Friday, September 01, 2006

Getting Settled

We're finally in our new house in Wassenaar. Americans would call Wassenaar a suburb of The Hague, but I'm not sure that the residents here would think so. We live in a typical attached home (like a townhouse) -- that's ours on the end of the block. In The Netherlands there are very few detached houses -- most people live in townhomes or apartments. There are some big single homes here in Wassenaar, and they are considered very "rich" and "decadent" by Dutch standards. We find that we get a reaction like "oooooh, Wassenaar" -- almost like sticking their noses up in the air. This is getting to be really annoying, and it leaves us wanting to use some sort of qualifier like "we live in a regular house in Wassenaar." Somehow it probably wouldn't translate quite like we mean it.

What's not typical about our house is the view -- we can look right out our front windows and see the town's historic Molen (windmill). We haven't visited yet, but we understand that you can buy oatmeal made right at the mill. Despite the perception that there are a lot of windmills around Holland, not many people have a view like this!

Due to the high ceiling height (and probably the desire to save space), the stairways here are very steep and narrow. Not sure if you can get the right perspective from these photos of the stairs from the ground floor to the 1st floor (carpeted) and 1st floor to the 2nd floor (painted). For you Americans that's 1st to 2nd and 2nd to 3rd. We were worried that the stairs would freak out the cats (especially our 16-year old) but so far they seem to enjoy them. We're still not used to them and there are many times we miss our little old ranch!

More on Wassenaar & differences in living later.