to” post

We’re now about three weeks away from my departure and I’ve promised that I’d post about the things I’m actually looking forward to(Crazy, I know!). I’ve not added the blatant “Getting married, starting a life etc.”, because, you know, that’s a given. So without further ado and in no particular order. The list!

  • Free refills!
    Almost good enough to replace the void of stroopwafels. Almost.
  • Netflix, Hulu and the like
    It’s such a simple concept, yet so brilliant.
  • Earlier access to other online services(Or at all, for that matter)
    Specifically of the Google variety, like Voice and Music, neither of which are fully available over here
  • Better release dates, usually
    It’s only a few days, usually, but I’ll take whatever victory I can!
  • Better weather, mostly
    No more snow, no hail, higher temperatures overall. Hurricane-season though. @.@
  • A new job!
    I’ve worked at the same place for almost 3 years, and they were great. A new job will certainly be an interesting change of pace.
  • Explore the US further
    It’s pretty friggin expensive to get to the US to begin with, but there’s plenty I’d like to see and now I’ve got a chance to!

And that’s it. Nothing too fancy. Ironically, some of the things on this list will be things that may inevitably kill me at some point. <3

The inevitable “Things I’ll miss” post

It’s just over a month before I leave behind this country for the United States. So I’ve decided to compile a list of stuff that I’ll probably end up missing eventually and tried not to name the obvious “Family & friends” malarky. That’s what Skype is for.

  • Stroopwafels
    Because. Friggin. Stroopwafels.
  • Liquorice
    Specifically the sweet honey kind. <3
  • Proper chocolate
    And don’t give me that “But…Hershey’s!”. No.
  • The often moderate weather
    I don’t like extremes in weather, the hot weather in Florida is going to kill me.
  • The metric system
    Because the imperial system is silly and shouldn’t exist.
  • Cycling lanes
    I do enjoy cycling, but from what I’ve seen, it’s a suicide mission to even attempt it.
  • Various other seasonal and not-so-seasonal snacks
    Including, but not limited to: Pepernoten, Speculaas, Hagelslag, Penniewafels, Negerzoenen, Suikerbrood and vla.
  • Beer
    American beer sucks. Plain and simple.

And that’s all I can think of for the time being. There will undoubtedly be more, but I’ll most likely won’t miss it till it’s gone. A lot of it is food related, but that’s mostly because there aren’t very many typically Dutch things I enjoy enough to miss that aren’t food. Like tulips. And windmills. I’ve also tried to steer clear of blatantly political issues. I’ve my views and they don’t really line up with how the US is doing things, so lets keep it at that <3.

I might also make a list of stuff that I’ll gain from moving over there, apart from the obvious. It’s not going to be all bad, it can’t be!

Doctor!

As a mandatory part of the visa application process, one must make an appointment with the panel physician to make sure everything is OK in the physical department. I somewhat expected this to be no more than a simple check on vaccinations and get the ones that I’m lacking. I couldn’t be more wrong. My medical took place last week(October 28) and here’s what happened.

I left for Amsterdam at around 9, my appointment was at 11 so that turned out to be plenty of time, and arrived half an hour early. The doctor’s office seems to be an old house, which you could tell by the fact that the small reception-ish area had a sink and looked remarkably like a kitchen. Made the place look somewhat charming, really. After filling out some forms and handing over my passport and vaccination records I had to wait for a while for my turn to come up.

When it did, I joined the good doctor in his office. To start out with, he took some of my blood. I’ve never had my blood taken before, so it was quite the interesting experience. It didn’t hurt, but it looked kind of funny to see my blood flowing into the little tube. Next he asked me to take my shirt off, so he could take my blood pressure and pulse, followed by my height and weight. Then he gave me a booster DKTP(Dyphteria, Kinkhoest(Pertussis), Tetanus and Polio) shot, because it was over 10 years since I had that one last.

To finish things up he tested my eyes by making me read letters off one of those old-fashioned charts and then we sat down to go over my medical history(I’ve never really had anything serious, so that was done pretty quickly). After some advice about my weight he sent me on my way to pay(145 for the medical, 35 for the shot) and off I went to get my lung x-ray. This took, at the most, 10 minutes. Pretty much got in, took my shirt off, had the picture taken, put my shirt on, paid for the thing and left. I imagine it’s how it feels to visit a cheap hooker.

The best part about the whole thing:

Picture of my arm, October 30
Picture of my arm, October 30
Picture of my arm, November 1st
Picture of my arm, November 1st
Picture of my arm, November 4th
Picture of my arm, November 4th

 

Finally, this:

Day 10 – And now we play the waiting game

Between 7 and 10 days seems an awfully short time when it’s really 4. They did take their sweet time sending the I-797 we were expecting. Apparently they received it on the 6th, the notice date is the 10th and the official notice arrived today.

Ah well, I’m not complaining. At least things are moving :). Our guesstimated NOA2 date is between October 16 and November 4, about 5 months from now. Untill then, it’s fingers crossed and waiting patiently.

Day 6 – The eagle has landed. And quickly moved on.

Today we received an e-mail notification that our petition has arrived safely and has been forwarded to the Vermont Service Center for processing. In about 7-10 days we’ll receive a form “I-797”, which is basically a Notice of Action form. This will have our NOA1 date on it, with which we can take an educated guess at what our NOA2(Approval or denial of the petition) date will be. At the time of writing, the Vermont Service Center is currently processing petitions with a NOA1 date of November 30 2010 so they’re a good 5.5 month behind. If all goes well, I’m guessing the NOA2 will come in around November of this year. Possibly even in December.