The First Three Days

Greetings from Day 10. Below you'll find an abbreviated recap of our first three days here in Holland. I wasn't able to publish it in a timely fashion because I didn't have wifi. However, I've got wifi now, oh yeah, a beautiful rainbow of dark rings, glorious glorious wifi!!! 

Day One 

We landed at Schipol airport. We drove to our apartment. We slept, showered, opened our suitcases and spread all of their contents over every square inch of the 800 sq ft we're staying in. We got our bikes, ate Dutch Chinese food and asked our neighbor if we could jump onto his wifi. We spent the rest of the evening fighting over the two bars of connection so we could What's App with friends and family. Currently, the TV has zero cable so we have 3 channels; BBC news, CNN news & BVN. A fairly inauspicious start. 

Day Two

We biked to lunch, tried to register with the town to let them know we're here but they weren't too interested and requested we return next week. We biked past the rental house we'll be moving into mid-August, bought a vacuum cleaner and joined a health/tennis club. I've become an expert on the situation in Greece and the lifelong football (soccer) ban of Chuck Blazer by FIFA. As soon as I can get just one bar of wifi, please God, I'm going to start updating my resume. 

Day Three 

You still here? 

The husband is off to Amsterdam for a very important meeting, keeping the world spinning on it's axis, kind of meeting. It's just me and the kid today so in between fighting for the elusive two bars of wifi we're going to go downtown for lunch. We'll ride bikes and then visit our new health club to go for a swim. Let me clarify, she'll be swimming and I'll be using the free wifi to upload this post. I imagine we'll stop by the grocery store since we're now European. The husband is supposed to be home in the late afternoon but there'll probably be a story about HAVING to stay for dinner and being FORCED to endure an elegant 15 course meal (def with free wifi) poor guy. That's pretty much it. It's not adventurous, exciting or exotic. It's just my old life in a new locale only with much better Instagram pics!

Saturday Night

I hate doing the dishes. Well, that’s not entirely true. I kind of enjoy standing at my sink and observing my neighbors as they pass by my window. The twins down the street are getting so big that their mother no longer puts them on a leash when they take a stroll around the neighborhood. Our newest neighbors got a puppy, they’re very good about picking up it’s poop, which is nice. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve witnessed cars drive through the stop sign on the corner. I always stand on my tiptoes and lean way over the sink to get a better view at the make and model, just in case. 

Tonight, while I was scrubbing macaroni & cheese (organic, of course) out of a pot I looked up in time to spy the neighbor across the street leaving his condo. He lives inside a large victorian that was converted into condos and I’m pretty sure his apartment is the one on the bottom right. I’ve come to that conclusion because the occupant of that unit has a large flat screen tv and they watch it in the dark. Isn’t that something a single guy would do?

He was wearing a crisp white shirt carefully left untucked over a pair of blue jeans with brown docksides. I noticed the time was 6:20 pm and assumed he was heading out for the night. I inhaled deeply imagining I’d catch a whiff of his cologne. He walked, no, strode, to his Jeep with perhaps a bit of nervous energy. A first date? Maybe just a night out with the guys. Either way, a Saturday night full of possibilities.

Sigh. I wished him a good night under my breath and then glanced down at the pot. I’ll just flick off the dried pasta before I use it the next time.  


"I'm not very fond of flying", is a civilized way of saying, "I'm scared to death to fly!" Which I am. Still. After all these years.

I primarily fly internationally so my flights are never less than 6 hours long and that's a lot of time to imagine what those final moments might look like. It plays on a loop in my mind, over & over again and no amount of peanuts or pretzels can pause it.

Every now and then with the help of my Kindle and a small bottle of white wine I almost enjoy flying (I realize that wine doesn't help jet lag but it does help dull my vivid imagination.)

Recently, after an exceptionally bumpy ride across the Atlantic I couldn't help but feel a kind of kinship with my fellow travelers. I mean, we had just survived a near death experience, right? Shouldn't we exchange email addresses? Plan a meet up for next month?

Thinking this,  I wasn't surprised when a woman with a large smile started walking towards me at the baggage carousel. I gave her my best, "I know, we made it" smile and nodded at her. What happened next is hard to explain because I don't understand what came over me but I found myself opening my arms out wide to give her a "survivor's" hug. When I noticed her grin turn into a grimace I realized I had made a serious error. Clearly, I'd mistaken her for a "hugger" instead of a "high fiver" so I raised my right arm up high and waited and waited and well, you get it….

She looked up at my arm with the most confused look on her face.  

Realizing that once again I had misread her I quickly ran my right hand through my hair and then held it out to shake hers.

She then looked at my hand and back up at me and said, "Ma'am, you grabbed my suitcase."  

What? Oh God, there it was, a small piece of pink yarn tied to the handle of a suitcase that wasn't mine. 

"Oh, I'm so sorry, I guess I missed the yarn, Rough flight, huh?" 

She nodded and walked away.

Only I could survive flying across that large body of water only to die of embarrassment at the luggage turnstile.