After the Thanksgiving food and dance marathon, I headed over to Rotterdam with my friend and fellow au pair Libby. I like this country for many things but especially for their public transportation! Wow. Its clean, efficient and so easy to use. Of course, I've already traveled all over but I'm still just amazed at how functional things are. Maybe I'm just in shock that places like Orlando are still completely dysfunctional when it comes to transport. But, I digress because this post is about the Couchsurfing Sinterklaas event in Rotterdam! Here we are starting out on our Holland "road" (train) trip.
The first thing we saw upon arriving in Rotterdam was this crazy clock thing where people manually created a digital clock for a day. Its art (?) or something but it was definitely an interested idea to construct.
Libby and I spent our first day in the city enjoying an American pastime known as 'Black Friday'. Technically, this isn't applicable here in the Netherlands since #1 Thanksgiving isn't a holiday and thus, #2 there aren't crazy shopping discounts the next day. Either way, we had some time to kill and wandering around any city center is going to involve shopping! One thing we (and probably all other expatriates) are getting extremely frustrated with is the lack of a chipboard (can't get one until I have my Dutch residency and Dutch bank account!) This is a special somewhat magical credit card that is accepted everywhere and therefore making all other and/or American credit cards invalid. So, needless to say our shopping whimsy was put to a hold since most of the stores wouldn't accept our Visa or American Express cards. Grrrrrrr! We enjoyed our day and made the best of a rainy winter afternoon in Rotterdam while indulging in a myriad of french fries around the city. This includes but is not limited to Libby's complete devotion to McDonalds! I love to tease her about this (You can take the girl out of America but...) although on this occasion, in the freezing rain it seemed like a perfect time for a second dose of fries.
I should probably dedicated an entire post about fries in Holland and curry ketchup which are hands down amazing.
Yay for being generic American kids going to McDonalds! I have gone to McDonalds more times with Libby in Holland than I have in the last 10 years of my life, eak!
Later that night we met up with our Couchsurfing host and headed over to a big dinner/meetup/ "speed dating" event. The dinner was deeeeeelish. Libby and I really got into the spirit of Sinterklaas, which clearly included a lot of balance and poise.
The dinner company was also great, one of the best things about couchsurfing events is meeting people from around the world... But the speed dating...well, lets just say it isn't really my style. So, instead of wandering around talking to strangers about *wild* dating related topics I chose to drink some tea, in the corner with a group I selectively chose entitled as the tea party VIP group. It was much nicer in my opinion, although, Libby had a great time with the whole speed dating concept. Eventually, I branched out from the VIP club to create yet another fake secret club to include only the tallest people in the room. As a person of giants stature, I can not describe how great it is to for once not be the biggest person around! Actually, I am feeling a bit 'normal' in this country of giants and its a completely different experience! It was a fun night, interesting at least and I did manage to drink an entire (gross) beer. Libby can attest to this, but I am not posting the photos of my horrified face during this experience.