We needed to move out of Dusseldorf and change our business plan.
After four years we were not going forward.
So the first thing was to find a new place in NL.
That is not easy and we started by driving around the Maastricht area ( a 250km round trip) and simply looking at areas we liked and then phoning up maakelaars ( estate agents) and asking to see the shop or apartment we were interested in.
Before they even let you make an appointment, you have to give your bank account number, your pay slip, your previous rent agreement and copies of you ID/passport etc. etc.
Some even make you pay an entry fee ( and then never come back to you)
It then became apparent to us that the Netherlands discriminates against self employed people—they don’t like you and they don’t trust you.
We were told we had to pay a three month deposit and six month rent in advance, because you know, we were missing that all important pay slip from the boss.
This is basically the first time that we are living in a socialist state where the government takes 40% of your income in taxes.
And taxes are an anti-business joke. The amount of regulation and legislation borders on the offensive, and exists only to maintain bureaucrat job security.
And winter was coming and there was no way I was going to move in snow.
We found nothing and Anne spent hundred of hours trawling the web, finding potentials and then we would drive over and go look.
Eventually we decided OK, let’s first organize a storage space and then we maybe can get some temporary accommodation while we look for something suitable.
That would cut out the crazy amount of driving we were doing.
So we rented a space at Sureguard just outside Maastricht and started the moving process.
If I tell you that moving a jewellery workshop is a tough job, trust me it is tough.
EVERYTHING is heavy.
When we went from St Martin to Europe, other people moved for us and the result was horrendous.
Every piece of glass was broken and we had big damage.
So we did it all ourselves.
We hired a trailer and started lifting stuff.
We would park it outside on the pavement during the night with a sign that if it needs to be moved please phone us.
Even so we were hassled plenty by the stassi traffic cops and we even picked up a fine for loading on the pavement.
There was a lot of stuff.
Which we schlepped to Maastricht.
and packed in our storage.
Until it was all gone
And we were camping in our old shop.
This was the day we left Dusseldorf.
Inside Arnold ( our car’s name) were our two birds and the equivalent of Noah’s ark.
I was waiting on the pavement (again) anxiously watching out for cops while Anne went to deliver keys and do final account stuff.
Our next stop was Bremelen, where we had scored some temporary holiday accommodation (At 600EU for a week).