Saturday, September 14, 2013

Zaterdag, Maastricht

DSC09791Today’s the last full day in Maastricht for a while, organizing and packing against autumn temperatures and blowing rains.  I’m shifting back to Cambridge after a three week absence to open CamStent’s clinical trials and fundraising, then close out the Barrington apartment on the 30th. 

I don’t like moving (ik hou niet van verhuizen), especially given the recent difficult circumstances.  But a substantial amount is already packed and there’s a good future coming together on the southern UK coast.  So I’m keeping a generally positive outlook.

DSC00040 (1200x900)In the wake of our successful day in court, I celebrated by (finally) getting a television for the apartment.  My son laughs (anything less than 80” isn’t a real television to him) but 81 cm tucks nicely into the bookcase niche and fits the room.  DSC00044 (1153x1200)I also hooked in the new Chromecast, freshly arrived from the US, and gave the system an “All Anouk” YouTube test run. 

It all really works great: the direct connection to the Internet, controlled from the PC, works seamlessly.  With both US and UK proxies, I am a master of global media.

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DSC09946 (1200x840)Europeans sleep ‘commando’: beds have a bottom sheet and a duvet with cover, but no top sheet.  In hot weather, this gets uncomfortable.  Further, my fitted sheet never really fit and, frankly, it’s time for some color against the grey autumn skies.  So, it was time to head to V&D with my measurements and the magic word laken at the ready.

But the bedding aisles turned out to be a maze of choices, each package (not so) helpfully filled with arrows and bullets,  illustrated with outlines of bodies and beds.

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After a few stumbles, I enlisted several knowing vrouwen and was soon fully mentored in the proper approach.

I needed a hoeslaken (fitted sheet) above a molton (mattress cover), then a topper (the top sheet) and matching dekbedovertrek (duvet cover) and kussenslopen (pillowcase).   They should all be katoen (cotton), strijkvrij (no-iron), and in the correct size (25 cm overhang).

It was not a quick shop.  But I did have an adventure to talk about in Dutch class.

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Saturday was also Open House for various Maastricht city museums.  Historically, I would have tried to see four or more. My reformed self settled for one: the Keizer Bierbouwerij in the Wyck.  It turned out to be a very good (Dutch) tour through the old brewmaster’s residence.

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The walls were simple, the ceilings high, the stairs steep and narrow as with  most older architecture.  But the rooms were filled with everyday items belonging to the family and nicely evoked the life that they led.  the upstairs slaapkamer and eetzaal were my favorites, lovely blue porcelain and a very sturdy bed that looked way to short for most Dutchmen I know.

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