Saturday, September 8, 2012

Random Holland Thoughts

-The women here are gorgeous. They're blonde, tall, skinny, and stunning.  They all could be models. They all look like this: 
-People here are so tall.  You can tell the Netherlands has the tallest population the world.  Everyone towers over me.
-It's cheaper here than I thought it would be.  In fact, I may spend less on groceries here than I do in Texas.  Prices are definitely cheaper in Texas, but I only buy what we absolutely need here because I don't want to carry unnecessary things all the way up to our place.
-Cam got his bike today, finally!  A great used bike for 120 euro.  He's a true dutchman now.  We're all excited about this because it will be a much faster way for him to get to and from work.
-H&M is the best.  And there are three different stores within a five minute walk and one of them is exclusively kids clothes.  Amazing.
-Stroopwafels will be the death of me.  When I come home 50 lbs heavier, we will all know why.  And how is each one seriously 180 calories? Life isn't fair.
They don't look that great, but they are divine.
-Basically, the only American TV channels I get here are MTV and TLC, neither of which I watch a lot of at home.  So don't be surprised when I come home being well versed in Teen Mom 2, Say Yes to the Dress, and Cake Boss.  They do have BBC 1 and 2 here, which have some promising programs.  We'll see.  That's it for English speaking channels.  Of course, the plus is that they have way less commercials here.  Is it sad I care this much about TV?
-They have the best ice cream and gelato everywhere here. Pistachio is my favorite.
-The produce is awesome here.  So fresh! It's really affordable too.  5 tomatoes for 1 euro.  A big avocado for .80 euro.  A zucchini for .49 euro.  Red pepper for .60 euro.  Not too bad!
-Remember how I said Cam's work hours would be a strict 9-10 AM to 5 PM?  Sadly, that was a lie.  He does leave about 8:30 AM, but he's usually home between 6:30 and 7.  Ugh.
-I have an old school Nokia brick phone.  We just bought cheap prepaid phones to use while we're here, pretty much to just text and call each other.  I think it's almost identical to my first phone ever, which I got almost ten years ago.  Ha! No color, no camera, no internet. Very...basic.
-I'm finding cooking here to be tough.  I'm sure I'll get the hang of it as time goes on, but I'm having a hard time coming up with dinner ideas.  It seems like all of my usual recipes have at least one ingredient I can't find here.  And it doesn't help that everything at the store is in dutch.
-Have I ever shown how they moved our crates into our place here?  It was crazy! It's way too hard to move stuff in here through the way we enter our place, so they had to come early in the morning when the shopping street wasn't open yet and put our stuff on a little elevator, which they brought up to our living room window, which is five stories high. And this is a common practice here!
The movers at our living room window waiting for boxes on the elevator.
Some boxes on the little elevator on their way up.
-I hate the mosquitos so bad here.  I can't even stand it.  They bite us all night long. I think we each have 20+ bites.  Seriously.  We sleep in a mosquito net now, which is helping somewhat.
-I have to light our burners on the stove with a match.  Ugh.  I guess it's time to overcome my fear of lighting matches.
-I have a cleaner here.  Isn't that incredible?!  A cleaner comes weekly to work for 1.5 hours doing whatever I want them to do.  Amazing.
-Here's a great story about how I got locked out of our place for an hour the other day.  Some background: I love our downstairs neighbor, Kaas, but he's a bit on the paranoid side.  We really do live in a safe area and it's so difficult to get to our place, it feels a bit like a fortress.  You have to go through quite a few doors with locks.  Anyway, back to Kaas' paranoia--we share one door that leads to our place with him.  It has a normal lock, but he really wants us to do two deadbolts (TWO!) in addition to the normal lock on that door if neither of us is home.  This wouldn't be a big deal if I didn't already have a baby and a bag in my arms I was juggling.  But it's pretty tricky--especially since the keys are ancient keys that are really finicky.  So here's the story:  When I left our house Kaas was home, so I didn't have to deadbolt it.  When I came back, he'd left, so the deadbolts were in place.  I sat trying to open them for an HOUR until Kaas came back home.  I'd forgotten my phone too, so I couldn't call Cam to come save me.  I thought I was insane and didn't know how to use a key.  Turns out my deadbolt key was broken! We'd always used Cam's so I didn't know.
-One thing I love about our place is that, if you listen closely, you can hear the faint hustle and bustle of the shopping street below.  It makes me feel like my long-time dream of living in the middle of the city have come true.


  1. Merrick and I discovered Stroopwafels when we were in London. Oh. My. Word. Can you bring me some back?

  2. I love pistachio gelato....truly amazing. I also love stroopwafels, they are so good. Linda and I just bought some at a local store here and they too are delicious. Usually around the holidays you can by a huge box of them at Costco. But that wouldn't be good for the waistline ;) I am so jealous of all your H&Ms I have only been to the one at Fashion Place once since we've been back, but you know's always crazy and picked over. It sounds like you have had quite the experience thus far. I hope Cam can start working less and enjoying this time too!

  3. This is all so fun to see! Keep the posts coming! I'm totally loving all the fun pictures and funny little commentary! Glad things are going well for you guys so far!

  4. I'm officially beyond jealous. I love your little place. I had Stroopwafels once (an elder in the mission had them) they weren't even fresh and they were amazing. So excited to continue reading about your European adventures. Sucks about the TV though, while you're stuck watching another "Honey Boo Boo" episode I'll be watching the new season of "Once Upon a Time." God bless America.

  5. i would be in BIG trouble if i had 3 H&M's that close to me! haha! what a fun adventure!!

  6. Well, I never imagined that you would need a mosquito net in Amsterdam! weird. And- , you have a cleaner?! lucky! I wish I could try those waffel things, they sound amazing. miss you guys!