Navigating faith, love, and life in the Netherlands

Monday, November 11, 2013

What is Normal?

Here's a glimpse into what's "normal" for me in my new life in the Netherlands.

Normal is attending a church service where you sing along to songs you sort of understand.  Normal is not knowing literal translations of signs, but guessing based on the pictures or the few words you know.  Normal is following the gist of conversations but not thinking quickly enough in Dutch to jump in unless the conversation is one-on-one.

Normal is planning your day around rain or possible rain.  Normal is cycling everywhere, rain or shine.  Normal is being really excited for the sunshine! Normal is cycling very close to parked or moving cars and trying not to flinch too much.

Normal is drying your clothes on racks upstairs, and waiting at least one or two days for them to dry completely.  Normal is waiting for something to finish cooking in the oven so that you can microwave leftovers (it's the same appliance).  Normal is a washing machine cycle that is 1.5 hrs long - water is heated internally (only cold water comes into the machine).

Normal is going to a small store inside the train station or inside a bookstore to buy postage for packages or letters. Normal is paying for bags at the grocery store or just hauling your purchases home on your bike saddlebags or in your backpack.

What's "normal" in your part of the world?

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