Monday, December 10, 2012

A few of my favoriet things

Winding down here- it was a nice last day surrounded by the family and pets. Did my packing. Some thoughts on my experiences (I wanted to do this as I was leaving but I think I will wind up adding to it as things come to me).

The favorite moment: I smiled till it hurt watching Sinterklaas arrive in Weesp. It was just such an amazing event and day. And anything else Sinterklaas too I guess. Nothing made me smile more. And then came the tears. Seriously. That's how happy I felt.
Close runner up: riding on the back of the bicycle after the dinner party.

Favorite new things I never knew about before this trip:
Favorite snack: bitterballen (best I had was in the Hague)
Favorite local beer: Ijndejaars from Brouwerij 't Ij
Favorite small town I visited: (besides Weesp), Delft
Favorite museum: The Eye

Favorite cafe to have a pear tart and a latte macchiato: Vlaamsch Broodhuys But best latte over all: Lebkov & Sons (Rotterdam) and Caras (Berlin)

Favorite chocolate shop: Ohlala (Rotterdam and Dordrecht)
Or Kwekkeboom

Favorite cookie: Weespermoppen

Favorite department store cafe: still, the Bijenkorf

Favorite local shop: Restored on Haarlemmerdijk (but bought the most stuff from Options! on Damrak)

Favorite item purchased: scarf by Mae Engelgeer

Favorite shop (design/home ware) where sadly I couldn't take anything home: Droog (Amsterdam) or Depot (Rotterdam)

Favorite/nicest/interesting shop keepers ever: at Restored and &designshop (Rotterdam)

The favorite unexpected side effect: I have had the best skin of my life. Not a single blemish for 3.5 months. Am I too old for acne? Sadly, nope, doubt it. But the water here was great for my skin. Oddly, terrible for my hair. I could never make it feel clean enough. But if I had to choose, I'd take better skin over better hair.

I was going to do a list of all the words I know, but in the end the proved to be quite tricky as I understand a lot of words when I see or hear them, even if I don't know the exact definition. So instead some...

Favorite words:
Lekker (nice/delicious)
Bedankt (thanks!)
Als tu blieft (please/there you go)
Heel (very) heel nee! (really, no!)
Lopen (walk)
Hardlopen (run)
Gemakkelijk (easy)
Prima (fine)
Mooi (beautiful)

Btw, my comprehension level is pretty good I think. In the right context I think I can understand about 60-75% of the conversation. I think can get the jist of a menu at the same level. I can follow along and laugh or interject at (usually) the right moment. If I am not following- forget it. I can answer in English, I just don't know enough words to say something. And my pronunciation is still very, very painful.

Only regret: not signing up for a Dutch language class.

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