As I mentioned in the last post, there were some big events coming up in the next 10 days. Well one of them happened Friday June 1. I MOVED INTO OUR AMSTERDAM APARTMENT!!
It is super exciting. Our new address is Alexander Boersstraat 54 II, 1071 KZ Amsterdam NL. Yes I realize you will get carpal tunnel typing all that in which is why I expect no cards or letters from the states. Besides, that's what texts and emails are for. At least you know what to type into your phone when you get on the plane to come see us. Oh ya, that too will never happen. But if it does, you know where to find us.
It was quite the event moving here. First of all, I came by a couple of days early to walk through the apartment while Facetiming with Cheryl to see what "furnished" really means and how much of our own stuff from Beaverton should get shipped over. The verdict? The entire kitchen needs to come over. Not that it matters to me as I've been eating pizza, but Cheryl needs her good knives, pots and small appliances (we have a converter for the electricity). So once that was done, I went back for my final night in Utrecht. Unfortunately before I got to my place my car got backed into! Oh great, less that 30 days in the Netherlands and I'm in a car accident. Fortunately there is just a scratch on my bumper that I doubt will even get noticed. The other driver was a "younger" kid (with a full beard) and we waited at the scene for his dad as there was a significant dent hi his bumper. Of course I couldn't understand what he was saying but by the look on the kids face, the volume of the dads voice and all the arm waving, I don't think he is going to be letting his son drive again anytime soon.
Thursday night was busy as I had to repack all of my clothes, gather up the food I had accumulated and do laundry so I was ready to head out to Amsterdam first thing Friday morning. Before I did all of that, I had to join Jerome and Mo for one last Ramen meal at Sanju. "The usual" I said to Jerome as I walked in. Then it occurred to me that I was one of THOSE guys! Maybe its good for me to be moving on.
Simply packing up and loading the car is not as trivial as it seems. There is literally no room in front of my apartment to park so I need to have everything staged at the door, go get the car, then park in front of my door with the hazard lights on (like that really helps the pissed off person behind me) and do my best impression of an Indy Car Pit Crew and get everything loaded. ready. Set. Go! Unlock the front door (tick, tick tick), load the front seat (tick, tick, tick), remotely pop the hatch while getting anther box (tick, tick, tick). Jump in and hit the gas! Made it in record time!! I didn't get it all as I have to come back for the bike in the afternoon. Jeez got to do this AGAIN!
The stress of the loading event had passed as I got to Amsterdam to meet Dorte (rep from Cartus), Nadia (real estate agent) and Pauline (landlord) to take possession of the apartment. Seeing it cleaned and move in ready reaffirmed we made the right choice. It is such a neat apartment. I think we will be very happy here. There is plenty of space, the large deck and excellent location. Pauline is terrific and really concerned that everything must be perfect at move in. The TV wasn't working and she immediately demanded a cable guy come right over. "Pauline" I said, "I haven't watched one minute of TV the past 30 days! It's fine." Cable guy was there in 30 minutes. I need Pauline on my services staff at work!!
OK, back to Utrecht for the final loading. The heart rate began to accelerate as I rehearsed the loading sequence in my mind and I approached Korte Lauwerstraat #3 one final time. What if the bike doesn't fit? What is my back up plan? I decided to take the safe route and parked the car in a safe location and rode the bike to the car to test fit. Pretty smart eh? (I was born at night, but not last night!) Oh no, bike didn't fit! 3/4 in and the hatch won't close and no rope to tie the hatch down. My solution? Make a rope out of a garbage bag. It wasn't pretty and the Utrecht passers by could only shake their heads as I slowly and carefully drove to Amsterdam holding my breath that I would not lose the bike out the back.
The unpacking was uneventful and I had a terrific first nights sleep. I got up Saturday morning and went for a run in Vondelpark. It is a huge and beautiful park literally right next to our apartment. The run was terrific (as runs go anyway) as there are miles (or kilometers) of trails crossing back and forth in and around the trees and ponds scattered throughout. I see Cheryl and I spending many hours in Vondelpark.
After the run, I decided to see what Amsterdam had to offer. I had heard at work about "A Taste of Amsterdam" food event at Amstelpark. Food, alcohol and a bike ride away on a beautiful day. That's a pretty easy decision. It was a fun event with many types of food and beer and wine. My favorite was the Gado Gado by Remy Martin. I know I sound smart saying that but truth be told, I didn't even know what Gado Gado was but it was 4 euros and that's how many tokens I had left in my pocket. Serendipity!
If you remember a couple posts back I went off on the Google translator app. I used it today as I was approaching the entrance to the A Taste of Amsterdam and wanted to show you first hand. I had arrows pointing in two different directions. Where to go, where to go..... Turn on the app point my phone at the sign and presto, I know right where to go! It's like magic!
So that's it for now. Another big event happening in a few days. Looking forward to it. Until them...........