Friday, June 27, 2008

I'm all smiles tonight

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Holly and I are moving into the apartment tomorrow. That's great on its own, but what really has me smiling is 2 encounters that I had today:

I learned today that my friend Damion and his roommate Kevin had cleared their whole weekend *just in case* I needed help moving into my apartment. They also offered to take me shopping with their car to pick up the odds and ends that I might need to get settled. That might not sound like much, but Damion is someone I've only seen a handful of times in my life.

He shared an apartment in Amsterdam with a former co-worker of mine, and I stayed with them for a weekend in 2000. My co-worker returned to the US, but a few years later, Brett and I visited Amsterdam and Damion took us around the country, visiting Rotterdam, Haarlem and The Hague. A few years after that, my dad and I stayed with them for 5 days and they took us to the Dutch archives in Rotterdam and Leiden so my dad could do geneology research. My dad still talks fondly about that trip. Fast forward to 2008 and they've been the best resource I've had in settling into my new home. I'm SO lucky to have met them. Damion and Kevin will truly be a lifelong friends and I can never repay them for their kindness.

My second encounter was with a woman who works at the hotel. Every day Holly and I would walk past the business center and a woman working there would come out to pet Holly and chat with me for a few minutes. It was really cute, as Holly became accustomed to these greetings and would perk up and start wagging as soon as we approached the area - even if if was well past the business center's normal hours. Anyway - today was our last walk by the business center. We met our new friend and wished each other well.

Then this evening I got a call from the concierge. He said he had something to bring me and that he was on his way up. He arrived with a letter and a small box of Dutch porcelain magnets. I thought it might be a gift from the hotel management because I've spent so much money on Internet the past 3 weeks - but in reality it was a nice note from the woman in the business center. She just wanted to wish us well in our new apartment and said that if I didn't know anyone in Amsterdam that she'd be glad to meet me for coffee or attend a movie some day!

It was such a nice gesture. I called to thank her and will definitely take her up on her offer one day soon. I said in one of my very first posts that the Dutch are incredibly welcoming - and today absolutely confirms it. I am a VERY lucky girl. How did she know that I collect magnets? :-)

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