On one of my first days in Nijmegen, (August 2003) I was taking a walk with my new friend Kim and her friend Brenda, who said she knew of a bakery where I might be able to work. We went there, and I left a note for the owner: "Ik ben op zoek naar werk als bakker."
A_, the owner, called me a few days later. I went in to talk with him, at which time he hired me for part-time work, on a cash basis.
I worked just one, then, after a month or so, two days per week. At first, I was only to work during the times that the bakery was closed, as a matter of discretion. My American passport, of course, did not give me the legal right to work. Before too long, A_ decided it would be okay for me to work during business hours.
I was making croissants, apple turnovers, cheese pastries, and various other treats. I'd also prepare the mix for a multi-grain bread and set up the two mixing bowls with flour and salt for the early-morning baker.
I worked a few hours per week, from September 2003 to February 2004. In March, I went back to Ireland. I could work more easily in Ireland, and had friends there. In April, Kim asked me to come back to her. She was not well, and needed me. I had to go.
My second day back in town was the day after Easter. (I've found that sometimes it's cheap to fly on the exact day of a holiday.)
The day after Easter in Holland is Tweede Paasdag, the second day of Easter, a continuation of the holiday. I was downtown walking, looking at the Easter Market, which is of a wholly different composition of vendors than the normal Saturday market. I passed in front of the bakery, and saw A_ himself inside working. I went around back to talk with him.
A_ hired me back, and talked about another possibility, one that might afford an opportunity for legal resident status....