No, it’s not an oxymoron. Listen to my day yesterday:

8:21 – Miss the train by one minute. Decide to instead do some housekeeping and go and officially register the fact that I am a resident of the Hague at the town hall.

8:32 – Park at the town hall, get a number, wait in line.

8:42 – My number’s up. The pretty Indonesian lady at the counter makes a copy of my rental contract and visa documents, makes me a copy of my request for my records, tells me it will take five days to process. I ask her where I can go to get a parking pass for my car.

9:01 – After driving around the Hague for a bit with the map on my lap (because the streets are all curvy, one-way, suddenly-turn-into-pedestrian-walkways, I finally get to the Office of Parking Regulation (not its real name, just couldn’t translate the Dutch name). Take another number.
9:04 – My number is up. The guy behind the counter processes my request in under ten minutes, I pay 27 Euros (ridiculously cheap), and he gives me a parking pass for a year (ridiculously easy). Obviously, no one informed these people that they are supposed to be slow as molasses and hard to deal with.

Unfortunately, it took me a half hour just to get across the Hague by car (damn the roads, damn the canals, damn the construction), but I got a 10:20 train and was legally parked and registered in the Hague when I walked into work at 11:00.

Nice day.

Now i will never be able to say a bad word about the Dutch bureaucracy ever again.

Until my next robotically-administered speeding ticket that is…

Categories: Europe

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