Daylight savings time ended today (or yesterday?) here in the lowlands.

That means the sun sets before 6, which made me inexplicably hungry at 5...

I'm trying to remember how I got by in the darkness in Calgary.

This past weekend was a church conference in Baarlo. In fact, it was an international blending conference. It was pretty cool seeing saints from the US, Canada, the UK, France, Belgium, Germany (that I knew), and Holland, as well as lots from Poland, Hungary, Sweden, and I'm sure many more.

One thing that I enjoyed is that our pursuit of the Lord should be altogether positive. The topic of the conference was "The One New Man", and there was a great deal of speaking on how there is no room for any persons or races in the new man -- Christ is all and in all. That means Christ is everything. The new man isn't just a group of people from all kinds of nationalities gathered in a place for a certain period of time, outwardly getting along. It's just one person, which is Christ. And if He is everything, we must be nothing.

But whenever I hear that we should be nothing, and that we need to be dealt with, something within me reacts. I know that I have a lot of things in my natural being that need to be dealt with, both "good" and "bad", but whenever I hear about "dealing", I expect a lot of pain, suffering and tears. The anticipation has me already cringing with fear.

Then, some encouragement came -- we just need to continue in the divine romance, loving our dearest Beloved. As we behold Him, enjoy Him, experience Him, are drawn to Him, and more positively wonderful things, the rest will come. And it's so sweet to be genuine with the Lord, in the midst of my rather "I-don't-know-what's-going-on" situation.

There are a lot of things I don't know, but one thing I do know: I want to live a life of purpose, so I give myself for God's eternal purpose. May He gain the one new man in reality on the earth... today is the day!

And practically speaking, all we have to do is take Him as our person every day. ^^

Housing, snail mail and food

Hi again! I'm still alive.

My housing situation has gotten rather interesting. As some of you may know, I am a sublessee of a nice apartment which has its own kitchen and bathroom, and is fully furnished (since I am renting it from the tenant). Turns out that he (the person I'm renting from) is not coming back, and so we discussed the situation and from January 2013 onwards, I would take over the rent.

But. There is a catch. The rental price that I pay him is actually not the real rental price.

What? you might think, are you getting ripped off?

Actually, it's the exact opposite. He gets rental subsidy from the government, and so the amount he charges me is actually AFTER the subsidy, as in I pay what he would normally be paying. Which makes a lot of sense.

It seems like it shouldn't be too bad, I just need to apply for rental subsidy myself for when I take over, right?

Well, apparently the Dutch government decided that if you're between ages 18 and 23, then there's a certain minimum/maximum rental price for which you're eligible for rental subsidy. If you're older than 23, that window increases.

And wouldn't you know it, I am between 18 and 23, and the actual rental price is above the price bracket.

Not sure what to do now, but amen ^^;

Snail mail...

When I got home this past weekend, I opened my mailbox to find FOUR letters for me.

I was so surprised, but excited. As I opened and read them, they actually seemed remarkably independent from each other (one was for an assignment, one was from someone I had sent a postcard too, etc...)

But it was fishy, because... how did they all know my address?

So I asked my mom, and I found out that she organized a number of people to send me snail mail. My mommy is sweet :). It's also very exciting cause I don't know whose letter will come next, and they're all very cherishing and heartwarming to read.


I love food :)

Visited Lille this past weekend...

Apparently, real legit crepes are BUCKWHEAT! Wow, who knew?
And you have them with apple cider (see top left corner)... the cider is almost wine-like.
So delish.

Okay, dessert crepes are a little more like what the rest of the world thinks a crepe should be. Mm, caramel with salted butter and banana? Yes please.

There was an upside-down house...

Stuffed waffle from Meert! Soft waffle that is thin (looks almost like stroopwafel cause it's so fine, but the texture is different) and has vanilla in between. Looking at this is making me hungry.

This was the special of the day... I don't know what exactly it is called but it was also very good.

I had almond tea that I didn't take a picture of, but it was super delicious. Not almond milk tea, just almond tea. Coupled really nicely with the sweet desserts.

And... not only shoes are big here....

"I'm so hungry!"
(that's how I feel right now...)

Sorry for the rushed-ness of the post, it's time for bed XD.

An assortment of things

Sorry, I've been really lazy lately. Here are some snippets as updates.


I believe the local Munchers (okay, Munich / Muenchen inhabitants, not sure what they are called...) refer to Oktoberfest as Wiesnfest.. or... something similar. The main point is that I saw Wiesn everywhere.

A couple weekends ago, I went to Munich to meet up with some of the other U of C interns. Well, mostly just one friend that I knew well, but I knew some of the others would be there.

