Thursday, January 22, 2009

FIrst week in the Netherlands...

Here I sit at Amsterdams Schiphol airport and I've decided to start a blog. I have had quite a week really... Let's do a quick recap...
  1. So I am in Amsterdam, instead of Stockholm, because I have started a new contract. I should be here between 6 - 8 weeks if all goes as planned. My previous project, in Sweden, still lays some claim to my time, but that shouldn't account for more 20% (1 day/week), but I have been there full time for almost 2 years. Now, I know lots of people have worked contracts far longer than that, but this is really a long time for me. I was on this gig longer than I worked for my last two employers.
  2. While I was here Isolde managed to fall and get a concussion. It was actually scarey because she had some memory loss. She seems to be doing a lot better now and is eager to attend the childrens' disco this Friday. Ann Sofie and I will have to decide if we think she is up to it.
  3. Some anecdotes about the netherlands....
  • Milk... So they really, really like milk. I joined a couple of the guys who work in Woerden for a lunch on Monday. We were eating in the cafeteria and they had a sort of typical drink bar with dispensers on two sides. I approached the first side and saw: milk, milk and butter milk. Then I went to the other side and saw the same thing. My colleagues saw that I seemed a bit confused and asked if somethere were awry. I answered that I just hadn't found the water yet. To this they replied, "Hrm... yeah, we crazy dutch don't do water. We just drink milk. I'll bet if you ask the kitchen personnel they can get you some water, but you won't find any water here." So... I'm drinking milk now :)
  • So, I already knew that the dutch were a people keen on riding bikes, but I didn't realize they had special bikes that fold up for easy transport on trains. Now, these bikes are not at all new to me actually, but the volumes. One evening on my way back to the train Utrecht Centraal I walked by where bikes were locked up. They actually had to vertical rows. Some, actually many, bikes were suspended in the air to make rom for all of them.
  • I have got to learn this language. It's driving me nuts. It sounds like I really should understand. I do after all speak German and Swedish, but I just don't. To be fair to myself, I am understanding a lot more now having been here a week than I did when I arrived on Monday