Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Small achievements...

So, we woke up this morning, only find out that our washer/dryer had decided to reciprocate on our declaration of war.  Just as I was finishing my shower, I got the urgent request from the husband to help him out in the laundry room.  Apparently, the washer/dryer decided to spew about a couple gallons of water all over the laundry room floor during the night.  *sigh*  Well, thankfully the oscillating fan had managed to dry the towels that I had hung on the drying rack the day before, because we used every last one of them to soak up the water off the floor.  Washer/Dryer 1, D's 0.

On a lighter note, I had a terrific day meeting new folks at the American Women's Club.  Our very close friends, the W's, arrived in Luxembourg last week.  We have known them for at least 12 years now and have managed to move back and forth between Dallas and Richmond during this time.  Only fate would dictate that we share this new journey in Lux!  They arrived in Lux just last week, and have managed to quickly catch up with us with regards to getting the necessary paperwork, cell phones, etc. that took us at least two weeks to get done.  Again, the guinea pig syndrome, but at least it has made their experience easier in certain aspects.  Anyway, I was eager to get M over to the club to meet these wonderful ladies I had only met myself a couple of weeks ago.  Each Wednesday, several ladies meet up at the headquarters to play board games and chat.  I learned quickly that this is a huge opportunity to go somewhere where everyone speaks fluent English :)  The members range in age and backgrounds, which has been a wonderful experience.  No matter how varied our backgrounds may be, it is so comforting knowing that everyone you meet there has been through your exact situation! You also learn about the quirky details of living in this charming (i.e., small) country.  I have heard tidbits on everything from what to expect on your first doctor's visit, to what products your are not likely to encounter at the grocery store.  Minor details, until you find yourself trying to find those must-have ingredients for a dinner you plan on serving, only to find out that the necessary ingredients will not likely be found in what you deem the "logical" location for them in the grocery store.  Unlike the U.S., where corporations pay high dollars for premium "shelf" space in the grocery store (yes, General Mills does pay for that prime location on the middle or lower shelf for those Cheerios), the same rules do not apply here in Lux.  Simple items, like nuts or crackers, can be located in a number of locations throughout the store, depending on what you think they might be used for:  snack, baking, etc.  Also, don't expect to find your eggs or milk in the back refrigerators.  Here, pasteurization is at a whole new level, so neither is refrigerated.  You will find both on their own aisles, likely somewhere near the dairy section, but don't bank on it.  You never know when the store managers may decide to relocate such items since their locations have been known to change just as you think you have their logic figured out.

My big achievement for the day, however, was getting my hair done.  I can't speak for anyone else, but finding a hairdresser after a big move has always created the greatest amount of stress for me.  I have moved about seven times now and, with the exception of moves back to Dallas (where I have always returned to the same hairdresser - Daisy), it has always taken me a year and a lot of trial and error to find someone who can highlight my hair correctly and manage my random cowlicks.  This effort has only become more complicated as the number of grey hairs have increased.  However, today I can declare that my new hairdresser Pascal nailed it on the first visit!  Luxembourgish by birth, but thankfully conversed in English, Pascal was able to figure out my hair in no time.  Although the process varied (no foils, just a large spatula-shaped comb and the necessary dyes), the outcome was exactly what I wanted.  I had been warned to expect a more drastic haircut than requested, but she also managed to hedge on the conservative side and only eliminated the unsightly split ends that had been plaguing me throughout the summer.  To top off the day, I managed to maneuver my way through the city center traffic, park in one of the incredibly narrow parking garages, and exit without a scratch on the car.  I even ended the day with a relatively easy trip to the grocery store.  Was the day perfect overall?  No, but I refuse to kill my buzz with those details.  I still proclaim today successful! :)

Our final tidbit of good news was to find out that we will be able to move into our permanent residence in the next couple of weeks.  This news required a rather labored phone call with our new Luxembourgish home owner (he was struggling a bit with my fast southern dialect), but we did manage to agree on our new move in date.  In celebration of these small victories, I think the husband and I will venture off and purchase our new washer and dryer this weekend!  If this war continues, I foresee a rather large accumulation of laundry over these last couple of weeks and will need those new appliances ASAP!

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