Guus Bosman

software engineering director

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Looking for an apartment

Looking at the kitchen in apartment 7302, our final choice.It's almost 3 months ago that we went looking for a home in Durham.

We did most of our research online, and after many hours of internet browsing we selected a number of apartments that we wanted to see. Our main choice was the Belmont apartments: close to Duke, nice apartments and good amenities.

We took a very early flight on Saturday, and although our first flight was cancelled we arrived on Raleigh/Durham's airport around 9.30 am. We took a taxi to Durham, and we were impressed by the green next to the highway -- a lot more nature than we were used to.

We spent many hours at the Belmont apartments. The lady gave us a lot of keys for many apartments, and we saw them all. We quickly decided that we wanted something on the 3rd floor, and because the floor plan of most apartments was the same, we mainly choose on location and views. We took a lot of pictures to help us choose.

Ultimately, we found a place we liked and signed the lease that day. We stayed in a hotel in Cary for one evening, and Sunday morning we travelled back to D.C.


Our first car

Toyota Camry 2007.Yesterday I received an e-mail from our dealership that our new car had arrived: a black Toyota Camry 2007.

Yesterday afternoon I bought my insurance online, and around 3.30 pm I went to the dealership to sign the papers. We bought the car from Fred Anderson Toyota, and our experience with them was so much better than with Marc Jacobson (in Durham). When we went to look with a car at Jacobson, they really tried to pressure us into buying on the spot, and gave us a wrongly calculated quote, using a different APR than they told us they were using.

Things were much better at Fred Anderson, and the sales personnel was friendly and not pushy at all. After signing the necessary documents I saw our new car -- it's beautiful!

Yes, we are buying the Toyota Camry 2007, and it's a great car. In black of course (black is cool).

I am going to the office now after a nice MSN chat morning, to make up for the fact that I left at 3.30 pm yesterday. I must say I don't mind -- I get a chance to drive my new car.


It arrived!

I just received an e-mail for the dealership that our new car has arrived!

I'll go and pick it up today.


Traffic jam

My commute to work usually takes about 25 minutes.

From home it's a few minutes to the Durham freeway (the 147). I take this for some 10 miles, and then the I-40 Interstate to Raleigh.

It had been raining this morning, and it was still drizzling when I left. When I arrived at the point where I'd leave the 147 and go onto the I-40, there was a huge traffic jam caused by a traffic accident on the I-40. Because this ramp is a single lane, it took a long time before we passed it, and I waited almost 45 minutes there. To make matters worse there was a second incident on the I-40, which made me another half hour late. I arrived at the office around 10.00 am.



Friday evening I went out with Sasha's colleagues to a great bar in downtown Durham.

We went to Tyler's Taproom in the American Tobacco District. The American Tobacco District is an area near the baseball stadium with a couple of bars, restaurants and shops. The name of course, is referring to the the tobacco industry that has been very important to the region and to the city of Durham.

We went by car (I was driving) and got lost on the way to there. A phone call brought help. Obviously I couldn't drink alcohol, which was unfortunate because the bar has a great beer selection. It was a very nice evening. On the way back we got lost again, and asked for directions at a gas station to get home.

Saturday afternoon I saw a soccer game with Matt (Reading won) and the rest of the day I did some house hold stuff.

Sunday I went to Lowe's to buy some tools and a tool box, and then I drove to The Street at Southpoint. Thats a small shopping area, with some of my favorite shops. In fact, it reminded me a lot of Clarendon, the area near our apartment in Arlington. There was a Starbucks, a Barnes & Nobles, a Jos. A. Banks and a Cheesecake Factory.


To the library

Tuesday afternoon Sasha left for Bulgaria. She's visiting her parents in the period between her job at the bank and before the study year starts.

Yesterday evening I went to the library in Durham. Getting there took me a while. Although I was on the right road I missed the library building and I couldn't turn around easily as it was a one way street. Anyway, I found it and registered as a new member. It's not as nice as the library in Arlington and quite a bit smaller, but a library is a library and I enjoyed browsing the books.

Work NC

To New Jersey

Last week I went to my company's headquarters in New Jersey. It was nice to meet my new colleagues in person and I had a lot of meetings and conversations in the 3 days I was in the office. An important part of my new job is to be a bridge between our development team in Raleigh and product management in New Jersey.

