Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Onthaal aan Nederland (“Welcome to the Netherlands”)

Day #1: Tuesday, 23 October 2007

The reality of moving to Europe finally hit me as we approached the Portland airport, enjoying our last few minutes of the beautiful Pacific Northwest October weather. Waiting for our Lufthansa flight, it occurred to me that we would, in 10 short hours, be in our new home.

The flight went well, but the kids didn’t sleep a wink, despite our best efforts. They busied themselves with reading and other games, and remained fairly happy throughout the journey.

I’ve read that the measure of a man can be determined in part by how he reacts to lost luggage. Of course, I had my opportunity to test my patience since all of our ELEVEN pieces of luggage (including 9 enormous suitcases) didn’t make the entire trip to Amsterdam. Fortunately, the bag was found quickly and delivered to us later in the day.

All of our luggage was quickly loaded into a van taxi and we arrived at our apartment around 1pm. The kids love the new place, and really, what’s not to love? We live in a great neighborhood with plenty of conveniences within steps of our front door. Grocery stores and various shops fill the neighborhood. The Rijksmuseum is only 6 or 7 blocks away. And Amsterdam’s beautiful Vondelpark is a 2-minute walk.

By the time 6pm rolled around, the lack of sleep finally caught up with the kids. Maya nearly fell asleep in the middle of eating an apple. Cole passed out watching a movie. It was an easy transition to bed for all of us. Oddly, they both awoke around 3am and had to be helped back to bed.

Something is a bit wrong with the heating system and the place feels like a meat locker. Hopefully we can sort this out tomorrow. But everything else is pretty comfortable, thanks to a truck that was waiting for us upon our arrival, filled with an entire package comprised of a temporary set of furniture, bedding, kitchen equipment, and miscellaneous stuff. This will all be moved out in a few weeks once we have the chance to buy our own furnishings and appliances. The arrival of everything we shipped from Portland will complete the picture.

Some of the little things already are making me chuckle. For example, how many trips to the grocery store will it take before I can break the 40-year habit of always having a plentiful, free supply of grocery bags at my disposal? Bags here are not free, so if you don’t have your own, you have to purchase one, and remember to do so before you’ve paid for all of your groceries.

A great first day for our new adventure!

Tomorrow: Sleep in, more grocery shopping, and other miscellaneous errands.

1 comment:

Rosamunde said...

Thanks for writing this.