WHY DOES NO ONE TELL “YOUR MOM” JOKES AROUND HERE!?
Okay, new roommate:: Katherine from China. (that is obviously her english name, because I don’t have the characters to write her Chinese name). She is 24 and married and tiny. I showed her and her new friends (also Chinese) the grocery store and the convenience store today and then they invited me to have a meal at their apartment…I went in thinking it would be typically Chinese and I wouldn’t be able to contribute much…well that was an incorrect assumption; never ASSUME because it makes an ASS out of U and ME. (baha) OKAY SO ANYWAY. The 4 Chinese people looked at me to cook (and as you all know I can’t even boil an egg without messing it up somehow) HAHHAHAHA. So they had spaghetti noodles, egg, bacon bits, ketchup, and tomatoes. WHAT DO YOU EVEN MAKE WITH THOSE THINGS?! So I attempted spaghetti with roasted tomatoes and a ketchupy (ewwww) sauce, flavored with bacon.
NOT CHINESE AT ALL. NOT EVEN A NATIONALITY. NO ONE SHOULD EVER CLAIM THAT DISH AS THEIR OWN.
but the moral of the story is that I am experiencing so many different cultures on a daily basis. I’ve learned how to say a few things in Polish, Dutch, German, & Chinese (so far). And during our non-Chinese/Chinese meal, all the dishes we were eating were put in the center, and everyone just ate out of the same bowls (with chopsticks, of course); it was very focused on everyone enjoying each other and the food, very community-oriented which was nice. They as a people are very kind and mannerly (opening doors for me everywhere! and always asking me/serving me first).
There is a word for gentlemanly, but what about gentlewomanly?
I am still more comfortable with my Polish friends, but I don’t know if that’s the cultural similarity or just the individuals themselves or that I’ve spent more time overall with the Polish….
Went to a cafe yesterday with the rest of the international students, and that was a very relaxing experience where we all sat around and learned new things about each other. I had many invites from the locals to hang out with them outside of the international committee, which was an ego boost!
Also, the Chinese said I was excellent with chopsticks. (Duh, because I work at Stir Fry and I eat enough for 35 people at a time)
Missing Mango more than any of you so far. (I would say JK but you all know it’s true 😉 🙂 )
JK I MISS YOU SO MUCH, especially my boyfriend/husband/man with whom I am in an open relationship
I have no money (okay, I have 6 euros) until Monday because I had to apply for a Dutch bank account (because my Bank of America credit & debit card don’t work here UHHHHHH). But ABN AMRO or whatever bank I’m using mailed me my new debit card Friday, but OF COURSE I am required to go back to the bank to get it verified before I can use it and OF COURSE they closed early Friday and aren’t open again until 1pm Monday. I’m sure I’ll be just fine until then.
Polish friends found an apartment finally, so they will be moving out/in on Monday. I am still waiting on my final roommate (I believe a Finnish girl?) who will probably arrive early next week.
School starts Monday!
KATE I AM SO PROUD OF YOUR DETERMINATION/STRONG-WILL/FACE. Keep it up, or don’t, but know that you are amazing.
Also, ANTHONY. I love you. There is no way in hell I’ll ever be able to afford to fly to India. Sorry boo.
After some immediate hesitation after arrival, I decided last night that this is the best decision I’ve ever made.
I went out and toured historic Leeuwarden with a guide and the rest of the international students group, which was actually a lot cooler than it sounds. Dad, the architectural history is awesome, and I saw a painting by M.C. Escher (no one else knew who he was?). After we had the chilly tour, we went “pooling” at Big Ben (playing pool and drinking and snacking on so many delicious fried things..) and later went to bowl and have dinner at the bowling alley (which was odd but great). I WON AT BOWLING OUT OF 20 PEOPLE. YAY. Almost got a turkey, but our time was up.
Okay, so in our introductory group, the people I’ve met have been: Finnish (2), Polish (3), German (5), Dutch (?), Slovenian (1), French (4), Spanish (1), Chinese (1), and ME, the only American (1).
Kendahl & Emily & Dan, there are SO MANY YAHTZEE’S
So after bowling, my new Polish friends, Dorota, Hania, & Wojtek, came back to my apartment (which by the way has no roommates yet?) and shared some delicious Polish vodka with me that tasted like Grand Marnier, oddly enough. Also, I had some traditional pierogi made by Wojtek’s grandmother…omg. Life rules. They came to the Netherlands without an apartment already set up, and have had poor luck finding one (they have been sleeping in their car!! :() so since I didn’t have any roommates already and plenty of room to share, I invited them to stay with me until they find a place: a very awesome decision so far.
