Why I’ve been incommunicado – Part 3 – August & the boring bits #expatlife

Many of my friends, associates, strangers I meet at the dog park and fellow imbibers of alcohol at various drinking establishments think my life is glamorous. <insert snort of disbelief here> I am now going to irrevocably prove that my life is – without a doubt – in no way, no how glamorous. Strip away the traveling, the living in foreign countries where I may or may not speak the language, and the coolness that seems to come from having a pilot husband and you are left with day-to-day life, which at times is boring and at other times beyond frustrating to the point that there just aren’t enough swear words to describe such frustration. So, yeah, normal.

Thus, without further ado, here are the utterly boring reasons why I have not been writing and blogging this past month.


Internet. We just can’t live without it anymore. Let me rephrase that. I. CAN. NOT. LIVE. WITHOUT. INTERNET. This truth was brought to my attention in my first month back in the Netherlands again and again. I thought I had it all figured out. (Feel free to laugh at me naivety.) I signed up for an all-in-one package (internet, tv and telephone) in the beginning of July with a start date of August 1st. Of course, I had to have fiberglass. *Duh* Turns out the telecom company I chose for my wonderful all-in-one package, subcontracts to another company to connect the fiberglass. And here’s where all my problems begin.

First, the fiberglass dudes tried to come in July even though I specifically stated I wouldn’t be in the country until August and the contract actually starts on August 1st! So I had to make a very expensive call to the Netherlands to try and get another appointment. Of course, I got the run around. Stupid me. I actually believed they would call me back. Not. After that miscommunication, I couldn’t get another appointment until August 9th. Not surprisingly, they didn’t bother to show on August 9th and claimed they didn’t have my phone number to call me and that it would be another week until they could fit me in. I then uttered words I’ve never spoken before: “Put someone on the phone with some power now.” Fortunately, that worked and I got an appointment two days later.

Two days later the fiberglass dudes actually showed up! I was so excited I clapped and screamed when they showed. Let this be a lesson to you. Never celebrate in advance! My dudes couldn’t find the cable! And they needed to get to their next appointment. What? On Tuesday this company was perfectly happy with not showing for my appointment as they had troubles at another appointment. Why did I not get the same treatment?

I called the actual telecom company and complained. They said there was nothing they could do for me. I was pissed. I mean P-I-S-S-E-D! I called back and talked to someone else who was more sympathetic and she gave me two free additional data bundles on my mobile phone so I could try and get work done. Let me tell you I was going through those data bundles like a kid in a candy store.

The fiber glass company called me the next day and said they actually couldn’t come the following week because – based upon the drawings and their inability to find the cable – they needed to get permission from the city to dig deeper and further from the house. I am totally and completely ashamed to admit I lost it on the phone. Lost. It. It was raining and cold and I didn’t have any coat or shoes (besides sandals) as I was planning on going back to Istanbul to see the hubby. A trip I’d put off because of the numerous appointments with this company (and the piano thing but I didn’t tell the dude on the phone that part).

I somehow pulled myself together and did not commit any murders or other grievous crimes until a few days later when I received a letter from my telecom company – call us now because we don’t have your phone number! You don’t have my phone number? You are the company from which I have my phone. How can you not have it? Anyway, I called and they offered me an emergency package with modem and telephone. And no, they couldn’t tell me why that wasn’t offered to me the previous week when I called and complained.

Three weeks after arriving in the Netherlands, I finally had some type of internet although the data was limited. Yes! Even more exciting? The fiber glass company showed up early for the next appointment and had no issues finding the cable. I asked why it wasn’t found earlier and their only guess was that the other workers had been using the wrong plans. I had to let that go before my head literally exploded.

The telecom company actually called the next day to check if the fiber glass connection had been made. At this point, they were done. Wait – what? I had signed up for a deal that included a telecom worker coming and connecting everything. And how could I connect everything when I’d never received the modem or digital television receiver? I managed to get an appointment for the next day. Of course, the worker didn’t show for the appointment. I called and somehow managed not to scream. Someone showed up an hour later. And then proceeded to say he didn’t have the modem or television receiver. WHAT? He had extras of most things in his van, although he did need to leave to pick up one item. Several hours later (how in the heck would I have been able to do these connections when the expert took over two hours??) I freaking finally had internet and television. I also had a hook up for a ‘normal’ phone, although I have no clue what the number is.


Piano. After that long and very boring explanation as to why I didn’t have internet for the vast majority of August, I’m not going to cause readers to go comatose reading about the problem of getting my piano into my house. Suffice it to say, the piano is still in the hallway. On Monday, a man is coming to take the window out of my living room. Then, another company is coming with a lift to take my piano – laying on its side! – into the house. Hopefully the man will return and put the window back in not soon after. I’ll let you know how it goes.


Even more boring shit. If all the above wasn’t boring enough for y’all, there’s also the tedious unpacking to deal with. I’m still shaking my head at the things we packed in the container (seriously, why did I pack my golf clubs?) and the things we didn’t (where in the world is my kitchen stuff?). We didn’t have any furniture – except for the piano and a now defunct treadmill – so I’ve also been searching for furniture, buying furniture and putting furniture together. This is somewhat difficult when delivery people refuse to take stuff upstairs because the piano is in the way.

So no I haven’t found a general practitioner or dentist yet, but I do have a bed, a sofa and a super duper comfortable reading chair (just don’t tell the dog the chair is actually mine).