Thursday, September 29, 2011

Government Woes

Every Indian has a view on the government even if he / she doesn't even know the leading political party of the state. The general thoughts are ... "Government ?? You need any work done bribe them" "Government Offices ?? Ummmm.. Shabby" "Government Process?? Urghhh Slow". Then there is another group... "My uncle works in the municipality. My paper work is done always smooth". "I know the brother of the minister, don't mess with me". And then there is people like Anna who by however crazy ways, try to bring the so called CHANGE.

Now when I landed in Netherlands, I had this glorious vision that here as long as you submit authentic documents, everything goes smooth. Papers get processed on time, registrations are on time, if it says 2 weeks it is obviously 2 weeks. These ideas where strengthened by the facilities that you get here. If a train says departure at 18:58, it always departs at 18:58 and you'll be van idiot if you think "2 minutes toh any thing is delayed..It must be there till 19:00". In remote small towns, u get electronic boards at bus stops with live timings.

But all that came crashing down, when even after being in Netherlands for 2 months, I didn't receive my residence permit. At end of the first month, I get this letter saying you have been granted resident-ship till July 2012 and you'll be receiving your residence permit card "shortly". If I got this letter in India, I would know shortly <=> 2 months. Here people said it is 2 weeks. Now it is 4 weeks running and I was informed today that the Immigration Department "FORGOT" to process it.

Now since you can't bribe people here or use your influence in any way, you are in a worse mess. You can't even smile and request do get it done fast. Smiles don't work here. Process does and at times that process has memory lapses as in my case! Guess Netherlands is in love with me and doesn't want me to step into other European nations. I love you too my Dutch-land!

In the name of developed and developing! :P

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Being in Love

Its 8th September today. Exactly a month back, my assignment had started. Now as I ponder on the past days, I think this is the first time in my life I have adjusted to change so quickly.

It took me 2 semesters to adjust to NIT Durgapur. Almost 4 months, to adjust to Bangalore and just 3 weeks to start loving Netherlands. Is it the awesome set of facilities that I get here? Maybe yes, because I always believed in a good place of stay. I always wanted an impeccably clean apartment with a great kitchen and a huge bathtub. That no matter for what duration of each day I am able to enjoy it, I should have a warm house welcoming me back home.

Also, for the first time in my life I am not grumpy and sad because I am missing people. At NIT Durgapur, I missed mom dad so so badly. At Bangalore, it was Rahul, Riya, Tani and Culex Vishnui. Now I miss them all in a better way rather than sobbing myself to sleep or creating an invisible wall around me or maintaining an arms distance from others. Being alone in a country with almost no friends and no one to be friends, you start loving yourself.

This journey is going to be all about loving myself. Of getting things sorted and of identifying the stuff I have always avoided. Of doing things I have always left it for tomorrow and for taking leaps of faith. I remember the times I used be so comfortable in staying alone and then came the days when courtesy Tania RoyChowdhury, I totally lost that skill. Bangalore was so so hard thats why. Now its back to being lonely and to the very core of the word.

I always hated cooking for just myself. I always hated drinking alone. Made me feel like I am some female Devdas. Nowadays its fun! I switch an episode of FRIENDS, pour myself a glass of Baileys and enjoy it with chicken pasta. I spend all my free time (which I can't spend outside) in cooking. Trust me, cooking is man's best friend! Google recipes and try them. Aloha! You have a different dish everyday!

Next comes my love for cleaning. NIT Durgapur started it, Bangalore helped to hone it and here I am mastering it! I am probably the only one in the history of my project's onsite assignment, who goes around vacuuming the entire apartment. I even scrub the kitchen and the bathroom. Somehow I can't really sleep at night if there is a drop of food on the kitchen top. I know I am very very Monica here.

Then there is always reading, shopping, buying vegetables and groceries, planning trips and blogging (that comes only when I manage scrape time out of all the above). I am loving it!