New York News

by farrah on June 27, 2018 · 1 comment

Oh man am I awful. I haven’t written anything in ages- basically flew out of the NL never to be heard from again!

Well, we’re here. We’re in a small town outside of Rochester, NY and so far very happy with things. Of course, this is June and I don’t think you can hate anywhere in June. I spend my days mostly chasing our new dog out of the mulch and keeping the peace with the boys. It’s not all very exciting.

Leaving wasn’t fun. I don’t think anyone ever thinks of it as something they look forward to- especially when you’ve made true friends and had experiences that will stay with you the rest of your life. Oisterwijk was so great for us, in many ways- and it will always be a place I consider a ‘home’. I feel more closely connected to it than I ever did to SC- which I never expected. I guess being an outsider is my thing and I see levels of it as levels of comfort. Whatever the case- it’s hard to think about leaving our village and our friends, our school- but not necessarily our house. Oh man am I glad we’re out of there.

I can say that now of course that we’re back in a ‘huge’ American house with all the fancy frills and luxuries. No more going outside to put stuff in a dryer. No longer does it take me 3 days to wash all the clothes in the tiny washer. Oh hey street parking? Not at this house! I have a garage and a driveway and it’s all fantastic. Funny how much I grew to despise the parking nightmare on Hoogstraat.

Of course we don’t have a beautiful church in our backyard, nor bike paths we can take from our house through the forest. The ‘center’ is charming, but not nearly as charming as the Oist one. I do, though drive a tank and love it, which is a good thing because first thing I noticed immediately was how far I had to drive to everything. Funny how spoiled I had become!

It is very pretty where we are- so many parks, and even our canal! Can’t escape those. I miss the history but have a sense that this part of the US does go back a bit- albeit not to the 1400s. Can’t win ’em all.

The boys’ school is just a couple of miles down the road- a bit bigger than our Dutch one, but not much. Classes are smaller than our NL ones too- for that I am grateful. I have noticed a disconnect that I feel though with regard to the school community. My kids take the bus (which, don’t get me wrong is AMAZING), but there’s no face to face with other parents at drop off or pick up. Playdates are on me to coordinate and that’s annoying. I am sure there are a million activities during the school year that I’ll meet people- but it’s really not the same at all. Where once we walked our kids into the classroom each morning it’s now a forbidden zone and parents aren’t allowed inside the school without ID, a camera to buzz you in the door, etc. Weird but I guess that’s become the American way.

I am enjoying the ease again of cooking with familiar ingredients- mixing up the stagnant repertoire of my weekly menus. I have the stores where I can easily find whatever I need for whatever whim I’m on- but with that I find it’s too easy to spend money. I didn’t shop all that much in the NL for many reasons (not wanting ‘stuff’ and the inconvenience of actually having to track it down or use a clunky website) and now that’s all thrown out the window. EXCEPT- I have grown to detest shopping at Target.

Yes! I do. For someplace I thought I missed more than anything else I have really grown to loathe going there. I find that if I need things (like detergent, socks for the boys, a light bulb) if I make a list I can stick to it and get out of there without being sucked in to all the sparkly things it offers. It also helps that I follow (admittedly to watch as a car crash) an IG-er that is completely obsessed with Target and she’s ruined it for me. I run in and out as quickly as possible and don’t dilly dally. Funny how people can do that to you.

So anyhow- I love the Wegman’s but am overwhelmed by the size, the options, the insane parking lot and the shoppers- but have such faith in their quality of food that I will continue to go back. They have a curbside option which I’ll take over the delivery- because oh mama that’s not cheap. Albert Heijn you really scored a home run with that game.

The boys are doing well- albeit it’s all still strange- and they miss their friends. My 9-year-old has had the hardest time finding a set group, I think since he’s not playing soccer yet and really REALLY misses his best friends. Lincoln and Chase are younger and have had the good fortune of finding a classmate in our subdivision which is everything you hope to find when you’re a kid. The front door is propped open and kids run in and out whenever these summer days. It’s great and I’m very happy for them.

I have started volunteering at a nearby hospice house AND gotten a job. It was absolutely insane how I saw it at random and it’s something that I’ve wanted to do so badly- basically I’m a relocation consultant and help new residents get settled. My first client was from China and I got to do the whole Social Security office thing with him! I swear it was so funny with remembering what it was like those early days in the NL having to do all that crap. And now here I am! I love it.

So that’s it for now. I’ll try to update again as I know I just kind of threw all this out there but at least it’s something.

For now, we’re well, we’re happy and not feeling like aliens. Which I guess is a good thing.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Paul July 11, 2018 at 4:19 pm

That last remark rang a bell. I had my stint away from the home country and I felt alienated within my birth country. Maybe that was because I never returned home for a vacation but setting foot on dutch soil I did feel alienated within the country I was born in. It took me a fairly long time to get used to Dutch customs again.

Sure, any place you visit has its own rules, and you deal with it, but from the outset, upon returning, they were ‘in your face’.

Oh well, just me I guess.


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