Mom’s gone, having more or less driven me nuts for a week and a half. But in fairness, she has a lot of good points too; how many people do you know who, on being taken on the wrong train from Schiphol to Amsterdam and ending up all the way back in Utrecht (20-30 min each way) wouldn’t even give you crap about it? And we made chicken soup and matzah balls on Saturday, so I got to have some of that for dinner tonight. (I let her make the matzah balls. Mine are *definitely* better, as these were of the cannonball variety. OTOH, without her they would have been of the vaporware variety, since I can’t get matzah meal here and she brought me some.)

I have been checking the news today, because it’s not that good a feeling to put your mother on a plane in Amsterdam just as multiple countries are issuing threats about possible terrorist attacks in Europe.

Back to work tomorrow but only for four days until the weekend, and then I fly to Taiwan. I’d been planning to work the next week and take the one after that off, but it sounds like Ted is planning to work then so I’ll go in whichever days he does. (And conversely I fly out Sunday and arrive late Monday so I will be off that day, anyhow.

Meanwhile I’ve been learning my way around the new apartment. So far, the stovetop heats up much faster and hotter, but the washer is a lot slower. (There’s a button to do laundry faster, which I think I forgot to hit. I was never too sure why you wouldn’t want the fast setting, but apparently it’s in case you’ve been rolling in tomato sauce or ink.) I do mean “learning my way around” quite literally; this is a long building, the length of a short city block, and so far I have counted three of the big containers for your trash and something like 8(!) exterior doors to the building. Very convenient. Tomorrow I’ll be biking to work and I bet I’ll get there five minutes earlier just from not having to ride the elevator 30 floors to the underground level and then get my bike out of the store room and take it up two flights on stairs. Now my bike is in the storage room *inside* my flat and I can either take it one floor down on the elevator or down a much shorter flight of stairs.

By the way, there are two new entries with pictures up on the travel blog, one covering our trip to London and one with pictures of this apartment.