#dutch, Dutch, General Life Tips, Good Old Fun, Other, Story Time

An Average Day Of My Life Now Here In The Netherlands Compared To An Average Day Of My Life When I Still Lived In South Africa

Shit, that must be the messiest title I’ve ever written but I can’t think of anything else so let’s just go with it? I’m sorry.

I’ve been meaning to write this blog for a really long time now. I don’t know why I just never took the time to sit down and write this blog but I’m here now so let’s start with the introduction. This year in June, it will be 2 years since I’ve officially immigrated. For those who don’t know, I’m originally from South Africa. I came to the Netherlands just after finishing high school and met my husband six months in. We fell in love and wanted to spend the rest of our lives together but we needed to figure some stuff out. How will we make the distance work? My au pair year ended and I went back to South Africa with the idea that I will come back after a few months and stay with Onno for the entire three months of my tourist visa. This was our test. Do we want to take our relationship further? He proposed just before I came back and for the next year or so, we worked on the partner Visa so I could immigrate to the Netherlands. It was a long process as we had to wait 6 months until I turned 21 to start the process. Onno came to South Africa to meet my family. We had a little wedding ceremony for my family in South Africa as we planned to marry in the Netherlands later that year. We started the long process early February and I landed in the Netherlands as an immigrant on Onno’s birthday. It was surreal. Although it was my third time coming to the Netherlands, I always had a return ticket, but this time there wasn’t anything like that. It was different. I did promise my parents that I will try to come back to South Africa every two to three years and so far, I’m planning on keeping that promise with a planned trip to go to South Africa in August 2020. What I’m trying to say is that I’ve lived in the Netherlands for a while now and I like to think I’ve adjusted to my new life here. I still struggle in the winter but that’s just because it’s really fucking cold. I love the snow though. I will take the cold every day if it means I get to play in the snow.

Things that were strange to me, in the beginning, is perfectly normal now. So much has changed over the years and I’m so thankful to call this country my home. I thought it would be fun to compare my daily life in the Netherlands and my daily life in South Africa. It’s completely different. Let’s start with South Africa.

South Africa

The time frame of this is only a few months before I immigrated. I lived with my father for a few months as I thought it would be really nice. I grew up with my mother I really wanted to live with my father before I left the country. At this time, I was doing the online nutrition course so I feel it kind of compares to my blog and book workload at the moment. As weekends were always different, then and now, I’m just going to choose a random workday. Let’s make it a Tuesday.

My morning started really early when I lived with my father. He gets up for work before the sun rises so I got up with him to make him his breakfast, lunch, and iron a work shirt if needed. Waking up at 05:30 was incredibly hard in the beginning and 8/10 times I would climb back into bed after he left for work but eventually my body adjusted and I would stay awake. As those times were rare, I’m going to say I went back to bed at 6am once my dad left for work. Depending on how tired I am, I would a) read until 07:30 or b) sleep until 07:30. If I chose to sleep until 07:30 I would then read for 30 minutes and get up at 8am. On average I was out and about at 8am. I would then make myself a cup of coffee and open up the backyard so the dogs can go for a run on the field next to my father’s house. Most of the time I would sit on the chair in the sun while the dogs ran and enjoy my cup of coffee (oh how I miss coffee). The dogs would come back in at 08:30 and I will go back inside and clean up from the night before. This could be packing the clean dishes away from the night before or just cleaning the countertop. I didn’t deep clean or anything like that, it would be just a quick clean in the kitchen and that’s about it. At 9am I will return to my room, get dressed and start my studies. I would then study for about 3 hours before finally having breakfast at 11am. After breakfast I would a) return to my studies if I need to or b) go to the shops. I went to the shops quite often as there was always something I needed to do. If I didn’t drop off one of my dad’s work pants to get fixed, I would go pick up his pills at the doctor. I would usually buy all the groceries at the end of the month but I would run to the shop to top on milk, bread, vegetables and fruits for me and etc. Most of the time I would need to go to the shops once a week. I would take my father’s car and get everything done and be back at the house around lunchtime. Depending on my father’s workday he would sometimes come home for lunchtime and other times I would drop off a meal at his work (if there weren’t enough leftovers from the night before). I would then take a small break as it would be too hot to really concentrate and I would be tired from the busy day. It’s then when I would switch on the TV and watch some program. It was a lot of day time TV. Usually around this time, Botched would be on and I would watch an episode while drinking another cup of coffee. After an hour break, I would get back to my studies and study until my father gets home. I would always try to finish my studies for the day by the time he got home so I could bond with him. He would get home between 17:30 and 18:00. Some days he ran later but, on most days, he would be home around then. We will catch up with each other’s day and just have a talk as we watch something on the TV before I start dinner. I like to start dinner at around 7pm. Most of my meals are quick to prepare so we will have dinner anywhere from 19:30 and 19:45. I think on some days I would make dinner earlier but it’s been a while so I’m not sure anymore. Did we eat dinner at 7pm or did I start dinner around 7pm? After dinner, I will watch a little TV with my dad and after an hour or so I will go clean up the kitchen and hop in the shower. I would then normally go sit in the lounge with my dad for another 30-45 minutes or so before he would go take a bath and get ready for bed around 9pm. Sometimes I would watch some more TV but most of the time I would be so tired from the long day I would climb crawl into bed around 9pm and read for an hour or so until I fall asleep. Oh, there was about two months where I would walk with the dogs on the field next door but I always did that when my dad was home and he could keep an eye on me as South Africa can be a dangerous place. Walking alone is a big no-no. Oh, and I would feed the dogs as dinner was on the go. Who could forget that?

