James Foley

Week in review 2024-16

Mission complete: Housing Acquired

Notes on the week

We’ve moved! This Sunday was our last day in our first apartment in Rotterdam. The last few weeks and months have been spent trying to find our next place to live, and thankfully we finally found somewhere. Unsurprisingly it went right down to the wire, with us only signing the lease on Thursday, moving Friday and Saturday, and cleaning our old place Sunday. Our new apartment is in Charlois, in the south of the city and is a little bit out of the city centre, but it’s got two bedrooms (i.e a bedroom and an office), is pretty well kept and is within our budget.

The last apartment we lived in was beautiful, with stunning views overlooking an old harbour and was tastefully decorated. I tend to think about it as being ‘opinionated’ and I guess that makes sense, as we were only ever renting short term and it was someone’s home at the end of the day. Our new place in contrast is a blank canvas. There are only the bare minimum of furnishings and it really feels like somewhere that we can make our own as we settle into it. Already after just a few hours it feel more like a reflection of us than the other place ever did, even though I will never not long for coffee mornings spent looking out over the water.


The logistics of moving were tough. We don’t have a car, and for two people that moved here on a plane, we have a surprisingly large volume of stuff. Thankfully we kept all the boxes from when we shipped over some of our bigger things, and have built up a collection of these small An Post parcel boxes from months of care packages sent from home! Elle did the Lions share of the packing, as I had to work through the week, and so by Friday evening we had all of our stuff more or less ready to go.

I rented a van from Van ’t hart, a recommendation from a colleague at the Pixelbar, and drove the short 10 minute trip from Kralingse to our old flat. I haven’t driven in a few months, and for my first trip to be on the ‘wrong’ side of the road, in a van with no rear-view mirror, in a city I only know as a pedestrian or cyclist, surrounded by other cars and bikes at Rush Hour, was an experience. I managed to survive without hitting anything or anyone, and found a parking spot just across from the flat. Then the boxes. So many boxes, some heavy and some light, some big and some small, all of them on the sixth floor of our building. This is a good time to mention that the elevator in our building only goes to the fifth floor.


Two full loads of the van back and forth across the city, and finally at around 11pm all our stuff was in. Our neighbours must hate us already. The new place is on the 2nd floor, but there is no lift so we had to bring everything up the stairs. I normally take a bit of time at night to fall asleep, I don’t even remember lying down Friday night. I had to be up Saturday morning to return the van for 8am, and spent a bit of time in town picking up some things that we noticed the new place doesn’t have. I’m sure we’ll come across more and more as the weeks go on, but the biggest item right now is a desk. I’ve taken over the dining table for work for the next few days.

Sunday was spent exclusively cleaning, and by the time I left the old apartment I don’t think a surface remained in the flat that you couldn’t sit and seat a three course meal off of. Of course in my tiredness I left a bag over there, and will have to annoy my old landlord next week about collecting, but other than that, we are out. We’re settling into Charlois, figuring out our new routine for getting around, which busses and metros to take, what’s good to eat around here, where the nice walks are, where the bad walks are etc. It was exhausting but it feels really exciting, and I can’t wait for us to be properly settled in.


What if everyone jumped at once?

What is a teenager?

We need to rewind the internet

The deep sea cables that power in the internet, and the ships that repair them

House hunting is a fever dream

AI isn’t useless

The biggest art fraud in US history

Reading

Anything other than Rental Listings! The sheer number of email updates I’ve unsubscribed from is beautiful!

I’m this close to finishing Moby Dick, haven’t got a huge amount of pages done this week as it’s been so busy, but I’m really enjoying the conclusion of this book.

Listening

You’re dead to me” is a comedy podcast that “takes history seriously”. Each episode pairs a historian with a comedian and they discuss a famous figure or period in history. I love laughing whilst I learn