I flew to Newark on Wednesday morning. It was a different travel experience this time: I drove to the airport, dropped off the rental car, flew to Newark and there got another rental car. No taxi's or public transport involved. For the first time in my life I drove on the New Jersey turnpike. I had gotten some good instructions from my colleagues in Raleigh and I had a google map, so I arrived in the main office well on time.

I returned on Friday afternoon. Due to new pre-flight security checks Continental airlines advised to be at the airport 3 hours before departure time, which is 2 hours earlier than usual. However, the lines at the airport were very short and I had plenty of time. Getting from the airport to home was easy this time and I was home around 9.30 pm.


First two weeks in Durham

Throwing out some of the package material we used during our move.After the movers delivered our things on Monday (7/24) I slept one more night in the hotel in Cary , a place near Raleigh.

On Tuesday I worked till late. After work I did shopping for the first time in the Kroger supermarket near our house and came home around 9.00 pm. I spend the evening searching for the essential items such as pillows and bed covers, and a plate for breakfast.

The next day I made more progress and I assembled the bed by the light of one of the lamps that I had found in the boxes. On Friday Sasha arrived and we had our first weekend in Durham together. We bought a shower curtain and small items for in the house.

On Monday we were invited for dinner at Bonnie and Nunik's place where I met Sasha's colleagues for the first time. Bonnie and Nunik also live in the Belmost. During the week we had guests a few times, and spend our our time on unpacking boxes and assembling the rest of the furniture.



BBQ.Saturday evening we had a BBQ. Sasha invited her class mates, and there were almost 25 people enjoying burgers, hotdogs and good company.

During the day we did shopping with Beia, Emily and Christoph. We went to Cosco, where we bought the food and necessary atrributes. Cosco sells items in large quantities, so we were done quickly. Every time I realize how convenient it is to have a car... can't believe I've lived without one for so long.

In the late afternoon Beia and Madeline came to help preparing and made a (excellent) guacamole. There is a public barbecue place in our apartment complex between the swimming pool and the lake. Bonnie, Emily and Matt went to the BBQ place to reserve the one of them (it's first come, first serve) and around 6.30 pm we got started.

The party was very nice: great people, good weather and hamburgers, of course. We had music and a lot of different beers, even a local beer from Morrisville.


Movers arrived

Moving in.We wanted the movers to deliver our belongings on a weekend. I didn't want to take time off in my first week at work, and a delivery on Saturday or Sunday would be the easiest.

We spoke with quite a few moving companies, but most could not garantuee delivery on the weekend. However, a sales person at Nationwide Relocation Services said this would not be a problem. We spend a lot of time on the phone to make sure they could garantuee it, and they confirmed: "not a problem, it will be either Saturday or Sunday".

A long story short: when the movers came on Friday to pick up our things they told us that it would be impossible to deliver the next day or Sunday, and they wondered why the sales department had told us otherwise? When we called Nationwide, they said that the delivery would probably be Wednesday or Thursday.

On Monday I received a phone call around 1.00 pm from an unknown number: "hi -- we're your movers, and we're on the highway on our way from Virginia now". I asked them to give me a call 30 minutes before they arrived in Durham, so I could leave work and meet them. They didn't, so a few hours later they called me and asked me where I was: the truck had arrived and they wanted to unload it. Luckily, the apartment manager let them in, and I had to leave early, at 4 pm on my first working day.

When I came home there was a huge truck parked in the street at our apartment. The movers, a sub contractor to Nation Wide unloaded the truck in a few hours and brought everything up the stairs. They were on their way to Georgia with the rest of the load.

There was some significant inconvenience when the movers wanted to have the remaining balance paid in cash -- no checks or credit cards. This would be hard because all banks were already closed. I c called Nation Wide if they couldn't help me by performing a credit card transaction instead but they said there was nothing they could do. A couple of phone calls later I managed to get the money, and I decided never to do business with Nationwide Relocation Services ever again.

The actual move itself was executed well. We did have a little bit of damage, and 1 broken lamp, but over-all our stuff was in good shape and nothing was missing. I'm glad I didn't have to carry everything up the stairs to our new house.


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