Introducing: Mom!

Greetings, lovely Roermond!

There is a saying in English – “The third time’s the charm.” Appears to be true in my case; my third visit to Roermond developed into the opportunity to live here. IND says I can stay for two years, at least – so here I am, and very much charmed!

I don’t know what should I say of myself, except that I’m very surprised and happy to be here.

During lockdown I’ve walked a lot, in the city center and outside it. I’m starting to know my way around. I notice more and more that’s interesting and beautiful – lovely things displayed in front windows; beautiful doors; intriguing courtyards and balconies. Walking here is lovely; I don’t miss having a car at all.

I’m curious what this change will bring. Will I ever, finally, really learn to speak Dutch? and understand it? Probably I’ll never be able to say Scheveningen correctly…

I wonder if I’ll get so settled here that I forget to notice how lovely this town is? I’ve been very lucky to visit several cities in The Netherlands. All are charming; but Roermond feels especially so. It’s small enough to walk everywhere, yet it has an urban feel. It’s completely modern, yet (to my American eye) beautifully old-world.

I wonder what I’ll learn about my ‘American’ self; and how will I see America after living here. Traveling, and living in a different culture, should open my eyes to new ways of seeing, new ways of being in the world.

I wonder how to get to know my neighbors? Now that lockdown is ended there will be more chances to talk to people. I must get past my own shyness & try to make friends!

I wonder how things are done here? How do the economy and the politics and the culture flow together. And – the politics! All these different parties! This is just GREAT! I must get them sorted.

I wonder at the permanence, the history, here. Standing in Marktplein, I look at the circle in the pavement that shows the history of Roermond, and try to grasp the reality of the long centuries of people living here. It’s a very different feeling from my home in the US, living in a city that didn’t exist 200 years ago.

I wonder what I can offer, how I can be useful here. How can I contribute to the community. I can volunteer somewhere – help plant trees? help out at the library? (The Roermond library is wonderful!)

As I explore and learn about Roermond, The Netherlands, and the Dutch, I’ll describe and question and exclaim about it all, here. Perhaps it’ll at least be entertaining!

2 thoughts on “Introducing: Mom!”

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