I look back now and I smile. I enjoyed those few months I lived with my dad. It was a lot of fun, sometimes it was a bit frustrating as my dad wouldn’t really help with the house duties but I wouldn’t trade those days for anything. Oh, I always do the laundry on a Monday so sometimes I would iron my dad’s work shirts on a Tuesday but I would always postpone it until about Thursday or Friday. I hate ironing.

Netherlands

My morning here in the Netherlands starts bright and early. I usually wake up at 7am when the husband is up and about but on certain occasions, I would snooze until 08:30. I love reading in the morning so once I wake up, I will read until I feel like starting my day. I try to get up and start my day around 9am but I also don’t beat myself up if I snooze for a bit longer. It really depends on my frame of mind or my mental headspace. Ideally, I want to get up at 7am and work but those days are very rare. Anyway, so let’s just go with the usual where I’m up and about at 9am. I will get dressed and work behind my computer until 10:00 to 10:30. In this time I would normally work on my blog: respond to comments, write a blog or whatever I need to do for my website. If I’m not working on my blog at this time, I’m writing (creatively). I have a set routine when it comes to balancing my blog and my stories. I tend to work on my blog every day all day for a few weeks until I have about a month of blogs scheduled in advance and then I will switch over to working on whatever story I’m busy with. It’s a fine balance but overall, I write every single day. Hence why I developed tendinosis. Oh, I should probably explain this. About a month ago, I found a lump in my hand. Normally, I would let these types of things go. I’m not going to rush to the doctor and instead see if it will go away. My breast cramps, oh it’s probably normal. I won’t Google it because that will fuel paranoia but it’s probably nothing. I don’t feel lumps so it’s all good. There is blood in my poo, oh it’s okay. All normal here. It’s nothing big. I did eventually ask the doctor about it once when I was there for something else and it’s normal with people with celiac disease. So, nine out of ten, I just leave it with the thought that if it gets worse or anything changes, I will go see the doctor. But…this time around I couldn’t leave it. I’m in such a fragile piece of mind, one simple lump completely spun me for a loop. I had to know what it is. I couldn’t stop touching it or wait to see if it will go away. I need to know what it is. Two days after discovering the lump, I made a doctor’s appointment. It was quite embarrassing to go to the doctor for something so small but I just desperately needed that peace of mind of knowing it’s nothing or at least knowing what it is exactly. I have tendinosis. Tendinosis is a degeneration of the tendon’s collagen in response to chronic overuse; when overuse is continued without giving the tendon time to heal and rest, such as with repetitive strain injury, tendinosis results. Even tiny movements, such as clicking a mouse, can cause tendinosis when done repeatedly. So, my insane amount of writing every single day gave me a very painful bite in the ass. Typically, you treat this by resting and taking things slowly but well I’m always going to be a writer soooooooo …basically what I’m trying to say is that I’m hurting and I need to take more breaks in between to not aggravate the situation. I might see a physical therapist soon so I can get some massaging techniques to help but yeah. If it gets worse and I can no longer move my fingers, they will inject it with a steroid and then if that doesn’t work, they remove it surgically but that’s obviously the last choice on the table. All in all, this last month writing has been a bit painful. I get cramps if I write too much and it’s just sensitive all together. I’ve tried to limit how much I write a day but I’m working on something super special that I want to launch in April so I need to buckle down and work hard. I’m almost at the finish line and then I can take two weeks off from writing altogether. Maybe I will even take a month but I have no idea what I will do with myself if I’m not going to write my days away anymore. Oh, I know, study for the 2 big immigration tests I have to do this year. Did I mention I need to my driver license this year as well? Yes, it’s a lot of fun and I can’t wait. I’m completely off topic so let’s go back to my usual day here in the Netherlands.

