long train runnin

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September 11th 2006
Published: September 11th 2006
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Beautiful view
So I spent this weekend (Fri afternoon - Mon morning) in Amsterdam. Eyal (my uncle) came and picked me up from Enschede and we drove back. It was already evening and Hagar had dinner ready - red peppers stuffed with brown rice, spices, and pine nuts. It was baked with little pieces of goat cheese shaved on the top. She's one of the best cooks ever. Agatha invited me to go to a club with her that night. It's this extremely elite club called Club Eleven on the 11th floor of some highrise. I really wanted to go but it was 25 Euro just to enter (which is like $32 or so), plus a taxi fare there and back (not cheap, prob another 10 euros), and then a couple drinks while I was there. Basically I could not afford that and would rather use that money towards a train ticket to Paris. Leyla and I rented the movie 'In Her Shoes' which was very sweet.

Saturday, Leyla, Agatha and I went to Kolverstraat (or something sounding like that) to go shopping for Leyla. She needed new shoes and jeans, etc. I basically just tagged along and tried to soak in

one of the 4 flights of stairs heading down from Agatha's apartment. Craziest stairs I've ever seen
as much culture and such as I could. I quickly realized that Amsterdam is crazy busy with shoppers on Saturday, especially when it was nice and sunny out. Each store we went into had a top 40 techno beat playing or Christina Aguilera's "Ain't No Other Man" song. I really liked noticing the new styles coming up. For shirts it's stripes and argile (sp?) sweaters. Also purple is IN and long shirt-dresses (I don't know what you call them). For jeans, they are high-waisted, but the pockets don't sit right on your butt cheeks. The new fashion is to have the pockets lower and end on your upper thighs. I think this makes everybody's butt look bigger, so I won't be buying those jeans. =) Leyla bought some very nice things and of course, I couldn't resist the good deals at H&M, so I bought a green sweater/sweatshirt with black stripes on the cuffs and a black tank top. My spending: 20 euros including tax, which I'd say is pretty reasonable. After shopping, we were all exhausted and sat around and chatted.

Sunday, Agatha and I did homework - arn't I responsible!? I'm even amazed at myself for doing
on the bikeon the bikeon the bike

It was too difficult to get a picture of anything special. I was too focused on not trying to drop the camera and hanging on
homework in Amsterdam. Well..we did it on and off for about 2 hours and then decided to enjoy the sunshine with a couple of Agatha's friends. Only one slight problem - one bike, two girls. Quick fix: Agatha rides the bike, and Myia rides on the back of the bike. kind of. So Agatha, having lived in Holland her whole life and having grown up with riding her bike without a helmet and jumping onto the backs of bikes, thought it wasn't a big deal for me to just start running and somehow jump sideways on the back of her bike successfully. I seriously wanted to try it, but everytime I got into a run and started to hop, my body just stopped. "Come on, it's not that hard," as Agatha kept pedeling. I just couldn't do it, so she stopped the bike and I climbed on. The reason for jumping on the back while the bike is already moving is because it's easier for the person riding the bike. Anyway, I had to get on and off the bike everytime there was a red light. I think I walked about 50% of the way there, but I ended up
Amsterdam CentraalAmsterdam CentraalAmsterdam Centraal

A really cool building, so organized, and clear signage so even people like me can get to the right platform
taking a picture while I was on the back of the bike.

Agatha's friend lives on the top flat of her parent's home. We didn't bother to go up, but instead went and sat on her little dock that floated on one of the canals. Her view is one of the best ones in Amsterdam: a view of the only real windmill in Amsterdam. Below it is a small beer bar who's mascot is an ostrich. I actually have a shirt from there because my mom and Eyal went there once. Since it was such a nice day, people were sitting outside all around the pub, dangling their feet over the edge of the pavement over the canal. I watched 3 people all wearing green shirts - they sat and chatted there on the ground for about 3 hours (the same amount of time we sat on the shady dock). Her friend was really nice and spoke really good English. Agatha's other friend arrived and then we all went to the grocery store and bought a salad and a baguette to split amongst ourselves. It was a nice evening and Agatha and one of her friends said that they
by requestby requestby request

This is the designated public restroom for dogs I had talked about in a previous blog. It's funny but smart. I should also mention that I took this photo very quickly so my Dutch neighbors won't think I'm the insane girl from America.
would like to visit me in Enschede.

The ride back on the bike was actually much more successful. Maybe it was because I was tired, or because there was not as much traffic on the road, but I did it - I got on the bike the Dutch way. I seriously thought Agatha and I would end up in a bike heap on the bike path, but miraculously, my butt landed on the tiny little metal frame. I clutched on for dear life as we swerved around the construction zones and over the deep grooves of the tram tracks. We made it home all in one piece. I was supposed to be home in Enschede that day, but Eyal was so tired from work that we decided it would be easier for me to take the train home.

I was not as happy about this simply because I took laundry and a bunch of other things since I thought I wouldn't have to carry them far (from the car into and out of the house). But I reminded myself that if I managed to schlep 100lbs of my crap on my way to Amsterdam, I could surely manage
oh mayo, may I not eat you very oftenoh mayo, may I not eat you very oftenoh mayo, may I not eat you very often

Yello mayo and frites. Ketchup is not even on the menu at most places. But they offer other toppings including peanut sauce, something gross with ham, and brown sauce. mmm..brown sauce sounds so...mysterious.
30lbs of crap. Getting to know the transportation system a bit better, I took the subway/metro to Amsterdam Centraal with no probems. I also found platform 8b to Enschede just fine too. It was my first real lengthy train ride in my life, and it went smoothly. 40 minutes of walking home was not the best part of the journey, but I arrived home, took a nap, cleaned the bathroom and then Anouk invited me to have a popular Dutch snack: frites/patats/french fries and mayonnaise. Now I hate mayo. I try to avoid it at all costs and don't even put it in my tuna fish salad. But I walked with her the 20 feet to the snack shop and ordered plain frites (they call it the same as the french do) since Anouk said she had mayo at the house. Overall rating of the food, 1: I'll never try it again and 10: I think I'm in heaven, I give it a 4. Not bad, but nothing I'd really crave. But their mayo is unlike the gelatinous white crappy goop in America. This didn't taste like eggs and it had spices and dill in it or something. and it was yellow. Still, not my favorite thing to eat, but I can now say that I've tried it.

Well it's getting late and I have some school stuff I need to address tomorrow. goed nacht (good night in Dutch, i think that's how you spell it).



14th November 2006

so you can ride a bike in dutch way

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