new year update

A healthy and a happy New Year to those who are celebrating Rosh Hashanah (and anyone else who can use one!)

Ted has been and gone, so now I’m back to bicycling to work every day. There’s a Scandinavian saying that there is no bad weather, only bad clothing, and to some extent that’s true. (Clothing can’t do much about strong headwinds; when the weather is especially fierce I take the bus.) I rode in through drizzle this morning and was very comfortable in my rain jacket and rain pants (it is definitely Fall here, not summer; I’ve needed to wear jackets for a few weeks now). It’s a pleasant ride in; most of it is along bike paths that are not only separate from the road but completely away from it, through parks. It takes about half an hour, which is only slightly longer time it takes to drive to work. In fact, going home it’s faster to bike because of all the homebound traffic. Plus it’s nice to be able to get some exercise in during my commuting time. My Dutch classes have started back up two evenings a week so it’s harder to find time to work out otherwise.

Last week I went to Amsterdam to tour the Royal Palace on the Dam Square, which has been closed for a while. Of course, you can only see parts of it, but those parts include not only the great hall but also some of the rooms where heads of state stay. Odd, though: it’s the only palace I’ve ever seen that was originally built as a city hall. So a room might be furnished as a dining room or a spectacular bedroom with decor from the Napoleonic period, but the audio tour would be talking about which city burghers used to meet there. After that I walked over to Gassan DIamonds and took their tour – I was quote surprised that they took us into a small room and let us see a €70,000 diamond up close, not behind glass.

This weekend should be calm, but then things get hectic (in a good way). I’m rowing in a 50km tour around the city (not an aggressive marathon, a slow and scenic sort of tour) then my mom comes to visit, we go to London for a few days, we come back and I move into a new apartment while she’s still there (sorry, Mom), then she leaves and a few days later I go off to Taiwan.

Meanwhile Ted will be in the US, getitng some work done on the new house. I’m still not quite sure how he convinced me that moving to a new apartment (here in Eindhoven) before he gets here was a good idea…

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