Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Getting Settled

I started a blog post a couple days ago, but a) got tired (still, jet lag, even today) and b) overwhelmed.  How do I mention everything?  It's almost impossible.  I'm sitting in a zombie-like trance right now in the chair, but I need to keep occupied because I'm waiting for the delivery of our oven, so I thought I would try blogging again.

I've been here 5 days now.  I don't know if I've ever felt more at home somewhere.  The minute I saw Dutch soil out the plane window, I started to relax and feel....at ease; comfortable; at home.  (The flight was smooth, btw and the staff were fantastic.)  Jet lag sucks and I don't know how long it's supposed to last.  Every day I need to have a nap (from 20min-1hr).  The people here are very nice; most you pass by on the street will say hi to you.  There have been language barriers, but it all depends who you come across.  Today at the bakery, the girl (about my age?) didn't know any English, but spoke Frisian and Dutch.  It's times like that it's nice to have W. around (and he was), though I've gone out on my own and had to try to communicate.  Some know English, some don't (it's not often spoken around these parts).  We looked at bikes today (for me) and the guy spoke decent English, with some help, though him and W. conversed mostly in Frisian.

There have been a lot of differences, probably more than I can even think of to mention right now, but I'll try, in point form, to save time.....

- the cashiers sit at the cash, not stand.  All of them.
- there are no screens on the windows or doors.
- I haven't yet seen one mosquito *touch wood*
- it's a more relaxed pace of life here.
- the roads and traffic are crazy.  I don't know how they do it, but they have different rules than we do and smaller roads (in town), yet no one's been hit; they all seem to know how to maneover around each other (bikes, cars, pedestrians).  If there's one thing in this country that gives me anxiety, it's that.
- everyone bikes here.  Everyone.  Regardless of age (5 to 75) or even attire (business clothes, skirts, jeans, etc).
- the weather has been beautiful.  We've been getting a lot of sun (uncharacteristic, I'm told); it's cool at night, warm during the day, then cools down again.  Perfect.
- the Dutch have a reason for everything they do, in any context, and are usually quite efficient (though I found this out early when I was doing my paperwork).
- we walked on a path yesterday that was covered in shells.  Yes, beach shells.  It's easier for the bikes to cycle on, apparently, than say.. stones or gravel.  It was so neat.
- the countryside is beautiful. It is flat and you can see for miles.

Well, I have to cut this short because the delivery guys called ahead and they'll be here momentarily.  And they speak English! :)  Wish me luck.  I'm going to bat my eyes at them and ask them if they'll also install it (it's gas).



hydra said...

Holland is indeed a beautiful country and I wish my various friends who I used to stay with still lived there. I used to go half a dozen times a year and really loved it, especially because the Dutch are so accepting. I felt I could totally be myself and however crazy that was, they didn't seem to mind! Lovely people. Hope the cooker is working!

Perovskia said...

The cooker is working!
Sorry your friends don't still live here. Perhaps someday you can visit us :) But I would also like to go to Britain someday, too :)

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