Saturday afternoon Ron and I were pondering the diasasters besetting our lives at the moment ie: ‘new-pond-syndrome’ and two broody chooks.
Ron pointed out that if we were still living in Amsterdam we’d have to be millionaire’s to be able to afford the possibility of such disasters. Millionaires or wheelchair-bound-senior-citizens who’d spent quarter of a century on a waiting list for a ground floor apartment. Such luxurious disasters!
On the weekend we abandoned plans to go to the Pride Parade, (something to do with incessant rain) and moved into our new flat instead. (its the one on the second floor with no flowers on the bacony) We are staying in De Pijp but just a little closer to our favourite cafes and the Albert Cuyp Market.
Its proven to be a bit of a challenge size wise. We are moving from a large, cheap but illegally rented flat to one half the size and three times the price. All we’ve had to sacrifice is a bathroom and about 30 square meters. We have a typical ‘Pijp’ bathroom, a WC with a shower hanging on the wall. Finding a spot for everything can be tricky, the kitchen is also guinness-book-of-records small, the loung room doesn’t have much to spare, so eventually you’re left standing on the balcony clutching your toothbrush and still trying to find a spot to put it!
It didn’t pass us by that the bedroom didn’t have room for much else other than the bed, what we had failed to anticipate was that Ron’s feet would be hanging over the end of the bed! And somehow we overlooked the church steeple with the very large bell that’s practically in our back yard!
The stairs are steep, the spare room on the fourth floor, the neighbours VERY close and the local red-light district not quite the tourist-friendly kind, but we love it. It already feels like home.
Parking permits are like gold in Amsterdam. You may be entitled to one but in most areas the waiting lists are between one and five years long. So many people resort to a similar arrangement as us; park outside the Mercure Hotel over the Utrechtse brug and keep an old fiets down there to cycle to and from home on.
During the four days of summer each year this isn’t too bad and we enjoy an evening stroll down to the Amstel, but for the other 361 cold, wet, dark evenings and mornings, as I watch Ron pedal off up the Rijnstraat, I do tend to roll over, snuggle back into the doona and be really glad I don’t have my drivers licence.
So the exciting news for us is that this weekend Ron and I are moving house and THE most exciting thing is that we will be getting a genuine bona-fide Amsterdam parking permit! And not in one year, two years or more but tonight! Our new landlord already has the permit and only had to transfer it to our name and vehicle.
Of course the parking permit doesn’t solve all your problems. You do still need to find a spot to put the car. But for us the parking permit really is for parking so once we are parked we tend to stay that way, for up to six weeks at a time. All we have to do now is remember WHERE we parked the car!