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Monday, August 18, 2008

The first week in Holland

Family, friends and a good time in the flat country!

In the first few days I saw everyone from my family and introduced Shoshannah to them. Of course I also showed Weert to her and we just a chill first couple of days. On Saturday we went out with my old friends and sister. It was good being in a normal Dutch bar and we had an awesome time. At least that night was awesome, the Sunday was horrible ;-)
The rest of that week we used to prepare all documents for Shoshannah's university and went to Maastricht for the first time on Thursday. According to her all cities and buildings in the Netherlands make her feel like she is walking around in Disneyland... I'll take that as a good thing! On Saturday morning my parents Shosh and I went to Maastricht again but this time with all the stuff to decorate Shosh's new room in my grandma's house. We also fixed her a bike so she is completely set for her year as a student in Holland.
That same day we also went to Utrecht to celebrates Mar's birthday. After a couple of drinks at his place he had a surprise for us. He took us to the "Vecht" (a river near Utrecht) where he had rented a boat. Coolers filled with drinks and snacks, music and people that felt like a party... it was absolutely great!!! The weather was good, the views very nice and the atmosphere even better.

Later that night we went out in Utrecht and were planning to meet up with Marianne who lived with us in China. We found her but she wasn't alone... Stephanie was also there (another girl from China)! It was great seeing them again and we planned to meet up again on Sunday for coffee!
The Sunday was once again a day that hardly existed... but after a slow start, we went to Marianne's place, had coffee and talked and later we played a game of monopoly with my sister and her boyfriend.

Tonight I'm going to take Shosh to Maastricht because she will have the "Inkom" this week. The Inkom is the introduction week for new students at Maastricht University and I am soooo jealous that she gets to go and I can't join..! Although I'll probably go there on Friday to catch the closing party.
Besides all this fun I am also busy applying for a job. The application for the job I really want is going very well. The letter, IQ and personality test, first interview and the psychological assessment all went very well. This week I'll get an email about the final interview! Let's hope it all works out :-)

That's all folks!

Friday, August 08, 2008

The Bean, The Big Apple and The Lowlands

No more China, no more United Stated, but back in the Netherlands!!!

On Tuesday last week we arrived in Chicago and once again we found ourselves welcomed by some great people that allowed us to stay at their place. In this case it were Sophie's parents. In the next two days we explored downtown Chicago: the museums, the Millennium Park with the Bean, the pier and we met up with some of Shoshannah's old college friends. A nice visit to a nice city.

On Friday we had a very early flight to New York. Everything went fine and JFK is connected to the city by subway so it was easy enough to reach our final destination in New York: the apartment of Shosh's best friend, Georgia, in Brooklyn. That day we decided to explore New York's nightlife and meet up with Mike (from China) while doing so. Great night that only ended at around five in the morning...
On Saturday we checked out the Brooklyn Bridge, walked around in Manhattan and had dinner in the Hard Rock Cafe together with Danielle (from Holland).

On Sunday we went back to Manhattan but this time together with Georgia and her boyfriend Dave. We walked through Central Park, ate some pizza and hotdogs, had a drink, checked out some of the skyscrapers, went into Grand Central Station and ended up in Central Park again to see the sun go down and listen to some music.

On Monday we had, for as far as I am concerned, the best day in the Big Apple. We headed out early to visit the Statue of Liberty. We were lucky enough that we had great weather and got a ticket to get into the statue itself (its pedestal really, but still...). Pretty sweet to see some of the history of this lady and quite impressive to see how they actually build her. I do think that if you do not obtain one of the passes that actually allows you to get in the statue, the island would be pretty lame...

After this we went to Wall Street and an did extremely quick stop a ground zero (nothing to see anymmore, just construction). For dinner we were supposed to meet Molly (from China) but of course our phone had run out of juice... try to find one person in a city as big as New York!?! We decided to head back to Brooklyn, charge the phone and meet up later. At that point Georgia decided to join us and we ended up in a bar called "Down the Hatch", probably one of the better bars I have ever been in!!! Played some BeerPong with $8 pitchers, grabbed some snacks and had a lot of fun.

The last day Shosh and I did some more essential shopping and left at 13.00 for JFK. Our flight left New York as planned at 17.40 and we arrived in Dublin at 4.45 the next morning. A last flight to Brussels at 7.00 where my parents picked us up and around noon we were "home" in Weert, the Netherlands.
Later that day most of my family came by to say hi and meet Shoshannah. And now we have to unpack and get all our paperwork straight... not the funniest job in the world but something that has to be done.

Ruudje, Shosh & Piggy