February 19, 2008

Will you spend your whole life in a studio apartment...

...with a cat for a wife? (Pedro the Lion, "The Longest Winter")

Goodbye Amsterdam, I will now be a Leidenaar. I found a house, and in record time, I'd say. It was only the second place I viewed, I checked it out Friday, they called me Monday morning offering it to me, and I signed the contract this morning! It is a modest little place, a studio, but it is in a lovely house and it has high ceilings and big bay windows. The whole street is lovely, full of stately-looking houses, and it'll be even better once the trees get leaves since there's trees down the middle of the street. The place itself is pretty basic (I was a bit hesitant to take a place that has no oven, but I will get a combi thing and manage to still cook and bake), but it has enough space for me and I think it'll be quite homey. The high ceilings definitely make it feel open and there is a lot of light. It is also very close to the station, so getting to work will be really easy, and though it's on the side of the station away from the centre, it's just a short walk or bike ride to get to all the shops and cafes.

I'm not sure yet when I'll actually move, though my contract begins on 1 March. It is unfurnished, so I need to be sure it is livable before I move in and that may mean taking some time to gather things that are essential. But overall I'm really happy to have found something so soon and I'll have my own little place and get to know Leiden and all of that. Moving news and photos to come...

February 9, 2008

Book list updated

O'er to the right you can find the link to an updated list of books I've read, so it now includes the 6 books I read while I was gone. I've been reading Alice in Wonderland now for eons because I started it after I started travelling in December and I just didn't have much time to read while travelling. It's not long, so hopefully I can finish it soon and move on to the piles of books I have waiting for me.

February 7, 2008

Hello, hello

Yes, the first post here in months! Since I am no longer traveling, I will be posting to this blog again, though I will still be posting to the travel blog with stories and photos from the trip. Hopefully. I need to start going through all of that now while I still have the desire to, before my photo CDs, and my memories, all gather dust.

It's getting less hard to be back, though I think it was good that I saw a couple of friends in my first days back, it helped me get over being here again. The weather's not been too miserable, and while I would rather be in Melbourne on a 28 degree day, I was often getting tired of the really hot weather and of feeling gunky all day from sunscreen and sweat. I've started work again and it's been good to see everyone there. Plus my company's "year-end" party is tomorrow, so that's something to look forward to, and it starts in the afternoon so we get half a day "off". How nice of them to wait until I was back before having it. =)

I somehow lost about 5 kilos, meaning I'm at the weight I've wanted to be at for a long time. I'm not sure when I lost the weight; I was not feeling well last weekend and may have just lost weight then from an ill stomach, instead of from any activities I did on the trip. But people at work actually noticed that I looked thinner, which was great, so I hope not to gain it back.

Even though things are mostly the same at my work, there are the inevitable new faces, but also my company moved from the 8th floor to the 20th floor in December. My view is in the same direction, but I'm much higher up, so it should be particularly nice on clear days. I look out over the outer western Amsterdam suburbs and towards Schiphol; I can see the control tower at the airport. I envy the people though who face towards the center of Amsterdam.

Besides work changing, my home life is changing, which is probably not a surprise to those who know how O and I are not together anymore. I will be looking for my own place, which I'm actually looking forward to. I haven't lived on my own since my last year of college, but, once I got over the slightly lonely feel and the quiet, I really enjoyed it and I loved the little apartment I had. So I'm not dreading moving out, as long as I can find a place I'm happy with. While I search for a new place to live I'll be staying with my friend, Mel, in Leiden and I'm looking forward to seeing more of that city, which I've always liked. I may look into moving there, since it will likely be cheaper than Amsterdam.

Though O and I are separating, I do think we will remain friends and still see each other. We've seen each other a couple of times since I've been back and we just hung out and chatted and caught up and it was good. We have so many mutual friends that it would be difficult to not see each other at parties or whatever, and we don't want our friends to have to choose between us or feel awkward about inviting both of us to things. Us each having new partners is another matter, that is still difficult for me to think about, but we have to move on eventually, it will just take some time.

So, yeah, it's a bit of a new life for me, which I guess makes sense after being gone for awhile and having had new experiences. It would be a bit depressing to have the exact same life to carry on with. Stay tuned to hear how it goes...