Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Picking up the Verblijvsdocument

So now I have a new card in my wallet. It's my official working and staying permit. I walked out of the meeting with the woman not as happy as I wanted to be. I wanted to walk out having convinced a city employee that I didn't need to be "inburgened." That's Dutch for "integrated." I feel like I am well on my way to integrating. I have been doing quite a bit to have a good argument for NOT imburgening.

All of my questions were answered with, "You should read this book. It has all of the answers to your questions regarding imburgening. And you can ask anything else at your interview next Monday."

"But what about..."

"The book explains everything."

"Can I ask just a general question about..."

"Any other questions can be asked at your interview on Monday."

"Okay. Thanks."

Having read the book, I can see that the situation is not as horrible as people have described. I didn't want to sit in a class and learn Dutch from the beginning - I won't have to - and I didn't want to sit and learn how to use the tram - I won't have to - and I don't want to learn about the public school system - I won't have to. Apparently it's graded to the need of the participant and I'll have a "coach" - who hopefully won't make me do laps. This coach will be tracking my progress and will be encouraging me to continue - with a penalty of a fine. So I will do some, but not all of it. I don't need that much, in my own humble opinion.

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