Monday, November 9, 2009


So it's been about two weeks since I last posted and not so much has happened. Well ok that could be a little bit of a lie. After about 24 slightly restful hours at home after Berlin I left for Luxembourg with my host parents. A 3 hour drive I fully slept through and then we arrived at our camping site. Yeah, I camped - no biggie. So yeah we explored the city for a couple days and it is a beautiful place. If you are in Europe and have a free couple days, visit Luxembourg. It won't thrill you with touristy stuff or time-of-your-life activities but it really was one of the most beautiful place I've ever seen (I'll add some pictures). The only issue with the trip was that I was slightly distraught for a large chunk of it. After that exhausting episode with AFS in Berlin I just frankly did not have the energy for that trip. I know it sounds lame and all that but I just wanted to quit, and furthering my mental exhaustion by going to Luxembourg didn't help much. We had some serious conversations, my host parents and me. It'll be ok but it's hard to just keep yourself 100% together all the time through this - really.

Then we came home to the Netherlands and my mind was still pooped so I relaxed some more. Saturday I had one of those all day train tickets that was about to expire so I hoped on the train to Leiden where the kids from the province of South Holland were having a "cultural day." I walked along with them for the day and it was nice to get to see a city I may not have otherwise. Leiden was kinda what you'd think of if you thought Netherlands. Just the aesthetics of it all. After that I caught a train with Crystal to The Hague and we hung out there for a couple hours just bumming around. Then I took another train back home where I hung out with friends that evening in town - superb.

I had one week of school except this week is test week (obviously I'm what you would call less than useful during this time) so I don't really have to go! I'm supposed to be reading and practicing Dutch in my free time this week in hopes of adding those ever elusive extra classes...we'll see. On Thursday I am going to Amsterdam with Ivy to explore a little bit and put a stopper on the monotony of the week. After that we are continuing on to Alkmaar to celebrate Francesco and Rafael's birthday for the weekend. I'm pretty excited for it all.

This past weekend I spent with exchangers since all my friends from school were studying for exams - boo. But it was still a cool weekend! Ivy, Sinead (NZL), and Agustina (Argentina) all came to my house for the weekend and we just chilled really, not that much to do except talk and entertain each other. Saturday night we went into town and Sunday we literally just sat around all day but it was still nice.

So as things become more and more common and normal in my head I guess it'd be good to explain how stuff is now here. A good starting point I think would be school. I'll go through my classes again like I did at the beginning and give you a little picture of how it all works nowadays.

English: I'm useless. I don't really do anything, even the tests. We've been watching Becoming Jane in class and's essentially been just that. Students do exercises in their books and it's just a snooze in general. Teacher hacks her daughter's hyves on occasion, pretty weird.

Geography: I am generally unappreciated in this class as the cultural gift that I am. Whatever that means. Teacher seriously is bitter that I'm there. Nags me a lot about when I'm going to learn Dutch, take tests, understand the lesson, and that all in all it's "really a pity you're in this class." Why thanks.

French: I really like this class in some weird way. Partly because it's French and I don't need to be amazing at Dutch to be in the class (just this week my teacher asked where I learned French so well, props madame). I can take part in tests and activities where the questions and stuff are in French, although sometimes it's in Dutch and I revert to my useless ways.

Dutch: Well this is the uh, most pointless class for me. But I still go and sit through it! It's all good. I can sometimes follow what the teacher is saying, although typically I choose not to. It's about reading, writing, and speaking well the Dutch language. They've had to do essays, presentations, and debates in this class. I either don't participate or I do it in English, ironic.

History: Well our history teacher got all pregnant on us so now we have a permanent sub of sorts. She is not such a nice woman. She just yells at the class a lot, a lot. She did give me a packet on Dutch history/culture, nothing I hadn't known but nice none the less. Apparently she'll be emailing me assignments which I have to admit, is nice in a as-happy-as-a-student-can-get-when-a-teacher-does-extra-work-for-them kinda way.

Government/Social Studies: Another class I pretty much don't understand. I still hold that it would be an interesting class if I understood it. I can look/listen to little stuff and pick up bits but yeah that just gets tedious. Teacher is a hoot so I give him a thumbs up on this alone.

Oh, I'm done already? Yeah those are all my classes. Impressive, huh? Like I said though I can see how my life here changes my writing. After two and a half months this blog feels really difference to me. I hope I can still bring that humor and wit that I brought those first 6 or 7 weeks for the rest of this blog because it was something I really enjoyed, while lately I feel that new discoveries and the excitement of it all is quickly wearing off. It really begs the question, why did I do this? I know I will find a clear answer eventually, but until then I still just feel like I am wandering.

see what I mean

Brandenberg Tor in Berlin
more beautiful Luxembourg
Saschsenhaussen Concentration Camp
Francesco & I in Berlin 

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