Hello again. Its time to recount the past week for my loyal readers... it was a fun and exciting one, as usual. First, Shannon came! yay! We met her at the station Wednesday night kinda late. Thursday I had classes most of the day and I actually had a little test in my Kafka class which I was scared about, but then the question I had to answer was really open to literary BSing, which luckily I am good at, even in German :) Shannon and Eric walked around the city a bit I think. We all went shopping after I got home and Shannon go to go to a real German H&M, which are apparently better than German ones. Then we went to the Send, which is a carnival basically that was in Munster for the weekend. They do it three times a year I guess. It was much bigger than I though with a huge farris wheal and other rides, games, food and what not. We met Heike and got a great veiw of a huge rainbow from the top of the ferris wheel. We also went on a couple rides, one in particular was hillarious because there was this maybe 11 year old german kid sitting next to Eric who started cracking up on it, absolutely laughing his head off, then Eric looked at him and started laughing and he saw eric laugh and laughed harder and Shannon and I saw them laughing at each other and started laughing, it was so fun but I can'T even say why, that kid was just so happy it was contagious! Afterwords we just hung out at Cafe Gasoline for a while, which is a cute coffe place and bar. Friday we sat around my room for a while because it was raining. Made, lunch, played card games, nothing thrilling. We went back to the carnival that night and got some carnival food, bratwurst, roasted almonds, cotton candy, all that good stuff and a few german specialties. Then we met Elena and went to Chris's apartment who was having a going away party. It was fun, not too big, just a good size to sit around and laugh and talk and meet people.
Saturday we got up fairly early and took the train to Ampsterdam, finally getting there around 2:30. I hadn't booked a room or anything so we were looking at a map when we got out of the station to find somewhere to go and the nicest old lady came up to help us. She was out handing out cards to warm people about pick pocketers and generally be helpful I guess. She pointed us in the direction of a hostel she thought might have spots. As it turned out the Neatherlands were in football game that night so things were crowded. We ended up at a little hotel, the first one that had space. We dropped our stuff and went out to walk around the city a bit. Its a really nice city with calals running all through it and cute houses squshed together everwhere. We went to the Anne Frank House exhibit which was interesting. Houses in Ampsterdam are crazy, they are tall and skinny so the stair cases are so steep the're closer to ladders than staires. Anyway, it was a good exhibit of her and her families life in that house. Then we walked a bit more around the canals and found dinner at a steak house before going into a bar to watch the soccer game. Its always fun being in a home city to watch the game, people are SO into it. Everyone was wearing crazy orange outfits and had horns and stuff. The game was exciting because there were lots of close shots but no one scored, they had two overtimes and two rounds of shoot out before Holland finally won against Sweden. Naturally the Dutch were a bit excited about this and the streets where crammed with people yelling and cheering and hugging and congratulating each other as though it was a personal accomplishment. We walked around the city taking in the hubub. It was like a city wide party, though I think Ampersterdam is kind of always like that at night. We walked though the redlight district and saw the prostitues in their window rooms. Shannon was completely facinated by this. Its weird because you are walking by lots of prostitutes in underwear and yet it still doesn't feel dirty because its ok for them to do that. And there are "coffe shops" everwhere but its not sketchy at all.
Sunday we went to the Shipping museum and saw lots and lots of model ships and really interesting old maps and paintings of battles. Its easy to dismis the Neatherlands as never having really done much, but they really have. They fought off the Spanish and the English and they traveled and colonized all over. We went on the replica of the ship 'the Ampersterdam' as well. Then we walked accross the city to the Rijkmuseeum which has all the old important Dutch art. There were old dollhouses and and Delft ware which is the blue on white porcelin stuff. And there are some Rembrandt and Vermeer paintings. After that we had lunch and went to the Van Gogh museum which was also good but we had to rush a bit before it closed. They had an interesting exhibit of nautical themes in Manet's paintings and other artists at the time. After that we headed back to catch a train which took us to the last stop in the neatherlands wehre we could get a train to Munster. Only, we found out afer getting on the the second train that it wasn't going all the way to Munster. Luckily there were a couple guys woking for DeutscheBahn on the train who were driving to Munster and gave us a ride. Whew. It was squished in their car but we made it back and had a drink with Shannon at a nearby bar before she caught here train back to the airport.
It was fun to see shannon again, we had a fun weekend seeing new places. What am I going to do when I'm back in the US and can't go to a different country every weekend? Oh well, maybe I can visit Alexis in Venezuela! This week should be a little more relaxing. Eric leaves thursday so then I'll be all on my own in my little room again. This weekend some of my friends are doing an all american 4th of July cookout at Frau Hensel's garden. Other than that... yeah, we'll see.