After about an hour or so of work, I will go downstairs and open Dankie’s cage. After we cuddle for a bit, I will drink my supplements before I sit on the couch and chill. If I found a good book the night before, I would read in this time or if I found a good series, I would watch an episode. It depends on the mood. I usually drink a cup of tea. Dankie usually wants to go out for a potty break and I will let the cat in as Dankie goes out. Around 11am I will give the kitchen a quick clean although I don’t always do this. I do tend to some cleaning around this time but it’s not a heavy cleaning session. I just tidy everything up session. If I’m in a depressive state I will often just sit on the couch and watch series all day or read. I will go up around 12pm to work some more if my hand allows it. Ideally, I would then write for two or three hours. I normally stop when my hand hurts or I’m hungry. If the weather is nice Dankie will be outside in this time period and if it’s raining, he will be in his area with his toy. I normally eat around 2pm or 3pm for the first time. My appetite has been extremely weak this last year or so but I’m taking small steps to eat my three meals everyday. I usually cuddle with Dankie on the couch as I eat breakfast and I will continue to relax there for an hour or so. I usually do the shopping on a Tuesday or a Thursday as the shops are less busy on these days so if needed, I will go to the shops by bicycle, if not I will take Dankie for a walk although these last two weeks I’ve been walking Dankie at night with Onno. If I don’t go to the shops or walk the dog, I will usually just become one with my couch until 5pm. Depending on how I feel I will sometimes do a bit of housework, play around on the internet, read or play sims as I wait for the husband to come home. Sometimes I would even go back upstairs to write some more. I try to have everything finished by the time he gets home so we can just be together. He comes home around 7pm and I will talk his ear off before I start dinner. After dinner we chill on the couch and then if I didn’t walk the dog that day, we will walk him together around 9pm. After our 30-minute walk, I will hop into the shower and go up. Onno usually stay downstairs for another 30 minute or so. I usually read for a few hours once I’m in bed. It’s a pretty relaxed day. Some are crazier than others and some days the biggest task I do that day is getting out of my bed. I don’t punish myself for feeling like this, not anymore anyway. I realize that I’m not a perfect human being and as long as I take small steps every single day, then that’s good enough. Some days I’m a superwoman that does everything without a hint of break and other days I’m a couch potato. AND that’s okay.

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Although I’m on the other side of the world, my day is still similar. I don’t mind that. It’s different but some things never change. I’m grateful that I get to spend my days here in the Netherlands. I’m grateful to have such a supporting and loving husband. I’m grateful that I have the opportunity to follow my dreams. I hope you enjoyed this blog, it’s a bit random but I had fun so I guess that’s a win. I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

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Story Time

Funny Foreigner Fail | 12 O’clock Alarm Story

I always forget about this story but once a month a little reminder rings through the air and I have a good chuckle. So, I figured why not share this story so you guys can have a good chuckle as well. This is my 12 o’clock alarm story.

You’re going to need some backstory otherwise this story might not be so funny. Here in the Netherlands, they ring an alarm on the first Monday of every month at 12pm. The ‘luchtalarm’ is a siren or alarm to warn the residents of dangerous situations. I’m directly translating this from the Wikipedia page and it’s messing up my flow. I’m going to read ahead and translate everything into my own words. Basically, it’s an alarm system that can be used to warn the population when there is a danger. I had no idea that the Netherlands had this system at the beginning of my stay here but I recognized the sound from the movies and my first thought was BOMBS!

