Thursday, February 2, 2012

Day One/Two

The plane ride here was interesting. I sat next to a nice, Dutch man who was an engineer! I didn't sleep a wink and was forced to watch the same episode of How I Met Your Mother about three times and some strange movie starring Justin Timberlake. Luckily, I found five other girls on my flight also studying at UvA. We took a bus together to our housing office to get our keys. I had my first Dutch stroopwaffel, which tasted exactly like the ones my mom bought at Costco, which was a let down. After finding my apartment and hauling my fifty pound luggage up three flights of the tiniest, windiest staircase I've ever seen, I got settled in a little bit.
This is my airplane attire!

After I arrived, I ventured to a department store about twenty minutes away by foot called Hema and instantly fell in love. They also have one of the coolest Flash websites I've ever seen. I got a little crazy at Hema. Everything here is much smaller. Not only soaps and lotions, but everything. The largest amount of toilet paper I could buy in a package was 4 rolls. While checking out, I turned next to me and saw my roommate, Pela, whom I hadn't met yet! We recognized each other from Facebook and walked home together. Pela is basically Danny Tanner from Full House, but a Greek woman. We cleaned the kitchen last night for over two hours and she found things for me to scrub my mother wouldn't even have noticed. In her defense though, it was pretty disgusting. I'll be uploading pictures of my apartment soon.

Today was long. It began with my residence permit appointment, which I was late to because I got very lost. The Dutch really dislike tardiness, which was embarrassing. Orientation began today too and I have about 15 other students in my group. I've met people from all over: Sweden, Australia, Germany, Italy, Spain, South Korea, Ireland, and lots of Americans. I've noticed I've started speaking with really proper English (you can probably already tell) because most of the people I speak to learned English as a second language. I envy people who know four or five languages. But my new German friend told me I should be thankful I speak English so well, because that's how we are communicating! Haha, which is true I guess.

I walked a ton today, including two hours in the bitter cold to find my apartment. Luckily I was not alone. I was with a guy from New York and a girl from Spain, who live fairly close to me. I also purchased my bike today. It's a grey single gear and has a yellow seat. It's pretty charming. I haven't rode it yet, which should be pretty interesting. Traffic is a bit confusing, because there are seriously five different lanes in each direction. One for pedestrians, one for bikes, one for cars, one for busses, and one for trams. I feel like I'm playing Frogger a little bit. I haven't been too homesick yet, mostly I just miss familiarity. And not being confused most of the time. I'm optimistic I'll figure it out soon enough though.


  1. I'm so glad you had time to post! I can't wait to see pictures. So did the stroopwaffle look the same? Sorry you were disappointed. Love you bunches!

  2. Sounds like you are already getting acquainted with your new surroundings. Post pictures soon! Be safe:-)
    Jana, Emma, and Abby

  3. Emily! I love your blog posts. Keep them up! What an exciting time for you, seeing all these new places and meeting all new people. I bet you feel somehow automatically close with the American students, even though they are as far-flung as New York. I like your description of your roommate, and if it were me I would want an uber-clean roommate too! I can already sense that you're going to stumble upon some vintage thing that is the most adorable thing in the entire world and I'm going to be like "HOW DID YOU FIND THIS?!" and you're going to say something like, "I just did. I was shopping and it was there." And then I'm going to say "WHERE CAN I GET ONE?!" and you will remind me it's vintage, and if there's even another one out there, it costs $5,000. And I'll ask you how much you paid and, of course, you'll say $5.

    I miss you, but I'm so thankful for technology so I can read about/see pictures of your adventures!

    Abby H.

  4. 1. Is pela/danny tanner also super tall with a combover and 3 children?
    2. How come you only got a 1 speed bike?
    3. Frogger is the best game ever, have fun playing in real life!
    4. When can I visit :)

  5. 1. Bob Saget does not have a combover.
    2. There weren't many other options. One guy told me "Less parts, less things go broke."
    and 4. Anytime you'd like! But you'd have more fun after I figure out how to get from point A to point B without wandering around in the cold for an hour. :)

    And Abby, that comment made my day! Haha, I hope I find something like that! There's a big glass building in the city center. I think it's an architecture company. They have Herman Miller chairs in their offices. It's adorable and I was automatically impressed with everything in Dutch culture because of this moment.