Jul 292014
 

“Hi, I’m here for my appointment to set up a corporate bank account.”

“Ah, mr. Reinink, yes, yes, of course, have a seat, so glad to have you, welcome.” (The guy wasn’t wringing his hands together. Yet…) “Your passport, good, good. And your deed of incorporation, great! And… Oh… You ehm… Brough a lease as your proof of residence…?”

Jep, that's me. Except for the flames perhaps...

Jep, that’s me. Except for the flames perhaps…

It all started a while back. I got a phone call from one of the intermediaries I was in contact with once and awhile. “We’ve got the perfect job for you, how would you feel about building a model in London?”

Before he had stopped speaking I was doing laps and high-fiving random people, though coolly I answered: “Well, maybe. Let me think about it…”

I had a chat with the manager who seemed to like me and the job seemed interesting; we both said yes.

That’s when the hoops started.

The client was British, so they didn’t know what to do with a Dutch sole trader. “Set up an English limited or you’re not getting the job!” Was their solution. Not a big problem, but very inefficient tax-wise.

“Can’t my intermediary hire me?” – “No!”
“Can’t someone else set up the company and you hire me through that company?” – “No!”
“Can I set up a shell company in the Caymans that then sets up a different company in the UK which buys up your bank but only siphons off just enough money to pay me for the work I do?” – “No!”
“Can you pay me more to at least make up for part of the tax benefits I’m missing?” – “N… Oh, all right then, but stop whining!”

Besides having to jump through some hoops I actually am very happy to be here in London. I guess it’s good to have some frustration so you can enjoy the good parts even more. If I keep telling myself that, maybe I’ll actually start believing it?
So I had to set up a UK company. Which was a bit of a hassle: Getting incorporated, buying insurance. Nothing too serious though.

Until I tried setting up a bank account.

“Mr. Reinink, we really do need proof of residence. And this lease, the one paper that actually allows you to stay in the place you’re living, well, it obviously isn’t good enough! Don’t you have a UK driving license, don’t you pay London taxes, don’t you have a utility bill?”

Seriously?!?

And guess what? No bank account, no place to send my money and thus no payments…

Go to London they said. It’ll be fun they said…

Grmbl!!!


Bastiaan ReininkI’m Bastiaan. I write this blog to give you some insight into the things I run into and perhaps to inspire you to go in search of your own life extraordinaire.

I love to connect, so if you have thoughts, ideas or questions based on this (or another) post, please leave me a comment!

Jul 182014
 

I’m writing this at London City airport, waiting for my flight back home. Or perhaps I should say “to The Netherlands”. Yes, I’m going home, but it’s only for a very short while. Because tomorrow afternoon I’ll be flying off to Ireland (for a week of hiking with friends, if you must know).

Sheep, castles and the threat of rain. So glad this is so close by!

Sheep, castles and the threat of rain. So glad this is so close by!

I know this isn’t the most efficient way of flying, but the ticket Amsterdam – Dublin was bought months before I knew I would be spending my time in London. A ticket London – Dublin is more expensive than London – Amsterdam, and this gives me the chance to drop by my own house, sleep for a night in my own bed and pick up my stuff from home (instead of having to have dragged them with me to London already). That last reason was in fact the most important one.

Which brings me to the subject of this post: The world is small. Or at least, time and efficiency wise things are close together. I am literally taking a flight to pick up a bag.

Yes, that’s decadent! But it’s also a sign of how modern life is. Flights are cheap and plentiful. And I’ve gotten used to them (I remember the first time I took a flight on my own, It took me a month to pack my bag (this time I packed it this morning), so mentally they are not a challenge anymore either. It’s like a train-ride where they make you be an hour early for your train.

As I’m writing this, I’m sitting at home! Nothing like coming home after a hot day (and a flight) to unexpectedly find you have ice-cream in the fridge!
We have the world at our finger tips. Beautiful sights, exotic people and amazing locations await us. All just a few hours and a few Euros (ok, perhaps a bit more than a “few” Euros…) away.

I’m looking forward to flying to Ireland, to going hiking, seeing the sights, drinking the whiskey, relaxing my tired legs after a long day. But more than that I’m looking forward to spending time together with my friends. Because more than beauty and adventure, this trip is about extending connections.

The world is small. So our friends are always nearby!


Bastiaan ReininkI’m Bastiaan. I write this blog to give you some insight into the things I run into and perhaps to inspire you to go in search of your own life extraordinaire.

I love to connect, so if you have thoughts, ideas or questions based on this (or another) post, please leave me a comment!

Jul 032014
 

A week ago was the last day of my previous assignment. 7 days, yet it seems like 7 months…

Even buses are better in London :-)

Even buses are better in London :-)

I started on my new assignment (get IT stuff sorted out, read up on what it is they actually do (and better, want me to do), meet the team and other important people (trying hard to remember names and failing miserably) on Tuesday. But more importantly, I started London!

It’s hard to describe this city. The best way I thought of was to say it’s high dimensional.

It’s huge. You can spend an hour on the tube and you will still be well within the confines of the city. Except that it isn’t really one city. It’s a whole lot of villages, that happened to have grown together, each with it’s own feel.

The hugeness isn’t just horizontal, it’s also vertical. Skyscrapers and skyline, but also the underground, walkways, overhead passageways, bridges across streets, escalators going up, elevators going down… The third dimension is used way better than in any other city I’ve ever been to.

I’m sure I’m going to miss my friends (though getting back to the Netherlands once and awhile isn’t so hard either). What I already miss however is my saxophone. I’m sure thought that my housemates are very happy I didn’t bring it…
And finally the people. The many many people! In suits and rags, sporty or pudgy, white or black or something in between. I’ve always loved watching people, but it gets so much better when there is such diversity to them.