I must have been here maybe three weeks when it happened. Everything was new to me and I just started to get comfortable with everyday life. I remember I was at the house, doing my chores and getting ready to walk the dog when the alarm went off for the very first time. I freaked out. All I could think off was bombs! Shit just hit the fan! We’re under attack! What the hell do I even do? Do I lock and board up the house and hope for the best? Do I go get the kids out of school? Do I go sit in the basement? I hid under the table as I waited for the alarm to stop. I had no idea what I should do and I was terrified. In the back of my mind was like oh you leave South Africa for a bright future and safe life and not even a month in you get killed by bombs? Wonderful! I was two seconds away from calling my parents and utter my dying words when the alarm stopped. I waited, terrified under the table for well the bombs. Once I noticed that nothing happened, I googled what the hell just happened and laughed myself silly when I saw that this was something they did regularly. They do this because they test and control the system. See if it works and can be heard but also to remind the public about the alarm. In November 2015 they stopped ringing the alarm in two cities with a high foreign population mostly because similar to me, they freaked out when they heard this. It’s also for those who had to flee their country because of a war. When I saw this, it warmed my heart. It’s so sweet that they would be so considerate of others.

That’s it. Not even 500 words in and I said what I wanted to say. It’s just something super funny that happened when I just got here and it always makes me smile. I did feel better about my reaction when I played tour guide for some family friends from South Africa. They didn’t hide under a table or anything, mostly because everyone was pretty chilled about it on the streets in Amsterdam. I like to think that their heart skipped a beat for a millisecond. Most Dutchies always chuckle a little when I tell them the story, heck I have a good chuckle when I tell this story. It’s just so random but the fear was real. I honestly have no idea what I would do in a war situation. It’s scary and it makes me so grateful to live in a place where there is peace.

I’m sorry this blog is on the shorter side. I can’t really stretch it out. To make up for it here is some cute pictures of my animals.

Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

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PS both of my furbabies have their own Instagram profile.

Speculoos — https://www.instagram.com/speculoos_the_cat/?hl=en

Dankie — https://www.instagram.com/dankieeey/?hl=en

 

Story Time

My Funny Foreinger Story With The Public Transport Here In The Netherlands

I’ve told this story to a handful of people here in the Netherlands and it’s always a good chuckle. The other day I was like oh wait this would actually make a funny blog on my website so well here we are. Alright so we know by now before I can start my stories I need to throw a bit of background information out there otherwise some things won’t make much sense without it. So excuse me while I do that.

Where to start? Wait I know. South Africa and the Netherlands are completely different and at the beginning of my au pair year, you could guess that I was still learning the ropes of it all. So the one main thing that was completely new to me is the public transport. We have public transport in South Africa but it’s in no way reliable nor safe. It also won’t get you everywhere you would want to be. Here in the Netherlands, the public transport is pretty damn amazing. Yes, there are some delays but you can go anywhere by train and it’s relatively clean and I haven’t had a problem with safety. I mean I don’t need to worry about being mugged or stabbed so that’s great. Oh wow, that’s dark. Before my year here I had no idea what trams are. I knew of trains and busses. That’s it. So it’s safe to say that my first independent tram ride makes one funny story. Alright, that might be enough back story. Let’s get to the interesting bit and also I hope this blog turns out to be funny. We can’t have another key story.

