Just a quick update -- I found a place for January - April :)

It's a room in an apartment, with a couple other students, which will be an adventure -- I've always lived at home and I'm now living by myself, so it will be something new!

I'll post pictures and stuff when I am there in a month (my, time flies...)

Memory lane...

Hi, sorry, I'm still here. Just lazy.

Well, it's because I like to have pictures in my posts but then I sometimes forget to get my pictures from my camera.

Before I continue with the relevant bit about the subject, let me show you some terrible pictures I took from this past weekend! There was a Christmas market in Strasbourg (or is, since it goes on until the end of the year) and I really don't care for Christmas since I don't celebrate it and I could rant about it and be Scrooge-like (I'm not, I just don't really like a lot of the things behind Christmas) but I do love the lights that go up during this time of year. Worst sentence ever.

Moving on, hooray for pretty lights! They're all around the city centres in Holland too. Happy!

Look at all this shininess. I know it's probably reading 'vanity' in between the lights too, but I must confess that I do like lights when it's dark.

On an unrelated note, I have been perusing old emails and conversations. It's kind of bizarre how much of our lives (or mine, anyway) has been digitally recorded in some way. Both good and bad -- it's nice to reread these things and remember stuff that I had forgotten (which is a lot because my memory is horrible!) but with everything becoming virtual, this is yet another reminder among many.. there's something about face-to-face contact that can't be replaced.

An update on my housing situation... going to talk to someone tomorrow who is trying to sublet their place for 4 months. That means I'll have to move again, but at least I would have a roof over my head.

Okie... tot volgende keer! (Til next time!)

Oh that reminds me, my Dutch class finished too. I miss it! :(

The "epic" in edible epic yarn

Picture post! This time I will write captions BEFORE the pictures. Trippy, I know... it might be clearer though, so you know what you're "going" to look at.

This is for my cousin, who was looking for fake moustaches one day. Apparently Paperchase sells them!! Oh, paperchase... Whenever I go to Utrecht station I try to go in time to look around but they close too early. 

On Saturday, went to Mont St Michel 

The next two pictures were taken within 5 minutes of each other.... 

It kind of reminded me of Calgary actually... "Don't like the weather? Wait 10 minutes." 

How did you spend Remembrance Day?
Oh, I just went to Omaha Beach in Normandy... 
(I know it was WWII but I think you catch my drift.) 

Sunset with a view of Omaha beach. Do you see the hole in the foreground? That was from a German... gun ... of some kind. The tour guide had a strong French accent, so despite his fluent English, I couldn't understand what he was saying sometimes.

Pretty cool to visit a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the D-Day beaches in one weekend.
Of course, it wasn't exactly skydiving or anything. Maybe another time...

Life experience #5

Okay, I randomly made up a number, it's more like life experience #1203974.. haha.

Today... I changed the bag in the vacuum cleaner! Haha. At home, we have a central vacuum ... thing... so whenever I vacuum, I plug the vacuum hose into the wall, and I honestly don't know where it goes (must be in the garage cause it gets loud in there). But the handheld or standalone vacuums... have always baffled me. Where does the garbage go?

Well, not nowhere, I can tell you. In the vacuum here, it goes (remarkably enough) into a bag.

I noticed the other day that it was looking full, so today I braced myself and opened up the vacuum, somehow half expecting everything to fall out. But it was very clean, and really easy to put in a new bag.

Congratulations, vacuum cleaner engineers! You did a good job.

I also had a good number of bicycle experiences this past week. Starting last week (or two weeks ago?) I was having trouble pedalling. To the point where I would get home and my thighs would be numb with pain and exhaustion. I know I'm out of shape, but it can't be that bad! -- It's almost totally flat here!

So eventually, I gave in and decided to bring the bicycle to be repaired. I may try to be thrifty, but I don't think I can bike back and forth for 25 minutes each way with my legs dying in tiredness. It turned out that there was something wrong with the pedaling mechanism ... I think. It was hard to tell because the person told me over the phone, and his English wasn't particularly fluent. Anyway, I was able to pick up my bike on Monday, and happily rode it home.

However, on Wednesday, a new problem came. As I was leaving work to go to class, I noticed that my bike was again having trouble moving as I was walking it out of the bike shed. Lo and behold... the front tire was completely flat!

