Friday, December 7, 2007

We're Here!

The flight was sooo long and exhausting but we're here! It's 5am now, D is fast asleep but I'm wide awake so thought I'd put it all down before I forget.

Sydney-Bangkok-Zurich-Amsterdam. It was sad to say goodbye at the airport. I miss everyone terribly. It only starts to hit you on the plane what you're actually doing. All the daydreaming and planning in the world doesn't measure up.

After a delay of a couple hours in Zurich, we arrived before lunch on Friday, smelly, red eyes, tired, sick. I've lost my voice. We'd look over at each other throughout the loooong hours of flying and say, can you believe this? We'd be watching the worst movies ever made, like The Invasion and No Reservations, having just eaten some really rubbish food, teenagers running up and down the aisles, and then catch ourselves and ask, can you believe, we've done it! We wanted to, and we did.

We arrived, taxi to our new home in Haarlem. It's even nicer than the photos and description. It's a really beautiful ground-floor apartment, whites and chocolate browns, very big with gorgeous furniture. Actually, we walk in, look around, and start jumping for joy. We can't believe it ours for the next two months. I didn't know a thing about scamming wireless internet but I can get it fast and free here! And there is a wonderful huge kitchen (Kath, five burners, two ovens). I am going to be in cooking heaven!

First showers are the best, even if they are quick so we can get out and take a look. It's cold, but not worse than I expected. 8C. We wrap up and take a walk. Our place is so close to everything, a few minutes' walk to the main drag but on the quiet side. And about 20 metres from a canal :-) I'd read a bit about Haarlem, and many people had told me that it was nice, but we were gobsmacked. Sooo nice! Trying not to get run over by bikes, we walked up to the Grote Markt area which is the centre of things. Lovely interesting shops, and soon it was restaurant restaurant restaurant. I've never seen so many shoe shops, so Haarlem really must be the shopping heart of Holland! Already saw a gorgeous pair of brown boots, and on sale for 80E.

We spotted some markets stalls, and then my heart jumped. There was a mushroom stall! Remember how I'd been banging on about mushrooms? Well this was even better than I could have dreamed (dreamt? I'm tired). Baskets and baskets of different mushrooms, probably a dozen different varieties. And beautiful fruit and vegies. Gorgeous organic breads. And fish. Oysters for 9E, but I didn't have time to have a good look.

Having no idea what time it was and what time we felt it was, we shared a huge cornet of frites with mayonnaise, like everybody else in the city. Then we sat inside at a pretty cafe called Lunch and had a bowl of spicy tomato soup to warm up. I've never lost my voice before, I don't like it! There is so much to talk about! The fatigue hit, so we bought some tea and went home to sleep. We could have slept all night, but had to get up to meet the owner of the apartment. She's a lovely woman our age and we might meet up today as she offered to show us around. Soon enough we were hit with jetlag again so went to sleep, but now I can't, and it'll probably take a few days to adjust.

We have to register with the foreign police so we'll attempt to do that today. It doesn't feel like my birthday at all, all the attention has been on getting sorted and getting here. But apparently it is today, so we might have a nice meal and a drink somewhere. A great way to start a new year!

I am so happy we've done this.

1 comment:

AlphaChick said...

Yay! Can't wait to some and see you in your new city xx