Sunday, August 24, 2008


I have arrived. Well technically I arrived yesterday. But the first day never counts, since you're half delirious from jet lag and just trying to remember your name is a chore. By the time I arrived in Amsterdam yesterday I had been up for almost 24 hours. I had a few fitful hours of sleep on the plane, but plane sleeping is never that restful and usually just makes you feel worse than you were before. My new landlord/roommate Julijana met me at the airport - meeting someone you've never met before and have no idea what they look like is hard. I ended up calling her cell phone from a payphone, since there was just this constant crowd of people at the arrival area. But we managed to meet up, and went to her apartment in Slotervaart. She owns the apartment, and then rents out rooms to foreign students and the like. She is originally from Eastern Europe - Serbia I think - but has been living in the Netherlands for over 10 years. She works for the railway as a security/ticket officer on the trains, and so the apartment is very conveniently 1 block away from a train station. It's 1 stop away from Schiphol airport, and 2 stops away from Centraal Station. So pretty convenient. But I still plan on getting a bike and just biking to school all year. Aside from the up front cost, I'm convinced it will be cheaper than taking the train all year. It's only E3.30 for a return trip to Centraal Station, but that begins to add up very quickly when you start to do the math. I'll probably just become one of those people who lives at school....

My room is quite nice, with a double bed, closet, dresserish drawer units, and a view of the canal. Oh yeah. The apartment building is built on stilts over the canal, and my room just happens to be over it. Not directly, but just to the one side. But still, nice view of the canal and the nearby traffic circle from my window. I've also decided that I'm going to try and work my way through my Lonely Planet Amsterdam City Guide. When you live somewhere, you often don't ever go to the "touristy" places. I may skip overtly touristy places like Madame Toussaud's, but I think it will be nice to go to a new place once a week, like a field trip every Sunday. We'll see how long I keep it up, but the first two places on my list that I didn't go to in June are the Stedelijk Museum CS and Nemo, which are both right by my school. The Stedelijk CS is actually in the building right beside my school. So what's my excuse! It IS 9 euros, but it has the modern classes by people like Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso, and Rodin! I guess at 9 euros for all those dudes it's really a steal. Nemo is the museum of Science and Technology, that also has beach on the roof. And it's just on the other side of a little walking bridge that's about 50 feet from my school. Hopefully I'll become all culture-fied, and classy. There's always hope.

What am I talking about. With me, there's no hope. But I'll have fun anyways :)

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