Now, I don't cycle back in Calgary much, because I'm not crazy (like some people I know) and I live on a hill. Therefore, I have no idea how to do anything related to a bicycle. I can barely adjust the saddle to the correct height. I most certainly did not know what to do with a flat tire. I was worried that I would have to replace the tire completely. Anyway, I had to go to school, so I left the bike at work and I walked.

The next day, I took the bus and I also had a meeting with my supervisor that morning, so I asked him where I could get my bike fixed. Of course, the Dutch being the Dutchies that they are, it became apparent that any average joe in Holland is capable of fixing a flat tire. It's like one of those life skills that your dad or mom teaches you when you're a kid. But, my supervisor was kind enough to offer to fix it for me!

So the following day (Friday) I got to witness bicycle surgery in action. Some of my colleagues stopped by and they were discussing their opinions on how to fix bicycles -- "my dad taught me to do it this way!"
Actually I don't know exactly what they were saying since it was all in Dutch, but one of my colleagues mentioned that they all have their own "ways" that their parents taught them.

It was pretty neat. And so far it's alive, so hopefully it keeps up. I think the flat tire was caused by some tiny shard of glass, but I'm not quite sure. Anyway, it's making me slightly paranoid when I bike now.

One of my colleagues mentioned that I should take a picture, so I did, but I'm not sure if I should be publishing my supervisor's photo on here without his permission, so if you want to see, just let me know and I can send it to you.


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...

Your "two"

I know I'm a hypocrite, but I am not a fan of this:

In the evening

It gets dark relatively quickly, like around 7:40 or so now...

My class ends at 9, so I bike home in the dark. It's okay because there are lights and the bike also has lights, but as I was biking home today, I had this weird, slightly panicked feeling that someone just appeared behind me. Then I realized it was just my shadow, moving as I biked past the different street lights.

Then I noticed that, with my hood up and my odd hair length slightly unkempt, my shadow looked like Darth Vader.

It was both scarier and cooler.


Hema is a store here in Holland which is sort of a department store, I think. It's kind of like a cross between Ikea and Superstore. In my mind, anyway.

Today I went to go pick up some stationery for my Dutch class and whatever miscellaneous things I needed to pick up. When I went to pay, I was getting by with my usual pretend-I-know-what's-going-on-by-not-saying-anything-and-nodding. Usually I've caught on to the drill. They tell me the price, which I think I could probably figure out if I listened carefully. I check the register to make sure because it would be weird if I gave them an extra 20 cent coin when it would give me back extra change or something. (A note about coins at the end). After paying, they usually ask if I want the receipt. I'm not sure what the whole word is, but it can be shortened to "bon", so I always try to listen for that. I usually respond with a "ja" and a nod. I've thought about saying "please" but "alsjeblieft" doesn't roll off my tongue as easily as it does for the Dutch. And I haven't figured out if I should say "alstublieft" or "alsjeblieft" either. Then sometimes they wish me well, sometimes they don't. Either way, I usually just kinda nod and smile and say "dank je wel" (which does roll off the tongue since I've used it quite a bit and it's pretty easy) and go off on my merry way.

But every once in a while, someone will throw a curveball and that's what happened today. As I had finished paying and getting my changed, the lady said something complicated which I knew was not "do you want your receipt?". So I said "sorry?" and whenever I say sorry, it comes out with the most Canadian accent you'd ever hear in these parts, and they switch to English right away. Even if she said it in Dutch again, it wouldn't matter anyway.

Turns out you can collect stickers to get wine glasses. Who woulda thunk.

I declined, because I don't need wine glasses and I didn't want to think about bringing them home one day. They would probably break.


A note about change:

Anyone who has been to Europe probably knows that the coins are differently denominated than North American ones. You've got the good old 2-euro and 1-euro coins, which I really like. They both look like toonies, except the 1-euro is smaller and the colours are swapped (silver outside for 2-euro and gold outside for 1-euro). Then you've got 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1 cent coins going down.

Except in Holland, they're phasing out the 1 cent coin. So I had random change from a trip two years ago, and it stayed in my wallet for forever until I got annoyed and donated it somewhere.

