My Trip to City Hall

I’ve been negligent in changing our address with the local municipality. You are supposed to change it within 5 days of moving. We’ve been in our new apartment for over a month and I just got around to taking care of it today.
I have a tendency to put off errands that require me to deal with government offices because it tends to take several hours of waiting to speak with someone. Typically that someone then tells you that you are in the wrong place and that you need to go elsewhere to wait for several more hours. At lease this is what I have been used to in the US. Surprisingly, I have found the offices in the Netherlands to be quite pleasant.
Today’s visit to the local Amsterdam Centrum city hall (located between the Amsterdam Music Hall and the Amstel Hoeck Grand Cafe) was a treat. I entered the reception area to find a line of about 6 or 7 people waiting. Naturally, I pulled out the iPhone to entertain myself while I waited. What’s this?!? The line was moving so quickly that I wasn’t even able to check my mail before I was called to the counter. A few questions later, I was sent on my way to another large waiting room. Ugh… Memories of spending 3 hours at the Fulton County DMV start running through my mind. As it turns out, before I could get a good game of Tetris started, my number was called and I was being taken care of. After a little pleasant banter with the woman behind the counter, I was on my way. Quick, efficient, and pleasant. That’s how the Dutch roll. Lets get it together US government offices!

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