Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Things I Miss, part II

I discovered today, of all the things I would miss, I can't believe it's something so simple...

a steak knife!

Made a steak today for dinner, and realized that this well-furnished apartment only has butter knives (and 1 cheese knife).

Strangely, I can't find a set of steak knives in the stores here!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Things I miss

I had dinner with a INSEAD friend's classmate yesterday, an Dutch native that's spent some time in the US, and he asked me an interesting question. "Is there anything that you miss?"

It's interesting to think about what things you really miss, even when in a very diverse/international city like Amsterdam. Of course, you'll always miss the company of people and friends that you have in your home town, but what "things" did I miss? Thinking of this gives one an interesting perspective on what is your core identity.

In no particular order, here are some of the things I missed:

  • Mexican food: this one is probably top of mind because I tried to find a recommended Mexican place this weekend (via dutchgrub.com food blog), but they were closed for vacation! I need to find my Casa Lupita!
  • NPR: this one surprised me, but on my weekends here, I really miss the voices, stories, and laughter from listening to weekend NPR programs like Car Talk or "Wait Wait, don't tell me". Luckily, there's podcasts or NPR streaming, and I'm actually listening to Weekend Edition Sunday right now, covering the 9/11 memorial service in NYC.
  • Long Drives in my car: this one is usually associated with NPR, since I'm often driving around on weekend errands, listening to NPR. I know this one doesn't seem very environmentally friendly, but sometimes it's really handy to have a car. I've done a lot on my bike over the past weeks (strapping groceries, pizza boxes, takeout onto to the back of my fiets), but sometimes you're just limited to how much (and how big) of things you can carry on the bike
  • Minnesota summers / State Fair: Those last days of summer in MN are really special, the last few long nights and warm evening weather, and the the fun/people watching associated with the state fair. Something to really savor before the weather turns to fall and winter.
On a more serious note, Sept 10, 2011 marks ten years of starting work after graduation, and Sept 11th, 2001 was my first true "working" day at Guidant. Spend some time today to honor those affected by that tragic day.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

De Lierhof

From De Lierhof

About 2 weeks ago, I moved into my new place in Amsterdam... it was hard trying to decide where to live. Living in the center meant that I could feel like I was in a city (since I've always lived in the suburbs), and live in one of these traditional Dutch apartments, but it also meant I had less space, and ladder-like steps if I chose an apartment above the ground floor. Since the Dutch buildings are so tall (and they're not very deep), you need some serious steepness to go up the stairs. Although you'd think that the traditional Dutch buildings are deep, there's typically a garden (or mini-park) behind the buildings, and you'd never realize this while looking at these tall buildings from the street level.

Or, I could live slightly at the edge of the center (still in Amsterdam), closer to the hospital, and a bit more space.

View Larger Map

In the end, I chose edge of center, which has been completely amazing. I have a tram stop in front of my apartment, it's 20 minutes by tram/metro to the hospital, or I can ride my bike, straight-shot, to the hospital, in... 20 minutes! And I'm really not that far from the center, I can reach the Leidseplein (main entertainment, restaurant area) in about 10 minutes by bike or tram. Plus it helped that this apartment already had a flatscreen TV, so I could hook-up my laptop to watch movies, etc.

And ironically, the owners of my apartment are actually living in the US now, in Georgia!

Photos under the Picasa album...(click top photo)