We’ve been here a year !?

It’s hard to believe but we have officially been in the Netherlands for a year!

To say time has gone quickly would be an understatement. It seems like just the other day we were packing up to leave….

It’s crazy. You all always hear about this kind of thing on TV or in the movies, but we are actually doing it!

….now, a year later, here we are:

In honor of one year, I think it’s necessary to do the typical “reflection” post. However, instead of just simply re-posting a bunch of pictures, I thought I’d take a different approach. So allow me to present:

YEAR ONE: the numbers (in dutch!)

vierentwintig (24) – the number of hours we spent traveling here on our initial move.  No, it does not take that long to get here.  We decided to be cheap and have multiple long layovers.  You always convince yourself it won’t be that bad…but it is.

nul (0) – the number of full-size kitchen appliances in our kitchen. In fact, our kitchen does not have an oven or dishwasher and the refrigerator is what we would typically refer to as “dorm-room” sized. While this was a huge shock in the beginning, it is oddly normal now. We have since upgraded to a toaster oven.

kitchen

vier (4) – the number of bikes we have owned in a year.  If you are keeping count, that’s 3 for Whitney and 1 for me. They all have names but I’ve lost track at this point.

tweeduizend (2,000) – since we are on the topic of bikes, the estimated number of kilometers I have biked in the past year.  It is 4km to work, so that’s 8km a day, 5 days a week, for roughly 40 weeks, plus any additional biking we do on the weekends.  Even though Whitney is able to walk to work, it is still safe to say we have both biked a lot in the past year.

acht (8) – the number of combined bike ‘incidents’ we have had. I have had 2 fairly rough encounters with fellow bikers and 1 small meeting with a car. Whitney has had incidents with bikes, cars, and scooters.  It happens to everyone. You just dust yourself off and go on.

tien (10) – the number of times we have gone to Ikea and I have subsequently refused to ever go back. Think the crowds are the worst part? Try lugging all those over-sized boxes of furniture home on your bike. Somehow, Whitney always manages to get by with carrying only a pillow or picture frame.*

*she’ll read this, concede that it is true, and then somehow convince me to go again next week

vijf (5) – the number of ‘new’ countries I have visited in the past year – the Netherlands (duh), Germany, Switzerland, Egypt, Tanzania. Whitney hasn’t been to Switzerland or Tanzania yet but we are hoping to change that soon. Not too shabby for one year.

twee (2) – a number strongly associated with Meatball.  It is the number of weeks we had to wait to be able to ship her here, the number of weeks she lived comfortably in our new apartment, and the number of weeks she was lost outside after falling from our window. It is also the number of seconds we will currently leave an open window unattended.

drie (3) – the number of months it took Whitney to find a job.  This is exceptional considering she spoke no Dutch at the time and everyone assured us it would take her at least 6 months.  To make things even better, this is a job she still enjoys and we’re hopeful she can continue it for the duration of our living here.

zeven (7) – the number of cafe’s we’ve visited for Saturday morning coffee (“coffee shop” means something completely different in the Netherlands). This number is probably higher but you get the idea.  Coffee is a huge part of Dutch culture and we are doing our best to experience as much of it as we can.

twee (2) – a repeat but non-Meatball related number. The number of fish that Whitney has named in my aquarium at work.  I work with hundreds of fish and for whatever reason, she choose and named two of them. Seriously, she keeps close tabs on these fish (sadly, only Mrs. Buttersworth remains as Francis has moved on to a better place).

zes (6) – the number of new holidays we have experienced since moving. In no particular order: Liberation Day, King’s Day, Sinterklaas, Pentecost, Boxing Day, Ascension Day. There are probably many more that I am forgetting at the moment.

zesentachtig (86) – the number of times people have mistakenly assumed I speak Dutch while speaking only English to Whitney. Ok, obviously this is a completely made up number but it does happen all the time.  It seems the harder she tries, the more they switch to English.  Meanwhile, I say nothing and get only Dutch. On the plus, we are slowly but surely improving our language skills.

achttien (18) – the number of meters we are now able to dive under water (we’ll up this with advanced certifications soon).  We are super excited about our new scuba hobby and future trips will certainly be centered around this activity.

één (1) – the number of visitors we have had in the last year (hint hint).

ok ok, I guess we have technically had two visitors…

And last by certainly not least…

tweehonderdtien (210) – the number of days before we are home to visit! That’s right, we are finally coming home in December! By that point, it will have been 18 months since we were last home.  I speak for the both of us when I say we are VERY excited about it.  In the meantime, stay tuned.  We have a few more adventures planned in the coming months.

Until next time,

Shane

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We are two Americans living in the Netherlands with our fat cat, Meatball. The Shwits is a diary of our time abroad!

3 thoughts on “We’ve been here a year !?

  1. Add how many days both sets of parents have cried over missing you, but we are very proud of both of you for taking this big opportunity. Has been a long year on this end

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