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Thursday, 13 December 2018

A sigh

The rain is pouring down on our heads while we’re trying to avoid the paddles on the footpath. In England they would say it was raining cats and dogs. We just call it Dutch weather.
A huge sigh is coming from both of our mouths while we’re looking at each other.
It’s a sigh of relief. 4 Months into this adventure it feels like we’re slowing down a little bit. Things seem to fall into place. The kids seem to all start to find their place in our new hometown. It slowly starts feeling like home.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Two past Two

On paper it looked like the best school ever. We were so happy that Hoofddorp had a school especially for kids that never had been in the Dutch system before. To help them to learn to read and write in Dutch. We were aware that there would be a lot of foreigners and probably refugees there, but we hoped that that would be fine for Tim. He’s always so interested in other cultures and places. 
It looked like a great school on paper. But in reality it was so different for Tim.

Monday, 3 December 2018

Leaving behind

Moving always comes with leaving things behind. 
Places, like our old home and garden.
I particularly miss the garden miss this time of the year. Usually when the leaves feel I enjoyed the squirrels playing in our garden being chased by our dog Leon. Watching a woodpecker searching for food in one of our Lebanon cedars. Gathering bags and bags and bags of leaves.
We laughed when our new neighbour expressed his regret about the fact that we had to gather so much leaves in the garden we have now. We do have to collect. But it’s nothing compared to what we did for years.

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

End of a story

It’s mostly men who notice. Somehow, they usually see a number plate from a different country. Our son Tim loves to count number plates from the different countries he sees on the road during our travels.  When we stop men usually start talking to us in the language our number plate suggests. Acting strange when we speak back in a different language.
It always gives us something to talk about.

There was a period of time where we were driving an English car (with the steering wheel on the other side) with French plates being a Dutch family. It’s part of our story.

One of the things we needed to arrange when we moved to the Netherlands was getting our French plates replaced by Dutch ones. It’s a whole process and a lot of paperwork and money to get that done. After the car was checked with a special garage owned by the Dutch Car Something, it ended up in two weeks where we weren’t legally allowed to drive our car as we didn’t have the car papers. 

After two weeks, on a Saturdayafternoon at 18.00 the postman brought us the new license plate number and card. 
On the Tuesday after the were made and placed on our car.

So now we’re driving with Dutch number plates. And with the changing of the number plates part of our visual story is gone. Every time we look at the car it’s strange to see yellow plates on it.
It also puts us in the ‘normal’ range. The ‘normal’ range where we haven’t emotionally landed yet.
Both our boys wanted to keep the French number plates.
That part of our story is stuck on the walls in their bedroom now.
It’s the end of a visual story. And we really have to get used to it.

Monday, 26 November 2018

Stranger in my own country

Yesterday I was reading through the phases of re-entry. I cried all the way through it. I knew them before we moved. But experiencing them is something totally different. Being a stranger in a new country is something I’ve done for the last fourteen years. Being a stranger in my own country is something I’ve never done before. 

Friday, 19 October 2018

Glad my head is stuck onto my neck

It’s a Friday morning when I walk pass a pharmacy after dropping Aimée at school.
In the window is a sign with L’Oreal Paris on it.
The next second the tears are dropping on my cheeks. Silly… but so true.

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

The thalys of re-entry

With a sigh I lay my head on my pillow. Three seconds later I’m asleep. Exhausted from impressions and decisions. Some people love to pioneer and explore. I’m not that person.
And yet the only thing I seem to do is pioneering. Searching for how things work. Where I need to find them.