Saturday, September 25, 2010

Three Guys and a Girl in a Dutch House with Steep Stairs

Just a couple of months ago, I was in Ghana making last-minute plans to come to the Netherlands for a brief sojourn. Things were so last-minute that I only found accommodation one week before I flew out. I was so grateful to have a place that I did not even know (or care) whom I would be living with. So when the landlady ushered me into my new digs and I met Tenant #1 (a guy) , Tenant #2 (a guy) and heard Tenant #3 was also a guy, I was calm on the outside but in my head I was bouncing off the walls in surprise. Don't get me wrong; I've had plenty of room-mates,  housemates and flatmates in the past but they have never been exclusively male. So this was going to be interesting! The second shock was the stairs - the steepest I had ever seen before in my life! I still have visions of me tumbling down the stairs one of these days. Anyway, its been 2 months and I have settled into my Dutch digs. 
 
I love my room; it has large bay windows and a wonderful street view. The street below is very narrow and the large windows across the way remind me of the film Rear Window. Luckily, curtains and frosted windows are a deterrent against  scary voyeuristic tendencies! In fact, Dutch houses tend to have large windows at street level so its quite common to peer in on a family dinner as you walk down the street.
Playing with the Boys: Dumpling-making and Mooncake-eating as part of Chinese Mid-Autumn festival
Have I learned anything from living with guys?  *Yes* guys are a-okay as housemates! At first the toilet seat remaining up used to drive me crazy but last week something occurred to me. If you live in a house where the vast majority of the tenants prefer toilet seats up then am I not the weirdo for wanting the seat down?



The narrow street of cobbled stone below as seen from my window. I sometimes wonder how people manage to park on this street.

11 comments:

Boatemaa said...

Abena Serwaa, Good to know you've settled in quite nicely. When are you coming back? Or should I be planning a visit?

Mike said...

I can't help but find the image of someone tumbling down those stairs a bit humorous (yes, I think there's something wrong with me). Look on the bright side... you didn't have lug up all your furniture like some of us did in NYC walk-ups... :/

Abena Serwaa said...

@Boatemaa; lovely to see you around. I'll be gone 'til 1st week in November...But do plan a visit coz I'll be back in NL early next year!! Starting to get really cold in these parts...

@Mike; lol...*OMG*...stair tumbling is amusing to you?! Apparently it is happened to the young undergraduate among us and since he is still alive, it couldn't have been that bad. Luckily one of the strapping fellas helped me with my luggage up here. BTW; I did live in a Queens walk-up out of college. Luckily we were on the 1st floor so it wasn't so bad. I'll never forget moving in and...moving out though..

Mike said...

a bit aside... how'd you like Queens? I used to ride the J and E from Richmond Hill to work before finding my UWS walk-up. I swore I heard twi nearly everyday on some of those trains, especially the E, 1, and A trains. There's nothing like having to listen to loud Ghanaians thinking no one else in the subway car understands them.

Ghana_Hall_of_Shame said...

Hey, thats my building. I live on the 4th floor! Oh wait, there's no 4th floor in your pic. lol
You've been gone that long? Time sure flies!
The housemates will certainly add more to your experience out there. I'm laughing about your toilet seat dilemma.

Nanasei said...

@Boatemaa: This is way off base, but "I'll be gone 'til 1st week in November..." reminded me of Wyclef's "Gone til November" song. BTW, what came of his presidential aspirations in Haiti?

Abena Serwaa said...

@Mike LOL Interesting...Most of the GH peeps I met were most likely to be resident in the Bronx more than any other borough. I was in Astoria on Steinway street. Lukewarm abt Astoria (aside from the proximity to Manhattan and the huge apartment we had) but loved Steinway Street. I love the diversity of Queens and all the great restaurants..I still have fond memories of riding the N W and 4,5,6 plus occasionally the 7 and the R. Upper West Side??....*wow*

Abena Serwaa said...

@GHOS If you can't beat 'em...join 'em.. I'm actually going to miss these guys!

Abena Serwaa said...

@Nanasei : Not off base at all! That was the allusion I was making...Love that song..

Mike said...

funny you should say *wow* about the UWS. It's not so *WOW* when you realize all your neighbours pay a fraction of your rent (old Jewish couples on rent control!), and you get mugged jogging on Riverside Dr. But I guess getting to walk to Whole Foods and only a block from work after subway ride are pluses.
I've been to Astoria once, and never once made it to the Bronx in my 2 years in the city. If only Accra had this ease when I move back :/

Abena Serwaa said...

@Mike lol...despite what you say, I'm still in awe over you living on the UWS...Always loved the UWS. One of my good friend lived next to the museum of Natural history.... 79th and Central park west..fabulous location bt tiny apartment w/ 2 guys.
You never made it to the Bronx?! Well, I shouldn't be shocked...in my 2 years in the NY, I never made it to Staten Island...Loved Brooklyn, Harlem and Washington Heights..