Wednesday, March 15, 2006

An odd day ...

I came here to write a sad grouchy post.
You see, after spending 5 days as a tourist and expat I woke with the courage to revisit the local District huis and enquire into the ongoing saga that is my 'in process' status.
It takes some courage because it's the building where you find out that you are no one from no where and there is nothing you can do that will improve anything about your situation. I usually come out feeling so much worse than when I went in due to the fact that I realise I'm an immigrant as opposed to a traveler or an expat worker and as such, it could be that I'm not welcome in Europe.
So it went badly ... the woman informed me that two different colleagues in her office could never have quoted me the 6-8 weeks timeframe for processing. I presumed this made me a lying in-process immigrant, which felt a little depressing after 5 days spent as a delightful tourist/expat type. We were very polite to each other though.
I decided to stay out in the sun and wandered into the city centre. I popped into my favourite secondhand bookshop and found Gert a book titled 'Slipping into Paradise - Why I live in New Zealand' by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson. It seemed entirely appropriate today ... let him be the immigrant, I'm superb at sympathy and the Kiwis will take care of him while he waits to get legal.
Lunch and gift-giving over, I returned home only to have the doorbell ring. I ignored it at first because I was in the midst of being sad but thought the elevator man would be annoyed if he had to ring around to get into the building so ... on asking who it was, I learned it was the police.
He asked where I lived, and I asked who he wanted.
He sighed and said he wanted me, the New Zealander. I guess my accent was a small give away, that and the fact we were speaking English. ;)

The outcome of his visit is so stunning that I am almost lost for words, and as a result I think this post is particularly badly written however ... he was the man from the politiecontrole, making sure that I live where I wrote on my application for a long stay visa ... I'm just hoping that word hasn't got out that I am some kind of lying in-process immigrant. We talked, he did the paperwork and I have to go back to District Huis tomorrow with papers and photos and things ... I think this means something good but let's wait and see.


lillian said...

wow... what a day and the police turning up at your door? I'd be terrified ! Hope your day is better today and you remember why you want to immigrate :-)

The Wandering Turk said...

Awesome! I hope it's good news!

woman wandering said...

Lillian, oddly enough, I was a bit shaky when I knew the policeman was there for me ... I didn't realise that they did two house checks.

Hey wandering turk, I hope you've written about your time in Queenstown by now :) I'll check after this. And thanks, I hope it's good news too ... I miss my own income, more than I enjoy the deliciously anarchic state of being 'in-process illegal'. Although ... this is only permission to live here ... I have to try and remember that the road is still potentially long.

qaminante said...

Don't worry, police checks are routine for anyone seeking to register as a resident (including EU citizens), and they seem to have got stricter since 9/11. In the past they used to just check that your name was on the bell and mail box. Although I have heard that Antwerp is particularly strict.

woman wandering said...

Hi qaminante, on the bright side, the policeman was lovely and had no idea how surprised this New Zealander was by his visit.

He said he'd tried to check on me once before but i was out ... i explained 'nederlands, 4 days per week' :)