It’s all fun and games until…


Until things get real. Then it’s just hilarious. At least this was my experience when we started getting ready for the big move to Amsterdam. Mike had to be in Amsterdam early January so I was left behind, trying to plan everything for the wedding and the relocation. I remember sitting in front of my laptop, a gazillion tabs open, half were flower decorations and hairstyle ideas for brides and the other half were houses I liked on, healthcare companies’ sites and sites explaining the almighty chipkaart. A little parenthesis on the chipkaart: maybe it was the fact that everything was unfamiliar and/or translated to English by Google, maybe it was the fact that, I was so stressed out, I couldn’t think clearly, but everything looked complicated, hard and way outside my depth of knowledge at first and especially the chipkaart. I still don’t know why.

House hunting was a frustrating experience for me and a very tiring experience for Mike. The only thing I could do was find the houses I liked online and send them to Mike. Then he had to make the appointments and view the ones he thought were best. Of course he rose to the occasion and picked the best house ever, one that is close to everything and has the most “Hey Ziggy, you are gonna love Amsterdam” yard ever.

I also remember having these absurd questions in my head. Will I understand what everything is at the supermarket? (No, I didn’t at first, I’m getting better now), do they speak Dutch and English on the metro/tram/train? (No, they don’t and you have to deal with it. There was only one exception I experienced, when we had to evacuate a tram and they made the announcement in English as well.), are there really THAT many bikes there? (you have to see it to believe it) and many more.

The days went by quickly. I came to Amsterdam late January to help Mike with everything. He had already signed the contract for the house we rented, so I had to make lists of things to buy (fun) and find things he should order from Ikea and Leen Bakker, my new, exciting friend (more fun). I stayed here for 4 days and went back to Cyprus. Everything started falling into place. And suddenly, I started feeling out of place. I just really, really wanted to come back to Amsterdam. So I started packing. And unpacking. And then packing again, trying to be more efficient this time. And that didn’t work. So I just gave up and packed my suitcase the night before, after desperately searching for a packing app on Google Play. My personal experience is that this is the best way to pack. Just put anything you feel you are going to need, don’t put too much thought into it and try to pack as lightly as possible. Oh, and politely refuse your mom’s suggestions to pack some halloumi.

Mike came for 4 days and on the 5th day we left together, the three of us. I posted a photo on Facebook that morning, with our 2 suitcases and Ziggy’s kennel, with the caption “Ready”. And we really were.

Till the next post.

Much love,



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