09 November, 2010

Back and straight into it!

So, we're back from our "Trip of a Lifetime."  We had the most wonderful four weeks in Australia!  The wedding was fabulous, we had the best time and it was all over in a flash - thank goodness for photos to help me remember it all!

As I've mentioned, we went to Western Australia for our honeymoon, spending 10 days basking in the sun.  Well, it wasn't exactly like that, we did drive 4000 km, snorkel with sharks, saw all sorts of amazing wildlife and marine life (hammerhead shark, humpback whales, dolphins, dugongs, turtles, tropical fish, and of course kangaroos!), had a flat tyre in the middle of nowhere, got a sunburned butt, all while sleeping 9+ hours a night!  Absolute bliss.

So, why are you still reading and not booking a WA holiday??

Well, I'm having mixed feelings about being back 'home' now.  Returning home really gave me a lot to think about for the long term.  The biggest being: how long do we stay in the Netherlands?  It's not an easy decision, and not one that can be made quickly.  We have too many commitments to up and go, plus Maarten's parents (mum especially) would freak out if we did!

In all honesty, Australia is just so much easier than the Netherlands.  Bureacracy is not such a fight.  It was a relatively simple process to change my name (I'm now a Muijs) - I just had to apply to get a legal copy of my marriage certificate.  From there I could go to Transport SA and change my drivers license (I didn't even need a new photo, they could use the one on file!) and then the bank with the same certificate.  I also have the paperwork to change my passport, which is free to change within the first 12 months of getting married, and can be done via post/Australian Embassy.

However, to make our marriage legal in the Netherlands I needed to get the marriage certificate apostilled ($60 thankyouverymuch) and to register the marriage internationally at Den Haag I needed my birth certificate apostilled (for the second time as they won't accept an apostille older than 6 months and I already had to supply it to the Gemeente 2.5 years ago).  That was a cool $80 as they needed to attach a second sheet to my birth certificate as they can't apostille the same page twice...  But, it's done now and I've been to the Gemeente to register the marriage.  And, I could use the registration process for my portfolio!!

On that note, big news.  I'm scheduled to have the exams on the 1st of December.  1st of December!  That's less than a month away!  I'll be doing all three tests on the same day.  If I pass, Ik ben geslaagd!  But if I fail one of the tests, I can redo that test only.  I don't need to redo all three.  I'm a bit concerned about the toets gesproken nederland exam, but I've been doing the two main practice exams, the Elektronisch Praktijkexamen and the Kennis Nederlands Samenleving from the inburgeren.nl site that I've already shared with you.  I have cracked the 90% mark for both tests, so I'm not terrified any more.

My portfolio is also almost done!  I had hoped to be able to post that I was klaar, but I still have two portions to complete (hopefully before tomorrow).  It's been a real thorn in my side.  I started collecting situations way back in March, and it's taken me until now to get a handle on it.  It's something that you must be motivated to do.  If I had done what I said I would do way back in my earlier posts, this would have been out of the way months ago!

If I pass, and get the portfolio and it's panel interview out of the way in the next few weeks, I can enrol in the Staatsexamen level course so I can then go on to study at university level (if I choose to).  I'll especially jump on this ship in case all the rules change next year and the price goes through the roof.  I've missed all of the drama with the new government and what the planned integration policies are, so if anyone has a clue and would like to enlighten me, please feel free!

1 comment:

Evelien said...

Nice blog Neris! If you where my student, I'll pass you right away!
And I don't know the new polici with the new government, but with Wilder it can't be any good to people from a foreign country!


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