Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Arrival in The Netherlands


We are finally here and have the internet. Got a Dutch dongle at present as they can't properly connect us for a month so no phone number yet, well I have got a Dutch sim card, trouble is it turns everything dutch on the phone so now I don't understand a thing! Really need to learn the language as I don't want to spend the next 3 years feeling stupid every time we go out. People can speak English but they choose not to until we really haven't got a clue and then they feel sorry for us! Jacob and Abi are doing German at school so I think Allen and I are going to do that and learn a few main Dutch phrases too. We have been to the library and got some cd's out.

The house is very Dutch, box like, 4 bed but small. Lovely small garden as I am not a gardener this does not bother me! The trampoline just squeezes in which is fine. Haven't got enough storage for all our stuff or perhaps we have too much stuff! Off to the Kringleloop today - a second hand bargain shop that has everything from stretchers to clothes. Taking Allen for his first time and I'm sure we'll come back with some weird things.

Driving is strange too they have a law that means you give way to people pulling out from your side of the street, this is only on small roads, also at roundabouts everyone else has right of way, again this is only on small roads. Have got to read their highway code as I've already had 3 near misses.

Have managed to get a bank account, ID card, driving license and ration card. Pretty good going as it takes some people at least a month and we did it in less than a week. Can't register the car for a month though so it'll be tight on the insurance. That cost is 3 times higher out here - they must expect us to crash!

School has gone down brilliantly. Abi cried on Sunday as she had to have the day at home and NOT school! Abi's in with a Dutch teacher and Jacob's is Canadian. They are in IY3 and IY4 respectively. Abi's teacher thinks she's wonderful and I haven't heard from Jacob's teacher yet! He got some maths homework that he could have done when he was 5 so I'm hoping it'll get a bit harder or else I'm going to have a bored little boy on my hands. He is impressed that he is allowed to free read and we are well into the first Harry Potter, he's loving it. Abi has moved up 2 levels from what she was on in the Falklands and is impressed with that. I'm going in to help on Friday, making fruit kebobs (can you tell by my the spelling it's a bit American!). They also have recess. The Brits are in the minority here, very American. There's a big American base near us but I haven't been on it yet. Haven't checked out the area much as it's been raining most of the time since we got here! I am also trying to unpack. The sun is out now though so I need to get out. Have got to get our bikes adjusted as, by law, you have to all have back mud guards, reflectors and bells. Taking the kids down to the loacl bike shop to get it all sorted, there's one down the road from us.

I've included a photo of the house, we're joined to the neighbours by the garage, one of them across from the house - you can see all the fields, this is also the view I have while I'm typing this! The other is of them biking down our street - very safe. So I think we'll enjoy it here, bit too much dog poo though, too many dogs really! The neighbours all seem very nice. There are about 12 British families although my neighbour is German married to a Brit. She hates kids but seems nice!

Hoping we'll get lots of visitors

Rachael xx


carriesweatland said...

You've made it. Your place looks lovely and it seems like you've settled in quite well already. School started here for the kids on Monday, and so-far-so-good. We're in walking distance, so they've been biking to/from. I've signed up to be the crossing guard for 3 weeks, and then I'll start subbing. We had a great time in Oregon & Washington, and I'd highly recommend Mt. Raniner to you for sometime in the future. That's it for now. Glad to hear you've landed well...

ceri said...

Love the Dutch house. Better got those kids used to biking. Sounds like a fun experience. We had back-to-school open house today. -