Monday, September 2, 2013
It's morning here in the Hague (or Den Haag). It's sunny, with pretty clouds passing through the sky. Out the wide windows of our apartment's living room I can see an old clock tower, a new supermarket, and lots of people on bikes... Old men, men in suits, women with bags and baskets.
It feels normal and strange all at the same time, that we're living in a foreign country now. I'm nervous about the language. I want to be fluent NOW. But it's definitely going to take time and work. It's funny because Dutch sounds like English from a way's away. And most Dutch people speak English anyways because Europeans are amazing with languages... But it's never fun to feel like an ignorant American.
Traveling yesterday went fairly smoothly. We got into Copenhagen early Sunday, and got on a short flight to Amsterdam soon after that. At Schipol Airport we took a train into Den Haag. A taxi rescued us and all our awkward luggage. Josh forgot his laptop in the taxi, but our driver had insisted that we write down his personal number for future rides, so that was a big sigh of relief. The door to our apartment building takes a helluva lot of finesse to open... And there are three flights of narrow stairs. The steps themselves are the narrow thing. Like, are we supposed to use our tip-toes? Or point our feet sideways? Or do Dutch people have small feet? I foresee some trips and falls in our future.
But the apartment itself is great. We are on the top floor. We can crawl out of the kitchen window and drink beer and have barbecues on the roof (weather permitting). The bed is amazing. Our New York bed effed my back up. I slept a lot yesterday, catching up. It was heaven. In standard European fashion, the shower is in the kitchen, the bathroom sink is in the bedroom, and there's a small closet space for the toilet. Pretty funny.
Today we'll register with the local police -- a standard Dutch practice -- and most likely explore our new city. It's begun!