Local immunity

So far this winter I've been sick about 520 times. I've even managed to get a stomach flu on top of the sinus infection and strep throat that I already had. My doctor says I need to sleep more. She's wrong.  She doesn't realize that viruses in the Netherlands have an immigrant integration test of... Continue Reading →

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The answer is

I'm getting old. It's been a long time since I could nimbly pluck the right answers to life's most mind-numbing questions from thin air. Questions about jobs, primary schools, interior decor and what's for dinner draw a blank stare from me.  I've spent the last few months pretending I didn't hear the question, taking the... Continue Reading →

Melktap

Before you go Clockwork Orange on me, answer this, do you have an urban/rural balance? I grew up in a town of 2329 people. In my town, the cheerleader, jock, stoner, overachiever, redneck clichés were the extent of local color. It really wasn't for me. I became a perfectly happy urbanite at 18. But, I've... Continue Reading →

Hurricane Albert

Roughly 58 years have passed since the Netherlands experienced anything resembling a hurricane.  In 1953, the North Sea Flood devastated the country's southern provinces and caused 1,836 deaths. (For anyone interested in Dutch literature, Margriet de Moor delivers  a touching fictional account of the natural disaster in her novel,  The Storm). All seriousness aside, I... Continue Reading →

Thuis

We're home. Typing away in our new Amsterdam apartment, the phrase sounds foreign. After three weeks of unpacking, and despite a series of home improvement setbacks (concrete walls-4, drill-0), it starts to feel pretty cozy around here. With limited time, and a pressing need to find SOMEWHERE to live, we chose the best option for... Continue Reading →

The Hunt

Almost a month has passed since our arrival in the Netherlands--a 30 day blur of family, friends, exploration, rediscovery--and an intense amount of apartment hunting. We hunt and hunt. And I am like those drunken, orange-clad forms prowling the fields of Wisconsin at Thanksgiving. I'm shooting at anything that moves, hoping to down a terrace... Continue Reading →

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