I’m in Stitches (j/k)

Here in NL, the health care is what I would call semi-private (probably technically wrong, but whatever). You’re obliged to have health care insurance, the cost of which varies depending on the company you go with and what extras (dental care etc.) you choose. Normal range is currently around €90-110 per month.

No company can deny you health care coverage, nor do dumbass things like “pre-existing conditions” matter. However. You still have the “self risico”, i.e. self risk, that you’ll have to pay.* That is currently € 380 per year. So anything up until that, you might still have to pay yourself. If you’re unlucky, your yearly health care costs will then be around € 1580 per year (medications not included!). If you’re lucky enough not to get sick, your yearly costs are still around € 1200.

I just got the bill for my hand surgery from last  year. Here’s a picture showing how severe it was:

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3 stitches, completely conscious, was out of there within half an hour.

Total bill: € 746.
I have to pay: € 25 (WHY?! I don’t get why most of it is covered but not all. I haven’t reached my self risk limit for this year, so why is it only € 25?)

All in all, not so bad. But decidedly more than what my mom – who uses much more health care – paid last year.

Also, I sent the above picture to my brother as I took off the bandage, and he replied that it looked like “kassler”. Here’s a picture of that for your reference:

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*some things fall outside of this. Visits to your house doctor don’t count, for example.

Hello Stranger

Hello complete stranger (i.e. random lady in the train this morning),

Just wanted to say that I totally dig your tattoo, but I’ve been raised not to talk to strangers. Sneaking a picture, however, felt perfectly reasonable. (The guy next to me was staring at the tattoo as well, unclear if he’s also read the book.)

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WordPress Anniversary

Apparently it is mine. So they tell me. Sure I didn’t start writing anything until about 2 weeks later, but I’ve always been a slow starter.

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In other news, we got mom a smartphone for her birthday. She’s not the most tech savvy person out there, but we set the phone to easy mode and it’s going better than I’d anticipated. Today she even managed to send me this picture, captioned “my first tomato this year!”. It’s quite cute, I have to say. (not the tomato, my mom)

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Another Rant

I had another post planned, but this pisses me off every 5 years, so here it goes. Within the next year, I’ll have to renew two official documents; my passport and my driver’s license. The driver’s license is pretty straightforward for being in the EU – since I’m from an EU country, and live in (another) EU country, I have to exchange my expiring one for one from the country I live in. This bureaucratic little exercise can even be completed in evenings, as long as I make an appointment in good enough time, and will cost me something like € 40.

Then there’s the passport. I sigh just typing this.
If you live in Sweden and have to renew yours, all you need is a valid ID and a “birth certificate” (not really, but our equivalent), and you’re all set. It’ll cost € 35 and be ready in around a week.

When I have to do this, however, there are 2 alternatives: going to the embassy or applying while in Sweden on vacation. Obviously, the embassy REALLY REALLY REALLY don’t want you to do it there:

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Just to recap this – the passport that costs € 35 in Sweden, is € 141 here. That’s a € 100 markup. They even put on their website that “you can apply while in Sweden, and then have it sent here to be picked up once it’s ready for € 15”.

I honestly don’t know anything that encapsulates the Swedish passive aggression more than this. Don’t take the discussion/conflict, just make sure people won’t bother you by charging them ridiculous amounts. Thanks, Swedish Embassy. Really.

The social awkwardness

I have a draft for a post where I talk about my own social anxieties. We’ll see when that one appears, but for now I can say this:

I have a job interview today. Right now my internal voice goes like this “hopetheycancel, hopetheycancel, hopetheycancel”. What a relief it would be.

It also doesn’t help that my Fitbit went crazy last night and kept waking me up with random vibrations all through the night (until I had the sense to leave it in the bathroom where I wouldn’t hear/feel it).

Old or snob?

Our local grocery store has been closed for reconstruction since April 28th. I can’t even begin to explain how frustrating this has been, or how excited I am that they are opening again TOMORROW. (Look, we don’t have a car, and the second closest store is a 10 min bike ride away. Have you ever tried doing weekly shopping by bike? I have…)

While they were closed, we still needed some things, so I buckled up and faced Lidl. Several of my colleagues have been promoting them heavily, so I thought I’d give them a fair chance.

So… Nope. Look, I don’t care how cheap their vegetables are (and let’s not get started on the meat, like I’d ever eat that antibiotic-heavy German stuff?), but it looks like an outlet warehouse. The lines are super long and the tiny space for groceries after the cashier forces you to IMMEDIATELY pack the stuff up. I dislike shopping for groceries already, and if I had to do it at Lidl I’d start hating it.

Give me back my overpriced Albert Heijn store, thank you very much.

And yes, I know I’m in a privileged position where I can choose. All frustration and pain is relative, I guess?