So on Tuesday our flight was delayed so DrBob took our suitcases and went to the apartment, and I went straight from the train station to Coffee Company to meet up with Mj, who has two sons, one of whom is the Sniglet’s age, and they both study tae kwon do and she loves to read and also knits, so she’s basically me, only Dutch. And much, much better-dressed. Oh, and taller. Okay so not me, really.
And she was really nice and funny and threw me lots of helpful information and that was great. Now I know how libraries work and where to buy t-shirts and used bicycles and how to go about getting kids into school. She also talked to her kids’ tae kwon do teacher, and Ignatz is welcome to drop in on a class next time he’s in Utrecht.
Then she needed to get back to work and I went to the apartment. Where I found out that DrBob had left my suitcase on the bus.
I’m too nice, I really am. He felt guilty and I didn’t think I should make it worse for him (um, why, exactly?). So I waited till he wasn’t looking before I had my little nervous breakdown.
So Wednesday! The bus office didn’t open until 10 a.m., so first I went to the Montessori school in Wittevrouwen and got the name of the person I should speak to, who wasn’t there. Then I went to the bilingual gymnasium and got the name of the person I should speak to, who wasn’t there. By then it was 10 so I went to the bus office and retrieved my bag. In Dutch! Because I am awesome like that.
The bag was heavy, and I didn’t look very impressive lugging it around, so I took it back to the apartment before setting off again, this time to the Catholic gymnasium. Mr tM said he’d want to talk to Ignatz before deciding whether he could go to their school, and we should do that in June. Then I went to the Protestant gymnasium and Mr, um… uh. Okay I gave him my contact info but I didn’t get his. Hey, it had been a long day by then, and it was still only about 1:30.
Anyway, the Dutch count school years differently, so Ignatz being in 8th grade didn’t really mean anything to them. We counted on our fingers to figure out what year he’d be in and Mr, um… well, he said probably third-year, but the third-years are taking their second year of Greek already, so Ignatz should probably join the second-year class. He might be a bit ahead in some other subjects, but since he still has to learn Dutch, I personally think that’d be a good thing. So does DrBob. (American readers, please note that repeating a school year here doesn’t carry the same stigma that it does in the States.) So I told him about Ignatz talking to the Catholic school in June, and he said June would be fine for them too.
That evening DrBob and I went to dinner at the house of an Irish professor who has two teenagers and was therefore able to tell us a lot about raising teenagers in Utrecht. It’s a great city, she says. Her kids were born in Utrecht, though, so she couldn’t tell us much about relocating with teenagers. Nobody can, it seems. Everybody says moving is tough but survivable, and then we tell them we’re moving with a 14-year-old and they all say, “whoa.” This makes us nervous.
Also at dinner that evening was a new English professor whose wife and kid have already moved back to Glasgow. I think the little one is four or five, but apparently he became really withdrawn when he started school and after three months he wasn’t any happier so they decided to reset for a bit.
It was a good evening. I learned a lot. I tried not to talk too much.
Waugh. There were a few bus rides in there, but most of this I did on foot, so just writing it out is making me tired all over again. Still, I got a lot of information in two days. I would know the city like the back of my hand if I were the sort to remember places I’ve been, but I was too busy absorbing other stuff.
Song du jour of the day: Jesus Was an Only Son, by Bruce Springsteen.