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Archive for the ‘Jules in Holland’ Category

I just read Nan’s Rookie Mistake which reminded me of my scariest transport mistake. Once I was shopping in Utrecht (when we lived in Doorn) and I messed around very late and it was dark by the time I went to the bus. As soon as we had been moving a few minutes I knew I got on the wrong one but I was sure Doorn was listed on the sign so I thought well eventually I get there. I sort of had that feeling as when you ride the same bus all the time you see there are a certain sort of people on it, and these people were different. At first I thought it was because it was so late. I have been on the wrong bus or train many times and it seemed that it always worked out. However this time I was getting a little scared as it was dark and very cold and I did not have a mobile back then.
After a very very long ride the bus stopped, everyone who was left got off but me and the driver turned off the lights. He is one of 2 people I have encountered that did not speak English but he did make it clear that I needed to disembark. I knew the name of the town I was in and I knew I was not too far from Doorn and according to the sign there at the stop another bus (the last one of the night) would be along. I did cross the street and look at that stop and saw a bus would be along in 15 minutes that would take me back to Utrecht. I honestly thought about taking it and staying in a hotel as I was nearly ready to cry. Then some teenagers came along and told me that indeed there was a bus coming and it would have me to Doorn in just a few minutes.
So I waited while they made out and sure enough the bus came, I got on and in maybe 5 minutes I got off right near my apartment. It all worked out but at the time it was terrifying. I have never ridden public transportation in the US other than a school bus and to get on a bus in a foreign country at night when I did not know a single word of Dutch now seems a little crazy!

The other times I have made mistakes turned out fine as well but to be honest I have never tried to go very far by myself, from Schiphol to Utrecht or to Driebergen and the bus from Utrecht to Doorn. Since we have been living in Nieuwegein I have not been on a bus as I can walk everywhere or we go in the car.

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My Absence

I guess it was kind of weird for me to just stop posting so I reckon I could leave some details since you have all been so nice to me. I had to come back to Texas, there were some issues that needed my attention. This is going to be the first time I have said this or typed or whatever as it really has not sunk in yet but my daughter is going to have a baby. Gah. There it is, I am going to have a grandchild. Yikes, I am still a child myself, how did this happen?
I needed to come back here and see what had to be done, but she seems to have all well in hand, she is plenty old enough to have a child, stable and has a great career in place, she is happy about it and is busily planning her life. I am not sure yet what this means for me, and the Dutchman is being extremely understanding, except that he keeps calling me grandma and finds it to be quite hilarious. Me…not so much.
Anyway, that is my drama du jour, I know there is a lot that needs to be sorted but it will all work out the way it is supposed to. I am terribly homesick, I had to make some fast decisions about where to live as I had given up my flat and my belongings were all stored. I am sharing my mother’s house, not sure that is a good idea but it won’t be forever and it is a good solution for everyone now as she needs help with some things. Yesterday I went to IKEA as that is about as close as I can get to Holland from West Texas and I think it made it worse.

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Was not all that hard now that I am here hahah. The trip was completely painless, my daughter dropped me at the terminal and as per usual at DFW, the check in counter is right inside the door. I soo love that airport, it is so easy to navigate, this may be because I have been there about a billion times but I think it is just very well planned. The flight was great, other than that they had me down for a low sodium meal AGAIN. I really need to check my settings on the KLM website because that is absurd. I am always happy to go low sodium but on an airplane that translates to inedible. I did have to ask the flight attendant if she had any normal food left and thank goodness she did have a lovely pasta and there was a piece of cake to go with my coffee later.
B picked me up right at the international entry and remembered where his car was (of course) so that went perfect as well. I was nervous about my bags as my entire life was in them pretty much but they arrived intact. When I opened the large bag I saw the paper showing it had been inspected but it had not unless the person who inspected it is a genius at putting things back where I had them. I have had my bags searched before and it did not look like that when I opened it. Poor guy probably took one look and said I am so not touching that lol.
I am amazed at how much I was able to get into my bags but also sorry about all the stuff that did not make it this time. I already regret sacrificing books for sweaters but was thrilled to see that I already needed a sweater as it was quite fresh and almost cool outside. A nice relief as it was 96 when I left Dallas.
So, B has gone off to the office and I am going to finish putting things away, run to the market to get a piece of chicken and a bottle of sauce then I will spend the afternoon vegged out in World of Warcraft. This evening it is pasta and a nice Australian Shiraz then I am back to work in the evening. It was nice to have a week off to get everything done but my checking account certainly reflects it.

