Monday, April 23, 2012

Day 6 (April 14, 2012):

Since I started telling people I was going to Holland, everyone has been nice enough to try and think of someone they might know in Holland for me to meet. A friend in Amsterdam, a boyfriend in Leiden, an old classmate somewhere in the Netherlands.

A good friend was nice enough to suggest that I meet up with her boyfriend in Leiden so that he could show me the sights, perhaps introduce me to a few people, and give me a break from my lovable grandparents. He was also kind enough to oblige, so off I went to Leiden for an afternoon off.

I met up with him for the most Dutch of lunches: Pannenkoeken! I should have taken a picture of the giant pancake on my plate, but I had decided to be the least embarrassing tourist I could, leaving my giant camera at home and keeping the pointing, oohing and ahhing to a minimum.

After a koffie at a nice little place overlooking the square that used to hold the town’s gallows, we walked around the Botanical gardens where Cariolius Clusis first started experimenting with the tulips that now make Holland famous. A little later we met up with his brother for a beer and conversation about Bush, Obama, the differences between the American and Dutch education system, and the Dutch vs. the American toilet. (If you are curious, check this out:

It was a fantastic afternoon away, and Leiden is a beautiful Dutch city! (way better than Deflt, I hear)

The getting home part was a little more complicated because one train line was down so I had to take a train, bus, then train and train again. I would have been totally stuck if I hadn’t found a nice young woman who happened to be going the same exact place, so her and her cat kindly escorted me all the way to Heerhugoward and only occasionally laughed at my accent when I tried a few words in Dutch.

A late happy birthday to my little bro, Max!

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