Since I last updated I haven't really found anything too inspiring or mind-boggling to write about, I just figured I'd talk about what's been happening this last week of break (seeing that it has been much better than the first). Maybe I'll work backwards because I have the least to say about the most recent developments in life. I rang in 2010 with my host family. I suppose it was nice and we ate these things called ollibollen and appleflops or something the other and you know, since we don't have TV, we uhh...watched the clock. fiesta. (The following excerpt it going to make me sound like more of a loser than I am) I was expecting to be contacted by friends who told me they could only go out after the ball dropped and after only speaking to them prior that day I thought that someone could contact me. Boy was I wrong. We outside with the family in the freezing cold and watched as the Dutch sky was lit up with nice, minor and large, illicit fireworks of all shapes and sounds. This proceeded like mad for maybe 35 minutes after which we returned inside to munch a little bit more. Realizing that I was tired and wasn't getting a phone call to come out, I called it a night. I prefer watching fireworks in the summer - when it's actually pleasant to be outside, but to each his own.
Earlier than day I had returned from Zoetermeer where I spent the night at Crystal's. Wednesday I decided I needed something to do so I trained to Den Haag (seat of the Dutch government) and we walked around there for a while. We actually went and sat at this cafe and got cookies and hot chocolate (ok Crystal had wine and a brownie but...gross) and we conviniently sat ourselves next to what turned out to be three fascinatingly American girls. Don't jump to conclusions - we didn't introduce ourselves as fellow exchange students or anything, it was way too much fun listening to their unbarely dumb banter about living here. I guess they were with a college organization but they broached really interesting topics like "Oh my god we had to take a inventory for a class to see if you're like, you know, more European or American stereotype, and I was like, totally more European, because you see, I like believe that we should share everything and then it's like, more even." or about how she (one was quite domineering and controlled the conversation, loudly) has to attend a mandatory class for foreign students and "It's like me, three British guys, and then ASIANS. And I totally won't go unless the British guys go because like, otherwise they just speak in their languages, like so much Vietnamese!...(this is my personal favorite) And you know I like, have never been exposed to Asians." So thank you, fellow Americans, for making me proud to hale from the land of people underexposed to Asia.
Besides that Crystal and I just had a merry time talking and catching up and such. The day before that, tuesday, I arrived home from spending a night in Utrecht with approximately 25 other AFSers. Someone (Francesco) had the brilliant (kinda) idea to get everyone together and spend a night in a hostel in Utrecht. Monday morning Ivy and I found everyone standing on a random street in Utrecht not quite sure what to make of the city. Ivy and I went to a couple stores and returned to the group, which was waiting for more people, so we could become a louder, more rowdy group than we already were, and make our way to the hostel. I don't want to take too much credit, but where it is due it is due. I was a major help in getting 20-so foreigners to the hostel. When we were finally there we were...surprised. But I guess you get what you pay for! We had free reign of a kitchen filled with...I'd say food but it was mostly frozen meat, pasta, and pannenkoeken mix. We survived. Needless to say the rest of the night was, eh hem, ridiculous. AFSers were pouring in throughout the night with others running back and forth to the train station to fetch them. There isn't much more to say about the evening.
That about sums up my week! Traveling around this country and coming home to my own bed in between. Today we've been relaxing, went on a walk and the kids collected sticks from the fireworks (it was a mess out there). Tomorrow I'm using one of those unlimited ride day cards for the trains with Ivy so we aren't sure where we're going yet, maybe Rotterdam and Delft, then we're going to Agustina's goodbye party! I'm going to miss the shoppers - especially my Argentinian wife Agustina (te quiero amor mio!). I think the prospect of school coming up isn't so bad. I really need to get the gears moving because this vacation has lasted forever. Also I hope I can get windows up and running on this computer soon because Linux is tiring me out. I don't expect January to be a very busy, interesting month (except for a language test administered by AFS at the end of the month - woo!...) but Febuary at least has Carnival to break things up!