For the Polish, when you are drinking shots with friends, after the first shot you need an excuse to drink again, so they say “for the second leg?” which means, you had a shot for one of your legs, and now you need another to be complete. And then I suppose you could keep naming appendages until you can’t speak anymore…. EXCELLENT.
Already flirted in Spanish to a Dutch boy. ALSO EXCELLENT.
EVERYDAY IS A NEW DAY TO DISCOVER NEW THINGS ABOUT PEOPLE AND THE WORLD AND IT RULES.
….spent a good 18 minutes just standing in front of the washing machine trying to figure out what settings to put it on (in Dutch, obviously).
Finally settled on:
Then stood there for another 12 minutes watching the washing machine attempt to wash things.
Sunday, 6:37 p.m., 12:37 p.m. Knoxville time
Almost peanut butter & jelly time!!
The graffiti here is so much cooler and better and more interesting:
Had my first big adventure today. Walked about 30 minutes out from my flat to the city center (the downtown, basically) and looked around a bit. I didn’t delve too far inward, as I didn’t want to get lost. Plus everything is closed on Sundays– grocery stores, restaurants, etc. I did find a small luncheon shop open though and had my first real meal: a hamburger speciaal!!! It was odd, had lots of mayo and this sweet onion sauce on it, and the patty was not ground but rather it was pressed? I don’t even like American hamburgers anyway, so it was decent. Also had a Diet Coke which is called Coke Light here. Total cost: 5.40 euros.
It gets dark relatively early here..around 5:30 p.m. and sunrise isn’t until 8:30. Apparently, the bars don’t close until 5 or 6 in the morning and the drinking age is 16 so there aren’t nearly as many house parties as in the states…I’m going to have to practice on my partying.
Had my first legal smoke of weed, I think it was called Jack Henna or something…strong aroma and very potent. The weed cafes, which I have yet to run into, only allow you to smoke spliffs inside…not just straight weed….it is still unclear to me why this is. <—this sentence is not only a run-on but has so many syntax errors (Hi Deanne!)
My roommate Alfredo is from Grenada, Spain and is attending Stenden also. He is still here from last semester but is moving tomorrow to a different dorm. He has been incredibly accommodating and friendly (he offered me his ham, cheese, and toilet paper to tide me over until the grocery stores open again) and shared the Jack Henna with me. Did you all know that in Spain everyone has 2 last names? The first is their mother’s last name and the 2nd is their father’s– very nouveau-classic. So for example, his name is Alfredo Cortez Garcia. P.S. does anyone know how to insert a tilde?
Meeting up with Martijn tomorrow at school, and no Carey & Katie, he’s not engaged :).
I really dislike blogging.
Here is some neat architecture that you probably can’t see how detailed and cool it actually is:
and now here are some pretty plants for Anthony & Ashley:
3rd official day in Leeuwarden, Friesland, Netherlands.
Hungry (only had pb&j’s, toast, and some stolen salami from my roommate)
Not on a wise sleep schedule yet, as it’s 9:18 in Knoxville, but 3:18 a.m. here.
Feeling nervous, uncertain, proud, and organizational (word?)
Not yet lonely or nostalgic…give it time.
–pre-flight (Knoxville airport)– VERY NERVOUS, sitting with family, antsy, just want to get the leaving part over with, hugs, crying, going….phew….now I’m by myself waiting to board….feel loads better that the leaving part is almost over.
–flight to Philly– had a xanax, so therefore it was successfully uneventful
–flight to Amsterdam– LONG. Luckily, I had 3 seats to myself because the other two people moved to a better seat, so I could lie down. Slept on and off every hour (10 hour flight). I was surprisingly calm to be flying over a huge body of water. There were uninhabited islands everywhere as we got closer to Europe, which was really really cool to think about. Read Britany’s “Where’s Dildo” and tried to solve some puzzles.
Airport is fancy and yet unfancy. Hard time manuvering my 2 huge wheeled bags, 1 heavy backpack, purse, and large coat around. Bought a train ticket. Waited an hour for the train, and then when it arrived, I realized I had to be on the end of it (I was at the front); so here I was, running as fast as I could with my huge load, pants falling down, to the end of the train. This sweet sweet Asian girl held the door for me and then helped (as much as she could b/c she was only 90 lbs) me lift each of my 50 lb. bags onto the departing train. Bags wouldn’t navigate past the seats, so I had to heave each out of the way. Forgot I hadn’t eaten or had anything to drink for 7 hours until 2 hours into the train ride when I would have paid gold for the Asian girl’s half-drunk bottle of Evian.