You Know You're Home When You've Found Your Coffee Spot

Monday, May 9, 2016

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Holy rollercoaster of emotions! I have officially moved in and settled into the beautiful little town of Haarlem, 15 minutes outside of Amsterdam. Before I moved to The Netherlands, I read a few articles about "what to expect when you move" and how to deal with culture shock and how long it will last, but for the most part, I really didn't take anything that I read too seriously. I have had so many "firsts" within the last month, that I think I'll be okay if I don't have another "first" for another couple of years.

Not only is the culture different, the language is totally different. When I used to visit Jakob on vacation, I guess I was okay with the language barrier and not hearing English around me because all of my attention was focused on him. Now that we are settled and getting aclimated with being around each other all day, my attention is able to be on everything else around me. I was not prepared for the lack of understanding. The signs, the people, the items on the store shelves. I am having to be comfortable with not knowing what's going on and I think that's my biggest challenge since moving.
With all of the craziness of having complete culture shock, I am also loving The Netherlands for many reasons (all of which will be described in a post) but for one, the Dutch love outdoor cafes. I think that sun shines very rarely and when it does, the Dutch love to be outdoors. On the main street in the center of my town every cafe is packed with people sitting outside people watching. It's my favorite thing to do too Dutchies!

So in my attempt to blend in and assimilate, I have found my favorite cafe and find myself people watching too. The weather has turned and is nice enough to be outside everyday. My favorite cafe in Haarlem, STAAL has wonderful homemade lunches and proper Italian coffee. Not to mention, the food is beautifully presented- I feel like it's all made to be instagrammed. Before I moved to Haarlem, I told myself that as soon as I found myself the coffee spot where I felt comfortable pulling out my laptop with out getting side stares for taking up space I would really start to feel like this place could be home, and I've found it in STAAL.

Check out the beautiful presentation of their food and decor and stop by to people watch with me soon! (I'm a regular on Sunday afternoons now).

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