Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Home Is Where My Heart Is

I am homesick. I'm just not going to sugar-coat that one bit, I am totally and completely homesick. We had an appointment to meet our family doctor today, and she asked me what I missed the most about home, and I said "My friends" and I nearly broke down and cried right there in her office. I keep having little crying spells here and there, as I read-up on the lives of people back home or catch-up with emails. It's not so bad that I am completely miserable, but I wish I could be home for things that are happening in my friends' lives right now, and it sucks that I'm 7 hours ahead, I can't catch-up with them in the evening there, it's either 6am while they're still at home for a quick chat or during work hours, which only work for a few people. I can't even imagine how Megan feels, but she's steadily making friends at school and on our street, but that doesn't replace the people she's known her whole life back home.

Star-Spangled Neighbors
BUT! Something so great happened this week- down a few houses on the other side of the street a family with an American mom and Belgian dad moved in! They have 2 girls, one about Cousin Jack's age (born December of '03) named Maya and she is going to the same school as Megan. I got to meet Shayna, the mom, at lunchtime yesterday, and she seems very nice. It was funny- I was talking to Femke's mom, Nina, in English, and Shayna looked over at me, then said in a very hopeful and marginally desperate manner (that I am 1000% positive I would use when running into other English-speakers here) "Are you American?" And when I told her that we lived on her street, I saw a glimmer of relief in her eyes, maybe a reflection of the glimmer in mine. I hope we become fast coffee friends- the girls are already playing together, here at our house so that Maya's little sister can take a nap, and I can feel the relief in Megan- being able to play AND communicate. The giggles coming from upstairs are like an auditory box full of puppies.
The more they play, I realize how very integral a part of learning another language having an English-speaking friend is- they are role-models for one another, taking baby-steps in communicating in Dutch. They're currently playing hide-and-go-seek, and each of the seekers have been counting to ten and beyond in Dutch.

An American Without A Car Is Like A Dutchman Without A Bicycle
The rental car we have is almost due back, and with our brand-new SoFi numbers (YAY!) and with an actual bank account (DOUBLE YAY!) we are starting our search for our own car. Chances are it will be used, and tiny, and possibly diesel. I will no doubt be spending the rest of the day looking online at used car places. I'm hoping that in the meantime I can manage to find a bicycle- I figure one bike and one car will keep things flexible. I can bike into Haarlem easily to run errands or even for work, and if I'm going to start photographing folks again, I HAVE to be able to get around somehow, I'm not going to cart around my gear by foot, that's for sure.

Kari Noser Photography, Global Operations
With the move, I'm casting my net out in the Dutch market of photographers. I've been researching for a week, and basically I can't find anything (no less in English) about the cost of booking a photographer here. The closest I found were prices for wedding packages, which I'm not quite ready to start putting together, so I'm hitting the ex-pat network and starting with some "Portfolio Building" sessions. With that, I've also re-vamped the website, feel free to check it out here:

UPDATE - if the above link does not work, try this one:
As with all things technical, sometimes there is a user interface issue (like the thing between the chair and the keyboard) and I am experiencing a little glitch right now that I should have ironed out in the next 12 hours. I hope.

We went to the market with Shayna and Maya and Emerson later that afternoon, as we're out of fruits and veggies for the most part, and I can't wait to get some more chicken (the poultry vendor is good and very affordable- the chicken tastes so real- hard to explain, come visit and I'll feed ya), roasted peanuts, new flowers, and a giant stropwaffle! So far, that's our week, and for now tot ziens!


Anne said...

I'm sorry you are homesick. Wish there was something I could do. But consider yourself hugged. I am glad to hear there are some new Americans down the street. :) The pictures of Megan playing with her new friend make me so happy. I'll try to "call" in the morning (my morning, your afternoon).


Kathryn said...

Miss, miss, miss you! But SO happy to see that you've got hope of a new (english-speaking)friendship and Meg looks like she and Maya are having a blast! Cannot wait too see you Jetson-style again soon...I do love the video phone thing.

Jesse said...

First off, *spectacular* job on the website. Really and truly - it's gorgeous. Classy, clean, and well laid out. I approve :-)

Secondly, we miss you guys more than you can imagine. Just tonight we were wandering around in the kitchen, trying to decide what to do for dinner - eat in, go out, etc. I looked at Tew and said "Tonight would be a good night to eat with the Nosers." We both sighed, nodded, and paused for a moment.

We miss y'all. Who are we going to have a hurricane party with!?!?

Kari said...

You all are so wonderful! It made my morning to see you all "here"! I think I need to set-up Skype dates with everyone on a regular basis or something, that will help a lot- knowing when we'll see y'all lets us get excited for days in advance!

PS Jesse- I'm sure you saw the "Made on a Mac" at the bottom. Steve would approve, too. :)

Kari said...

Oh, and PPS Jesse and Kathryn:

Jesse and Tewlyn, Kathryn.

Kathryn, Jesse and Tewlyn.

3.3 Miles.

My work here is done.

Courtney said...

I know how you feel... I had that same homesick feeling when the move to NE coincided with Katrina's arrival... helpless that I couldn't stick around to help out; be there for the greiving... it hits home definitely when the BIG things happen that you aren't there for...
Not that it helps; but remember that we all have some of that feeling as we 'watch' you all experience amazing new things and long to be there for them, as well! :)