April 1, 2008

Sink or swim

Since I've been in Los Angeles (which is about two months now), I have had a lot of time to listen to music and podcasts - I try to see that as a benefit of my desk job and spending so much time driving a car. I love anything that has a documentary-style feel to it, and often when I'm filing or photocopying for hours, I use the time to listen to the BBC World Service radio documentaries. Much to my delight, the third documentary I listened to this past Friday (I'm not kidding when I say I have a lot of time to do this kind of thing) was titled "Escaping the Water Wolf: With climate change bringing new threats of rising sea levels and increased rainfall, will luck and ingenuity continue to save the Netherlands from submersion?" You can listen to the program here.

The Netherlands - in case you couldn't guess by the name - is home to the lowest elevation in Europe (Fun Netherlands Factbook link here). People are living 7 meters below sea level in Zuidplaspolder, which is near Rotterdam, and the documentary talked about how climate change is going to affect the Netherlands in the future. Interesting stuff to learn about my future home.

Today I confirmed all my plans in terms of arriving in Europe on the 21st of April. I have a place to stay in Paris and friends to see for the two days that I'll be there. It's so easy to arrive in Paris - I know exactly where I'll pick up my bags, where I'll grab a taxi, and exactly how to tell the taxi driver where I want to go. I realized as I was thinking everything through that I don't know about any of that stuff in terms of arriving in Amsterdam. I know I'll arrive at the train station around 19.30 on the 23rd of April and take a taxi to my friend's apartment - an apartment I've only been to once, in a neighborhood that I've only seen at night. I don't even know the name of the neighborhood where she lives! I wonder if it will seem real - arriving in Amsterdam without a return ticket, knowing that I'm planning to stay.

I got a confirmation email from the Binger Filmlab saying that my application had been received, and I should find out if I made the short list of applicants sometime after April 10. I still put my chances of getting in to that school at 100 to 1, but we'll see. I had some email exchanges in the past few days in regards to the job in Amsterdam, and hopefully a phone call to be scheduled this week. Nothing ever moves fast enough for my taste, but at this point all I can do is wait. At least it's finally April! And remember, if you live in Amsterdam - tonight the Kaizers Orchestra is playing at the Paradiso. I love this band so much it makes me want to learn Norwegian, just so I can sing along with all the songs. I wonder if I can find the same type of thing in a Dutch band?


imshytoo said...

I am so excited for you. Your taxi driver will probably speak better English than you do (ha!) and will probably also know exactly where you are going. Not sure how they do that in Amsterdam but somehow they just do!! You know you will be in my thoughts!!

Another American Expat said...

thanks! I've never been worried about langauge in Amsterdam. after four visits there, I only came across one person (working at a cafe) that didn't speak English, and she seemed to feel really embarrassed about that.