Turns out, just knowing that they exist and half-recognizing faces but not knowing names makes things kind of awkward. That, combined with me being already kind of awkward and not good at socializing, made for a strange combination.

And then you can add on top of that the fact that I was staying in some crazy hostel called The Tent, where you literally sleep in these giant tent-like buildings that have super thin mattresses on some 30 odd bunk beds.

It was quite an experience. Not one that I would fancy repeating again, but an experience nonetheless.

In my unprofessional but opinionated opinion, Oktoberfest was like the Stampede, but much more beer-centered. And it's free to get in (but food, like the Stampede, is ridiculously pricey). Maybe if I liked beer and if I liked to party or if I was just less awkward I would have liked it.
But maybe not.

Nevertheless, an obligatory Mass. I'm a pansy so I had a radler (half beer, half... lemonade. I think.) Also some typical German food, mmm... haha. 

No more beer for us... we'll drink giant bottles of pop instead.
And watch crazy people stand up on tables and try to chug their 750 mL or however much is left in their glass.
One guy had stuff thrown at him cause he was taking too long. I felt sorry for him.

Giant pretzel! Om nom nom.

This was the best part of the whole festival thing, in my opinion. It was some kind of toboggan ride, but to go up, you hopped on this slanted conveyor belt thing that went really fast and a lot of people struggled to keep their balance. I didn't go on because (1) I was almost out of money and (2) it looked scary, but it was mesmerizing to watch. 

The Dutch and the Bicycle - part 2

Just two things:
1) I am totally NOT Dutch yet. Even after more than two months of biking, I still have difficulties manoeuvring.

2) In addition to the young-and-the-fit who blissfully cycle with their hands busily texting someone, there are also a good number of elderly people that I see cycling on a regular basis. What impresses me the most is that these elderly people still ride high -- as in, at a traffic light where they have to stop, they actually hop off the saddle and stand on the ground and then hop back onto the saddle when the light is green. I'm pretty sure if I tried to hop off my saddle, I would hit someone or something.

Nederlands is moeilijk!

I am not sure if I spelled that correctly... but anyway, I have now been taking my Dutch class for 3 weeks? Or 3.5... this is my 4th week. Anyway, the class is going really quickly, but I still feel like I can't say or converse much. Hopefully that will change...


If any of my geo buddies read my blog, just want to let you all know that there are totally jobs out there for us! Just come to Germany! Hahaha.

Look at all that equipment.... and that wasn't nearly all of it at all (I just thought it was funny that there were so many rods. I should have taken some pictures of the tripod stacks too.) 
There was also this one booth that had a woman mannequin with short-shorts modelling their equipment. I laughed to myself. How ridiculous.

Look at all these stands...


I guess I should have put this picture first... but actually I took it as we were leaving.

OpenStreetMap! Steve would be so proud...

Yeah, so even though this is technically my "field", I just frolicked around like a kid and ate cookies and candy. One day when I go to one of these, I'll be there AT a booth.
Well, probably not. But I might be more knowledgable than I am now.

It was pretty neat getting to go. I got to skip work, and I got to spend some time with the sales guys who I rarely talk to, so it was neat to see their end of the business. And I got food.

Okay, that's probably enough for now. I need to be less lazy about taking pictures -- there were some things that I thought were cool and then I realized I had no picture for it. (It's cause I always think 'well a picture won't compare to the real thing anyway'. Which is true, but it's better than nothing...)

Bike wrestle

I forgot that I wanted to post these pictures:

Can you see my bike? It's the one with the red seat cover... but not the one on the left, the one on the right, sort of hidden behind someone else's handlebar.

These were the bikes blocking the aisle

Upon returning from a weekend trip, I went looking for my bike. Thankfully, it wasn't stolen, but it was trapped. There were literally at least 3 or 4 bikes crammed into the aisle, and another two that were tightly sandwiching it.

At first, I panicked and woefully thought about how I would need to leave my bike and rescue it another day. Then I told myself that there was no way I was going to have a bike here and just... leave it. 

So I proceeded to move the bikes out of the aisle (this was relatively easy once I got the hang of it, but awkward with a backpack and purse), and then wrestled with the larger bike that was squishing mine.

Surprisingly, it only took about 10 minutes to free the bike. Hooray! 

Even if parking your bike at the station is risky (getting stolen or... stuck), it beats getting your bike impounded. 

Bake bake bake

I miss baking.

I do like my apartment, it's a good size and comes with everything I need...

but I miss having an oven.

and ingredients at my disposal.

Oh the things we take for granted...
on faith, food and flying
The thoughts and experiences of a college kid on faith, love and life in pursuit of Christ, the loveliest One, while enjoying misadventures and quests for food, which so happen to take her around the world.
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