Maastricht

We left Vienna on Thursday. The movers came on Wednesday & we had a small going-away party in a nearby beer garden after that, then we spent Thursday doing annoying things like trying to track down the people I rented my flat from to give back they keys. I was seriously afraid they'd gone bankrupt, since no one had been able to get in touch with them to have them tell my Bath flat that we paid our rent every month. But in fact they just don't answer the phone, we watched them not answer it for about an hour while waiting to be attended to. Since they require three months deposit, I'm glad I'll be getting most of it back. It being Austria, they will take some out to repaint the house & resand the floors. I miss the US where ordinary wear & tear is expected, and the owners repaint on their own when it is needed.

Maastricht being the Netherlands, no one cleaned anything between residents. We paid to have the place painted, and we coerced the owner into having it carpeted. But in a tiny (< 3 meters squared) kitchen I went through three buckets of mopping water getting the floor cleanish! The bathrooms were in better shape. Actually, there is one bathroom with no toilet, & one tiny toilet with its own little sink. What we didn't notice before is that there is constant noise in the flat because some kind of extractor fan is on all the time for those rooms. But the space is cool. We will eventually get new phones with cameras & take pictures for you.

I'm only here until early Tuesday morning. Then I'll take the train to London, work on a grant, then get into Bath late. On the 2nd of September I'll be finishing all the human subject forms for my grant, and also have an enormous amount of post to deal with. Will is going to Toronto 1 September, and then the next weekend to Potsdam, so already we will be apart for 3 weeks when classes haven't even started yet. I wanted to go to Toronto with him, but I really need to spend some time in Bath. 3 September I will figure out what classes I am teaching this term -- I know the course, but it's shared & I don't know the classes yet.

We had to buy appliances on Friday -- we got a refrigerator on sale but now it isn't ready to be delivered so we have nothing in the house yet except the (electric) stove. There are no lights except the two little orange ones I had in Vienna, and some in the kitchen. What kind of people care so much about their house the strip out all the appliances & light fixtures, and so little that they let their kitchen floor get in that state? We are also mystified about how to get the hoses for the dishwasher from under the sink to the dishwasher nook. The store we bought it from will connect it, but won't carve holes in the cabinetwork. After being in Austria, we have had it with the weird UK propensity not to own dishwashers.

Anyway, nothing really interesting going on besides packing & unpacking. Maastricht is cool. We saw a wedding party going down the river on a boat, the bride & groom standing on the back of the boat & waving like they were on a cake. People waved from the bridges, and other boats honked their horns. I guess the river goes to the sea, because the boat horns sounded like fog horns. We also saw an antique auto parade this morning at about 9.30 am -- before any store or cafe was open -- they were driving under a balcony which was pouring down confetti & two photographers took pictures of each one. There were three generations up in the balcony having fun getting the confetti out, and most of the cars had grandpas driving with a kid riding, most of whom were having a blast. One had a very cool looking mom & kid. There is also a kind of "taste of Maastricht" thing going on, we haven't gone but may go tonight. So far we are mostly working on unpacking, or I am -- Will is also working on his course he's giving in Toronto. Will has one day in his Maastricht office Monday before going to Toronto.
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