When we moved back to the States in the summer of 2013, I wrote a blog 24 hours after we arrived. I just wanted to write down some things we noticed. I fully intended to do the same thing after moving back to The Netherlands this time after 24 hours, but between jet lag and doing this with a new baby, I’m doing pretty good to do it after 48 hours.
We arrived Tuesday afternoon. Wednesday was spent mostly walking through our house and deciding where things would go. We also had to get a few things from the store. Today, we had movers putting all our things in our house. Everything is in the house, but it’s far from finished. Beds are put together, but we’ve still got a lot to unpack. This house is also a little smaller, so we’ve got some furniture to give away.
So, since we’re all still pretty tired, I decided to poll Mike and Grace and come up with our Top 10 observations. Here they are:
1) It is cold and wet. Yes, we’ve lived here before, and yes, we know this. We normally come back in the summer. That gives us time to adjust to the colder weather as it changes. Let’s just say that July and January in The Netherlands are pretty different. Don’t worry; we’ll adjust soon enough.
2) The bread is better. There’s not much more to say about this. (Well, our strange daughter, Grace, likes American bread better, but Mike and I definitely like the Dutch bread better.)
3) Gas prices haven’t gone down like they have in America. For our American friends and family, enjoy the low prices and feel sorry for us.
4) Parking spaces are much smaller here. Sliding doors on the side of the car can come in handy as it’s hard to get out of a parking space with doors that open outward.
5) Houses are much smaller. Plus, since we’re in a row house, you see and hear your neighbors much more than in America.
6) Stairs are much steeper and smaller. It usually takes us a few days for us to get used to them. We’re getting there. One stairwell in our new house doesn’t have a handrail but has a rope. That is also taking some getting used it.
7) Fewer commercials – We were watching an American show last night waiting on a commercial break to get something done, but it actually didn’t happen.
8) Formula is much cheaper here. There isn’t all that much that is less expensive here, but we were pleasantly surprised to find that baby formula is less than half the price of the American formula. Hooray!!
9) I constantly wonder if I’m doing things correctly. Things do change over time, and since we’ve been gone a year and a half. When I started to buy something, I wondered if I was using my bank card correctly, wondered if they still did it the same way as they did when we left.
10) What Dutch we lost is coming back. It usually takes a few weeks for me to feel normal speaking in Dutch. Yesterday, I was speaking to the cashier at the grocery store in Dutch, and I was so happy that he kept speaking in Dutch and didn’t switch to English. Today, however, when talking to the movers, I told them to put something in badkamer 1. The man looked at me strangely, and I realized that I told him the bathroom in stead of the bedroom (slaapkamer). Oh well, it’ll get there soon enough.