The first few days

After a few days in Ann Arbor, I’m happy to report that I’m still alive, haven’t gained forty pounds yet, and am still fluent in Dutch. I’ve got a neat apartment at the edge of town, about 5 km (3 mi) from the university and close to two big supermarkets and a host of other stores. There’s a bus connection straight to campus, which is free for university students and employees. That’s very handy as long as I don’t have a bike or if the winter weather turns too bad. So far, it’s quite alright: some light snow (not nearly as much as in the Netherlands last month) and only a few degrees below zero.

The apartment is clean, well maintained and furnished rather tastefully with two couches, a dining table and chairs, a bed, a desk and lots of closet space. The kitchen comes with a fridge (US sized, of course), a stove and oven, a microwave oven and a dish washer. I spent most of the first day in town buying basic stuff like pots and pans, plates and cups, cutlery and bed linens, so I could at least cook dinner and get some sleep. The difficulty with all that is the huge number of brands and sizes and designs to choose from at Bed, Bath & Beyond. And it’s the same thing in the supermarkets. It’s good to have some choice, but shopping would go a lot faster if I didn’t have to pick from 347 different types of pasta sauce.

Meanwhile, I’ve got computer access at the university, so I’m able to get some work done. I also have a bank account, but many other things still need to be taken care of: insurances, a bike, a tv and cable subscription, cell phone, internet at home. The upside for now is that without tv and internet, my evenings are nicely quiet.

The weather forecast predicts more snow for tomorrow, followed by some clear skies on Sunday. If that holds, I’ll head out to stroll around the campus and downtown area, and snap a few pictures.

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