Wednesday, June 9, 2010

All of a Sudden, Coca Cola Scares Me.

Getting up at 06:30 and working 08:00 to 16:30 isn't something I'm used to. So the past few days I've been rather tired sitting at my desk. The humidity of the office not being particularly helpful. After nearly nodding off during a presentation, I decided that it was time to find some way of keeping myself alert. Now I don't drink tea or coffee, but they provide free bottled soft drinks here in the office. So I grabbed a coke, took the cap off and went back to my desk. Not long after, I was sharp and alert, whereas before I'd almost been struggling to stay awake. Suddenly I appreciate why coffee is so popular.

Online banking seems to work a bit differently here. As opposed to the Irish 24hr system, in Holland, the banks seem so provide customers with some sort of authentication device. Like a small calculator, people need to insert their bank card into it and enter their PIN to access their account details online. It certainly sounds more secure, though not knowing how it works I don't really know. They units themselves mustn't be too expensive if the banks can afford to give them out to everyone.  Just another use for the ubiquitous smart cards here in the Netherlands.

I've started reading MS Paint Adventures again. If you're not familiar with it, it's best describes as a sort of interactive webcomic. The artist presents a character and a setting in a sort of text based adventure game style set up. Readers then post suggestions as to what the character should do, and the artist then chooses some and draws the scenes that follow, extrapolating the consequences from his imagination. The results are sometimes a little obtuse, though often hilarious. I used to read it back when the story was Problem Sleuth, and adventure of a hard boiled PI. Now it's Homestuck, starring a bunch of kids in a surreal suburban mystery. It's off to a good start, and I'm told it gets better.

Tomorrow I need to call City Hall; I've been here nearly a week and a half and I still haven't gotten my Dutch security number, which I need to open my bank account. As I've mentioned before, without one of the Dutch bank card e-wallets, life here is a measure more difficult. I can't even top up my travel card or get lunch without one. Hopefully I'll have my hands on one before too much longer.

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