It's been busy the past couple of weeks. I went back to Amsterdam to tie up all loose ends. Emptied my old apartment, put everything I wanted to save in storage and donated the rest to the thrift store. Did all the other stuff that needs to be done like registering as an expat etc. And had the cats checked by the vets, bought kennels as they had to come on the plane back. Arranged all that with KLM. Of course that last thing didn't go as planned at all and my two cats were lost for a while. I'll put that online tomorrow...
Been in Los Angeles for about two weeks now. Most things that needed to be done went very well. Found an apartment at a very good location fairly quick, within a week. And best of all close to work and no commute on any of the freeways. Applied for a social security number, and that should be ready tomorrow. But then there other things. The apartment we’re renting had no electricity or gas at the moment we signed the lease. The electricity was a pain to arrange, couldn’t do it over the phone and had to go to an office of the LADWP, paid a deposit, and were promptly told it would take one working day to connect After a day, no power. So we called and were told we would be contacted by one of their emergency teams that were on the road. They called late in the evening, it was already dark and suggested we took a look at the breaker box and see if we could just turn it on ourselves. And that worked. Bit strange, but we got power. But we didn’t have gas. When we called the SoCal Gas company they told us again, that all was ok and the next morning we would have gas. Next day no gas. We called back, and were promptly told it would take another 10 days! 10 DAYS! And we first had to go to a local office to pay another deposit. Paid the reposting and we started calling, and calling and calling, and finally got a customer care agent on the phone that looked into the call log and saw we were promised gas the initial next day. That same day a gas mechanic guy came over and hooked us up. (after a couple of days of cold showers and no heating).
Then there was Time Warner Cable. We wanted TV and internet. So got online and arranged the whole starter package. Picked it up the next day at a local TWC store and were told just to hook it up and we would be surfing the web and channels. No, there is no signal on our cables. They don’t know what’s happening so in two days they’ll send a technician over, one good thing, he’s coming between 8AM and 9AM, so no waiting at home for a whole day.
I haven’t even left the Netherlands but the first “issue” with getting to the US just popped up. Usually when you travel to the US you get an ESTA before you leave, so the Department of Homeland Security knows you are coming, and you as a foreigner don’t have to get a visa. It’s also know as the Visa Waiver Program. As I am now a holder of a multiple entry visa, I don’t need one. But the airline I’m flying with, KLM, decided that’s not the case.
After contacting their webcare on Facebook I found out I have to get everything, my visa, checked at the counter at the airport. No seat reservation anymore, so this means getting there even earlier than the three hours in advance you normally have to be there for an atlantic flight. (Isle seat please?)