dichroic: (Default)
Over the weekend, I: drank lots of beer and listened to a good cover band on Thursday night; walked around the streets to see the sales and the celebrations Friday (and wore earplugs as the bands' volume continued to rise; on Saturday morning took Ted to see the Woensel Market and the local butcher and then later went out rowing in a single for another good coaching session; went to the Keukenhof Sunday and got rained on but took lots of flower photos.

Reasonably busy, but no drama.

As I found out beginning yesterday evening, over the weekend other people: died (childhood friend, my best friend in about the second half of grade school and for some of junior high); got engaged (someone I baby-sat from when he was a year old until I went off to college); gave birth (cousin of another childhood friend - we used to play when she visited).

I don't want to get rid of all drama, because the dramatic circle of life stuff includes love and babies as well as illness and mortality. But if the universe happens to be listening, I could deal with no more untimely deaths for a while. Please?

Also, some more personal good news: my stuff arrives on Friday. So I will have my boat! And my bike! And books, looooootttts of them! And the rest of my clothing! And all the conveniences, like a knife that really cuts (and a sharpener in case it doesn't), a popcorn popper, a small organizer drawer unit for the bathroom, and and and (this part goes on for about 42 more boxes...)
dichroic: (hiding behind hair)
What I meant to buy today: short pajama bottoms and a soap dish, maybe some groceries.
What I actually bought: um, pretty much a spring / summer wardrobe.
photos and some more commentary )
dichroic: (Default)
Some people have the knack of making a place looking homey in a very short time, without spending much money. I, on the other hand, have the much less useful knack of spending gobs of money (in a very short time) and just making the place look cluttered. Lived-in, yeah, that's it. And I still don't have a dish to put my new soap in or a rack for the wine I bought today. On the other hand, at least I have the useful things covered, not to mention a pretty clear set of indicators of my priorities: wine to drink and vacuum corks to seal it, pretzels to eat and a container to keep them fresh, nicely scented soap to wash with, an iPhone to play with call people on, speakers to plug my iPod into and so I can hear music, a bathmat to keep my feet warm after showering, a big mug (well, big by local standards, normal in the US) to drink tea out of. Desk supplies so I can write things and file paperwork, herbs and a big pot to cook with, things to wash up with after cooking.

And some tealights to go in the several candle-holders here, so I can at least pretend I'm good at the ornamental side of things.


Apr. 7th, 2010 06:03 am
dichroic: (happiness is a direction)
Here I am at 5:45, faffing around online instead of trying to sleep. It's not jetlag, it's that leaving the laptop next to the bed is a bad idea for me - too attractive a nuisance.

I don't know, yesterday felt sort of empty in spots. I arrived at 6:45 in Schiphol, took the train to Eindhoven (with company even - a couple other guys from my office in Taiwan who were coming here for meetings), showered, went to work, picked up papers I'll need to apply for my residence permit and the suitcase I'd left there, and had two of the planned three meetings (one was sort of folded into the other two). Then I had an hour and a half to fool around, before meeting the realtor to go to the new flat.

As I remembered, it's a touch less nice than our old place here or our one in Taiwan, but still perfectly fine - less cushy sofas, less fancy flooring and cabinetry, but nothing bad or unacceptable. There are a couple of lights that don't work but those will be fixed (not sure why they weren't already - one may be an electrical issue). The view is fantastic and it's got more small-stuff storage (i.e. bookshelves, closet, chests of drawers) than our previous Dutch flat, though less large-stuff storage (the storage room in the basement has a lot of stuff belonging to the owner). Still, the only things I need to put there are two bikes, my sleeping bag, flying stuff, and inflatable mattress, and there's room for those. It may have only wired internet (the realtor wasn't sure), but I packed a wireless hub in my airfreight shipment, which could in theory be here by Friday. I'm in hopes that it will be a lot quieter than our old Taiwan apartment, which had noisy kids next door, noisy traffic, fireworks and construction outside, and no soundproofing to speak of. (We never complained about the kids, because they weren't unreasonably noisy; the problem was with the apartment construction, not the neighbors.)

I took a somewhat shaky video of it with my iPod:

I stayed in the hotel for this one night. Today, I should try to get a bit more sleep, then enjoy my last hotel breakfast, check out, take my suitcase to the apartment, then hit the big supermarket (relatively speaking - it's nearly the size of a US supermarket) and buy pretty much one of everything. I gave up on a shopping list when I realized those are really more to tell you what not to buy, and in this case I really do need to buy just everything except the things I never want or use, which won't be tempting anyway. Then I can wander around and buy non-supermarket stuff, probably beginning with a wheeled shopping cart to make the rest of it easier. Or possibly beginning with an umbrella, if the weather requires it.
dichroic: (Chinese name)
When the movers came back after lunch, they took all my stuff downstairs and stacked it on the sidewalk. I felt sort of like a homeless person. Well, OK, a homeless person with a truly ridiculous amount of stuff. All told it came to 50 boxes, which seems like an awful lot considering it's only clothing, books, assorted stuff, one bookshelf, one small chest of drawers and a storage ottoman.

They packed up everything, from my rowing shell (carefully labeled "CANOE") and oars (carefully labeled "PADDLES") on down to a big piece of styrofoam I took in case I need to cartop the boat to the boathouse in EIndhoven. Even the styrofoam was boxed (carefully labeled, you guessed it, "STYROFOAM").

I can't say I'm totally sure my boat will survive the voyage unscathed, but they really did a pretty good job; it's supported by boxes and tied to the roof of the container so it can't move much. I thought the container would be quite empty, but it's fuller than I expected. Not as full as it looks, however; in a really genius move, they used empty boxes to fill out the remaining empty floor area, so nothing can shift. They were good about taking suggestions from me, too, so the boat is padded with cushions of extra bubble-wrap at all support points and under all the tiedowns, and they taped all the empty boxes (which, by the way, are carefully labeled "EMPTY BOX") together so they're less likely to shift in rough seas.

I got pretty filthy climbing into the truck to check on stuff and take pictures. I'll have to do at least one more load of laundry before I leave. Luckily, since I don't have a whole lot of clothing left, it turns out Ted's cargo shorts fit me quite nicely!
dichroic: (Chinese name)


You can see why that room was ideal for my craft stuff; I'm going to miss it. (Especially because Dutch apartments don't really do storage - though this new one is a lot better than our last place. (Walk-in closet!!) Hopefully, someday we'll build or renovate a house back home and I can recreate something like it.


dichroic: (Default)

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