Tuesday, September 23, 2008

If I were a rich man

So, the exchange rate between everything is killing me here. I'm always doing the math in my head - I check the price of something and then I think, "how much is this in Canadian dollars?" And then I get very scared. A lot of things here are more expensive - like for instance most things in restaurants or shops are the same number price as they are in Canada, but in Euros. So that means they cost at least 1.5 times more. I usually just round it up to 2X more just to be on the safe side, what with fluxuating exchange rates and all. But buying food in grocery stores is relatively cheap. It's actually utterly ridiculous the disparity in prices between buying food in the grocery store and buying food in a restaurant. Now, it's always more expensive to eat out. I know this. But when you're only one person, you usually end up having to eat the exact same meal for at least 3-4 days because that's the quantity your ingredients come in. In Canada I had all my tricks for eating out on the cheap - like the Subway 2.99 sub of the day. Well they have that at the Subways here too, only it's the 2.99 Euros sub of the day. So really it's the 6 buck sub of the day. I can go to the grocery store and pick up sandwich fixins and pasta and stuff to eat for dinner, and for about 10-15 euros. Or I can go to Wok to Walk, a popular "cheap" asian fast-food place and get one meal for 6 euros. Actually, the 2.99 euro sub of the day is pretty much still one of the best deals to eat out. Which is just sad. Of course there's just a higher cost of living here, and that's all fine. The problem is that I'm funding this on the lower-cost living and wages my parents make back in Canada.........and for that matter I made all summer. I worked my ass off all summer, and I think I probably spent all the money I saved up before I even left the country. It's a sad sad state of affairs. I think the US government should give me a billion dollars. I mean, seems like they're just handing it out these days. As for all the electioning happening in N.America, I've been keeping up to date thanks to the internets. Though of course I'm always finding things out late, since while I'm sleeping all the action happens. But it's still fun to watch some news and videos on the internets. I'm eagerly awaiting my write-in ballot, because even though I may not be residing in Canada right now I'm damn well going to do my part to get Harper outta there.
Notes on the pictures: The first is of one of the bridges I have to cross on my way to and from school - occasionally I get to it and it's letting a big barge through and so I have to wait. The cool thing I found about it (that I couldn't get in the frame) was that the power lines also run over the bridge, so they have this system that's hard to describe (I'm finding this as I'm trying to describe it). Basically, where the bridge separates there's two tower thingies holding the wires - the wires are separate but the tower thingies touch and covey the voltage that way. So when the bridge goes up, one tower stays on the ground and one goes up and takes that side of the wires with it. It's a pretty nifty process.......or at least I think so. The second is a mailbag used by TNT Post (the dutch post office). Nobody carries mail. That's so passe. They either have these trolley thingies that they wheel around, or they carry it in carrier bags on a bike. I've passed a few posties biking around with wads of mail sticking out of TNT carrier bags. This system works well here though, because most people live in flats/apartment buildings, and even the houses are close together. Also, we don't seem to have a dedicated postie for our route. Every time I see someone delivering the mail it's somebody different. One day it was a middle-aged Muslim woman in her long dress and hijab, the next day it was a teenage boy. Anyways, it just seemed odd to me, since I know so many posties and am so used to the way our system works (or doesn't work as the case may be). Tomorrow night is the big welcome/welcome back party for the whole Hogeschool voor de Kunsten (School for the Arts) at the Milkweg. It's scheduled to go from 8pm-2am, but it's very unlikely I will stay that long. Unless it's a really really good partay. But it's a chance to meet people from not only the Conservatorium, but from all the other faculties of the AHK. Who knows. Maybe I'll be discovered :P

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