I’m falling for her. Falling for this city. Falling head over heels. I know it’s the energy that comes from meeting someone new, from looking through pink glasses. But even if it won’t last forever, it’s not any less real right now.

So I’m enjoying my new-found infatuation, these butterflies in my stomach. And I’m looking forward what more this will bring…


Bastiaan ReininkI’m Bastiaan. I write this blog to give you some insight into the things I run into and perhaps to inspire you to go in search of your own life extraordinaire.

I love to connect, so if you have thoughts, ideas or questions based on this (or another) post, please leave me a comment!

Jun 292014
 

I’ve been in London for 20 hour now and there are a few nuggets of wisdom I already picked up that I would like to share with you:

  • When it says “all”, it doesn’t actually mean that.
  • Making choices based purely on location can give interesting results

You can figure out which gap by yourself...

You can figure out which gap by yourself…

I arrived yesterday in the afternoon after an uneventful flight. After another uneventful hour of waiting for my check-in luggage I was ready to be off. First to my hotel (which is the worst price-for-value I’ve ever seen and that takes into account the horrible expensiveness of London in general. Tiny, sterile rooms, no atmosphere, bad wifi connection!), then a quick bite to eat whilst walking to my first room viewing. Nice people, cute location, adequately sized room (still it’s a huge step back from having my own house!). I could move in by Monday. Cool!

Then to my second viewing, quite a bit nicer, nice people as well, but more expensive and not sure whether I would actually get it (still would need to meet up with 1 person and the lease might be for longer than I’m staying here). After a night of sleep I’ve decided to go with the first room.

And that was the useful part of the day. It was however a Saturday. In London!

I had signed up for a Meetup event (website to meet up with people to share random activities, like going for drinks). I’d been looking for something within walking distance of my hotel and that narrowed down the choice considerably. To one, to be exact.

It was an “all age singles event”. I’m not sure whether “single” completely applies, but who’s going to notice, right?

“All age” doesn’t actually mean that people from all ages will be there. It means that there are people in their forties, fifties and sixties… British people in their forties, fifties and sixties…

I felt slightly uncomfortable. Somewhat awkward. A bit out of my depth.

I could leave. Go back to my hotel, read a bit, get some sleep. Or I could dive head-first into the fray and have a good time regardless. Anybody that knows me should be able to guess what I chose…

I’ve been sitting in the lobby of the hotel writing this and this place must be gargantuan! I’ve seen at least a hundred people come by, including not one, but two entire school classes!
There was dancing (and people bouncing up and down, not quite in rhythm with the music), large men in tweed suits sipping colorful cocktails that they probably had never heard of, English women of-a-certain-age with enough make-up on to camouflage an elephant.

And you know what? It was fun! Sure, this wouldn’t be my normal haunt. But these people were having a great time, mingling, cavorting and snogging (gotta love the British vocabulary) quite a bit.

“All” doesn’t mean all. And making choices based solely on location can give interesting results. Interesting is good though!


Bastiaan ReininkI’m Bastiaan. I write this blog to give you some insight into the things I run into and perhaps to inspire you to go in search of your own life extraordinaire.

I love to connect, so if you have thoughts, ideas or questions based on this (or another) post, please leave me a comment!

Jun 212014
 

Ok, it wasn’t the lunch itself that was that long, only a bit over an hour (that makes it worse, not better). It was getting to the lunch. And getting back.

London is actually the non-Dutch city I visited most often

London is actually the non-Dutch city I visited most often

As of the first of July I’ll be starting on a new assignment, in London. And though I had met my manager-to-be during a conference a few years back, he did feel it good to have a face-to-face chat before I actually started.

I get that. I do.

So I was up at 5.45, to be sure I made my 9 o’clock flight (something with breakfast, potential train delays, security to navigate, flying with Easy Jet). An hour in the air (arriving at the same time as I left, due to the wonderful time difference between the UK and The Netherlands). Then a very slow bus to London center. 3 hours to get from an airport to where you want to be should be enough, right? I made it with 15 minutes to spare…

The lunch was good. Asparagus, salmon, chatting about the model I would be working on. Issues they were running into, my experience with previous models. And getting to know each other a little bit of course.

Then it was off to downtown, to my intermediary (where they had to confirm that my passport was really my passport). A bit of a wait (with a pint of course!) and then it was back to the airport (different one this time. Why exactly does London need 6 airports?!?). An uneventful hour on the tube, getting off at the wrong terminal (if you already have 6 airports, why do you need to subdivide them into 5 terminals?!?).

I am so looking forward to living in London for a while! Adventure! New horizons! Lovely Brittish accents! Fish & chips! Lounging in Hide Park! Getting my booze at an “offy”! Tube-rides!

You should come and visit to share this with me!

Or beter to say, I didn’t know which terminal I needed… I (vaguely) remembered flying back with Brittish Airways. That’s all you need right? You show up at the airport, go to the counter and then they tell you where you need to go. Except if you have different terminals, all separated by train… Luckily I had time to spare.

And some more time to spare, as my plane had a slight delay.

An uneventful flight (arriving 2 hours after departing, due to the horrible time-difference between the UK and The Netherlands). And finally a train (and bikeride) home, where I arrived just short of 12 o’clock at night.

18 hours in total. For a lunch of a bit over 1 hour…


Bastiaan ReininkI’m Bastiaan. I write this blog to give you some insight into the things I run into and perhaps to inspire you to go in search of your own life extraordinaire.

I love to connect, so if you have thoughts, ideas or questions based on this (or another) post, please leave me a comment!