So, exactly a year ago today, I stepped off the plane and onto Dutch soil as a resident.
There have been ups and downs and lots of frustration and getting used to things. But I'm pretty sure I'm on the right track to happiness in The Netherlands.
Last weekend, my dad and stepmum visited while on holiday in London. It's always so nice to have people visiting, helping me feel a little bit more like I 'belong' somewhere, even if it's just for a short while.
Talking about belonging, I still don't feel like I belong here and it can be caused by the smallest of things that people wouldn't normally wouldn't even think about.
For instance, the other day I was queueing up to get cash from the machine. In KL, I wouldn't think twice about me standing in line and how I behave because I've lived in the environment my whole life and know instinctively what the 'etiquette' is.
But over here, I actually am aware and wonder about things like, "How far behind the guy in front should I stand?" or "Should I leave a bigger gap between myself and the guy taking cash, or is that not done here and people will be annoyed for me taking such a big space?". Yes, call me oversensitive, but I do think about things like that.
It can be stressful when your head is always filled with questions and wanting to do the right thing.
Anyway, I had a great time last weekend with my dad and stepmum. Hoping to have more visitors from home soon!
First stop, my home, of course! My dad opened the window to test our clock's judgment of the temperature. Big observation this trip: my dad is obsessed about temperature and time. How many times did he ask me to change my clocks and watches by even 2 minutes? I don't remember. But I know I definitely get my OCD from him.
Bloody cold day. My toes were annoyingly numb.
We visited Schrobbenmaster's parents in Hoorn, taking a pitstop at a Schermer windmill and lunch at Graft-de Rijp, at the restaurant behind where we're standing.
Don't you just love these candid shots?
A behind-the-scenes shot of...
... this. The photographer was way too enthusiastic to wait for us to be ready.
At last, a wonderfully sunny day! The ING building in Amsterdam where we were to take the tram into the centre. My stepmum works in ING KL, just in case you were wondering why this picture.
We trammed to Museumplein, where the Rijksmuseum is located and had a nice lunch in the sun.
From there, a walk to Leidseplein, where my stepmum busied herself in the shops for presents, while my dad watched two guys playing giant chess.
It was a long and tiring weekend, but definitely worth the trouble :)