Final days, weeks, and taking another look
07.26.2012 - 07.29.2012
My time in the Netherlands is coming to a close. No doubt I will be homesick for some things here, such as my runs next to the canal and riding a bike with little fear of being hit by a car. I will miss the friends I have made here as well, they have truly ensured I have had a positive experience here. I can only hope one day they will all come visit me in the States and that I may have the opportunity to return to Europe and visit them wherever it is they are originally from.
I was supposed to go to see more of the Netherlands this past weekend, but the sun was so bright and beautiful I didn't want to get on a train and I wanted to relax a bit before I begin nonstop traveling this upcoming Wednesday. Upcoming travel plans are Berlin by myself from August 1st-August 4th then my mom arrives August 5th and she I and I do some traveling to Paris, France; Nice, France; and Amsterdam, Netherlands before my return home on August 15th.
Before those entries can be made you may want to see a bit more of Nijmegen, Netherlands and a bit of Arnhem, Netherlands
I must admit that I took a bit of time off work on Thursday because the day was too beautiful to be inside and I knew I could catch up on my final projects later in the weekend when the weather was supposed to be terrible (I got lucky and it was nice almost the whole weekend!).
So, I went with a couple of friends to this big park where they have a little lake.
On this lake they had a pully system going all the way across with cables so people could water ski and wakeboard but without a boat! It looked like the tow lines you find on some ski lifts where you hold the bar and the cable line drags you. I thought it looked like a lot of fun, but I did not participate and instead laid on the beach lazily watching people do tricks on their wake boards. It felt like summer.
This same day I went with the same friends to a soccer match, which is of course called football here, in Arnhem Netherlands. Vitesse vs Loko or the Arnhem football team versus the Locomotives, a Bulgarian team (one of my friends is Bulgarian). The mascot for Vitesse is some kind of hawk/falcon/eagle and they have the actual bird which they have fly through the stadium. No cheerleaders and fireworks, but loud music and a giant bird. The match was very fun though the Bulgarian team was unfortunately not playing their best and lost the match- they need a new goalie and more active defenders. The stadium was pretty fairly large, but nothing in comparison to the stadiums of Houston,Tx. In the arena they also have a special section behind thick glass for the away-team-supporters. The Bulgarians were lively with their shirts off while singing and chanting throughout the match. At one point the rest of the stadium was quiet except for the Bulgarian section, then the home-team-supporters at the other end of the field began to sing back a chant. In the end the Bulgarian supporters still looked to be having fun and the song always look on the bright side of life was played at the end where some whimsical dancing took place...probably not the full monty python version I have linked you to.
After the game we had a look around Arnhem and had a couple drinks in the town square. One of my friends will have to get me a picture of this awesome graffiti piece that my camera refused to take a picture of - cheapest digital camera at the store so I suppose that's what I get.
Side note: Thursday was my younger brother's 16th birthday and I got to talk to him while I was at the game!
Friday the 27th
Went with my friends from the game and lake to hang out in some local park and then my Bulgarian friend and myself went for a bicycle ride along a dike when our Italian counterpart had to go to work.
Onward to the dike!
After riding for quite a while on the dike in the hot sun we turned off and found this sort of castle/chateau which appeared closed so I only got a picture of the outside.
On our journey back we happened by this farm store where I thought it looked like they sold ice cream and with all the heat and sun we were riding in, I wanted some ice cream. They had cheese, kitchy farm store stuff, pear liquor (it was a pear farm) and ice cream!
you will notice in some of the photos I took pictures of how they bind the trees together to make them grow into a flat roof of sorts. They control the trees so they grow in this really nice canopy.
Riding back towards town
We rode past a bridge being built where my friend told me about the famous bridge in Arnhem that is the bridge from operation Market-Garden in WWII, though we were thinking this new bridge may have been a recreation of another bridge destroyed during WWII that may be confirmed by this photo where the soldiers have an American flag in the procession. I think now I'd like to see the film "A Bridge Too Far."
We stopped at the beach/sand bank where I took some photos of graffiti (pictures of the beach can be found in an earlier blog post) and then sat on the bridge for a bit
The bridge photos may have been from later in the weekend as I have stopped by there on Saturday and Sunday as well.
Saturday I went to see the new Batman flick and now understand the whole Bane thing from the weird Romney picture I posted last. Also, they pause movies in the middle here - every movie there is a pause, or intermission as we might call it. The seats in the theatre are also way more comfortable than the ones at home I think - thick, red, and plush. It was fun to read Dutch subtitles of the movie, but I think you can save your money and rent the flick at a later point in time if you want to see it.
No pictures of it, but on Friday night into early Saturday morning three of my friends and I got caught in a massive downpour that was almost like a Houston flash flood - we rode our bicycles home in rivers of water with little visibility, after such a beautiful day it was comical though cold and wet.
Sunday morning I watched the sun rise after staying up all night to do so, something I haven't done in a long time and it was beautiful listening to owls and seeing a couple across the tree tops as they presumably flew to their nests. Other birds were waking and chattering while the leaves rustled in the wind throwing rain drops and dew to the ground. No pictures of this scene as I attempted to take it all in.
This is some graffiti I saw in town last night after sitting on the bridge to watch the sun set, had some wonderful fresh hot mint tea, and before watching an Italian flick "Habemus Papam" with some friends.
I cannot say whether or not I will have any further Nijmegen photos or Netherlands photos posted. I cannot even say whether or not I'll find any time to post photos of my travels to Berlin and of travels with my mom until after we are both safe and sound back in the States.
Today and tomorrow are my last days at my internship where I have learned a great deal about the content I've worked with and a great deal about how I have no interest in a Ph.D. at this time.
Shameless plug in job search/interest: I need a job with people and it would be sweet to get involved in international development/aid sooooooo if anyone reading this knows of any opportunities available in 2013 for a freshly minted MPH, i'm all ears (especially if the job is in Hawai'i, West Coast, Colorado, Houston, Austin, Asheville, D.C., or somewhere in Latin America).