Welcome week

Even though I've already been in my dorms for 2 weeks, the official introduction week has just begun for all the other students. Since my school is so small (only 750 students), they really like to put on fun events for all the new students. We have a full week of events planned for us and it looks quite long and intensive, but it should be a lot of fun. 


Everyone just moved in this morning, so there are plenty of people rolling suitcases around campus. I got a few new neighbors even. After checking in and going over logistics with some faculty members, we had a little time to settle into our rooms. We received "families" today of 3 current students and 10 new students. We had dinner as a new family and from there had a party at the bar where I got to meet people from other families too.


I received my class schedule today and it seems pretty nice for traveling. I have no classes on Friday, but I do have class from 9-5:30 on Mondays. That's the sacrifice I have to make I guess. We had an introduction lecture lead by the dean that quite honestly put me to sleep. We had "creative time" as a family and painted a very interesting flag for a capture-the-flag sort of game. From there, we went to a formal dinner put on by UCU. Everyone looked so nice. We took family photos and feasted on all the delicious food they had made for us. I love that they always offer a vegetarian option here and it happened to be stuffed bell peppers that night. It was quite tasty, but the chocolate mouse, ice cream, and homemade whipped cream was even better. After "pre drinks" at our parents apartment, we headed to casino night at the bar. I did really well in black jack and roulette and won a bunch of chips for my family. We came in third place and won a gross looking bottle of black vodka...sweet. I called it a night really early because Wednesday is going to be a long day.


All the kiddos and parents hopped on a bus this morning at 9:30 to head off to Efteling, which is a theme park in the Netherlands. We spent all day with our families riding rides and seeing fairy tales. We started off on a big rocking boat, made our way to a beautiful fairy tale ride, then a crazy haunted house, then a high speed indoor roller coaster which made me completely nauseous. We just explored the park all day and I tried my first oliebollen. It's a fried ball of dough covered in powdered sugar and it was so good. It warmed me up at least 5 degrees and maybe saved me from freezing to death. We had a home cooked family meal of salad, pasta, and brownies. Yum! We have another party at the bar tonight. It's a married for 50 years/midlife crisis party. How on earth do you dress up for that...

Well my answer to that is that you steal someone's bow tie and wear a cardigan and yell at people to "get off your lawn". I went as a grandpa and it was great. My family is by far the most fun family and we all stayed till the bar closed which was "early" tonight... 4:16 AM. Even though this is a huge party school, everyone I've talked to actually respects the fact that I don't drink and that I'm a vegetarian and it's a really nice feeling. They played Closing Time by Semisonic at the bar and Monica and I headed back to our dorm for some well deserved sleep. 


All of the incoming students and parents met this morning to take a group photo and we all had lunch together. Then we once again headed to the school bar. I am burning out on this bar really quickly. We played an impossible trivia game and my team didn't even place. It didn't help that only 4 of us showed up to the game. This afternoon marked the beginning of a pub crawl through town. We went to 3 bars where I had delicious hot chocolate at each one, went for a pancake dinner, and went back out to 2 more bars. From the last bar, we went to a really weird night club. It was a tiny place and it seemed to fill up so fast. I had a really good time dancing and acting silly with all my friends, but it got so crowded that people were bumping into me every few seconds and from there my mood rapidly declined. I was ready to go and everyone else had had too much to drink and should have gone home too. I did my best getting everyone into a cab and home safe but a few stayed behind. I will not be repeating that experience.

I know it's hard to tell what these photos are, but they are photos of/inside the bars we went to tonight. And of my delicious half apple half cheese pancake dinner. 


Sleeping in felt sooooo nice today. I rolled out of bed to grab lunch with some other students. I met a girl who has already been here for a full semester and we ended up talking for a long time. I got to catch up on an episode of Revenge after lunch in my first relaxation time all week. We biked into town on a bike ride today after I took an embarrassing spill on a bike that was too tall. Biking is really difficult in the snow. We got to the bowling ally and it was so cute inside. I came in second to last, but that didn't matter. Kevin sent me a really awesome map and photos that just came in the mail, so now I come home to a much cozier room. 

The bar was a little crazy tonight. A pair of guys in a fight got uncomfortably close to me while I was at the top of the stairs and I was running from them like a little girl. I could have done without that experience, but neither one of them was seriously hurt. I left pretty early even though I did stay for some dancing. Sleep is a lot more important to me than staying out all night. 


I was so tired all day yesterday. I don't understand how the Dutch go to sleep at 6 AM and wake up at 10 AM to start their day. I slept in today, grabbed lunch with some of my family, and went back to my room to watch a new Glee. We had a big snowball fight at 3 and then went off to family competitions like charades, twister, sudoku, and painting. The last competition was to see which family made the best pancakes. We got really fancy with ours and did brownies and frozen fruit on the top. 

We then had to do a talent show which our parents did not mention until 20 minutes before we were supposed to perform our talent, so we improvised and rewrote "Call Me Maybe". I skipped out on going to the bar last night because I wanted to catch up on sleep, but they announced at the bar that we won the talent show!


Today is the ultimate day to be lazy. I slept in this morning and I'm going to have a leisurely rest of the day. I'm going to grab lunch and stock up on more groceries and things. I've been having stroopwafel withdrawals and today's my day to fix that. It's the first really intense day of rain we've had and it doesn't look nice outside. Classes start tomorrow, so I really need to catch up on my beauty sleep. This has been the longest week of my life, but I'm so happy to have met the people I met. Can't wait for all the ski trip students to return and meet them too. 


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