Right now, I’m at a sort of “in-between” place. Lots of things have happened in the past few months, and lots of things will be happening in the next few months, but nothing much is happening now.
We’ve signed all the papers for purchasing the apartment, and I’ve notified our landlord we’ll be moving out. However, we don’t move for 2 more months.
We went to Hamburg, Germany a few weeks ago to see the Christmas markets. We’re planning a few trips for the near future, including Ireland in April, but those are at least a few months away.
Our Dutch class at the Volksuniversiteit ended this week. I’m no longer a beginner in Dutch, but I’m far from fluent. Sometimes, I’ll surprise myself with how much I can read and understand, while other times I’ll be completely lost. My biggest obstacle right now is vocabulary. I understand the basic rules and tenses, but I don’t know the words that I see and hear when I’m out in public. Rosetta-Stone did a good job teaching me vocabulary, but once I was finished with the software, there was no logical next step. Never having truly learned a second-language before, I have no clue how to improve my vocabulary. I tried buying a Harry Potter book and reading it, but 90% of the words were beyond me. It’s no fun to read when you have to look up every single word. I’m not sure what I’m going to do next. I could do another semester at the Volksuniversiteit, or go back to the tutor we used when we first arrived in the Netherlands. I could look into a third option, or just try to improve vocabulary on my own. If anyone reading this has any tips, please let me know.
I’ve begun rekindling my interest in photography lately. Of course this happens when it’s the cold and dark season.
I’m trying to find some new hobbies to pass the time. I don’t want to sit at home and watch TV all the time. That’s not why we moved here. I’ve been making lots of grand plans for when we move. “Oh, we’ll be close to so much more after we move! We can go out to dinner more often, have drinks in a local cafe more often, etc, etc.” In the meantime, we still live at our “old” apartment, far from much to do.
This is not meant to be a depressing blog entry, rather, just a snapshot of what’s happening with me at this moment. I’ve been struggling lately to write in this blog. My (small) readership seems to be comprised of 1) family and friends, 2) other expats who are planning to move/have moved to the Netherlands, 3) Other people. The things that group #1 wants to read about aren’t necessarily the things that group #2 wants to read about. I try to balance my entries between those 2 groups. In the meantime, for group #2, head on over to Facebook and “like” the American Baking Company. They appear at markets around the country selling treats. We’ve seen their booth on multiple occasions, most recently at the “Puur Markt” (Pure/Organic Market), and have enjoyed everything of theirs we’ve tried. I highly recommend their cookies and “blondies”.
That’s all for now. If I don’t post again by this weekend, Merry Christmas, or Gelukkig Kerstfeest!