The Netherlands had record breaking temperatures last week. At one point, when I looked at my watch, it was 101 degrees Fahrenheit! It was warmer here, while Houston was having a “cold front”. The apartments in Amsterdam do not have air con (short for air conditioning, as the locals call it), ours being one of them. Our apartment has been remodeled and is pretty energy efficient, but still can get really HOT.
The dogs and I escaped to WeWork, where T’s office is located. The front office staff at WeWork are always so welcoming. The concept of WeWork is that everyone rents office space so that they have a place to work. Start-up and established companies are located throughout the building. The companies at WeWork may have many employees or one, etc. WeWork offices are located all over the world and even in Houston. Often times, I go to WeWork and write for my blog.
The dogs and I were very happy to be in the air-conditioning at WeWork!
I have been in Amsterdam for almost one month, since we technically landed in Amsterdam on June 18th in the morning. The time has gone quickly and I am still getting acclimated to life in Amsterdam.
The 4th of July was just like any other day here in Amsterdam. It felt really strange not celebrating Independence Day, but we had our own celebration!
T found non-alcoholic Budwieser!
When our friends were in town, we visited the Heineken Experience. It definitely was an experience and was like no other brewery tour I have been on. The tour was two hours of interactive fun and kid-friendly. Ironically enough, The Heineken Experience is across the street from T’s office building.
As I live in Amsterdam, I take each day at a time. One saving grace is that the people that live here speak English. It would make things so much harder if they only spoke Dutch. Overall, everyone is very friendly and helpful. The teller at our bank said that Dutch people are known for being direct and I can see how that is, at times.
Speaking of the bank, I went about four times until I finally received my pin number for my debit card. My first trip with T consisted of completing paperwork for a debit card. I received information in Dutch from the bank, so I went to get more information as to what the letter said. I was told my debit card was on its way and to ignore the information I received in the mail. I received two other letters from the bank with information, so I went back to the bank. They said to come back to the bank when I received my debit card. I am not sure why there was so much confusion. I now have my debit card and pin number, which is good. The grocery store by my apartment only accepts the banking debit card to buy groceries. Other places only accept Visa, the banking card, or euros, so it gets confusing.
Doing laundry has been one thing that I have had to learn how to do since everything is in Dutch on the washing and drying machine. The washer and dryer are stacked and smaller than the standard size in the United States. I looked at the manual online and took pictures as a reference. Many people in Amsterdam do not dry their clothes in the dryer because they do not have one. T asked our landlord for a dryer and he agreed to purchase one for us, which I am very grateful. We had thought that the dryer was broken, but the lint trap was filled. I could not figure out why the clothes were not drying and why I could never find the lint trap, but T found it. Also, I had to buy dryer sheets at the Expat Store. The dryer is now working great!
T and I went to the grocery store together for the first time for “big” grocery shopping. Needless to say, all of the shelves were being restocked and I did not know what some of the food items were because I did not recognize them and the writing was in Dutch. We did find items that we liked for dinner. Whatever you buy, you have to carry home, so it is hard to buy a lot of items at once unless you have your own carrier. I really wanted to bring my blue Academy wagon from the U.S., but we did not ship it. 😦 The people that I worked with know that I used the wagon all of the time – ha, ha. Also, you have to pay for grocery bags, so it is best to bring your own.
Macy has been sick with a virus for a few weeks and we have taken her to the vet twice.
She is on another round of antibiotics and eye drops. The vet said that she does not have a parasite and she is not sure what caused the virus. She is up-to-date on all of her shots and had to have an exam before she came to Amsterdam. She is getting better each day, but it has been a slow process. She will go back to the vet when she is finished taking all of her medicine.