No it's not ice-skating. Neither is swimming. Nor biking. It's DIY-ing. Destroying your home to make it yours. The Dutch take so much pride in personally fixing their homes that whenever you visit someone's house for the first time, it is generally accepted to ask for a tour of the whole house while the owner proudly explains everything they did with their own hands. They have huge warehouses filled with all kinds of construction material, readily available for the average customer. In Mexico, you would get this kind of material at small, specialized shops, one for paint, one for screws and tools, another one for plumbing material, etc. Here you get everything in one huge American-style shop and they have several chains of those. If you go on a Sunday, you might get extra discount so it's always full of families ready to DIY on the weekends. They even sell stroopwafels in case you need extra energy while working.
My brother-in-law just rented an apartment and the whole summer has been spent fixing it. At first I was in great shock that ALL this work would go into a place that is rented. Shouldn't fixing it be the responsibility of the owner or agency? Who am I kidding, I am still in shock and it is taking what seems like every second of our free time (with the exception of birthdays and meet ups with friends that had been planned beforehand, thank God for those). It is quite the cultural shock... to spend SO much time, effort and money on a place that is not even yours. Anyhow, it seems like the place he rented had only been inhabited by an old lady and it had not been renovated since the 50s. There was old flowery wallpaper, most of which was damaged, stains on the walls... no stove! And to top it off there is no floor. Yeah. When you rent an apartment in The Netherlands people take the floor away and sometimes the curtains and the kitchen too (even if those are often customized to the exact meausurements of the apartment). So there has been scraping down the old wallpaper, painting doors and window frames, putting up new wallpaper.... choosing the floor, changing the toilet seat and the piping under the sink... It seems like the never-ending story, and it's not over yet.
|This cute bird appeared while taking the wallpaper away.|
But this is only a shock for me. This is perfectly normal in the Low lands. How is it in your country? Are you allowed to make such drastic changes in a rental apartment? Are you supposed to do so? Or do you just choose a place and move in with your stuff (maybe change some minor things... like I was used to?).