Home away from home

Unfortunately for all you nice readers out there, today's post will be a healthy dose of text, and it might not be the most interesting. It's going to be one of those daily-life-adventure kind of things. Except there won't be cool adventures where I do dumb things like put my laundry into the dryer... it's all pretty average.

Well, normally stories have a beginning, so I will start with the first day I met one of my flatmates.

Okay actually I will back up. Did I ever blog about the process of getting this room in the first place? *goes to check* I didn't! Well, let me tell you...

Once upon a grey day in Holland (it might have been sunny, but 6 out of 7 times it's grey, so I will guess that this was one of those majority-like days), I was searching for a place to live. Lo and behold, I found an advertisement on the student union website of the university here (this is where I found my first place, by the way -- it's like a gold mine for finding accommodation, at least for me.) I sent a quick email asking about how long the room would be available and got a response saying that it was available until the end of April. The response also invited me to come meet the current people living at the flat.

Actually, prior to coming here, I knew that I would only be at my first apartment until the end of December, and that living with other people might be a possibility and I wanted to be able to meet them first, so I'm glad that I was invited to meet them. But it was a little bit intimidating... I'm not good with first impressions and first encounters. (Or second or third or... well... let's say I'm not good with people, in general. Not that I don't like people, just that I'm not very extroverted.)

The fated appointment was at 20:30 on a nice Thursday evening. I wandered around the city centre and did some pseudo-shopping before going to the apartment, which was close to the city centre. Actually, I think this was the day I fell off my bike, cause I remember I had to detour back to my apartment first, but that's another story for never time because people seem to get paranoid when I do silly things like that. But don't worry, nobody got hurt. Except for my boots. And my jeans, a little bit.

I knew where the apartment complex was because I pass by it every time I go to and from the train station from my old apartment. Shopping alone gets boring pretty quick, especially when you're not buying anything, so I ended up being early. This gave me an opportunity to wander around the front of the complex, which was not interesting. It was also kind of sketchy because there is a coffee shop across the street, and here in the lowlands, coffee shops don't sell coffee.

Well maybe they do, I don't know. I've never been into one.

Anyway, what happened next was a combination of ridiculousness and stupidity on my part. I wish I could re-tell it properly, but I honestly don't remember everything that happened. I just knew that I wasn't sure how to get to the apartment (on the 3rd floor), so I walked to an adjacent building, thinking that it might be a sort of "reception" area (not a real reception, but the area of the apartment where you can access the stairs and elevators). Once I walked in, I realized that it was definitely not the right place. There were some older, kind of... dirtier... for lack of a better word... looking men, who looked like they might be homeless. One of them said something to me, but it was in Dutch and I really couldn't understand. I wanted to try and ask how to get to the apartment building, but all of my Dutch left me at that moment, and thankfully a guy working there came to talk to me. I am pretty sure he said something along the lines of "you must be in the wrong place". He told me that I could get to the apartment by using the stairs, which were just outside and to the right. I thanked him. He also told me where I was, which (if I remember and understood correctly) some kind of institution where they help people with addictions. It wasn't as sketchy as it sounds, and I had a good laugh... with myself... later.

Since the door to the stairway was locked, I figured that I should probably ring their doorbell, so I did just that and they buzzed me in. I made it up to the third floor, walked in and joined them in their living room, where we had an "interview" of sorts. They asked me about myself, I asked them a bit about who they are (but it's harder when there's 3 of them and 1 of you) and then they showed me the room. The whole meeting took about 40 minutes, I think. Then they told me that they were meeting with two others who were interested in the room later that night, and I think they had already met with one earlier as well. I asked when I would hear back, and they said probably the next day. So I went off on my merry way.

I got an email later that day (like, past 11pm) asking if I would like to stay in the room. It was pretty exciting. I felt like I had gotten picked for something really important. Which is kind of true, having a place to live is very important... but yes. The whole ordeal was like a job application process, only for housing. I hope I never have to do it again.

Oh wait, I do. Because I still need 2 more months. Well, we'll see what happens.

In related news, I am very happy with the place I am at now. I remember asking the Lord about my housing situation and for Him to give me a place where He wanted me to be (this was after my 'interview'), and then I got the email of 'acceptance' later that night.

My flatmates are very friendly, generally studious, more social than I am, and cook interesting food. One of the perks of living with other people is that we take turns cooking, so I get to try both eating and making new recipes. So far, I have embraced some of my classics from home (adobo, cucumber and corn, scalloped potatoes, baked salmon, fried rice) as well as trying some new things (spinach tomato pasta, avocado pasta) and making random snacks along the way (frozen bananas with dark chocolate.... best ice cream substitute ever).

I have a tendency to ramble once I get going, so let's end this here.

Oh, random post script - there was SUN on my way home from work. HAPPY DAYS! I love it when the days get longer.


Joyce said...

If you like the dill, salmon, cream cheese dip that Sam makes, here is the recipe: exactly those, a can of salmon, a block of cream cheese, and a bunch of fresh dill weed :)

on faith, food and flying
The thoughts and experiences of a college kid on faith, love and life in pursuit of Christ, the loveliest One, while enjoying misadventures and quests for food, which so happen to take her around the world.
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