Monday, August 16, 2010

Deelnemer Introductie 2010

Our first full day in the Netherlands went quite well. We slept until about 1:00PM local time in a rather successful attempt to catch up on lost rest. First order of the day was to find the 'Sports Cafe' where we were meant to register for orientation and meet our orientation group(s). If you Google the address of the cafe, Heyendaalseweg 141 Nijmegen, you will get a location about two kilometers north of the location of the cafe. If you search in the general area of the location provided by Google Maps, you will find a retirement home, student housing, a gas station and a pub. If you spread your search out, you might find more student housing, professors houses, a bakery, a clothing store, a lab and a bike parking garage. In no reasonable amount of time will you find a sports cafe within a reasonable search grid of Google's o-so-unhelpful location. In our experience, 1 in 8 people within your search grid will know anything about a Sports Cafe. That person might tell you something about being way off, a road to follow, and/or a tall building to look around. Anyway, you get the idea. It took us about 4.5 hours to find the Sports Cafe, which was actually very nice, once found. We registered, ate dinner with our respective (different) mentors, talked to our fellow International Students and eventually meet at a pre-organized, social, orientation event at the same pub we had been walking around all day. We set outside in the beautiful 70 degree Dutch weather talking to students from the Netherlands, Lithuania, Latvia, France, Germany, Spain, Slovenia, Scotland, Ireland, and Italy late into the night. Most noteworthy thing? I made friends with a dude from Lithuania that loves talking politics not quite as much as he loves the Doors. I told him about my envy for Dad's experiences in the 1960's, especially his attendance of a Vietnam war protest on the Washington mall that Jimi Hendrix played at. Luidas excitedly informed me that Jim Morrison and Janice Joplin also played at that show, and we tingly-spine-thinged together.


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