Oh My God, What Have I Done?

16 Aug

I’m offering up this cautionary tale for anyone who thinks about moving to a different continent.  It’s a pain in the ass.  Here’s a checklist:

1) Check in at home airport.  Be told by the baggage handler that it is not possible to board the flight, as you haven’t purchased a return ticket.  Freak out for a few minutes before showing her your European passport.  All is well.

2) Said gate agent also notices that 3 of your 4 bags are over the 50 lb weight limit.  Pay fee, re-arrange some things to get one of the bags under the limit.

3) Go through security.  Get laughed at when you ask if the cat in her carrier needs to go through the x-ray machine.  Panic when told that the cat needs to be removed from her carrier, and carried through.

4) Arrive into connecting city late.  Have to rush through security and again remove cat from carrier.

5) Board SAS Airlines flight.  Marvel that you’ve somehow been upgraded to ‘Economy Extra’ and your long legs don’t actually touch the seat in front of you.

6) Curse at stupid SAS Airlines seat that fails to recline when button is pushed.  Struggle to sleep in upright position.

7) Arrive at next connecting city.  Go through security AGAIN.  The time, remove shoes as all good Americans do, then realize that everyone else has kept their shoes on.  Sheepishly put them back on while hoping nobody else notices.  Remove petrified cat from carrier for a third time. Be happy that she practically darts back  into the cage when she can.

8) Arrive in Amsterdam.  Realize that the T-Mobile cell phones you bought SPECIFICALLY because you were promised they would work in the Netherlands, do no in fact work in the Netherlands.  Try using iPhone.  Fail.  Try making a credit-card call from a pay phone.  Fail.  Finally dial an international operator to make a credit-card call to the office of your temporary apartment.

9) Take Taxi to temporary apartment.  Realize that the radio, all motorway signs, and all billboards are in a language you don’t speak.  Freak out a little.

10) Arrive at temporary apartment.  Fail to find front door of correct building.  Ask a passer-by who finds it in .2 seconds.

11) Finally get to temporary apartment, let cat out of cage, and realize you have no internet.

12) Complain for 4 days with varying degrees of success.  Finally get internet, only to have cable TV go out.  Realize that internet is more valuable than cable TV, most of which is in Dutch anyway.  Be happy.

Welcome to your new home.


Posted by on August 16, 2010 in Life in the Dam, Life in the USA, Moving


4 responses to “Oh My God, What Have I Done?

  1. liz

    August 17, 2010 at 01:26

    that is hilarious. still glad you moved? i’m sure it will be great once get used to things! good luck!

  2. Sara

    August 21, 2010 at 15:29

    I shouldn’t laugh but I still am. I did the shoe removal in Italy and then realized no one else was and felt silly. Hope things are going better 🙂

  3. Natalie

    October 25, 2010 at 21:05


    My husband and I recently relocated to Amsterdam as well, and are considering bringing our cat over. We have heard many tales, both positive and negative, about relocating pets. Would love to get your take on it. How’s your cat doing these days? Would you do it again? For us, it’s high stakes enough that if he stays in Oregon, we won’t get him back. Our other choice is to bring him here.

    Thanks for any advice!


    • thedewaddict

      October 27, 2010 at 15:57

      Hi Natalie! Our cat made the trip just fine. She didn’t like going through security (3 times), but other than that she was quiet and had no problems. We’re bringing our dog back next weekend. The most trouble we had was dealing with the airlines and finding cages that met their requirements. Beyond that, it’s been fairly easy. The cat has adjusted quite well, she loves to lay on our balcony or stare at the window at the bicycles riding by.


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