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For The Memories, Babe Finding myself in a rut, I've decided to try something new. Or a few things new actually. I've taken a job as an au pair. And moved to a different country. And don't know anyone else. And am directionally impaired. Here goes nothing...

I think I'll just have tea...

NETHERLANDS | Tuesday, 26 February 2008 | Views [731] | Comments [11]

So as previously mentioned, I decided yesterday to try out couchsurfing.com. It's a fantastic website that connects travelers to people who are open to touring around or letting you crash on their couch should you need a place to stay (or not want to pay for an uber-expensive hotel). So after a few emails which felt very much like something you'd send on match.com or something ("hi, i'm new to the area, wanna hang out?" or something equally as sophisticated), I made a date to meet up with a guy named Misha. He was well recommended by members of CS who had met him and travelled with him, so I felt pretty good about the whole thing [read as: "I promise I was careful, Parents."]

Anyway, I met up with Misha in the train station Utrecht Centraal and he was great! We walked around the city and took a ton of pictures. The main attraction of the city I think is that it has the largest university in the country, but people must come for school and stay. It's beautiful. There is a system of canals that run through the city, so you can kind of follow a trail and not get lost, which is nice. There is a shopping area and a lot of cafes. Yesterday I was confused as to why coffee was spelled so many different ways on the buildings, so to share my newfound knowledge with you, here's the breakdown. A "koffiehuis" is like an American coffee house. There's coffee and tea and maybe a muffin or something. A "coffee house" sells "special brownies" and keeps a supply of garden tools in the basement. Pretty big difference, so good that it was pointed out. A "cafe" by the way is a bar. Kind of weird.

Anyway, Misha and I went and wandered around. The biggest tourist attraction in Utrecht is the Dom Cathedral, which is the highest point in the city. It is actually two buildings now, but the originally it was one large cathedral that was damaged in a tornado or other storm. It was essentially split in two, so there is now a Cathedral tower which belongs to the Church, and another seperate building that belongs to the State (literal seperation of church and state). Anyway, you can climb the stairs (like 450 or something) to the top of the tower and see an arial view of the city. I didn't actually go to the top, but we did look around the outside and the areas surrounding the tower. Another strange piece of history. There is a picture in my new album that is a plaque on the ground that says Sodomie. The story on the plaque says that after the building was hit by the storm, the area in between was filled with ruins. Homosexual males began to use the place as kind of a secret meeting ground to have sex. Some of these men were caught and convicted and killed, but the reason for their conviction was kept a secret from the public. The plaque also says that homosexuals men and women now have the right to choose their own happiness or something to that effect. That was probably the most interesting story of the day.

We also went and had tea at a koffiehuis (I feel I should make the distinction now :), and then dinner at a little hidden side-street restaurant. Practically every bar or restaurant is a place you have to know is there. Many of them are down steep flights of stairs in basements that are closer to the levels of the canals. There are a few places to eat on the canals, but due to some construction, they are kind of hard to get to right now.

Also, due to the university, there is always something to do in Utrecht, like shows and cultural events, so I have to be sure to check some things out. We also watched a movie called "All is Love" but in Dutch (I can't remember the translation), which is ALOT like "Love Actually", one of my favorite movies. It was really good, and set in the Netherlands, so if you'd like to see more of the area, it's a good flick. Mostly though, it was a fun day just because I met someone new and was around some people over the age of 8 :)

Hope all is well with everyone! Miss you all.

Fin, for now.

Tags: Sightseeing



So I guess you are now out side the box :) I think it is really cool that you met up with someone to tour... sounds neat. Also, don't eat the brownies, it's a trick. Love you and I am having some "proud" feelings about you.

  Kera Feb 27, 2008 1:32 AM


Ok I think I need to make some edits to this well skimmed over entry. Here goes. Your boyfriends name is Misha and you had brownies at a coffee house instead of tea at a koffiehuis. Ok my edits are done for now.

  Michael Feb 27, 2008 5:24 AM


I'm glad you met up with a complete stranger for special brownies and a porno. HA, kidding. I know you know better!

  Lauren Feb 27, 2008 6:40 AM


of course I know better! Brownies and pornos are reserved for good friends only! dork.

  katieback Feb 27, 2008 8:23 AM


Umm... Ew. This entry took a very weird turn.

  Kera Feb 27, 2008 8:26 AM


I hear brownies take the edge off having 4 kids all day everyday! Hehe, just kidding... only eat the brownies when the kids aren't around ;) I'm glad you are having a good time and exploring new things! I'm not gunna lie, I'm loving this blog thing!

P.S. That bike thingy is scary!

  Whit Feb 27, 2008 6:01 PM


Only when the kids aren't around? I'd be stuffing brownies down their throats, would take the babysitting to a whole new level ;)

  Michael Feb 28, 2008 1:59 AM


Okay, Michael never gets to reproduce.

  Kera Feb 28, 2008 2:29 AM


Sounds like another great day for you. wonderful, also sounds like I will be taking lessons on how to travel around the world.

  Dad Feb 28, 2008 6:09 AM


Dad- Tell the population about how Katie eats apples like a gypsey. It amuses me :)

  Kera Feb 28, 2008 7:32 AM


My only advise would be .....don't ride the bike while eating those special little brownies! That might be a lethal combination!

  Mom Mar 1, 2008 2:03 PM



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