Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Now that the “Housing Drama” is over, my life in
Most places in
I walked out of the store with the aforementioned rain pants, but also a photo frame, a tank top, some hair clips, some lights for my bike, a few organizer shelves for my new home office, and a bottle of wine! All for about 20 euros! I am hooked! There are some super cute duvet covers for sale there and I can pick up a feather duvet and they have an excellent bath goods section! Anyway, I think I’ve found a new favorite store to make errands running more exciting!
And even more exciting – there is a pretty decent thai takeaway one block from my new apartment! Sundays have never seemed so normal.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Other amenities - a lovely bathroom with a large tub that looks out onto a garden. No waterheater above the bed to disturb my sleep! A small balcony that looks out onto the street (not ideal) but big enough for flower boxes and maybe a tree! A much larger toilet than the 'marble tomb' from my current place. A small sunroom off the bedroom that looks out onto the garden.
- May 15: Found an apartment through a woman who was moving away from Amsterdam. Took the apartment.
- May 25: Cable tv that is included in rent is turned off for lack of payment.
- May 26: Called Housing Agency, they said call Housing Management Service, Called them. "We'll take care of it."
- For the next five weeks, call housing agencies periodically to find out why cable tv not working - told that its taken care of, not their responsibility, can't turn it back on, not their responsibility, taken care of, etc. Every call gets a different answer. Finally, it turns out that the cable company won't turn it back on because the owner has been delinquent in paying the bill before.
- July 1: Get notice from owner of apartment that the "makelaar"needs to come look at it.
- July 9: Makelaar informs me that the apartment is going up for auction in October because owner hasn't paid the mortgage.
- July 10: Contact owner who tells me not to worry. I worry.
- July 17: Get notice that the bank/tax man is coming to seize all the goods inside the apartment. Really start to freak out.
- July 18: Seek legal advice. Told that I can't stay there because he wasn't allowed to rent it in the first place.
- August 1: Contact owner who says - don't pay August rent and I'll reimburse September rent as the deposit.
- August 7: My current housing agency tries to tell me that there are NO apartments in my price range and that it is illegal for them to try to show me any because I make TOO MUCH MONEY (!!)
- August 7: Find a new apartment in my price range, thanks to networking with friends. Its cute, bigger than my current place, and with a MUCH nicer toilet but not a balcony on the back - balcony faces street.
- August 9: I try to put down the deposit - although I can't get the keys until August 14, if I want the apartment, I have to pay the rent from August 10 on.
- August 9: Realize I didn't inform them that I have a cat.
- August 9 - 12 worry that they will withdraw apartment, decide to be honest and tell them.
- August 13: All is well! I pick up the keys tomorrow and move in on the 15th.
Thursday, August 02, 2007
While i don't want to bore with the particulars, here's the goods and the bads of three months in Amsterdam.
- Exploring the city on my bike - remembering what it felt like in the pre-car days of zipping through the streets at night with the wind in your hair.
- Cool restaurants, bars, cafes, parks, museums, and galleries - definately a wonderful city
- Meeting new people - meeting my new Dutch friends and other expats
- Renewing friendships with old friends and their kids.
- Being challenged at work - meeting really dedicated people who are working under hard conditions to help others. feeling proud whenever I tell someone where I work and they react positively - I'm learning new things almost every day which is good.
- Losing some weight from exercising and feeling healthy
- Long summer evenings
- Riding small boats around on the canals drinking wine with friends
- Very good inexpensive wine in the grocery stores
- Great cheese everywhere
- Fabulous breads
- The option of taking a boat ferry for a commute!
- Mosquitos - the Dutch mosquitos are the only ones in the world that have ever bitten me.
- Being awakened at 3am by my neighbors fighting, a mosquito buzzing in my ear, the water heater over my bed cycling on and off constantly, and simon chasing the mosquito - falling asleep at 5am and having to awaken at 5:3oam to ride to the train station in the pouring rain.
- 50 degrees and July.
- Learning that I will probably be evicted from my apartment in October so having to do the apartment hunt all over again but in August when everyone is on vacataion - fear of being tossed out on the street with my cat.
- The office politics of where I work - lots of french male egos and obscure regulations
- Dealing with new systems for the daily life (bank, travel, health care, shopping)
- Being in a whole different timezone from my family and friends
- Feeling like noone here really understands me yet - still constantly in small talk mode.
- Feeling anxious to prove myself at work and do something worthwhile but afraid of running afoul of all the egos and the obscure work regulations and inadvertently causing a negative reputation.