Our walk-through of the house was scheduled for 3pm today so we decided to pass some at a secondhand furniture store in Sittard. Our driving adventures in Holland are never-ending. The first store we visited was closed-- permanently. We input a second address into the GPS and arrived at another store, but not before driving through one of the ubiquitous roundabouts. I must admit I'm already tired of these junctions. Today, we managed to drive around a roundabout twice before exiting. I felt like Clark Griswold in European Vacation. "I cannot get left!!!!"
After perusing the furniture store, we decided it was time for lunch. At this point it was only around 12:30 so we knew we had more than enough time to eat lunch and then drive to our new home for the walk-through. Lunch was great. I definitely think we're having better luck with restaurants in Holland. We have yet to be served by a waiter or waitress who does not speak close-to-perfect English and of course that is very appealing to us.
On the return trip, my husband decided he wanted to try to navigate without the aid of the GPS. His innate sense of direction is much better than mine and before I knew it, we were on the highway and headed to Tuddern. I was very impressed! We may not be the best at roundabouts, but at least we know a landmark when we see it!
Our cheerful landlord's son greeted us when we arrived. We performed the walk-through and were very pleased with everything. Tomorrow will be a long day for us but I'm so excited that we will be settled into our home for the next few years.
Although I'm very happy, we are still not in the clear. Our home is heated by oil and it is our responsibility to fill the oil tanks. When we originally saw the house, we thought the oil was over 80% full. We commented about this during the walk-through today and were informed that the tanks are almost empty. They looked full because of a strategic shadow. Yikes. This was an expense we had not officially planned for so it was a big surprise. Oil can be quite expensive here and we obviously aren't planning on freezing during our first winter.
We also don't know if our television is dual-voltage. This means that we might have shipped a TV here needlessly. We can always use a transformer but that pulls a lot of electricity so we are just hoping that it works for Europe as well as America. If not, we will probably just end up purchasing a new one at some point.
And then there is the panic that sets in when you walk through a new space and begin to wonder if all of your furniture is really going to fit in the way you originally imagined. We thought we were going to need a lot of new furniture and now we're worrying that we might have too much. In the end I think it will all turn out fine. Empty rooms have a way of looking smaller than they are.
I'll be very relieved when we're finished with all of this waiting! Hopefully we'll be settled just in time for our first Thanksgiving in Germany. We might be some of the only people in our neighborhood to celebrate, but we're going to find a way to fit a turkey inside our tiny European oven. Don't worry; I'll let you know how that turns out.