I’m in Amsterdam.
Specifically, I’m sitting in the flat I’m borrowing (and cat-feeding) from a couple of friends for the weekend. (They’re off in Brussels so Dave can turn 40.) It’s a nice place, right in the centre of the city. I’ve made the acquaintance of their very pleasant neighbour, and their cat Magic (black, naturally). Though Magic is shy, I think we’re coming to an understanding. Feeding her helped.
I’ve also made the acquaintance of their wireless LAN, remarkably easily. Whatever one can say about modern technology, I love the ability to take my computer with me and connect to my virtual world in minutes. I spend so much of my mental time in cyberspace, and that is going to make this move dramatically easier, because wherever I go, there it is. It’ll still be there Monday, when I move into the flat I have for the bulk of the month.
I’m going to go out and explore the area this afternoon. I want to get some food for the flat (though all the necessities are here), and generally settle into Amsterdam life. It’s going to be an interesting month, living alone here (weekends aside). I suspect, though that it will be largely a wasted opportunity, from the point of view of cultural exploration…I simply do not feel like walking all over the city and having adventures every evening, particularly when I’m doing something challenging during the days (travel and starting a new job both count in this context).
One thing I do find: coming to Amsterdam one day a week, as I did for about three weeks running, has given me a lot of comfort in making this move. The entire transaction up to this point has felt like business as usual. And I’ve done enough aimless wandering around the centre of Amsterdam itself to feel OK about the next few hours. I suspect that the discomforts will come in the form of little surprises, unexpected moments. But that’s better than being overwhelmed by all the changes at once.