My first Dutch friend!

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January 17th 2010
Published: January 17th 2010EDIT THIS ENTRY

So today I got better about sleeping in. I got up around noon & felt pretty good. However, I definitely could have kept sleeping for so much longer. I woke up partly on my own initiative (to get my body back to regular hours) & partly because there were loud drumming noises. Since Carnaval starts on February 11, there was a "preview" parade on the Market Square in front of my building. There were "marching bands" & people in costume & essentially every bar/cafe was PACKED with people. A Heineken beer cart was serving beer on the square & it was packed, too! Definitely something to see. The costumes are pretty ridiculous. It's like American Halloween, but multiplied by about a million! It's sheer craziness. Everywhere you went, there was a band of 5-7 musicians playing various songs outside of bars & cafes. The funniest thing was a band playing "Country Roads" & another one played "Battle Hymn of the Republic." Funny.

I met with Cenay today for coffee & lunch at Plein 1992. We went to a coffee shop called "Coffeelovers" which she said is owned by a pretty prominent family in Maastricht that owns a lot of other major shops & things. I had a Frappe & a club sandwich (which was DELICIOUS!) Luckily Cenay was there to translate the menu for me, but I was able to pick out the word "chicken" so that's always a plus. It was a really good lunch, & she was very helpful with how to get around the city (e.g. where to go to eat, where I can buy pillows, & what clothing stores are the best). She was also very blunt about other things about living in the Netherlands, such as the events that go on during Carnaval & going out to bars & whatnot. I definitely appreciated her help because she drew circles on my map of where all I should go. haha. That will definitely make me getting around a lot easier!

Cenay lives on the other side of the river, so as I went to meet up with her I took a walk around the river & found some beautiful side streets with extraordinarily old buildings. The one structure that was the southeast section of the town wall. (I took a photo of the plaque on the wall & then came home & plugged it into a translator so at least that's what I gathered from it). In the 13th century it was used for military/defense purposes, but moved away from that in the 1500s. I think it was restored in 1911. I could be totally off, but that's what I pieced together from the translation anyway!

Good news is I also found a Subway right on the street behind me, so that made me sooooo excited that if I get sick of trying new foods, at least I can turn to my staple sandwiches! 😊

Additional photos below
Photos: 8, Displayed: 8


Maas RiverMaas River
Maas River

The Maas River splits the city into two sections.
Hoge BrugHoge Brug
Hoge Brug

This is a pedestrian & bicycle ("fiets") only bridge to get from one side of the city to the other.
Southeast TowerSoutheast Tower
Southeast Tower

In the 13th Century, this tower was used for defense purposes.

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