As promised, I wanted to share some details of our first weekend here in Holland and the beginning of this week. If I were going to give this time period an overall theme, it would be some continued confusion, but also some glimmers of hope that we will get it figured out!
Saturday got off to a great start, as we slept in until after noon! I don’t know the last time this happened. We are definitely enjoying our new found ability to not rush from one thing to the next, although that is fairly foreign to us as well. We did some exploring in the afternoon, and eventually made our way to China town for dinner. Much more successful this time around…we even got food! We have noticed that we have to go up to the counter to pay our bill most of the time, versus a bill being delivered to our table. Not a big deal, but we have waited a while wondering what to do.
A very important trip to the super market was first up on the agenda for Sunday morning. This actually went surprisingly well. Although we weren’t sure of the Dutch name for beef, which peanut butter was the right choice, or why the cream for coffee was not refridgerated, we made it! Side note: we were happy to see the “Big American” frozen pizza made it to Dutch shelves.
Another exciting trip was scheduled for Sunday. We were going to make our way out to Scheveningen to the beach. We had done some research on tram routes, so we were ready this time to navigate through Central Station. A couple set backs in finding the ticket booth (it was like in the side of a van, so I think it was a reasonable miss) and the right spot for the #9 pick up, but then, we did it! We were on the tram and headed to the beach. We arrived to a pretty thick crowd on the boardwalk along the beach. We decided to walk down the pier, where there was naturally some bungee jumping going on. We watched a few jumpers and discussed how that WILL NOT be us…ever.
After some walking around taking in the sights, we decided to head back. Luckily, we were able to get on the tram just before a sudden downpour of rain (something that has been very common so far). We went for a nice, little (although very expensive) treat when we got back…Ben and Jerry’s ice cream! Hooray…it is all over the place here!
Monday was pretty low key. We took a walk through the nearby park, some additional apartment searching, and some more relaxation.
Tuesday was the big day…an appointment at the Expat Center to receive permission to live and work here. Oddly, we are technically single for the time being here in the Netherlands…apparently, given the short duration of our marriage, it is not yet legally recognized here. We are filling out the necessary forms though, so we should be married again soon! 🙂
Now that we were officially documented residents, we could open bank accounts. We are really getting settled now, but given it was BC’s last day before going back to work, we decided to do some tourist activities too. We headed to Madurodam, the miniature city. This tourist spot features miniature replicas of numerous landmarks across Holland and some background info on each. It was kind of interesting to see what the country has to offer and determine some sights we would like to make it to. We stopped for some pannekeoken (Dutch pancakes) on the way home…tasty!
Back in the swing of things…back to work! BC was excited about the professional dress (suit and tie) every day. A big change in itself, but even more so for a man who never had tied his own ties before! I must say, after a few practice rounds last night with an online tutorial, he made a beautiful double windsor this morning…quick learner. BC is happy to be reconnected with the world…getting his new computer and back to email. I am happy to be doing some productive things at home and researching things to get involved in here in Den Haag.
We have had a great time exploring together these first few days, but we are looking forward to establishing daily routines again.
Hope everyone is doing well back home! Schedule your Skype sessions and make your reservations now for the Ritz Carlson! 🙂
Until next time,