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touchdown 20-8-12

August 30, 2012



Woah. There is nothing like the initial 30 hours of traveling to a new country to completely disorientate yourself. But let me start at the beginning.

The plane touched down. It flew relatively fast, only about a 6 and half-hour flight from Newark, New Jersey to Amsterdam, Netherlands, but felt even shorter. The airport was wild. It might have only been like 7 in the morning, (Netherlands time) but still full of traffic. So Greg and I make our way to the checkered meeting point and eventually found our ride to school. Before we knew it we were unpacking in these egregious sized rooms. 

These room have tall ceiling, with a square footing that dwarfed my experiences in American college dorms. There was also the standard cupboards for clothing and desks for work. On the north wall hangs two large windows overlooking the main aqueduct that flows down Leiden (picture to come in follwoing post). Opposite that is a small fridge and stove area for cooking. Completed with a European style like bathroom. Its quite efficient. However, like how I was warned, there is no AC. But we’ve been told the worst of the heat is over here.

So we entered in, pretty much threw the rooms together in a short time and then took the day to explore the Netherlands. Considering that orientation didn’t start until Tuesday, we decided to take a trip into the city. 

Getting there was no issue. Information directed us to the 5 train north and a half hour later we arrived. It was the most surreal trip I have ever had. In a dream state, I wondered in the streets trying to grasp the concept of how the cities “flow” developed. It was overwhelming. Even trying to stay in a designated walkway was tough. The whole time I was doing my best just trying not to get hit by a bike! Regardlessly, we wondered in the city, past parks, restaurants and stores all around. We did this until we were lost in the heart of the city. The state is mostly flat, therefore even though the buildings on average are not too tall, it is still difficult to orientate yourself. It felt like a shrunken down skyline of NYC. 

It resembled NYC in more than one way. It was crowded. Small streets with a stupefying amount of bikes and pedestrians all crowding the streets heading in every which way, left Greg and I to cause disruptions in the patterns of traffic more than once. It was a learning experience just how to navigate the streets.

But this may been because we were engulfed in the beautiful town. ‘There is so much style’ I recall my self thinking. Every house, although smilar in most ways, found a unique way to standout, like the clothing styles of the people who inhabited the town. Speaking of which, quick side note, Greg and I looked like straight Americans in comparison. ‘Your so Jersey bro’ I said to him. None the less, it was an experience observing their style.

A few standout did occur. First, the smell of a cheese shop here is engulfing. Second, bikes have the right of way. Third, its easy to spot Americans. Overall, awesome city though.

We made it back home alive and exghusted. After hitting about 30 hours of non-stop action, it was nap time. So we relaxed and stayed local for the remainder of the night.It was an awesome day one. Thanks mom and dad for making this possible.

Meyer. Out.


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