First Day in the NL

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August 3rd 2009
Published: August 9th 2009
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So I arrived to the Netherlands after a nine-ish hour flight upon which I slept an optimistically estimated 1.5 hours. It was 10:30 when arrived and I decided that I would attempt to make it through the day so I would go to sleep at 9 pm at the latest. Going through customs some Italian boys struck up a conversation with me which was interrupted by some Cal Alum asking me if I went to CAL..I answered yes..and he shouted go bears and talked about his glory days. I'm hoping that this behavior was lack of sleep/ confinement in a small area for nine-odd hours induced but knowing CAL alums it probably wasn't =]. I was overwhelmed and didn't know where to get me luggage but finally I found it and got a cart to carry my two wheeling suitcases and HUMONGO backpack.

I went out to exit and heard someone call "Sarah, is that you" was Micke, one of my relatives. So after all of our hellos we went out to the car and started driving. It's really hard to try to be conversational and make a good impressions when you are jet-lagged and only thought is that you want to sleep. We drove to this really cute country house and had pancakes (pannenkoeken) and I got one with mushrooms, cheese, tomato and onions. They teased me that I had simply ordered a pizza and indeed when it came out from the kitchen it looked like pizza. I felt like dying. I was so tired and exhausted and the food didn't help. I thought I was going to pass out. We went back to the car and drove some more...this time I slept. I woke up in Velden where the relatives live.

Velden is very quaint and small. The buildings are mostly old and it is very picturesque. After dropping my stuff off at Wim's house, we took a walk around the town as they pointed out some sculptures Micke had done for the town fountain. We passed beautiful little farm houses with grassy plots and sometimes horses or chickens. We walked by the house of one of their cousins and stopped in to say hello because they wanted to show me his house which was indeed as beautiful as they said. It had a huge English garden in the back with a lily pond and the inside was very cozy and the old architecture lent itself well to the beauty of the house. The cousin offered us some of his homemade wine to which we naturally said yes. He brought our two very strong bottles of wine --one being a white wine and one being an appel wine. They were very good but I must've had four glasses and I was definitely beginning to feel the wine. Thankfully so was everyone else.

We left shortly after we finished the wine and went to eat and a restaurant right outside of Annie's apartment name "Verse Frites" which I suppose means various fried things because that is the most accurate description of what it was. Wim ordered me a Frikandel speciaal which is basically a deep fried sausage with mayonnaise, raw chopped onions, and a tomato curry sauce. It was interesting to say the least. I'm not a big fan of their curry --it's not authentic curry more like a curry powder you would use in curried chicken salad. I don't think I will be eating Frikandel again--on a priniciple of good health. Then we walked to Ad's house and talked some there. Ad and his wife are very nice and their son Jaap is nice albiet very shy. Apparently his English is very good but he was shy to use it around me. Micke reminded me later that I am a much older woman than him and so it is! He is 15 and I forgot that I am so far from fifteen now--where did those 5 years go! He reminded me a lot of Joe at 15--shy and skinny and really into computers.

We walked home and I crashed from exhaustion, resting to get ready for our next big day.


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