I was probably only here for three weeks, one month max when I had to go to Den Hague to get my permit. To get there I would have to take two trams. The first part was easy as I had to climb on the tram close to the house and just take it all the way to the city. It was when I got in the city when everything derailed. First of all, the trams suddenly looked different so I wasn’t sure if I could still use the card or if I would have to get a new card or anything like that. It went from a blue and white tram to a red and cream tram. So the night before my host mom tried to explain the system to me but I had no idea what she was talking about but the only thing I knew was the tram number, 8. So I jumped on the first tram with the number 8 on it and scanned my card. It read ‘Overstap Ok’ which basically means the transfer went great but I literally had no idea what that meant so I kept checking in and out in hopes it would say something different. In a complete panic, I called my host dad to ask if it’s okay. He was like get off my back I’m at work but said all was good in the world. I for some reason did not believe a single word he said. A person nearby was like no it’s fine. I still was unsure but sat down anyway. 20 minutes later I was starting to get worried. I haven’t heard my stop yet and the tram just turned around? It was also at that moment that the person who scans your card walked along. I was so terrified that my host dad and the kind stranger was lying to me and I would have to pay this massive fine that I jumped out the next stop. In the middle of fucking nowhere. I waited for the tram, bought a ticket when the card did the ‘Overstap Ok’ thing and hoped that somehow this time everything would be okay. That hope came to crashing halt when we stopped at the central station. I was right where I started and by now I was convinced it was the wrong line number. I climbed off, walked around, trying to build up the confidence to ask the information desk. Keep in mind that I was convinced that no one in the Netherlands could speak a lick of English and I could barely understand Dutch, much less speak it. Finally, after a good few minutes, I decided to stick with line 8 and see where the road takes me. This time the tram actually went in the right direction and I was in such a panic that about the card not working and the train ticket already being expired that I jumped off at the first stop that began with an R. I was so completely stressed about the entire situation I just wanted to walk the rest of the way but it was a good 45min walk so I waited those 15 minutes before I climbed on the next tram and kept my eyes peeled for the building.

The rest was pretty okay. I saw my stop, climbed off and got what I needed in 30 minutes before taking the tram back. Luckily I climbed on the tram going in the right direction and the rest was smooth sailing. It was only when I spoke about the entire situation with my host dad that I realized that every tram line has a tram to go in each direction. I know this is so obvious and I can’t believe this didn’t cross my mind but hey it makes a fun story to tell now. I also realized later on that I was paying for the same trip twice so that’s great. I still get confused sometimes heck I bet even some Dutch citizens get confused. I mean sometimes they have the different companies and it gets really confusing.

Just recently I had an incident where it was a different company but I checked in with the other company and I realized it way too late and then when those scanners came around I proudly played the confused foreigner card because well the poor bloke was trying to explain the system to me in broken English and I was just like alright buddy I’m fucking lost now. He surrendered and I got out of paying the fine. Funny enough on my way back the same bloke scanned my card and this time around I did everything correctly so that was really awkward. In my defense, I still don’t understand what he wanted me to.

Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

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#dutch, Dutch, Story Time

One Year Immigrant Anniversary

Oh boy I’m writing my first blog after two months of incredibly hard work. I have so much I want to share and not all of it is related to the house for those who couldn’t care less about the renovations, fret not I have other content heading your way. We just need to build our office desk so I can just sit and pump out work left and right. That came out wrong. Did it? Am I just over sensitive because I have to relearn how I write blogs? But anyway you’ve seen the title so you know what this blog is about but let me do the introduction and build myself up to it. Seriously how did I write blogs before?

The second of June has been a special day to me these last few years. The man of my dreams, my husband, birthday is on that day. So back in May 2017, we received my VISA. After getting the acceptance letter we had to wait two weeks as my approval didn’t show up in the system and we couldn’t get the stamp in my passport before it finally showed up. My big goal was to arrive before Onno’s birthday as the perfect birthday present because let’s face it his future wife being there for his birthday without ever having to leave again is a pretty good present. Things managed to work out and I landed on his birthday last year. So it’s safe to say that on Saturday we had a lot to celebrate. Added to the list of things to celebrate we had our first week in the house which still feels unreal. I worked incredibly hard this last week to unpack almost everything so the house could feel more like the home by Saturday.

We woke up bright and early to Speculoos running into the bedroom and jumping on the bed with his packet of treats. Treats he jumped up on the bookcase to get to. Treats that if he eats to much of he gets the runs. Hence why I put it in high places I thought he wouldn’t be able to reach. After Onno chased Speculoos down the stairs to get his treats, while he was downstairs he made me cup of tea because he is just that great. I do need to add I sang happy birthday to him six times. I’m incredibly tone deaf so it borderlines on torture. While we had our breakfast in bed my dad called and sang happy birthday in the same tone deaf brilliance that I inherited from him.  After the phone call Onno and I went downstairs to bake the milktart (a South African delight that Onno loves) before attempting to work on some small things around the house. After about an hour a nap was in order to restore the balance in the universe. A few hours later we resurfaced to get back to work. I once again sang to Onno till he left the bedroom to escape my brilliance. We very slowly got to work on the small things left to do in the house, mainly putting up a storage space on top of the washing machine and putting up the last bit of handles in the kitchen (a hole needed to be drilled in before we could put the handles on). While I started preparing the pork roast Onno finished the mini bookcase in the office. We stopped there for the day well it’s his birthday we can’t work the entire day. It was a nice day. We got some work done around the house, we relaxed and watched our favorite series together on the couch like the good old times and then enjoyed an incredibly delicious pork roast meal followed by dessert. We ended our night with a bubble bath, boy oh boy our bath in the new house is magical.