What I was going to make a note of is how terrible I am at figuring out what coins to give to get the least number of coins back. I was already bad while in Canada, despite living there for my whole life. Although these are easier to work with, in a way, sometimes it's easy to forget that 4,75 means you're going to get back two coins.


I just went through my pencil case at home and discovered I have two pencils and I didn't need to buy one. Darn.

Get Kinected... in Nederland!

As some of you know, I've done a bit of research with Kinect-related things. In fact, that's what I'm doing now on my internship. But if you look up the things related to the Kinect, you'll realize that there are a lot of applications here and there that people are developing, all over the world.

What you don't see as much (or what I don't see as much, I guess) are the different things that actual companies are doing. Most of the stuff I read about are geeky guys (yes, guys -- it sounds sexist but I have seen very few, if any, girls who write Kinect programs for fun. I don't blame them, I would rather be shopping too.) who are tinkering with light saber apps and stuff. But there are actually companies, like Nissan who are creating applications with the Kinect too.

But I read about this stuff on the interwebs. So what was really neat was when I went to Floriade with my parents, and lo and behold...

Those are three Kinects sitting there. You basically make all the fruits move around by jumping around/moving around with your body, so nothing ground-breaking, but it was nice to run into. It was in the section set up by Israel, which makes sense, because the company that designed the hardware (PrimeSense) is an Israeli company.

Anyway, I also went to the Heineken Experience in Amsterdam this past weekend. Most of you probably know that I don't drink beer, but it was a neat experience learning how it was made. And I learned how (in theory, I didn't actually try it) to pour a beer from a tap. I tried some simulation version but I spilled too much and left the tap running. Hahaha.

The reason I mention it is because... they ALSO had a Kinect app as one of the displays! I didn't take a picture because it was in a dark room but it was pretty exciting. I wonder how many un-internet-ed stories of Kinect usage there are out there...

Well, that is all for now folks. You can expect more Dutchie stories soon... hopefully. I just started my Dutch class today, and I am going to try my best to practice a lot! We'll see how it goes. 

The weather is getting colder!

Kind of. Actually I think it might be warming up a little again, before I get to experience the wet Dutch winter.

I will now present to you... some random highlights from our trip! My parents have the better pictures on their camera, so here is a small sampling. For reference, we went to Brussels for two days, then to G(h)ent (it's Ghent in English and Gent in Dutch... and Gand or something in French... clearly it's in the Flemish-speaking part of Brussels, which is kind of like Dutch), and then to Venlo (which is back in the Netherlands).

The Atomium... for the third time. Hahaha. I like the building though, I must admit.

Free beer at the Manneken Pis (statue of little boy peeing). I didn't drink the whole thing. I still don't understand why people like beer, I think it tastes gross...

Comic strip museum! This is the only picture I could find that wasn't portrait style, and I haven't rotated any of them yet, so... tadah...

This is a typical Belgian (Flemish, to be precise) beef stew with mashed potatoes, basically. It was good but super super super filling.

Some kind of traditional Belgian eel dish, I think.

Mussels! Very Belgian.

As you can tell, we had a theme with our food...

So the Sunday we were there was "car-free Sunday", which meant that from 9am to 7pm, almost all roads were closed. Public transport was free, but it basically unleashed hoards of cyclists onto the roads, which is something I'm used to anyway. 
Because of this occasion, I think a lot of stuff was going on in the city, and this is an example of it. It was like... a huge park with tons of sport activities for kids. With these nice arches surrounding it. And I'm pretty sure the two wings of the building are museums. Oh, Europe...

As I previously mentioned, fries are rather Belgian, so I made sure my parents got to try it.

Gent is known for looking nice at night, so I vainly tried to capture it on my little point and shoot. A photographer I am not, hopefully this doesn't offend my pro-photographer-readers...

We went on a boat tour, which was nice and relaxing, and the guide was pretty friendly.

Graffitistraat is the nickname of this street in Gent. It's legal to graffiti here. Most of it was messy and not that nice, but there was one really intense painting of a tiger.... which I somehow failed to take a picture of because I couldn't find it on my camera. Maybe my parents have it...

