For the love of mime

For Halloween, Tom and I decided to go the low-cost, high impact route of mime. I discovered that my beau is unexpectedly adept at the art of mime, and that I am very, very bad at it. We rode the tram to our party, and while stopped at Museumplien, encountered many classical concert goers who were waiting at the stop. They pointed at us in the windows, and Tom, I think sensing the attention he was getting, waited until the crowd was worked into a frenzy and then slowly turned his head toward them and gravely waved. They went crazy.


More apartment photos

Our apartment is the very top room in the tower

The canal next to our apartment

Our view to the north from the roof terrace (the smoke tells us which way the wind blows)

The red couch is the center of our universe
(the kitchen is on the other side of the half wall on the left)

The view to the east from the roof


First apartment photos

I like to call this work, "Black and white chair stands alone and the red couch at sunset."

I like to call this work, "Man with man-bag contemplates countertop."


well THAT was interesting!

Blog caveat: Relationship experts say that moving is one of the most stressful situations for couples. Just so you know.

If you are going to move into a new apartment?
It is going to be the first day of the month.
And if the American debit card you have been depending on for moving expenses is going to expire?
It is going be the first day of the month.
And if you forgot to cancel the standing order for rent payment on the apartment you are moving out of?
That money is going to come out of account on the first day of the month.

That means you'll be surprised (because you SWORE you canceled the order) when you go to the bank machine. The same bank machine that took your boyfriend's card that same morning. The morning of the first day of the month. Our moving day.

We had made a few trips to the new place via taxi over the weekend, but we hired movers to take the big things over. They were scheduled to arrive at 10, so we got up early to take all the furniture and boxes we could out to the sidewalk and front hall - thereby saving time and money since they were paid by the hour and we both, by this point, realized that we were lacking resources. By 10:45, they still weren't there and I was tiring of waving at the people who walked by our stuff and peered at the black and white chair a little too closely, if you know what I mean. So when Tom's mobile rang and some man who spoke no English kept repeating, "Von Halstraat, Von Halstraat," we assumed that the movers were confused and were at the new place instead of the old one. I got on the phone and could only think to say, "Von Halstraat es der end point," because I know those words from riding the tram to Central Station (end point of the #16). But apparently that didn't mean what I think it meant and he got mad and hung up on me. It was only then that I remembered the bed that was being delivered from IKEA that day. Oh. Crap. "He wasn't a mover, he was the bed delivery guy!" I yelled. We called IKEA, apologized profusely and had the bed delivery rescheduled for 6pm. OK. And the moving company called and rescheduled us for noon. OK again.

Cut to 11:30, when Tom's phone rang and the bed delivery guy was on the other end. He didn't get the memo, apparently. But he did have a bed. Tom said, "I'll be there in 20 minutes," hung up, looked at me and said, "Now, how do I get there?" Keep in mind that this man had already had his bank card taken and had been verbally accosted by a Dutch delivery man, so he was precariously close to losing it. I tried to give directions, but my voice was, admittedly, three octaves higher than normal by this point and I was obsessively pulling my bangs off my forehead. I think I just pointed in a general direction and he nodded and got on his bike. I only had to chase after him with the bed receipt for a few seconds!

Twenty minutes later, the movers arrived in a proper caravan -- white panel van with a tiny engine that had to be turned off at red lights. The two guys were very nice, obviously not Dutch from the get go, and super fast. They packed up most of our things and let me ride in the front to the new place -- I heard them talking to each other and recognized the language -- the blue eyes, cheese slicing cheekbones and hooked noses should have been a giveaway -- Czech. Hurrah! A good omen.

We went back to the old place after everything was safely inside. Tom took one more load back via taxi and I cleaned my way out of my little apartment, taking a break to smoke one last cigarette, drink one last glass of wine and sing "What I Did For Love," just to dial up the poignancy of a really non-poignant moment. It was 9:00 when I made it back to the new place and started unpacking while Tom assembled the bed -- his first ever IKEA assembly job ever. While I was putting things in the freezer, I found a drawer filled with frozen ice packs that you would use in a cooler, which I had to take out to make room for the spinach and such. After a layer was out, I discovered Popsicles in the drawer! And when more ice came out I discovered a giant bottle of vodka! Thank you strange and wonderful former tenants! That made hour five of putting the bed together much more enjoyable, though I felt bad for the neighbor downstairs who had to tolerate us dropping the alan wrenches every so often (followed by whispered swear words).

The next morning came too soon and while I was at work Tom:
1. went to a shop to pick up a table and giant lamp we had bought on Saturday in an impulse IKEA exorcism -- Tom was so happy that someplace took American Express that he spent at will just to cleanse the memory of, "What do you mean you only take Visa?" after we ran a bed, mattress, bar stools and the ubiquitous dish brush through the check out line. The size of the tables and lamp made him make three trips from the shop to the new apartment. On foot. Probably a 20 minute walk when you aren't carrying a marble lamp base. A little longer when you are.
2. Had to find an internet connection so he could do work and try to call the bank to work out the whole debit card issue. Apparently he walked around the new neighborhood holding the laptop out in front of him, looking for the odd bar that signaled wireless service. He visited the local coffeeshop and Irish bar, asking for WiFi instead of the typical offerings, but wound up in the local park, yelling into his headset and trying to get things accomplished with a very weak signal. I am so grateful he wasn't arrested.
3. Did all this while wearing a black trench coat.

That night we found our fabulous local night shop that has a deli, bio veggies, Skippy peanut butter, fresh bread, ice cream, cheese and a big wine selection (open from 4 until midnight 365 days a year), and I got to cook on my new stove, which is a joy. The first new (only one year old) stove I have ever had!

Wednesday morning I was up just after sunrise and witnessed the light hitting the clouds over Amsterdam and making these intense shafts of yellow and pink in the sky appear all over the city. What a view! The apartment is beautiful and slowly becoming ours. It feels so grown up and nice, that I still sort of feel like I am house sitting for someone. Kind of like "Weekend at Bernie's" only no one died.

Did I mention I was really grateful that Tom wasn't arrested for talking to himself in the park while wearing a black trench coat? Thank you for turning a blind eye to the crazy Mr. Police Man!