Living in Europe - Survival Guide (Part 2)

So you made it, you finally here in Netherlands, the land of your dream, lots of things are waiting for you, you will probably feel lost and don't know what to do. Don't be afraid, I'll help you through it. Now I'd like to share what to do and what to have once you're here:
  1. Sim Card: There are two types of sim card provider here, the cheap one and the full featured one. What I mean with the cheap one is like Lebara, LycaMobile, etc. They will give you cheap price to call and text, and even free call up to 30 minutes to the same provider (Like lebara to lebara, etc). It's usually cheaper to call home with that provider. The Full-Featured (High-Tech) is for you that has smart phone. There are lots of provider, Vodafone, T-Mobile, Hi, etc. You just have to pay a fixed amount of money every month for the internet subscription. Personally I use 2 simcard, Lebara and Vodafone. It's typical Indonesian to have 2 cellphone, one is for calling, and one for Internet. I use vodafone for Internet, I forgot the price for a new number, but I only have to pay 12.5 euro a month for internet, and I can use it as much as I want (I have blackberry), some provider might charged more, or only give you 200MB of internet. They said vodafone also only give 200MB of internet, but I never have problem with vodafone saying that I reached my limit, and they cut off my internet whatsoever. and for the cheap one, it depends on what provider that your friends use
  2. OV-Chipkaart & Abonnemenent: You need this card to travel around Netherlands. They are trying to get rid of paper ticket, so you need an refillable card (OV-Chipkaart) to take the bus, tram, metro, or train. You can refill the credit in the train station or albert heijn. NS (The train company) offer varies amount of discount for the train you can check here for details. But bottomline for AuPairs or Traveller there are 2 kind of abonnement you can choose.
    • Dal Vordeel: it cost 50euro a year, you will get 40% discount in de daluren (Off Peak 09:00 - 16:00 and 18:30 - 06:30) and the whole weekend. and you can travel with max 3 person 40% after 09:00 in the morning and the whole day on weekend (Samenreiskorting). So you and your friend can enjoy the 40% dicount even if he/she doesn't have the discount card
    • Weekend Vrij: it cost 40 euro a month. you will get the same feature as the Dal Vordeel and you can travel for free on weekend (Friday night after 18:30 and until Monday Morning before 04:00)
    I choose the weekend free abonnement, because that way I can travel on weekend for free, and I don't have to think about how much the train ticket cost, and I can go anywhere I want on weekend, even when I ran out of money
  3. Bank Account: You can open a bank account only when you have already your ID-Kaart (Verblijf). To make a bank account you can just go to the bank (I use ABN-AMRO), bring your ID, Passport and Burgerservicenummer or Sofinummer (this is a kind of letter you get after you go to IND to let them know that you are here). And when you're there just tell them that you want to open a bank account, there's no fee whatsoever. You will get a pin pass (debit card) and tools for internet banking send to your house, along with the pin code for your ATM, etc. They will charge you 2.5 euro a month for administration cost. You will need a bank account to buy stuff online (including train ticket, bus, etc) and it's easier to carry one card instead of cash all the time, your wallet will be lighter because there will be no more heavy coins.
  4. Pathe Unlimited: If you like to watch movie, you need to have this card (subscription), you can make it if you have a bank account. It cost 19euro a month, and you can watch movies as much as you want (it's worth it for sure, because one movie ticket would cost you 9euro)
So if you have all of that, you will always have something to do on weekend no matter how broke you are, you can just go to random city in Netherlands and watch movie there, so there will be no more just staying home and "play" with the kids because you have no money left...

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