Existing Member?

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...

Seriously, guys?

NETHERLANDS | Monday, 10 March 2008 | Views [804] | Comments [6]

Well today was a pretty fun day. I have been kind of laying low (read as sitting on my ass and doing nothing productive) for the past few days, so I decided I really needed to get out and do something. I had the day off, so I called one of my Couchsurfing buddies, Guus, and made plans for dinner and maybe going out afterward.

So since we weren't meeting until 4:30, I decided to go shopping for boots since my feet have been freezing and my tennis shoes stick out as "very American"...not that there's anything wrong with that. Anyway, I slept in til about noon (naturally), then ate lunch with the Family. Super awkward conversation with the Dad, which I will script out for you below.

Katie: So, I thought I'd go into Den Bosch today to shop for some boots.

The Dad: And...you need money?

Katie: Uh, no... I just thought I tell you where I'd be...

The Dad: Huh.

[extended pause in which Katie starts to head for the door.]

The Dad: Well when are you leaving?

Katie: I don't know...like an hour or so I guess?

The Dad: Well I need an attache case. Do you know where I can get one?

Katie: Uh...no. I've only gone shopping there like twice...

The Dad: Yeah, I guess. Well I might go. I'll let you know.

Katie: Ok...

[Katie goes to her room. Five minutes later, the Dad pounds on the door.]

The Dad: Can you be ready in like 5 minutes? If so, I'll drive you to town.

Katie: Ok...

[end scene]

What if I had said yes, would he have given me money? Damn...should've taken advantage. :) He took me to town and I didn't waste bus fare.

So I went to just about every shoe store in Den Bosch (which is a lot), and found nothing. I did learn that I probably wear like a size 38, which took some time to figure out. Also, while most people in the country speak English, mostly older men aren't really interested in doing so. Which meant the salesmen all hated me.

I met up with Guus at the little koffiehuis where I had previously gone to meet the group in Den Bosch, Cafe Voltair. Which I found on my own, thank you very much! We actually ended up eating at his house with his dad, Tone, who was really nice as well. He made some type of asian rice and spicy cabbage thing with goulache. Strange combo I thought, but it was really good. I've decided that there isn't really "Dutch" food. Like in Italy you would eat pasta or pastry, in France you eat the baguette. In the Netherlands, I haven't really heard of anything authentically Dutch. I read that due to the country being so small, it was taken over several times by different countries, so there is a lot of influence of other cultures. Makes sense to me.

After our dinner, we went on a walk around Den Bosch, which as it turns out, is quite pretty at night. There aren't a million people walking around, so you can appreciate the architecture and canals. It was neat. The only faux pas was that at one point in our conversation Guus described a girl as "about your size but skinny." Seriously? Thanks... Obviously, I blamed the language barrier.

We also went to a little cafe and had hot chocolate before I caught my bus home. Guus and I are talking about Couchsurfing together to Belgium this weekend if I have it off. It would be really nice to have someone to travel with, so I hope it works out! Then there will be some new fun pictures!

Fin, for now!

Tags: shopping



You shopped all day and couldn't find boots? I feel like that is strange. At any point in time in any store YOU of all people can always find something! Silly Kates.

  Kera Mar 12, 2008 12:36 AM


I'm going to have to agree with Kera on that Katie! You can always find something to spend money on! LOL!

  Dara Mar 12, 2008 1:16 AM


Hey! That's not fair, two against one! I'll have you know that I've been much better about saving money! I may even pay off a credit card this month! [please hold all applause til after this is confirmed ;p ]

  katieback Mar 12, 2008 8:51 AM


Congrats on the possible "credit card payoff extravaganza '08"!

I too am confused by the lack of boot-finding. If everyone in the country has boots, where do you suppose they get them? That part about the dad is HILARIOUS. Does he have a name, this dad? I'll just call him Mr. Funnypants. I need to see more pictures of this alleged "Guus" to decide if I support him in his nomination as travel buddy. Glad you're having fun!

  Lauren Mar 13, 2008 5:56 AM


Ok, so I may have explained this shopping trip badly. I did find plenty of boots. But none that fit either my foot, or my budget, or a combination of both. Make more sense? And I think there is a picture of Guus in my pics. And before there are any inevitable comments, this would be a COMPLETELY platonic travel buddy. Thank you.

  katieback Mar 13, 2008 6:15 AM


You know I would be happy if you paid off a credit card. Maybe all those talks worked a little. Not making a purchase because it wasn't in your budget, I'm impressed.

  Sylvia Mar 13, 2008 9:18 AM

Add your comments

(If you have a travel question, get your Answers here)

In order to avoid spam on these blogs, please enter the code you see in the image. Comments identified as spam will be deleted.



Travel Answers about Netherlands

Do you have a travel question? Ask other World Nomads.