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Ready to go…

Now that it is getting close I am so antsy to get going. It is a weird thing to live in two places, once I know that I am here going there or there going here I get in this weird sort of limbo where my mind is in two places. When I used to fly British Airways it would hit me as I made the hop over the North Sea, about halfway across as I watched the ships below, the United States would completely leave my mind and I shifted into Holland mode. I would think about the walk downstairs to gather my bags and then make way to the train or the taxi stand, depending on what I was doing. It was a bit different this last time as I had a direct flight out of Dallas so I didn’t have that cooling off period in London plus I had Emma to think about. I love Schiphol and always wish I had more time to mess around in there. I usually take the Travel Taxi now as it is so efficient and saves B taking a day off to come get me as it always seems to be a weekday when I come and go. I am really missing my Dutch kitchen. I cannot wait to get in there and make something fabulous, food just doesn’t taste the same here, maybe because the ingredients seem so much fresher over there. I have to admit one of my favorite things is Kip Kerrie Cup a Soup!

I am guilty of staring out the window too. Well, not so much at the neighbors, I watched this tree go from bare limbs to beautiful pink. I have a much better photo but I cannot seem to find it. I cannot wait to have this view from my window again. I like to see the schoolchildren walking to the park every day. I think that is just so cool. I guess they are going to the park, I never really thought about it. However, that is from the opposite window, this is the view from the dining room.

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There are so many small details and big issues to take care of before one packs up and moves to another continent. I look at things like I never have before, do I REALLY need this pair of pants or this book or this creme? What about photos, should I take photos? What about this library table, will the century old wood warp in storage? Should I just sell it, but I love it so much! Do my kids want it? Nooo of course they don’t, would I pay to ship it to Holland? No, B would hate it-omg, I still have to see the doctor for my prescriptions-My laptop needs ram, it is so much cheaper to buy it here, do I have time to run to Best Buy today, Emma needs a Bordatella booster, gah that one always makes her sick-I hope she isn’t miserable from it as she is already freaking out. I have to get her groomed one last time, if they cut her too short she will be hideous and it helps if your dog is precious on a plane, trust me on that one. What about the bills, last time my son’s cellphone was turned off because I forgot and it took two days to figure out how to pay it (no my account is business so I cannot pay online for some ignorant reason) he cannot be without a phone, I mean yes technically he is a grown man but he is still my baby boy, my daughter is going to hate living alone, yes she is a grown woman too and thinks she wants it but she doesn’t, really she doesn’t and she still thinks rooms are haunted (seriously) what if she gets scared in the middle of the night and my mother is old, like you know, old even though she still works 50 hours a week and goes out practically every night to some event or other but what if something happens, the first time I came over my stepdad died and it was horrible for everyone because believe it or not this mess is actually the glue that holds my family together…I need a drink, is it too early for gin?

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In Holland

I have been pretty busy getting ready to come over and then getting here. I doubt anyone is holding their breath for a post but I will get some up soon anyway.

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Jenn and Marloes posted photos of their Dutch kitchens. Our kitchen is pretty small by American standards but quite roomy enough to get the job done. I would like to add some more shelves on one wall, there is a lot of wasted space there and I do not have a proper oven. The Dutchman has baked some fabulous things in the convection/microwave thingy but I have not been brave enough to figure it out yet. I would probably not consider baking cakes or pastries because the fresh items for purchase are much nicer. I have never tried to make a Thanksgiving dinner anyway, I am always in the US for that. Aside from not having an oven the only thing I don’t really like is the small sink. I would love to remove the wall between the kitchen and the living room as well but the Dutchman assures me that is not going to happen lol, however he does agree that some small changes should be made.
I am very lucky to have a beautiful large stainless steel dishwasher, a combo washer and a wonderful balcony. We have two actually, one off the kitchen that we use more for utility reasons and the one off the dining room that is our small suspended garden. The kitchen is on the sunny side of the flat which works out perfectly as the other balcony is shaded by one of the largest trees I have ever seen. It is magnificent.

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