Y’all … we did it. After a year of planning and researching and selling everything and being apart for 4 months as the big kid and I stayed behind to graduate from high school (early!) (the kid, not me) and Tony and kid #2 paved the way across the pond, we are finally together in our new home in Holland. It feels a bit surreal.
Less than good news: It took hiring a realtor and offering a truckload of money as deposit to secure this place. Then Tony had to install flooring and light fixtures and scrub the place this is the job for the new tenant, not the landlord. Side note: Our new career goals = become Dutch landlords.
Good news: We have a lovely home in the “suburbs” of south Haarlem – which means it is a whopping 15 minute bike ride to city center.
We also have a microwave/oven combo and a washer/dryer combo. I am not going to try to figure out what makes these magical beasts work. I just know which buttons to push and which to avoid so as not to knock the earth off its axis by mixing things up.
I didn’t fully appreciate the deep, foot-sized stairs we had in the US. I apologize, stairs. Dutch stairs are very steep, narrow, and slippery. But my knight in shining armor added stair treads and if I move slowly, gripping the rail for dear life, a thousand years later… I make it to the ground floor. Then immediately remember what I left on the top floor and begin the climb once more.
I am surprisingly comfortable with few/no curtains. This is a Dutch thing I thought I’d hate. I quickly realized I’m not that interesting. No one is looking. And as I write this, I can see windows light up one by one as our neighborhood wakes and that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.
Speaking of our neighbors, they are lovely and welcoming and worldly: Poland, Spain, Italy, Ireland, the US and, of course, The Netherlands. This, above all, makes me happy we’re here. I hope we get to stay for a very long time.