Anyway, now it's back to work for real. I think. I feel guilty for taking so much intermittent time off, but I have somewhat renewed energy to get back to working. We'll see how long that lasts (I'd say... max one week. Haha)

*Now* I'm Dutch

Not actually, but I biked home in pouring rain and felt accomplished.

Until I got home and it stopped. Then I realized that all the local people probably knew it was going to stop, which is why the bike lanes were not as busy.

So fail...


Currently on the second mini trip with my parents. Been having a good time so far... Pictures will come later!

Not Dutch yet...

So much to catch up on, I don't even know where to begin.

Well, let's start with the title of this post... I'm definitely not Dutch yet, because I can't bike properly still. In particular, I fail at:

  • biking fast enough (I pretty much get passed by everyone, young and old and in between)
  • signalling properly 
  • maneuvering skillfully (today I gently biked... into a bush... while coming out of the bike shed at work... I looked around and it seemed like no one was looking, but somebody always sees. You know what I mean -- we've all witnessed that person who looks around and then picks their nose or tries to get rid of a wedgie...)
  • being aware of what's going on (had a few close calls)
As I was writing this list, I realized that some of my audience might become a little worried, given what happened last time I posted about my insect bite woes... so rest assured, things are okay, the Lord is taking care of me for sure =) I can tell cause I'm still alive. Haha. And I'm slowly getting better at the whole biking thing.

My parents are here!

Random highlights include...
  • Getting a taste of being a foreigner on European roads. We are seriously spoiled in North America (particularly in Calgary, where our one-way roads are pretty much as wide as two-way roads here) and when you get lost... you get lost. It doesn't help that I couldn't remember what the different signs meant, and there was construction almost everywhere...
  • Seeing the saints in Delft
  • Getting to learn a bit about how the Delft porcelain (it's the white and blue stuff that looks like Chinese porcelain...) is made. It's actually pretty neat, and this morning I read about how ministry can be illustrated with porcelain... you need revelation (that's the paint) but you also need sufferings (into the oven!) in order for ministry to be produced (image is now not-removable from the vase/plate/etc..). Pretty cool, there is spiritual significance everywhere...
  • Staying at a HI Express which has only been open for a week and a half or something like that
  • Going to Kasteel de Haar (it's a castle, in case you couldn't figure that one out), which the original dude's descendants still come for their vacation. I thought it was pretty cool because most castles haven't been used in hundreds of years...
  • Barely making it to see a Museum Speelklok, which is a museum of instruments that play by themselves (think music box)
  • Finally getting to go to an island in the North of the Netherlands, this one is called Schiermonikoog. Too bad it rained :(
  • Making my parents rent bikes!
  • Ending up on the autobahn without realizing it (our GPS tells us what the speed limit is, and then... there was no speed limit!) and getting passed while going at 150. 
So far it's been good! I came back to work for a few days but my parents are off adventuring a little bit, and then next weekend will be another adventure. 

And... to make up for the lack of pictures...


One free hour of wifi at Schiphol Airport (in Amsterdam, in case you didn't know) and I shall use it to... blog! Haha.

I actually came up with several topics to blog about the other day but alas, I actually have forgotten all of them. Kind of disappointing.

Anyway, just an update of where I'm at...

currently waiting for my EasyJet flight from Amsterdam to London Stansted
going to be in London for a Bible distribution during the Paralympic Games!
followed by a visit from my parental units on zaterdag (Saturday)

And I worked 2 days this week...
going to work 3 days the next...
and another 3 the following...

Mm, this really is a working holiday after all =)

Speaking of which, the passport control guy asked me if I had a stay permit for Holland, and I said no because I thought he was talking about a residence card which I still haven't gotten approved for. But it turns out he was talking about the stamps in my passport, which he obviously saw and knew were there. It was like a test to see if I knew what they were, and I failed. If I remember correctly, he said something like, "it's very strange that you don't know if you have a stay permit or not." Well, to me it seemed strange that he didn't know what a stay permit looked like! Anyway, now I know... if any passport control person asks if I have a permit for Holland, I'm just going to say yes. And hope that I don't get in trouble.

At the end, we parted in a way akin to the following:

He asked, "are you a student?"

I replied, "I'm doing an internship."

He responded, "Good luck with that."