Honestly it still blows my mind that I’m living in the Netherlands now permanently. I’ve never been here for one year straight without going back to South Africa. Onno and I never had one uninterrupted year together. This last year was a crazy whirlwind of emotions, 2018 being the roughest emotional roller coaster ride I’ve ever been on, but I’m so incredibly happy to be with him. I’ve said incredibly a lot in this blog post. No idea where that is coming from. But anyway back to the blog; a year ago I never would’ve imagined where we are today and I’m just so excited to see what the next year will bring us. I have no idea where I’m going with this. I’m mainly just so happy, overwhelmed, emotionally unstable, tired, blessed and so much more.

A quick little side note before I end the blog (I really need to get back to work. We’re building our office desk today.) I failed the speaking part of my Dutch as a second language test AGAIN. It’s so incredibly frustrating. This time I failed with 9 points. Come on man throw a girl a bone! Anyway I will attempt another round later this year as well as starting to prepare for my immigration test (I have another two years to do that but who knows how easy that will go down). I’m also going to start the process of getting my driver’s license. Unfortunately my South African drivers license doesn’t mean shit here so I have to redo the entire process (yes I’m still butt hurt about this fact). We really needed me being allowed to drive when we moved and now that we live in a smaller ‘city’ further away from everything, we really need a car. Onno is going to do most of the driving but who knows, I might want to use it every now and again. I haven’t looked into it too much but hopefully I can scratch it of the list this year.

Alright that’s it for the blog. I’m sorry that I’m all over the place. I wish there was more I could say about my one year as an immigrant anniversary (boy that’s an uncomfortable mouthful) but honestly we just ate, slept and worked on the house all day. Nothing special. I’m sorry for being absent so long, I really tried my utmost best to avoid it from happening but the renovations was full of surprises and I just couldn’t keep up with everything. It also didn’t help that throughout these last two months I’ve had some big dentist appointments (read actual torture) but I have three more appointments to go before I’m almost done for the year. And by almost done I mean I have to get two teeth implanted and that’s going to take another few months before the gums are healed enough. Hopefully it will go into next year because honey I’m so drained. So much pain. So tired. Anyway I’m going of track. I will be back to my regular updates moving forward with a lot of exciting things coming up. I will start sharing some house related DIY projects soon, but other than that…I’M BACK!

Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

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PS. For those who is reading The Girl Writing In The Train, a new chapter will only be up near the end of June or beginning of July. I want to catch up with my blogs before I return to my creative writing. I can’t get into the flow of things when I feel like I’m behind on the blog aspect of my website if that even makes sense. I hope you will understand.

Dutch

My Attempt At Being A Tour Guide In Amsterdam

If there is only one thing you should know about me is that I’m very much in tune with my sense of direction…in South Africa. In the Netherlands, well let’s just say it’s takes me some time before I figure out what direction is what. I’m not kidding. What I think is the right way is NEVER the actual way. Here is a prime example of my brilliant sense of direction in the small and flat country.

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Here is the full caption that I posted with the picture. The sun is shining here in the Netherlands and I decided to somehow find my way to one of my favorite parks I always go to with Onno. Yeah it didn’t exactly go according to plan, swipe right and you will see my attempt. The fact that I tripped over my laces on my way out of the apartment should’ve been a foresight but it doesn’t end there. Oh no my foot slipped on the petals (three times) and the first time (because the seat was still too high) I lost my balance and gracefully fell over. In front of the central station, in the middle of the day…in the holiday period. Yeah people saw. Someone even asked me if I’m okay. I just felt the need to reassure them and myself that I’m not a complete amateur and I know how to bicycle. And as I was trying to find the road to the park I somehow circled back to the station twice till I found the Museum park which wasn’t even that pleasant because it’s packed with screaming kids and I’m an old fart that likes to read in parks. I’m back home, licking my wounds and playing with Speculoos (I then proceeded to tag my cat’s Instagram page. Cringe.)

