Returning to America after four years in Europe

Monday, May 16, 2005

Life for Sale

Monday morning and I sit in a nearly empty 5-bedroom apartment. Two chairs, a small couch and a table are all that remain.

Just three days ago, it was packed with tables, carpets, kitchen wares and the dozens of other knick knacks one inevitably assembles to make a home.

In between then and now, I've opened my door to a steady stream of neighbors who paid garage sale prices for just about anything they laid their eyes on. The 'moving sale' was a new concept to my mostly Dutch neighbors. Luckily, it appealed to their frugle nature.

The final piece went last night around 9 when my neighbor from Nairobi came to pick up a couch she wanted. I also offered her the ficus plant I still had.

"It is lovely," she said, "how much?"

Nothing for a good home. Carrying it out, she explained that it needed more soil and she would plant it in a bigger pot.

So while the gal in #88 will tend to the plant, Anuk in #36 has some funky new chairs for her balcony.

Throughout this building in the center of Holland, the things that made up my life here will play a new role.


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