A Tale of A Precious Card :p

I was tremendously bummed 2 days ago. I couldn’t believe it happened to me. OK, cut the crap and the dramatic entry, Novi. I lost my transportation card! Ho ho wait a minute, don’t be such a drama queen. It is only a card…Nope, girlfriend *snaps snaps. Let me tell you the full story.

Thus, in the Netherlands we are using uniform transportation cards, called OV Chipkaart. With that card in your possession you will be able to travel by all kinds of public transportation (metros, trams, busses and trains) . But, it also depends on the subscription you have set it in that card. For example, I have a personalized OV chipkaart from work which I use for commuting. And my subscription is a yearly one with that it allows me to travel within two Amsterdam regions whenever I want (I live in East and my work is in the Centrum). I got this card for free from my employer. They paid a fix tariff for a yearly subscription. If one wants to have a similar subscription like mine, I am telling you it costs you an arm and a leg. No joke.

Public transport in the Netherlands is REALLY expensive. If I don’t have an OV chipkaart (I will just call it OV) from work I cannot imagine how I can commute everyday. Well I can always bike, but I hate biking in the winter and I am not that sporty as well. I mean, I bike but if I have to do it every day in moody weather, I think I can’t <–see, that is the Indonesian in me speaking!

OK, if I don’t have a OV from my employer, I must purchase one single ticket which I can use to travel around Amsterdam for an hour. After one hour, I must buy another one until I get to my destination. That 1 hour ticket costs me EUR 2.80/each.  The distant between my house to work if we count it by the minutes will be around 30-40 minutes (by trams). That means, if I go to work, for one day I will spend 2 tickets = EUR 5.60 (one to go to the office and one from office to home). However I can report about my missing card to our HR and they will issue a new card for me, but in order for me to get to that stage I firstly have to go to the nearest police station (yes, police!) and report it, then ask the clerk at the police station to issue a written statement about my missing card. After that,  with a police statement I have got in my pocket I can submit the missing reports to HR department. On top of that I must pay EUR 11 because I lost it..although I didn’t plan to lose it. But nobody cares about it.

As Dutch say, wat een gedoe! Translation: Lodoh gak siiihh??!

I was so agitated by my own clumsiness. I am very well-organized, I always take care of my belongings. Almost. Not this time. GAH! I asked my husband, J to help to search to the groenteman I went to on the day I lost that card. Nada. It wasn’t there…I was frantic. I asked J again to ask at Albert Heijn (a supermarket chain) downstairs maybe I left it there when we did grocery shopping 2 days ago. It was the second day, and I had spent EUR 11.20 (Rp 140 rebu aja dulu PP 2 hari kerja) for commuting only, while I still need to eat lunch! Maybe some of you think, naahh..it is only 11 euro something, but me as an Indonesian living abroad, regardless the years I have been living here, I still convert my expenses into Indonesian Rupiah…. Something that I am trying not to do it because it makes no sense. Hehehe. Other fellow Indonesians who live abroad know what I mean:D *angkat tangannyaa!!*

I couldn’t imagine, well I could..but it hurt so baaadd..if I would insist doing this for one or two more days until I find my OV somewhere and how much money I would spend. I really hoped I would find it soon! Then on the second day, I came home from work and saw my hubby had done some grocery. I asked him whether they at Albert Heijn found my OV Chipkaart? He said, sorry darling but they didn’t have yours there…I am sorry. I scowled at myself. Right, I would go to the police station tomorrow first thing in the morning. Darn. And I continued pitying myself.

When I was about to do some serious military inspection around the house for the 4th time in 2 days to search that damn card, J called out to me if I could get him toilet paper rolls. I told him that I have stored enough rolls in the toilet. “No, get more new rolls please!”. I was confused because we had enough and if we stacked more it wouldn’t fit the toilet paper holder. Ah well, whatever made Mr happy then. I walked towards the stock cabinet and tried to pull out more toilet papers of the toilet papers sacks. But hey, he was really sneaky and I saw a weird grin on his face…then I saw my OV card lying on the toilet paper sacks. “WHAATT??? There is no way I left it here!!”, my voice was squeaking. ” Where did you find it?” It took him a minute to confess, yes he found it at Lost and Found at Albert Heijn. This is one from many little things I really love from Holland. If this happened in Jakarta, I think without a doubt someone had easily snatched it the first second I lost my sight of that card. Here, people are more honest in that department. And maybe in many other departments. Hehehe.

ov{ The notorious OV Chipkaart :p with my date of birth on display..I receive presents and fat ang pow only for bday, yes?}

 

Whoooaa..!!! I hugged him, kissed him, punched him (with love if you know what I mean). So happy and relieved. I hate police stations, and who doesn’t? So no more frivolous spending on darn OV chipkaart anymore. I promise I will forever take care of you with all my heart. Pinky promise. It is so pity why transportation costs are super expensive in this country…I know, all this happens because of privatisering . Jeezz .. many public services have gone to private sectors. The privatization is a transfer of public services or public companies that once were controlled or owned by Government to a private sector or to a business that operates for a profit. Thanks to capitalism!. I remembered when I just came to the Netherlands, I bought stamps for domestic destination at the post office for EUR 0.39 each and I saved my money at Postbank at the post office in the village I lived.  Now, a piece of domestic stamp costs us EUR 0.50. It is not much but the price is surely crawling higher every year. We used a strippenkaart before OV chipkaart came to the world. We all know, this chipping system is not more economical than the strippenkaart. It is instead more expensive and more gedoe!

That is one tiny example..The energy companies also have gone private and the bills have become exorbitant than a couple of years back. And so have Education, healthcare, and many more. Sigh. I just hope I would get a decent salary raise this year so it would compensate all expensive bills we get every month. And as long as I have my OV chipkaart, I know I will be fine. Just long enough until the Government raises the health insurance. Sigh again.

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4 thoughts on “A Tale of A Precious Card :p

  1. I’m happy for you that OV card was found! Yes I know how expensive it is. It is an expensive project which caused many protests during its official introduction. Dat gedoe met in- en uitchecken is ook niet echt voor mij besteed. Keep your OV card well Oppie;-)

  2. Wat fijn dat je jouw OVkaart weer hebt. Goed, hè, dat mensen zoiets netjes teruggeven. Trouwens. Ik vind dat je dit stukje, zeg maar ‘artikel’ , heel goed hebt geschreven. Toen ik het las dacht ik ‘ jeee, wat prima geschreven en wat zit er een vaart in’ x

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