What is your point women? Well basically I don’t know where the hell I’m going in this country most of the time (well I’m quite good in Rotterdam because I lived here for long enough but take me off my route and I’m lost) so picturing me as a tour guide is laughable. Where are you going with this? Well give me some time. I’m writing a blog for the first time in over a month. Like how do I open a word document? Where is J on the keyboard? Does auto correct still work? Does the internet on my laptop even still work? Is my blog still a thing?

Jokes aside, let me just get to the point. It’s 10pm and I’ve worked on the house the entire day and my brain is losing its ability to put words into functional sentences. I’m not even sure if I’m writing English right now. Oh lord imagine future Cassy trying to edit this blog tomorrow so it can go up on Monday and be like what the fuck?

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Wait what? What the hell past Cassy?

Okay enough fooling around. For real now. My father’s girlfriend did a European cruise through Italy, Spain, England, Portugal (maybe France?) and the cruise ship made a little pit stop in Amsterdam for the day. I’ve heard so much of her these last few months and was dying to meet her so I took the day off from renovations and went through to meet her and her family. We exchanged gifts and her family members met us at the cruise terminal soon after I arrived. Oh wait you need to know this story. I will get to my day as a tour guide through Amsterdam soon.

So South Africans are known to have a really hard time with going to England. I’m not even kidding. The travel agency told all the South Africans going on this trip that they wouldn’t have to apply for the British VISA as they won’t be leaving the ship on the day it’s stationed there. As this would save a lot of money and time they obviously took the agency’s word for it…Well they flew to the start of the cruise and was denied access to the boat because of this and over 30 South Africans were abandoned. This obviously ruined a lot of holidays for a lot of people. It’s disgusting really. Some of these people have saved for years to do this trip and because of the agency they get abandoned in a foreign country? Unfortunately my father’s girlfriend, Althea not Anthea (my dad got her name wrong and kept calling her Anthea and now it’s a funny joke) family was one of them. Three adults and one child were stranded. They managed to make a bad situation into a good one by still exploring some of the other European countries and met up with us in Amsterdam as they could join the cruise from there.

Okay back to my tour guide story. We started off at the central station and walked through the city center, making a pit stop at Primark because hello it’s Primark, before walking further into the bustling city on the hot day. We headed to the Museum park before taking a break at a small café on the side of a canal. We ended our day with a hour long canal cruise. That’s it folks. Hey I never said I was a good tour guide and there really wasn’t a lot of time to go far and show more of Amsterdam. Wait we did stop to buy cheese and take a picture of a flower decorated bicycle. Oh and we did stop at a little church in a side street. That’s about it. Nothing super fancy. Well that was unsatisfactory.

I had a great day though. I met my father’s soul mate and I can take great comfort in the fact that Althea truly loves and cares for my father. Yeah that’s about it. I’m sorry this blog isn’t that exciting but it’s now 10:30pm and I really can’t think of a fun way to milk out this tour. Maybe, it’s a miracle I didn’t burst into flames in the church? Well that’s a bad and untactful joke. Let me think of something else…we nearly got killed by a hot dog truck? Well not really. The guy came up to us and asked us to get out of the way while his buddy drove into the little area to park the truck. Heck when I say drive, he barely moved forward. Okay so that’s not anything juicy. Let me think…Okay there is honestly nothing. It was just a nice day out, getting to know each other and just walking through the city.

Before I go, here is a link to a proper website about tourist attractions in Amsterdam — http://www.netherlands-tourism.com/things-amsterdam-ultimate-top-50/

Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

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PS. I apologize for the lack of updates these last few blog days. Some things at the house took longer than what we thought so there honestly wasn’t any time to write. I will make up for it by basically low key, well not even low key, spamming you all with everything renovations related once we’re moved in. I also have a lot of great ideas that’s not related to the fact that we bought a house. I’m so excited to write them all. If I wasn’t struggling to keep my eyes open I would be writing them now.