Friday, November 16, 2007

Christmas in November

Friday, 16 November 2007

The title isn’t that much of a stretch, but that’s what today felt like. The bulk of our belongings arrived from the States, securely packed in the container that we had packed over 7 weeks ago in Oregon.

I was disappointed that the movers didn’t have to utilize the automatic lift that they had brought. Most of our stuff was in light boxes, eliminating the need to use the cool conveyor/lift that is commonly used in Holland. Here’s a picture of one in use:

Nor was the “old school” hook & pulley system used:

I see both of these methods being used on almost a daily basis.

Every box brought a new surprise, since we had almost no idea what was in each box. A carton marked “papers” might have easily been towels. I’m not sure why, but that’s just how it was.

Note to self: The next time you move overseas, cut the amount of everything you bring in half. That will be more than enough to get you through.

One of the highlights for me was seeing my very new bike (only one ride in Oregon on her wheels) arrive in perfect shape. I can’t wait to hit the Dutch countryside this weekend for a cold, but very, very welcomed ride. Same for a new pair of running shoes that I sent over.

Other “surprise” goodies: Boxes of Ziploc bags, the kids’ toys, my guitar, our towels, our rugs (that really help the place feel more…homey), and my desk and computer. But the biggest highlight is our big, comfortable bed and mattress. Goodbye backache? I hope so!


On a cultural note, this past Wednesday, I took advanta
ge of a fantastic part of Amsterdam life: Every Wednesday at 12:30pm, the Concertgebouw (concert hall, just a 2-minute bike ride from our house) gives a free, half-hour concert during symphony season. Anyone who shows up is treated to a "practice session" of whomever is performing in the next few evenings. This week, the famous conductor/composer/performer Andre Previn directed the Amsterdam Philharmonic and guest violinist (and Previn's ex-wife), Anne-Sophie Muller. It was remarkable, to say the least. Hearing the orchestra perform Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D was...breathtaking. It's very special to listen and watch as the conductor stops the orchestra to give direction. A sort of "behind the scenes" look at the world of a classic music performance.

This weekend: A bike ride and a relaxing few days at home.

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