Monday, July 9, 2007


I've discovered two things about Amsterdam:

(1) The weathermen are correct; and
(2) One should never venture out without an umbrella and a sweater.

When I checked the weather report last night, it said it was going to rain today. So, when I woke up to beautiful blue skies, I pshaw'ed that report. I figured that weathermen were weathermen the world round - not known for their accuracy. I did, however, tuck my little travel umbrella in my bag because of some lingering doubts, but did not bring my sweater.

I set off for school this morning. In fact, I took a picture to show you all one route that I take to school along a canal (as opposed to a commerical street filled with closed shops). Isn't it pretty? And look at those blue skies. There I was - no sweater, umbrella tucked in bag.

I got within a block of the school (of course, I have been taking different routes each time), but when I got to the corner I knew, it was filled with early morning garbage trucks so I didn't recognize it. Therefore, I took a wrong turn and ended up walking 20 minutes out of the way (down to Rembrant Square - no pictures as I was late), looking for a way to the right canal (the one that I was within a block of to start). Anyway, because I left the apartment so early for school, I got there with about 5 minutes to spare before my first class. It was a nice walk, but my computer is still too heavy (I have to find a backpack) and by the time I arrived I was worried I'd be late and my arms, neck and shoulders were killing me.

Anyway, the first class is very interesting. It's on terrorism. Here's one interesting tidbit. Of all suicide terrorist attacks between 1980 and 2003, the vast majority were carried out by non-Islamic groups, and the single common element to every single one of the attacks was a strategy to force western democracies to remove their foreign troops from territories that the terrorist groups considers their homeland.

The second class was International Human Rights. The class itself was interesting, but what happened outside was even more so. Within a 1/2 hour period of time, the sky clouded up, there was thunder and lightening like the wrath of god. By the time we got out of class, it was pouring down rain. Thank goodness I brought my umbrella.

I walked a block and a half to a cozy little cafe in order to sit out the deluge before walking back to the apartment (my plans to visit the open farmers market thwarted). By the time I arrived, I was freezing. I ordered some lunch (I'll do a post soon on the food in the Netherlands) and read my homework for a while. After hanging out as long as I could, I finally faced it that I was going to have to walk back to the apartment in the rain. I did pass the "Rembrant House" on my way back and could have tucked in there for a while, but to be honest, I was cold, my feet were wet and my computer bag was too heavy - so I kept walking (don't worry, mom, I promise I'll go soon).

When I arrived at the apartment, I confirmed that the maintenance men had not fixed the leaky window - water was all over the sill, floor and little table nearby. Ugh.

Anyway, the good news is that I've picked up cream for tea on the way back - and two little chocolates from a chocolate shop that I passed. The dark one is drambuie filled and the second dark/light one is hazelnut. Yum! Almost makes up for the rain.

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