May 20, 2015

Moving House or The Art of Avoidance

The number one thing on my list today is finishing our US taxes*. And hard as it is to tear myself away from that barrel of monkeys, my gut says it's time to write. So writing it is.

Too bad, tax monkeys.

Tax deadline for expats is June 15th, which is also moving day for us. Not back to the US, but to another place in Amsterdam. Our soon-to-be apartment has two(!) toilets, an adorably tiny office, steep Dutch stairs, a garden, and lovely high ceilings with those carvings and architectural details and whatnot (pretty sure that's the technical term). We'll have a dryer and a proper oven for the first time in four years.

We'll bike to school through Vondelpark, which will practically be our back yard. We'll be two doors down from a vintage furniture shop, and a few minutes walk from the only decent place to get Mexican food in Amsterdam. I'm a bit giddy. In short, I really think we might not ever move again.

Just kidding, we're totally moving back in a year. And everyone knows by now that when we say that, we MEAN it.

Here, it's common to use a realtor to find rentals (we didn't), as well as negotiate rental terms as you would buying a house. We viewed the place and bid on it in the same day (did I mention it has whatnots?), in an effort to show how serious we were even without a realtor. Which is also why we very carefully cut out the magazine letters for our offer letter and put "This is a serious rental offer!!!!!" on the top with a heart dotting the i so they would know we were just the right mix of responsible and cute.

Actually we did it all the negotiating via email while traveling, and in our desperation to snag a place with a garden, we brushed off the tiny detail that the new place is unfurnished while our current apartment is furnished. Ha ha, didn't seem like such a big deal at the time.

That's OK, because to avoid thinking about all the things we'll need to buy, I've been distracting myself by arranging all the furniture that we don't have in my head. Avoidance is fabulously therapeutic.

Go away tax monkeys.

Maybe we should renew our vows and do another wedding registry. Coincidentally, we just had our 17th wedding anniversary, which according to the anniversary gift list, is the furniture year. Convenient! We'll go to Ikea together and see if we can make it to 18.

To celebrate our anniversary we went out for a rather bland brunch, where an American tourist sat with us and then joined us to view an exhibit of the 2014 World Press Photo winners. That's right, we celebrated 17 years of marriage by looking at disturbing photos of war zones and human atrocities with a complete stranger. There's an analogy there, I know it.

Oops-- no time to think about that anymore. Time for taxes.

*If you didn't see my Facebook post: when I opened up our tax return from last year, I saw that I listed my occupation as "Lady of Leisure," and now I'm trying to decide what to put for this year. So far I've got: Avoidance-art Specialist, Homecoming Queen Runner-Up, and Barrel and Monkey Facilitator. Hit me with your best suggestions. 


Anonymous said...

We can send you the furniture you left at our house. 😎

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