4 September 2007

Notes from living the dream

1. Everything stays shut on Sunday here. I like this, it means people are keeping themselves a bit more balanced. But it does mean you've got to remember to go out and buy things like clothes airers on Saturday.

2. Homewares stores like "Blokker" and my local hardware place don't open till 1.00 pm on Monday. Now surely that's going a bit too far. Still don't have a clothes airer.

3. Tourist flats occasionally house drunk, arsehole, noisy tourists. At about 1am last night when all you Aussies would have been hard at work, possible downing a nice mug of latte, I was wide awake listening to drunken rants, arguments, and possibly songs, doors slamming that sounded like someone had dropped a bass drum down the stair well, and thumping on the glass doors, most likely from the flat below mine which is a short term rental. It was intensely annoying, and most definitely not dutch. Although if i covered my ears to create the swoosh of the ocean, then it was just about possible to pretend it was Bondi.

4. The dutch are by their genetic nature, helpful. A couple of weeks ago I bought some stamps from a heavily touristed area, and didn't realise till I got them home that some were "guilders" (the currency that went out with the Euro). Today I slapped a couple on a letter to the tax man, and then realised it might not get through. So I popped into the local newsagency to see if they thought it was enough currency. The older guy laughed and said - oh I just had to look to see if this was Eugenie or Beatrix on here. (Dutch queens) , I collect stamps you see, this could actually be worth a fews Euros, where did you get it?. But no I don't think it's enough for Australia. So I bought a new stamp, and added it next to poor old 1 guilder Queenie who was already attached, after offering the old stamp to the news agent. It can't have been worth that much as he declined. He also pointed out that I hadn't written Australia, only NSW, so would it get through? Nice.

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