Adventures in Netherland
So my internet in my room hasn't been working for the past few days so I have so much to write about as lots has happened since I last posted. Monday was the start of introduction week so I had to walk to the train station to register for that. It was raining when I left my room so I took my umbrella with me and headed off. And well...I got lost...AGAIN. All I knew was that the train station was beside the tallest building in town so off I went. I walked towards the city centre until I could see the tall building....but you know how tall buildings never look like their located where they actually are. So anyway after much confusion I found my way to the station. After I got registered Gaby told me that there would be a bus to take me back to Rengerslaan (the street where I live) but since I noticed that it was no longer raining I said that I would walk back so that I could stop by the supermarket. While on my little walk it of course started to rain again...go figure! As I was walking I saw a little shop where it looked like I could buy an alarm clock or something since I still have to turn on my computer to get the time. So I go in the store and see a clock for 6.99...I was so excited to see something cheap!! Well, I should have known there would be a catch. Everything...and I mean EVERYTHING was in locked glass cases! Can you imagine...a 6.99 clock freakin locked up in a case!! I thought whatever I'll just find someone to unlock it for me and get one out. Well one more problem, I could find NO workers in the entire store. It's like there is an entire shop where you just look, wet your tastebuds, then leave empty handed. It's crazy! So I left unhappy about not being able to purchase my clock and headed on down the road. I think I got sort of lost but it was good because I came upon another little store, sort of like a wallgreens or something where I stopped in to get some shampoo and umm douche gel?? I was really wanting to find a bottle that said shower gel since being an American I am sort of disturbed by calling the shower the douche but yeah...when in Rome... So I walk out of the store with everything in my bag from the ESN because here you must bring your own bags for your purchases and I hadn't planned on stopping there and had only one extra bag for the supermarket. So after taking on a very short 10 minute "I got lost de-tour" I made it to the supermarket. Some funny things I noticed at the market. First creamy peanut butter is called American style and is more expensive than crunchy. Do people not eat creamy peanut butter in other countries?? Cool Ranch Dorritos are called Cool American flavour here yet taste exactly like ranch! By the way, they were great and I felt very at home later in the day sitting on my bed, watching cheesy American soap operas, and eating ranch flavoured pressed corn! And then while in the store my wildest dream came true. Sitting on the shelf in almost as many varieties as at home were FLOUR TORTILLAS and right next to them was SALSA. After a week of cured meats and cheeses I felt like bursting into dance and song!! And then it really hit...I found them...the sacred food. While different from home, sitting on the shelf was...oh yes...AVACADOS! So anyway that should be enough about my heavenly day at the supermarket. That night was the "meet 'n greet" party put on by the ESN. I met a lot of really cool people that I have continued to hang out with though it was hard to do much greeting as the mid 90s pop music put to techno beats was very loud! It was a very good party though. Tuesday morning I went with a Finnish girl that I had met the night before to the Tesselschadestraat (yes that's a street name!) to get her internet turned on. After that we took a walk through the city centre where I had a grape fanta. Not to do too much Holland-US comparisons but it tasted NOTHING like fanta at home! It was actually sort of like cough syrup for little kids. When we got back to the apartments I decided to walk to the housing office to see about paying my rent but got stopped by a French girl that I had met the night before as well. She hardly speaks English at all and was in here car and needed directions to the supermarket so I decided to go with her as she had a car and that would be a trip for me where I wouldn't have to walk! We didn't pay our parking ticket at the register where I think we were supposed to so I told the guy in the parking garage that we just didn't know what we were supposed to do and he got sort of exasperated and said "Well I'll just put up the gate for you". So Tuesday's learned lesson: Pretend like you just didn't know and you won't have to pay!! After that it was time to go to the Big Ben Pool Hall with the ESN. There I had to explain to the Lithuanian, Finnish, French, and Polish girls how to play pool. We played a few games then the Polish girls and I decided that we are going to go back every Sunday until we get really good so that by the end of our stay we can hustle drunk dutch boys for money!! This exchange rate's a bummer ;) After that we went to the Pankakehuis, a restaurant in a boat, for you guessed it traditional dutch pancakes. I met a very very cute French boy there who told me about a shop to get a bike for only 50 euros...yea! That is if I can't find a stole one for 10! Then we went to the cafÃ© marquis for cocktails. This morning we had coffee at the NHL Bouhof (where my communication classes will be) and then took a tour around the school and blah blah. Tonight is the "Welcome to Holland" party. Well now its time for me to make some spaghetti and get ready to par-tay! Chow!