To me it sounded like... "good luck with that because you're pretty dumb."

At least I didn't get interrogated.


Alright, the gate is open. Tot ziens!

Snippet-like updates

Sheets are washed, but they're not bed bugs... I know this because I saw them bite me and I swatted them away. While I was on the field...

My phone magically started working again! Hooray! I knew you could do it, little blackberry =)
No, I didn't, I genuinely thought it was kaputt and it was time to conform...

Car rides make me sleepy. Especially long ones that are kind of warm.

I like fresh laundry.

Two-day work week coming up!!! Happy days.

Also spent way too much money on food at Proef-Eet in Enschede. But it was lekker :)


I'm not sure why this is the case, but I have acquired a lot of bug bites here. I don't know if they are bed bugs or mosquitoes or spiders or what, but my arms and legs and feet have a number of red bumps, or dark scars from previous bites. Not sure if I get bitten this much at home, except for maybe that weekend in Camp Evergreen.

Anyway, last night I managed to acquire four of them, one of which is extremely annoying and has partially motivated me to write this post.

(It got big and I was so sure I didn't scratch it!!)

The other part which motivated me is this little guy:

Well, that looks harmless, you might think. It looks like a little spot of blood, is what I think. I got this while playing frisbee tonight, and the first time something like this happened, I thought that it was a scratch from a blade of grass. (I've gotten a cut from grass before, oddly enough while playing frisbee too... seems like most of my injuries come from the sport. Then again, I don't play many other sports, which is probably why.) 

Anyway, I deduced that it was not from grass but rather from a bug. I'm not sure how I came to this conclusion the first time, but the second time (i.e. today) I am quite sure I saw it and I swatted it away. 

In fact, while writing this post, I started feeling itchy a bit higher up on my calf, and I discovered a second blood dot. So I think I got bitten twice.

I'm moderately apprehensive about the whole thing, only because last time, this is what happened:

It got kind of bruised, and later after walking a lot, it got quite swollen and irritated. I ended up buying medicine which, according to Google translate, is for "pain and itching from insect stabbing".

This time, I won't scratch them. I hope.

And next time, or some time, I need to write a post about scootmobiels...

The world is getting smaller

This past weekend I went to visit Dusseldorf. I didn't do much sightseeing; it was basically just hanging out but it was nice. The sister that I know had recently moved to an apartment with another sister, and they were in the midst of building their kitchen, so I went with them to the hardware store and got to feel like a local. It was kinda surreal, like being in Rona except everything is in German. I imagined what it would be like if I were in this position, maybe five years down the road or something... in a foreign country, having bought my first house. Kind of strange to imagine. (Not saying that that is where I will be in five years, but you never know, right?)

Anyway, lately I have been overeating a lot (haha, okay so not just "lately") and I had some of the most amazing food when I was in Dusseldorf. The post title has some relevance -- I didn't really have much German food at all. I had African food, cooked by a very energetic and friendly African sister, and I also went out for Japanese noodles after the meeting on Lord's day. Well worth the trip. (Dusseldorf has a huge Japanese community... relatively huge, anyway.)

View from their apartment on the 5th floor. Which is the 6th floor by North American standards. With no elevator. You can imagine how much work moving in must've been...

The feast prepared by the sister :) From left to right, there is salad, cocoyam fufu with (what I thought tasted like lamb, but it might have been beef), plantain (?) fufu with chicken, okra, and then covered up there is some spinach+fish sauce which goes with plantain, and rice (with the soup spoon) and chicken (covered by foil).

Eat your food... the African way :). This was one of my favourites - the chicken soup stuff was a tasteful spicy, and the fufu was so much fun to eat. Kind of like a combo of sticky rice/mashed potatoes (in terms of texture).

Plantain with spinach and fish.

Rice with chicken

They're all separate because you shouldn't mix up the flavours ;)

And then, the next day...

Curry ramen :) egg and extra veggies are free! I think if I ever need my fill on Japanese food, I'll go to Dusseldorf, haha. Perhaps a rather expensive bowl of ramen, but so good.

Random note: when a German train starts moving, it's so smooth that you can barely tell. If only I could achieve a start like that in my car.
But seriously... so trippy.
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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