Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Getting rid of it all
For the most part, I don't miss having access to a car. I was car-less in the US, a state which is apparently highly unusual, but which for me was second-nature. I mean, honestly, who wants to be stuck in rush-hour traffic in Center City, especially when you can just bob and weave your way to the front of the pack? In the Netherlands, of course, getting around by bike is the norm, and I think it's the main reason why I feel so much at home, here.
Me and my omafiets (yes, I know that's bad grammar) have been all over Maastricht. When I moved from the temporary apartment to another temporary apartment (6-month lease) in Belgium, I shoved everything on the back of the bike, and took it in 4 or 5 trips. When I moved from the Belgian apartment to St. Pieter's, I did it again, on my bike--a total of 10 trips. It's amazing, really, what some kitchen equipment and some sheets will add to the final volume of things. When I cat-sat for some friends, attended Dutch lessons, explored the city, got groceries, it was my bike that bounced over the cobblestones.
But alas, for my next move, back to Nijmegen, it will not be enough. And no, it's not that I have that much more stuff. It's that I now have furniture to contend with. My earlier apartments were furnished--one, straight out of the IKEA catalog, the other, straight out of Hell's version of the '70s--so I never had to worry about what to do with my bed, for instance. Or my desk. Or the reading chair. Lamp. Closet.
I can't take it all back to Nijmegen, either. Where would it fit? My boyfriend's storage unit has been completely consumed by broken coffee machines and a giant ladder, and while our apartmment technically has the space, it wouldn't look right. Not to mention that the final value of everything combined would be less than the cost of hiring a moving company (€200).
Fortunately one of my friends needs a closet, so I've gotten that one taken care of. But if you or someone you know needs a pseudo-antique desk...
ETA: My piece for Crossroads is up!