Moving to Amsterdam, a snap decision and one of the best

Posted by Blokeman on October 3, 2015 under General Bloke Stuff | Be the First to Comment

When we decided to pack up our family and move to the other side of the world, I expected an adventure and an enriching experience, and I have certainly received that. Nothing gives you worldly perspective, like living in different parts of it. Every country and every race has its idiosyncrasies, some more-so than others.

The relocation came with such a whirlwind that I barely got to enjoy the ride, one day I had a job offer and it seemed like the next I was boarding a plane to my new life. I don’t even think I sat back and really considered what to expect, I just kind of did what was needed and got myself packed, sold and threw out everything from my old life bar a suitcase full of clothes and got myself here.

I was so underprepared that I didn’t even bother to give the friend that was meeting me at the other end my phone number, or flight numbers, just an arrival time, furthermore I ┬áhadn’t seen him for about 6 years, I didn’t even know if I would recognize him. I didn’t even bother to get his number. So after a long 24 hours of flying, I landed at Schipol, cleared customs and retrieved my bag, I walked out into the arrival hall half expecting to see him right away, but no he wasn’t there, or that I saw, a mild bit of panic washed over me and I realised how errant I was in not bothering to hammer out those finer details of my arrival.

At this point all I had was his Facebook details, I had never been to Amsterdam before so I really didn’t know what to do, I quickly flicked him a Facebook message letting him know my location and that I was just going to grab a coffee from the cafe at the arrival hall. Now for those who don’t know Schipol airport, it essentially has two terminals opposite each other, connected by a large hall for train platforms and food outlets each terminal has two arrival gates, and the instruction for those meeting people is that the person should come out of arrival x but may come out of arrival y. Which are about 400m apart, so real useful if the person just randomly comes out.

Anyway, whilst I got my coffee and found an obvious place to stand and wait I sent my friend another message on facebook to let him know I was now standing by the big red obvious box at arrival whatever-it-was. Then I waited, sipped my coffee and waited some more. After a further 30 minutes of waiting and checking my facebook waiting for a message or to see if my friend had checked, nothing happened, and panic really began to set in, what was I going to do? Where was I going to stay?, how did I even get anywhere? I slowly came down out of my panic and fatigue fuelled state and formulated a plan, maybe I could catch a train into the city, then I could hole up in a cafe or restaurant and wait it out, if things didn’t happen I could always find a hotel hopefully and check in for a night or two, though I was not funded for much more. I was meant to have a place lined up to live in, so I should be good if I could get hold of those people too (Another story to come), I’ll just wait it out another 30 minutes……

Finally when I was about to leave and go on an adventure into the city, my friend and I randomly bumped into each other, he had been looking for me everywhere, and we had missed each other several times. The instant relief, I had something, someone familiar to help me navigate my first day.

Panic abated and feeling more positive, we drove back to his place where I could shower and get a coffee. Then my first day really started to take shape and things got real interesting… Really interesting I will post that shortly, because that is a story worth telling.

I had originally wanted to write this post about things I had learned and experienced since moving here, but I realised the arrival should be told, and there is a lesson and a story within it. So I have more to write on future dates.

I did learn, that big events need better planning, and leaving so much to chance was risky, particularly arriving in a country to which I had previously never been. However it was part of the adventure, part of this adventure, that is still going on today

Mummy Does the biggest Poo Poos, Parenting done right

Posted by Blokeman on October 9, 2014 under General Bloke Stuff, Observations, Women | Be the First to Comment

It is amazing how quickly your world quickly revolves entirely around your child, gone are the days of parties every week, staying out all night, lots of disposable income and just general irresponsibility. This all becomes replaced quickly with a deep desire to sleep whenever you can. You miss the days where you were able to sleep in until all hours and behave in any way that suited you. You were on your own schedule and now are on the schedule of another being who seems to have boundless energy and a desire for your attention all day every day. Read more of this article »

Personas around the world

Posted by Blokeman on July 30, 2014 under Observations | Be the First to Comment

Within the last year I picked up Mrs and mini-blokeman and relocated the blokeman family over to the Netherlands, Amsterdam in fact. Just the place for a guy like me I guess.

However the move has come with its fair share of culture shock and culture adjustment, the Dutch are a unique people, they do not deserve their international reputation for being rude. In fact I think the idea of calling them rude is a misunderstanding of just raw and abject bluntness. It is rude it is honesty, there is no malice in what they say or do, it is just an over-arching expectation that the entire world bend to fit them into their considerations. It is an overall idea that they have a right to do whatever they do, and therefore will do it. A dutch person will always do anything they can simply because they can do it. This is part of what makes them such great entrepreneurs, they don’t get caught up in silly consideration such as how their actions will affect another. Read more of this article »