My bike lock is hopelessly stuck and my bike is locked to a rack across town. Looks like I’m going to have to buy some bolt cutters and conduct a brazen mid-day theft of my own bike. I hope Dutch prison isn’t too bad…
Finally, I have a fully functional dutch bank account with money in it transferred over from the US! Now I can use the “pinnen alleen” lines at the grocery store like a big boy.
Got our ABN AMRO chip and pin debit cards, which come with USB 2-factor auth devices. Of course, it’s a little anticlimactic since there’s no money in my account yet (have to do an international wire transfer next week to top it up).
Well, OK, then.
Went in to the bank with Phoenix when she opened her account to see if they could just attach me to it as well somehow. Sure enough, the woman opening her account said that as long as I had a BSN, there was no reason I couldn’t open my own account, despite what we’d been told earlier. So now we both have Dutch bank accounts and are just waiting to get our chip and pin cards in the mail (along with hardware two-factor authentication devices!).
She also handles insurance and we figured out that (not surprisingly) the insurance that we’d had to take out before we could rent our apartment (Dutch law) was overpriced. Not surprising since we had very few options to pick through that we could get from the US before we had our completed residence permits, BSNs or domestic bank accounts. We’re stuck for a year, but then we can switch to a plan that’s about a quarter the price.
As of last week, Phoenix and I have our Dutch resident ID cards (good for two years), are officially registered with the city of Utrecht, and have our Burgerservicenummer’s (BSNs), which are the tax ids.
We still need domestic bank accounts (we were waiting on BSNs) so Phoenix can get paid, we can pay our rent in Euros, and we can get chip and pin debit cards, which a lot of kiosks and stores here basically require. Unfortunately, it looks like I may never be able to get one. The woman at the bank claimed that I could not open an account without an employment contract with a Dutch company. It seems like there’s probably a way around that, but in the meantime, we may only have one account between us.