Friday, July 26, 2013

Life as We Now Know It

I promised to continue with the story, but we were so busy living it that it's taken a little longer than I expected. Let's call this a "one-month update."

We moved from the bed and breakfast into our apartment in student family housing, getting laughed at by passersby while we waited for our taxi with our million bags. I really, really wanted to know how to say, "We're not tourists, we're moving here" in Dutch, but instead I just had to grit my teeth and bear it.

The apartment is unsurprisingly small, with an unsurprisingly small shower. (It would have been surprising to me before our trip to Germany, but I knew what to expect this time.) I really feel for Morgan - having long limbs is not really what you want in these showers!

The good: 
Paring down your belongings so that they fit into suitcases means that you actually feel like you have a ton of storage space where before you would have had trouble cramming yourself into twice as much apartment.

Walking. We haven't really been able to eat the way we normally would at home, so knowing that we're getting plenty of exercise has made me feel a whole lot less bad about that.

The bad:
The first two floors of the building are the daycare center. We are on the 4th (American) floor, so we are separated from babies that scream all day by just one floor, which provides no sound insulation at all.

Walking. Trams and buses are great, but it hardly seems worth it for a couple of stops. Still, by the end of a round trip somewhere, my feet have often taken a beating.

The confusing:
Shopping is an endless source of confusion - while supermarkets exist here, they're not necessarily the least expensive or best places to buy most things. So there is the fruit and vegetable market, the butcher's, and the bakery in addition to the grocery store. As with many other places in the world, a drug store (apotheek) here is actually a drug store, not an everything store.

Walking. It takes a while to figure out the rhythm of crossing streets, going around people on sidewalks without doing a dance, etc. I found myself at cross-purposes with people a lot when we first got here.

The scenic:
Everything, really.

Beautiful, beautiful mosquito breeding grounds.

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