Thursday, March 30, 2006

When at home...

First week back home, and it's been alright. Most of the time I've spent at home, sorting out the piled up (read problematic) paperwork to do with the house, insurance, utilities and taxes. It all is really complicated, and to avoid paying unnecessary fees, I've had to look at things over and over again. Dutch bureaucracy means that sometimes they charge you for things that you've already told them should not be there. (Imagine a whopping electricity of €250 per month!!) And even after you tell them, they keep on sending reminders for you to pay. Even an address change takes several reminders and weeks (if not months) to register. Worst is: you finally get ahold of someone after listening to monotonous pre-recorded messages and typing endless numbers to narrow down the service you want, you explain at lenght what it is you would like to be done, then the person at the other end tells you to hold (with music that's supposed to keep you entertained) and transfers you to another colleague. You start the explaining all over again. And every minute counts.

It's not new for me, dealing with these companies and telephone assistants. I mean all those years living alone I've had to basically do it on my own. But really, after almost one year absence, and plus the fact that we moved in the meantime, means lots of effort and time. And that's not all... I've also been asked to go to the bank and negotiate with them about the mortgage. How do I do that?! Really...all those expectations, and all those 'do-this, do-that' as if it were all so easy. I've also just been asked to polish the house up a know, a new layer of paint on the bathroom ceiling, in the kitchen, on the window and doors outside on the second floor balcony, and bits and bobs where the previous tenants amateurishly (and uglily) tried to cover up the damage they did to the paint and wallpaper on walls and ceilings with the wrong kind/colour of paint here and there. Of course, it's not work to be done overnight, but since I'm not doing much, might as well start.

I don't mind doing all this, really I don't. And to be honest, I'm not sure I could do anything else more useful anywhere without a job or study. Though I'd like to work and make some money for myself for a change, it'll probably take another month (or longer) to find anything decent and that I'm interested in. Really not sure what it is I could do, and what kind of employer would hire me...I'm mean what skills do I have, what can I do better than others? For one thing, lanaguage is a barrier, and self-confidence another. So, still I'm undecided what would suit me careerwise and studywise. I've been looking into master programmes, there are some that appeal to me, but they're quite far away (in Groningen and Maastricht, both around 200km north and south respectively). There's something closer to home (which also means I could live at home), it's also where I used to work in Leiden, but somehow with the same degree and fees it just doesn't appeal to me at all! The search goes on.

So, when at home, I should do some homework.

(this is it...) Posted by Picasa

Monday, March 27, 2006

barren woods
swimming freely
flowing into the distance
white bridge
gray bridge
the path not taken
diagonal path
fresh spring
more reflections
shadow photographer
storks in parade
into the distance
tranquil woods
still water
swan and reflection
Clingendael Forest...where I've spent hours wandering around
Old and new...symbolic of the Netherlands today (part of Parliament buidling)
inside city hall: also known as the "Ijspaleis" (Ice Palace, because of its white design and colour)
canal and bikes
city centre
Houses of Parliament (Binnenhof, from the Hofvijver)
Grote Markt, city centre of Den Haag
Oh, Nederland
more snowdrops
A square in downtown The Hague (Den Haag)
The blossoming of wild crocuses marks the beginning of spring...and warmer weather!
"...a crowd of daffodils"
bunch of snowdrops
Crocuses in bloom

With love from Holland

Clear skies ahead
More snow
A town in Germany, covered with snow
Snow capped mountains of Hungary
Beautiful morning over Central Europe
Travelling light (at BKK)
Farewell, Taiwan!
BR 0075 my plane 'home'

Migrating westward...