Monday, May 30, 2011

I'm looking for a dare-to-be-great situation.

1,000th post and still drinking wine from mugs!

(To be fair, I am currently drinking it from a glass. What a poser.)

I'll post pics of this place soon. I love my little attic, though I am positive I will totally kill myself on the ladder-like stairs one of these days. I am living in Archipelbuurt, the "fancy" neighborhood, according to my supervisor. (I said, "aren't all the Hague neighborhoods 'fancy'?" To which he replied, "Well, that's the FANCY fancy one.")

I really like my supervisor. He reminds me a little bit of Wil Wheaton for some reason, I think it's the mouth. (Commenting on someone's mouth will never not be a weird comment to make, I've obviously kept that one to myself.) But as I mentioned, I was having a really shit time with my Amex cheques. I asked if I could skip out early last week to deal with it (banks do not take them and I had to track down an exchange shop near the more remote Holland Spoor station). He said that was not a problem at all.

Later, I was in his office and I casually mentioned something about walking because I had no idea how the trams work. He was appalled. He brought up the shop on a map online and then physically walked me downstairs and out of the building (when you work at the UN, this takes a certain amount of effort--lots of badge scanning that was fun for about the first day) and showed me which tram and which direction. Confidence ensued. Later that day, I used the tram all by myself and was terribly proud. (Actually, I was pretty embarrassed how easy it turned out to be. The whole thing took about 8 minutes and after the money exchange, I had been gone for maybe 30 minutes. Good thing I left 2.5 hours early!)

The money exchange went well (aside from the ass-raping commission of 65EU) and as I mentioned I now have a cell and tram card. The former is mostly for emergencies or texting. It has seen no action so far, which is good since it's pay-as-you-go.

Otherwise work is going well. I do not have a verdict on the Dutch people. My landlady is French and she is very hard to read. I have been warned by all my flatmates not to get on her bad side. Apparently she has her moments. The general consensus seems to be "don't take it personally."

Random Dutch people, on the whole, have struck me as fairly rude. In fairness, I do not think this is the case so much as just my particular perception. They are a very direct people and it's not surprising someone like me would take it for rudeness. It's just something to be aware of. And I have had run-ins with the occasional random Dutch person that turned out to be very good experiences and they were exceedingly friendly and helpful. (But yeah, for the most part, they seem to be a fairly abrupt people. Not the biggest fan so far.)

And before you stop and give me shit that my supervisor turned out to be very helpful and friendly, I would tell you that he is actually not Dutch. As it turns out, he's from--drumroll, wait for it--yup, he's from Texas. Natch. (Ok, Houston, but I'll take it.)

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