Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Welcome to the dam!

So on Friday I arrived in Amsterdam!!! The flight was fine and everything worked out well. From the airport we made full use of the transportation in Amsterdam and took a train to central station and then the free tram to Vondelpark which is an area of the city. The journey to find our hostel was an exhausting one. At the station this homeless Jamaican man began talking to us and also serenaded us with a song about angels?! Once we stopped laughing at him he ended up helping us through the city to our hostel. We each dragged our heavy suit cases over the cobble stone for at least an hour. I never thought I would find the Stay Okay Hostel but with 3 bags, 1 homeless man, and 2 euros for his help- we were able to finally set in.  The weekend was great and we traveled from pub to pub with little sleep to begin our trip in Europe.  Amsterdam was really beautiful and we had an amazing opening weekend.

Leaving Amsterdam, one of the worst things that could happen did! On our trip back to the train to travel to Maastricht, we separated into 2 different taxis. Meg, Mike and Dan hopped into a small cab and threw a majority of their luggage into the minivan taxi with me, Kate and Trevor. The plan was to meet at the train station in Central Amsterdam as opposed to the train station in the airport. With a bit of a language barrier, the first taxi went to the correct destination (central station) and our taxi ended up taking us to the airport....20 minutes from the other train station. We got dumped on the curb with the three of us and about 7 suitcases. We had no phones and absolutely no way to contact the other three who were at Central. Trevor and Kate were the only two with cell phones and they were both with me. We knew the only way for us to reconnect with the other group would be for them to call us. After about 2 hours of them waiting at Central for us we finally got a phone call from them (after they had to buy  a calling card, call home for Trevor's phone number, and then contact us) and we eventually met up. What started as a huge mess ended up working out well and we found our way to Maastricht.

Now in Maastricht I am all moved into my room (my own room with my own bathroom...not bad!). We have been assigned international students form the school to help us around the city and show us around and they have been great. I also live in an apartment for international students and everyone is really friendly here. 

Our first night we went out with some German boys who are our buddies and they took us to this amazing Italian restaurant in one of the main squares where I had amazing pizza and drank delicious wine. We then went to a pub to watch the Super Bowl...and didnt Bruce look great!? 

Yesterday, only our second day in Maastricht, although it already feels like we have been here for over a week, we went to the school to meet the dean. He seems like a really nice guy and we learned we will be taking some interesting classes about european business and we also get to take an Intro to Dutch course! I am really looking forward to picking up a few words so I can at least learn how to read some signs (how to pronounce all of these J's!?). 

I am finally settled in after doing a bit of shopping. Everything is going great so far! The people I am with are great and so is everyone we met so far. With two amazing nights under our belts already I can only imagine what the next five months will be like!

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