Published: September 1st 2006September 1st 2006
My Kamer (room)
In progress of course
Today was a big day since I had to move my stuff from Enschede. Eyal was nice enough to skip some work and drive me 1.5 hours to eastern Nederlands. For only being here for 4 days, I have learned so much! For anybody that has travelled, you know it's almost impossible to write everything
you experienced in a day. I'll give a brief summary of today and then make a little list of what I have learned so far. Driving to Enschede was beautiful - lots and lots of pastures with cows and sheep. The land is so fertile here because if you drill 2 meters into the land, you'll find water since the whole country is a swamp. My room is amazingly tiny but also very cheap. The size of my room can be best described as: closet sized. I have a twin mattress and let's just say it's so small that if I put another one right next to it, i will have a room with wall to wall mattress. Here's a picture of my room as I spent an hour putting together this "simple" 5 shelf rack.
Eyal and I went to the school and found out that I am nowhere to be found in their computers...so I couldn't get my classes or my student card or open up a bank account. All in good time i guess. It's just hard when I'm already feeling a bit overwhelmed as it is that having my school stuff go smoothly would be nice. I'll get it sorted out Monday with a gu named Joris (Your-is). Tomorrow Eyal is coming again to bring me his bike since at the moment I don't have one. Not having a bike is the worst thing possible according to the Dutch people. Walking is not common and when suggested they look at you funny and say they'd rather stay at home.
Anyway, I could go on, but here's what I learned so far:
Dutch like Mayonnaise. I knew this already, but know i know HOW much. When you order potato salad, they cover the entire thing in gobs of mayonnaise so you can't see any of the potato salad and you have to spoon through a bunch to get to the potatoes.
The Dutch have their own toilets here. I'm not kidding - you'll just have to believe me because I'm not taking a picture of the one in my house. But it is flat bottomed with the water hole at the very back part of the toilet - unlike ours where your number 1 or 2 goes into the water first, the Dutch toilet's plateau is not submerged in water. I find this gross. I'm sure you do too. Also the first time I used the toilet here i couldn't figure out how to flush it. You have to press this weird stick thing first to get pressure in the tubes and then press it again for it to work. Also odd.
Tax is included in everything. This I find very nice because if you go to the grocery store and you're hungry and all you have is 5 euro, well you can buy something for 5 euro and not have to worry about having 13 cents or whatever america adds on for tax. Tip is also included in the bill at a restaurant but if it's really great service, another euro is a common courtesy.
Most Dutch houses have no dryer machines. What does this mean for me? I must must must do laundry before I only have a sock left because it might take a few days for my clothes to dry. I wonder how many times I'll learn my lesson...
Everybody says that everyone in Europe speaks English. This is that widely spread MYTH that is always said to reassure travelers. It might be true when just going to the touristy shops and areas, but when you go to the supermarket, that is not the case.
That's it for now. I'm very tired and it's only 19:00. Take care all of you and hope to hear from ya. ciao. Oh yeah, I got my mailing address here and I love on Goudenreenstraaat, which means Golden Rain.