Expat zone
Posted on: Mar 29, 2017

The worst case scenarios in Amsterdam

Mike Klianis
Johnnys Garage

This post is also available in Greek

The adventures in the “wild north” are never over. That is after all why those of us who have decided to live in this magical city have armored ourselves with patience and a cool head. If you aren’t one of those people, worry not, you can adapt to everything… besides the weather!

The problems that you might face daily are a lot, big and small.

Got locked outside of your house

It can happen to anyone and anytime. Thankfully you live in a city that doesn’t sleep so your problem is easily solvable but unfortunately it aint going to be cheap.

The best solution to avoid it, if your lock isn’t a high end security one, is to get a spare key and give it to a trusted friend that lives close by, in the case that you might needed some day.

The problem here in the Netherlands is that there is no possibility of “jumping back to the house from the neighbor's window”, a very economic and fast solution. You can always find a locksmith with a simple google search but don’t wait until the last moment. Keep a number handy on your phone.

Got stuck without a home

You had the bad luck of getting stuck without a home or you had to leave the house you were living in for many and various reasons. For starters, keep your cool and think about any friends or people that you could stay with for a few days till you can clear this up. Don’t be afraid to call a friend if you find yourself in this situation. Most of us have been near the edge of almost getting homeless so there is a sympathy there. Housing is a very big plight of Amsterdam.

In the case you had to leave your house because of domestic violence or issues, please visit www.st-neos.nl an active community that provides care, safety and shelter to young people and victims of violence.

De Tussenvoorziening in Utrecht also helps people in need with unstable housing or living conditions and offers shelter, support, help, a safe space, psychological and physical help, personal safety to homeless people and people with income or debt issues. Call them and perhaps they will be able to help and advice you at 030 233 22 86 or check out their website www.tussenvoorziening.nl

A unique service that is offered by the salvation army is the “Soup Bus”, a bus that roams the streets for 5 hours per day around Amsterdam and located people on the street in order to help them. You can even take part as a volunteer. See more information at www.salvationarmy.org

In Den Haag there is also one more shelter open just for winter, which means up to the 01st of April and it is located on Zilverstraat 40, Den Haag.

For more help in Den Haag you can also reach out to the community of the Salvation Army Netherlands.

Also try the Couchsurfing community, if you are searching just for a couch to crash for a few days.

You can also go to the nearest police station. They will help you to find a place for the night.

Need to find an attorney to claim your rights

Suddenly, while drinking your morning coffee, you receive a letter that says you owe money to some stranger for something that you have no clue about. Don’t worry! It’s happened. In the Netherlands it would be wise to find a lawyer friend cause you are going to need one and if you are friends enough to get a better price, well, even better, since the hourly rates are close to the rent costs sometimes. But, if your finances can’t afford one you can always get advice and support from www.juridischloket.nl.

The Juridisch Loket gives free legal advice and information on all legal sectors, work related, health related, pregnancy related, family related, home related and more. Call 0900 - 8020 (€ 0,10 p / m) for a first advice before you look into more options.

Another economic solution in the case that you really need legal services more times than you’d like too is to have a monthly insurance for legal coverage. You will have to however make sure you read all the small print before signing one in order to make sure you know what and how much your insurance will cover.

You are in any type of crisis? Call 112

112 is an emergency phone number for all European citizens and travellers within the EU and it will connect you with the corresponding service of your area.

You can call in cases of fire, smoke, explosions, car accidents, work accidents, theft, property damage or even if you or someone near is trapped or hurt. You can even dial via a cellphone without the sim card in the Netherlands.

For more info visit site and watch the video.

Need someone to talk to

The first years away from all the things you knew up too today are very hard. Try to find people with common interests and keep yourself alert. Try not to trip over this citys pitfalls and trap and focus into getting a strong start.

In case you feel that the conditions around you are pressuring you and you need some psychological support you can always have some sessions with a therapist as long as it’s covered by your insurance company.

There is also the Network of Greek Psychologists in the Netherlands with the goal of providing professional psychological support and advice on a wide spectrum of issues. The costs for the sessions can be discussed individually after your socio-economic conditions and insurance status have been taken under consideration. For those interested but uninsured or for whatever reason cannot afford to pay for a session, the price is dropped to 20 euros. The first session is free. For more information you contact Mrs Labrini Kiosse, psychologist, at 06-48250819 or email [email protected]

For a more personal approach you can contact Fani Traikou through her webpage: www.harmoniacoaching.net/.

In Den Haag you can also speak with life coach Anthi Alexopoulou which specializes in subjects that have to deal with everyday challenges such as fatigue, depression, separation, career changes and goal achieving. Contact her at 06-36066627 or email [email protected].

Expat Nest, online counselling service for expats. Are you facing challenges during your international experience? Would you like to have a safe place to express yourself? Expat Nest is just a click away and it offers you consultations via Skype, FaceTime or telephone, qualified counsellors experienced with expat challenges, short- or long-term counselling to match your needs, tailor-made approach to suit your way of being, counselling in several languages, free 15-minute get acquainted chat! Choose from 30-minute or 60-minute sessions at a time that suits you and in the comfort of your own home or environment. For more information, visit www.expatnest.com or email [email protected].

If you are living in Leiden you can contact Mattea Spatharaki Μoving Βalance or Angeliki Manoli (Inscape Psychologie Praktijk), [email protected], ​www.inscapepsychology.com.

One more thing you could do is to ask your insurance company if the cover and work with Greek psychologists, members of the European Association for psychotherapy and get some sessions over skype.

Got a flat bike tire

Ever had the unlucky moment of getting a flat bike tire in the middle of nowhere or in a place where you don’t see a bike shop around? Luckily enough, nowadays there are people that would fix your tire for a normal price on the spot with a simple SMS text like them for instance damn a flat tire.

Lost your dog

As you might have already noticed, you don’t see any stray dogs on the streets. So stop worrying and follow some of the basic steps in order to find yours!

Call the local “Lost pet” line (Dierenkwijtlijn). If your dog has a chip number implanted you will have to give that number when you call. Share your pet’s photo at mijndieriszoek.nl as soon as possible along with any extra features or characteristics that you can describe and don’t forget to also mention where the dog was lost and last seen. Start by also asking the neighbors to keep their eyes open in case your dog shows up again. Dogs and cats tend to walk around familiar places close to their home.

Addresses of selters: Animal Shelter Amsterdam, Ookmeerweg 271, Amsterdam, tel 0900-2007207 ( Monday / Saturday from 10:00 to 16:00 ) www.dierenasielamsterdam.nl, Animal Amsterdam-Noord/Oostzaan South End 220 Oostzaan, tel 020-6335400 (only cats!) Monday / Saturday from 13.00-15.30, Animal Amstelveen, Kostverlorenweg 12, Amstelveen, tel 020-6431440 Monday / Saturday from 13:00 to 16:00 hours in advance by phone, Poezenboot Singel 40, Amsterdam, tel 020-6258794

The problems never end, we just learn how to deal with them. Easy ones, hard ones, reasonable ones and crazy ones. If you need more help, please don’t hesitate to message us on our Facebook group or shoot us an email here: [email protected]

Harmonia Coaching
Johnnys Garage

Designer, marketer & a social media karate kid (No 4). When she grows up, she wants to feed the world with Greek food & Frappe. Admires the yellow angry bird because it strikes its targets with power and precision.