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Wood working

September 11, 2011

Hi! The last few weeks have been busy and I’ve been slacking on my updates, but after a great weekend, I need to get some things down on paper.

There were a few glitches this past week with our house. We were supposed to sign for the house and get the keys this past Friday. Unfortunately, the bank decided that it couldn’t go through as-is just yet….we found out on Monday about one thing, and on Wednesday again about another hurdle. So it was a very stressful and emotional week. We were really bummed about not being able to get the keys on Friday. We had paint ordered, the sander ready, and were looking forward to getting started! That didn’t happen. But, we still needed to bring the wood flooring from the previous owners into the apartment. (during the negotiations, we used the fact that not all the floors were wooden as a bargaining chip. The current owners offered us the new wood flooring from the new place they are moving into, since the color was so similar and they wanted a new look in their new place…so they offered it to us as part of teh deal…score!)

I consider Friday another excellent example of my inauguration into Amsterdam.

The first of the wooden planks in the living room

You’d think it wouldn’t be too big of a deal. But have you seen Amsterdam staircases? Super steep and super narrow = a big deal! Instead of carrying up the wood, we used the standard pulley system.

Martijn, the current owner, showed us how to hook the rope and the pulley to the iron beam that sticks out of the top of the building (and every building in Amsterdam)

The pulley

Using a net, the wood was hooked to the rope...

More than a few times, the net got caught on the balcony below us. Luckily, the downstairs neighbor was home and was able to set it free. And, in true Amsterdam style, it started raining about half way through this ordeal. Though, only a slight drizzle.

Bram and I had the relatively easy part of grabbing the planks, and bringing them into the apartment.

The pile started to grow.

Yolanda, the other half of the current owners, was helping us out as well.

Here, you can see the net stuck on the balcony below.

The pile grew.

...and grew! (This is a pile in another room)

And we were done! It took about 2 hours to get everything in the apartment and we definitely have more than we need. It was fun to experience moving ‘the Dutch way’, and I know there is no way we could have done it without the help of the current owners and their friend. (Their friend, Paul, by the way, travels to places like Borneo, South Sudan, Afghanistan, Ivory Coast, etc. to set up and assess mental health projects for an organization that is similar to Doctors Without Borders (but which focuses on longer-term engagements and less on short-term disaster relief). Pretty cool, huh?)

So, that’s the story! We all went to lunch afterwords at a local cafe and bid farewell until we get the keys next week. Can’t wait!

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 11, 2011 10:08 PM

    I always wondered about the iron beams and if they were really used. Such and informational post and the wood is beautiful!

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