Argile Ecossais Wallanklagebank

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Dutch not Deutsch

Well as far as this letter goes I have made it to Amsterdam thus far and it's already been full of cultural surprises. My trips from Billings to Minneapolis and Minn. to Amsterdam were good. I got caught up on the sleep I lost the day b4 I left trying to straighten out my housing situation in Lyon. I sat by a guy from Missoula on my way to Amsterdam- he had an interesting job- Beer tours. I believe. In stead of art and architecture he leads tours of distilleries. Creative I thought, probably wouldn't be interested in going on one my self, but it sounded cleaver with a touch of intelligence. Well most importantly I want to talk about what I've learned since I've been in Amsterdam. The Dutch are so fun. Their language is super cool. When you hear it over the intercoms it sounds like an American speaking but you can only select 20% of the words. They have a lot of cognates… dank u= Thank you, and you can hear a lot more or so it seems, they say “in” and other simple words a lot. Same with German. A sign in the bathroom said something to the effect: “De toilet spalt automatisch” English: the toilet flushes automatically.” I'll attach some photos of things like that, one sign says no smoking and the dutch is really close to the german. They speak English with a British accent and dutch with an American accent (I even thought french a couple of times.) I've been told that people from belgum speak french with an American accent so maybe that's an interesting connection there.Their r's are a very strong haucking lugies sound. So they sound like a cat with a hair ball stuck in their throught sometimes. Haha Fun, Ok I like languages a lot, maybe too much for your interest. Anyways… My tour of Amsterdam was pretty cool. They have really tall and skinny houses with triangle tops (not the stepped kinds though) which I didn't take any pictures of !?! And I guess they have more canals than Venice. I also went to the Anne Frank house. It was pretty cool to see a place that you learned about so much while in school. The place was much smaller than I thought. When I got back to the airport I decided I was going to call the hostels and make a reservation but I forgot the book in my checked in luggage so I had to wait til I got to Lyon. I was super blessed by the people I sat by on that flight. I talked with the wife (from Arizona, husband french, Edee and Francois) for quite a bit of the flight. I asked them what the best way to get to the hostel would be. The husband called the hostels-no vancacy. Then they just decided to take me to a hotel they knew of!!! They said a cab would have costed 50 euro!! Well we found a cheap hotel and I stayed there. They also gave me their number incase I had any troubles!!

The next day (thu) I ate breakfast at the hotel and discouvered that my french actually worked enough for me to ask the questions I needed. (still shakey but gets the job done) A lady at the bus lead me to the metro (on bus then walked me to it explained all what to take to get to the university and back.) I had trouble at the Univesity-we couldn't get ahold of the people we need to to get my appartament. So I went and stayed another night at the hotel. ( I was going to just grab my bags and go to the hostel, but I couldn't make my phone card work to call the hostel. So after that and after discouvering that I had a giant hole in my duffle bag that spilled out a ziplock bag full of coins, I decided to stay.)

Friday I slept in (minus a couple of hours of the day there). Then when I went to ask the front desk person if I could check my luggage again he said (taking a cue from they guy that had helped me the other day) that they would not take it. “Non monsieur, we are not a baggerie!” That really made me mad once I got to thinking about it (I have almost 140 pounds worth of bags! And they knew that (probably why they didn't want to let me leave them-too much space)). So I had to go to the hostel (couple of hours by walking, bus, and metro-bent my rolling bag handle) The university was closed for lunch (45min), then went to the place to get my apartment key, (yes positive point of the day) but first they had to write a contract (1hour), then I had to go get money put in their account (had to call my bank, then recall to tell them to put the money on my atm, not my purchases… another good 30min) Waited for bank to change all that (15min) Went back to office to see if there were still a lot of people waiting like there was, meaning still had I time, and found it closed. So I couldn't get my apartment… (priceless!)

As far as Saturday goes I woke up to get some breakfast, then took a nap…. Till 4:30 in the afternoon ( 8:30am Montana time). I guess I'm still messed up on my time + Jetlag + plus hauling around 140lbs. haha then I took the metro and found a Lutheran church downtown. Bought some bread, a peach and had some cheese that I saved the other night. Then got back read La Bible a little bit and wrote this!

I'm going to try to go to church tomorrow, I don't know what time it is. Then on Monday I start my orientation and hopefully get my apartment.


Anonymous Alice said...

Ahhhh that's a lot of stuff done in little time :p I cant believe you got to see so much of Amsterdam !! I thought you wouldnt make it out of the airport. That's cool though, Amsterdam is a great city...And yes Dutch IS hilarious to listen to, albeit quite frustrating at times...i always feel like i understand everything from the sounds of it but then when i actually try thinking about what I heard, I realize I only understood a few words...that only sounded like words I knew.
I hope you get your appartment tomorrow...I can't find it anywhere, so I hope we can talk soon !! You can ask me for help getting around Lyon too ;) unless you prefer exploring by yourself !!
Well I hope I get to talk to you sometime, I would have called you tonight but of course I have nowhere to call to. ;)
Have fun à l'orienation. ahhh I need to speak French to you now...gonna take a while getting used to that. ;)

5:04 PM  
Anonymous Jeani said...

Clay--Grandma and I decided we needed to know what was going on over there. We just finished reading what sounds like something that would send us into the nut house. Good thing you're young and can go with the flow!!! I'm sure we will enjoy this much more than you know! Good luck with the rest now that you're getting settled. Grandma's computer doesn't work so she is coming down here to check you out! It just sez "Going to Sleep" all the time and that's it!! Luv Jeani & Grandma

10:28 AM  

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