Frustration day

After many frustrations yesterday we’re up and awake and back on track to go further with all our travel preparations. We’ve not left Holland yet, but the adventures have started already. If you think that things are good organized here in our country you’re right until a certain level. If you got some “non-standard” questions and you’re coming into a grey area everything is getting a bit more difficult.

“Ahhh there are not so many things that we’ve got to arrange for our trip”, this is one of our common sayings. Of course we had to prepare our car for 40.000 km of raw adventure and of course this is a lot of work. But now we’re getting closer to our big “departure day” we’re having some difficulties and slowly we’re finding out about all the things we still need to arrange. And we’re definitely realizing that it’s more than we expected.

The frustration day 24th may 2017

Last week we arrived at our appointment at the GGD, a Dutch health organizations that among others vaccinates people for traveling. Before our consult, we both thought that we didn’t need many vaccinations because of the trips we both made in the past. The contrary was true, seven vaccinations in three weeks was what we needed. Some of them for viruses we never heard of before, in other words a little setback. But everything for the greater good, so in an hour we could just laugh about the whole situation. Especially because of our perfect timing, receiving our last vaccination on the day before we leave.

Next to the vaccinations we had to arrange visas. Fortunately, we can get most of them on the way. Except Turkmenistan, this country is a little more difficult to cross with your own car. There are stories going around on the internet of people who applied three times for this visa but have been rejected equal times. Another issue is that this visa expires in three months and is only valid for five days. A bit of a challenge when you start your trip with a car from Holland. Last week just out of curiosity we tried to contact the Turkmen embassy in Brussels. Three days later, on a Saturday morning completely out of the blue, we received a call from the Turkmen embassy. We explained our situation, that we will arrive in Turkmenistan somewhere in October and asked whether it’s possible to apply for the Visa in Brussels and pick it up in Turkey or Iran. Now we must wait for another out of the blue call and look what they have to say about this.

 

Last Wednesday, the horror day, we went to the city hall to the department of civil affairs to ask for a second passport. Our situation is that we both have a passport that is valid for the next seven or eight years. The only problem is that we don’t have enough available pages for visas in our passport.

The initial plan was to get a second passport just in case we must leave our passport in an embassy for a visa application. However, the person in charge held some different thoughts about this subject, so things got a little more complicated than expected. The other option is to get a business passport with the double number of pages available for stamps and visas. However, in our situation not preferable, because if we must leave the passport behind in an embassy it’s nice to be able to identify yourself with another one. But applying for a second passport is in or municipality impossible without clear evidence like flight tickets or train tickets.

To make our case a little bit clearer and the urge of the need for a second passport, we told that we we’ll leave Holland for approximately a year. Well never do that in Holland. A few seconds later our passports were copied and handed over to a guy who was in charge of something and told us that If we are leaving for more than eight months we have to unsubscribe us from the Dutch register. In other words, you do not live in Holland any longer. We were not prepared for this part at all. Because of all the hassle and time it will cost on administration stuff and also we don’t like the idea of not being registered at all. But the civil servant, no idea why this guy is called a civil servant the Dutch word suits him better because he definitely didn’t serve us, was very persistent and opened a new dossier with copies of our passport and a note that we both declared to leave for more than eight months. Hence, if we do not unsubscribe ourselves it’s highly likable that another civil servant will pay a visit to the addresses we’re registered on. The outcome of that would probably a fine for the address holder and us. Now we are on the “most wanted” list from municipality Wijchen, there is no other choice left to unsubscribe ourselves, even that we’re still not a 100 percent sure we’ll leave for more than eight months.

The ironic thing on this whole situation is that we couldn’t get a second passport because there was no evidence of us leaving for a long time and visiting a lot of countries. However, the civil servant told us that we’ve declared that we’re leaving for approximately a year. And the girl behind the counter was his witness, which was enough evidence to put us on his “most wanted” list of illegal subscribed citizens in Wijchen. Maybe even more Ironic is that in Holland you can apply for travel insurances that will cover you if you are abroad for 365 days, in other words 1 year. But the problem is that you must be registered in the Netherlands to apply for these kind of insurances. And if you apply for them when you’re still registered in Holland and later decide to unsubscribe you as a Dutch citizen within this 356 day you’ll not be covered by the insurance. If somebody can explain us this logic please let us know.

Fortunately there exist a few insurance companies in Holland where you can get an insurance if you fall between two stools. They will cover your ass if you don’t have an official address. These are the companies that make us happy at the moment.

Questions what address we have to put on a visa application and how to identify ourselves if we have to leave our passport in an embassy for a visa application are still unanswered. We’ll see how these things will work out. If you’re curious about the answer just follow us on our big adventure.