Friday, 10 February 2012

Frosty Nip

It continues to be below freezing in Amsterdam. It appears to be warming up after the weekend, but not before we get one last blast of what I am learning to call 'schneeuw'.

The canals have largely frozen over, the pavements are a treacherous, icy mess (although the bike paths are clear) and going outside is a major operation.

I tried to make the cold go away by knitting these charming blue mittens which seems to be working. I don't have too much in the way of charming local detail for you this week, only a report that I can express my own incomprehension and incompetence in Dutch. In a way that makes people laugh.

The two major things that we did this week were to get registered as official residents in Amsterdam and get ourselves bank accounts. It's almost like we're staying here for good.

I continue to miss having access to iplayer, because we've not sorted out a vpn tunnel. We do, however, have the parts on order for a hardware solution to our TV problem.

I also find myself coveting domestic electricals - they have these raclette grill things (also called 'gourmets') which I want but I fundamentally don't know why, and I'm also wanting to solve the problem of my continuing Radio 4 addiction by getting an internet radio gizmo like this one.

Then we get to the coffee grinder problem. I see a lot of coffee beans being sold in shops - usually taking up more shelf space than ground coffee - but I don't see any coffee grinders being sold next to the stunning arrays of coffee machines. Not all the machines are bean-to-cup either, most of them assume that you have some way of getting ground coffee. But this is probably just a continuation of the ongoing expat problem of not knowing what shops sell things.

I guess I could just put a big Amazon order in. That usually solves everything.

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