May 14, 2009

Tales of Tulips

I took a weekend trip to the Netherlands and now I am quite certain I would like to live there someday. I've been meaning to write about it for several days now, but life in Paris is so busy. Without time to say much else, I thought I would compile a list of a few things I learned while in Holland.

20 Things I Learned in The Netherlands
1) It's actually not "Holland." We Americans use that term, but people in the know say The Netherlands. The French say Pays-Bas.
2) I want to learn Dutch.
3) All the Dutch I know is that spoor = platform
4) The Dutch never check on buses or trains that you actually have a ticket, or what they call a strippenkart (I guess I know two Dutch words, actually).
5) A little kindness can go a long way. Everyone there speaks English. They love American tourists and they always want to help. Sweetest. People. On. Earth.
6) American music is everywhere. At the youth hostel where we stayed, there was a wedding reception. I heard "Love is in the Air (Everywhere I Look Around)" playing over the loudspeakers. The next morning, two old Dutch ladies were trying to sing "Footloose."
7) Burger King is also everywhere.
8) ... and Fanta, which has multiple flavors in Europe including "cassis" which is a black currant flavor.
9) Looking at beautiful flowers can be efficacious. If there is one thing you can see in Europe, go to the gardens at Keukenhof. It is the most photographed place in the world and now I know why.
10) Looking at beautiful paintings can be efficacious. I went to the Van Gogh museum and saw an exhibit called "Colors of the Night." It was magnificent. I was especially excited to see "Starry Night," which has always been one of my favorite paintings.
11) Asking for help never hurts.
12) You can never have enough pictures, but sometimes it's important to enjoy the moment outside the camera lens.
13) Good friends make all the difference.
14) Trips are always more fun if you can create a musical along the way.
15) The Dutch are obsessed with bicycles.
16) Underwear can be a good place to hide money. Just make sure you know you put it there.
17) The Dutch eat chocolate sprinkles with their breakfast. This is a good idea. A very good idea.
18) Watch where you walk in Amsterdam. You could be hit by the Tram at any minute.
19) The North Sea is cold. And beautiful.
20) "All right... it's okay." This is what Dutch people would say in place of "You're welcome." I sort of felt like it should be my mantra for life.

All right... it's okay.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Roo, this is Victoria. It is very cool to read abour your adventures in Europe. The Fanta thing takes me back to my measly three-week stay in Europe: Fanta was EVERYWHERE. So was U2. My home-stay brother, "Serge," tried to tell me that everyone in France gets really geeked over U2, but I didn't get it until later because my French was so awful. Though it was probably better then than it is now. Ah, it seems so long ago. But I digress.

    It is interesting that you're writing about Europe in a journal that has a photo of you in Grand Rapids. That photo looks most familiar to me, all the while I'm trying so hard to imagine all of the wonderful things you're writing about. It seems like you're having a great time. I'm so happy for you! Let me know when you come back to Michigan for awhile. You can visit me in GR, I can come to Coldwater for once in my life, and things will be lovely. :)