Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Arriving in Amsterdam

Arriving in Amsterdam is thrilling, yet I could replace “Amsterdam” with European city X. I’ve landed in a new place in Europe – and I’m going to live here.

Arriving in Amsterdam is terrifying. I’m sure my jet lag is not helping, but after my welcomer leaves me at my B&B – a tiny room in the red light district. I realise I don’t know one person in the entire country and to top it off am basically broke so I can’t give up and run back to my good friends in New Zealand or my brother in Texas. I am in new territory – I remember landing in Wellington and realise how much I appreciated being in a hostel and meeting Simon and particularly how nice it was having my sister Whitney there. On top of that I started work about 7 hours after arriving and I still don’t have a start date here, but it will be at least 6 days away.
So I consider my list of to-do’s: hit the lawyer in the morning, IND (Dutch Immigration) Friday, sort out how to get to/from my new B&B Monday - and in the meantime go get a mobile as soon as possible so that I can speak to someone I know. Then start work, explore the city, find an apartment. I’m reminded of how truly wonderful it was to have Dougal as my first flatmate in Wellington – he was an ambassador to the city and he welcomed me (really insisted) that I meet every friend and join him for every dinner out. I don’t want to be negative, but I somehow doubt I could be so lucky twice.

So now I’m sitting up in bed, a little hot, rather jet-lagged, listening to the rain and the teenage tourists outside. There’s a canal right outside and it is beautiful, but I feel so far away from the comfort of friends and loved ones – I believe this feeling is called loneliness. But I remind myself to chin up and relish this challenge – it’s hard, but hard challenges are that much sweeter once surmounted.

Damn, it’s 1 AM and I need to be up at 7 – if only I could disengage thoughts and feelings…

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