Yesterday was my first day of class and it was terrible. The only good thing about it was the fact that class is right by my apartment. Walking to class is actually closer here than at the dorms to main campus at Chapman! Anyway, my professor had a very thick accent and would add ‘duh’ at the end of every other word. It just happens that Regulations and Reform is probably the most boring class to take. On top of that, I had so much difficulty finding a group to be in for our group paper and presentation. It seemed like everyone had group members right away and did not have room for another. I literally had to make someone let me in their group. It was awful. After being overly frustrated, I walked back home and sulked for the rest of that night. The bad class and snooty people in it was just the cherry on top of it all. I wanted to cry.
Today, however, is a different story. Although waking up early was kind of difficult, I honestly did not mind at all! Class gave me a reason to get my day started earlier so I’m quite thankful for that. Today, I had Development Economics. I bumped into Michelle, another Chapman student whom I had just met and coincidentally, the last two Chapman students I haven’t met were also in my class. We all sat together and decided to be in a group. We discussed poverty and inequality today and it was quite enjoyable. He even offered the poorest student in our class 5 euro! …I don’t think anybody took it though. We ended up taking several breaks in between, just like my first class. Both classes I’ve had have been 3 hours each so every 45 minutes, we would take a 10 to 15 minute break which was really nice.
After class ended, I headed home to drop off my backpack and grab directions on Google Maps. I wanted to go explore and check things out on my own a bit, since everything I’ve been doing has been with Emily, Jamie, and Chris. I also was looking to get tapestry and to check out the bikes at the Waterloopleinmarkt, the flea market somewhat close by my apartment. I took the Metro to Nieuwmarkt and walked to Pott Exchange in Dam Square (no, not for weed) to exchange some of the American money I had. It is quite expensive to pull money out through ATMs here with my bank from home. Now, I’m just waiting for my Dutch bank account to get approved so I can just use that. After getting off the Metro, I had to take a couple of smaller streets to get to Pott Exchange. When I say small, I mean small! You would never think cars could fit through there. I’ll have to take photos next time. I stumbled through the Red Light District and saw a prostitute for the first time. I actually got scared because I didn’t see her in the window and she moved, looking at me. I ended up jumping back a bit. Oops.
Since it was a beautiful day out, I was able to take in the scenery a bit and grab some awesome photos. I finally made my way over to Waterlooplein and ordered some frites with mosterd which are just fries in a cone with mustard. I still haven’t had the good kind yet, so I’m waiting for that. I also need to try their stroopwafels, which are supposed to be amazing as well! I walked around a bit and browsed through the bikes and random stuff they were selling and ended up eating a late lunch at Bagels and Beans. I had a bagel (obviously) and a latte inspired by Emily and Jamie, my coffee addicted friends. Bad idea, because caffeine and I don’t go so well together. I probably would have been some good entertainment since I felt like I was going crazy! Anyway, I hung out there for a bit and just relaxed.
I ended up coming home with a super cute elephant tapestry and a bike! I passed through one of the bike sections and didn’t really see anything for me since all the Dutch people are so tall (none for the shorties!). I figured I could just go out again another day but luckily I found a dingy little black one right before I left the Markt that worked well for me! They gave it to me for 65 euro which was around the price everyone suggested I get one for and the lock was 10 euro on top of that. I handed him two 50s and ended up getting 36 euro back so I actually got it all for 64 euro instead! Apparently Dutch people don’t like spending money and are super thrifty with everything so I think I’m going to fit right in!
I biked home which I’ll admit, was pretty scary. My ISN coaches told us you get to see a lot more of the city when you’re on a bike and they were definitely right! It only took me 5 or so minutes to get home and I ended up enjoying it a lot! I can’t wait for my next bike ride!