Packed up a few clothes and a lot of Sinterklaas treats, powered down the apartment, and headed off to the Eurostar. I’m dragging generally, uncharacteristically, and not just my suitcase.
It was a pretty good couple of weeks in Maastricht. I’ve got IND back on track (still no approval, but working on it) and all of the banks back in line (What, really, do these institutions do for us besides create friction and expense?). We made good progress developing the new anesthesia stimulator that I’m building with folks over at the University. I got back to the PT and to exercise, so am feeling a bit lighter on my feet. The Christmas lights are being lit.
Still, the inburgering is hanging out and the college is not being helpful. Travel keeps me out of class, but not out of touch. I do reading, e-learning, exchanging Dutch emails with Dutch friends. But I don’t have conversations, and can’t find a path either to have occasional Skype calls with a Dutch-buddy or to stay in sync with my class. Walking in for a few days each month is more disruptive than instructive. I’m pushing a bit harder and will see what we can work out, but inburgering is clearly a program that requires physical attendance.
The Eurostar tossed their annoyance onto the pile, as Belgian trains refused to honor “Any Dutch to Brussels” tickets unless the passenger had an actual paper ticket issued in Brussels. If you travel with a printed confirmation, they will ask you to buy a 1-way ticket (no penalty, just the 13.70 euro) and seek reimbursement from Eurostar later. Beware.
Overall, I’m just feeling tired and frustrated, short on patience and behind on task lists. I’m not good company. It will pass, but I feel like just shutting away from the world for a week to read books and eat cashews.