Friday, January 16, 2009

117,001 Bikes

Today, I decided to purchase a bike to get around. I thought at first walking was great but a bike is so much easier I can ride where ever and whenever. I am able to resell it after I am finished with my abroad term. No I am biking in style.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


So a few nights ago I went to a pub with a majority of the Study Abroad Undergraduates and it was ironically called Odessa's. It made me think of home. This pub has two bars inside along with a back room full of tables and in the very back is a bathtub, I am unsure what it is there or used for but many of the more intoxicated of the bunch decided to climb in a take a ton of pictures. Its an interesting hang out for everyone, Many of the students from my school go to this pub. Well I will keep writing, love the responses.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Communication...always have a plan B

It’s no longer in the teens temperature wise any longer. It’s warmed up to around 40-44 degrees in the past couple days, but the rain comes and goes.

Classes have begun at Webster Netherlands and I have yet to attend my first class which will be tomorrow. I ran into some confusion with my schedule as well as communication issues, so one thing I will be taking away from my transition over here socially and academically is that communication will always fail. I am not going to point blame at anyone but I have been misinformed by both sides of this process, either over here and as well as with my university back in the states. Tomorrow will be my first course, Photography. Classes here and at Webster campuses through out the world tend to have longer class sessions but meet less frequent than what you maybe used to in the states. Also, Webster utilizes terms rather than semesters. I will be here for four months which is equal to two terms. For spring I term I am enrolled in a Professional Writing course as well as a Photography class which both meet once a week. My writing course is over both terms but meet two hours once a week. My photography course meets for five hours once a week. I will have more out of class time to travel and study which I am looking forward to. I won’t have as much down time my second term when I am taking nine hours of credit, which is three other courses.

Now, living in Holland…I thought the weather was bad in the states. Yes its cold but this is a wet cold so in the mornings it tends to feel warmer an damp. Then through out the day it gets more brisk and cooler. A scarf, gloves, and a warm all weather coat is necessity. My walk to school or to town is a very easy ten minuet walk. A majority of the streets of Leiden are cobble stone, which gives the city an older feel. I cross many canal bridges on my way to the University and see seagulls and pigeons as well as mallards. So I have a scenic view the whole way to campus. I enjoy walking, I am still thinking over purchasing or renting a bike. It is the best form of transportation in Holland other than the trains. I see more bikes lining the streets of Leiden than I see people on my daily outings in the city.

I haven't tried to much Dutch food but a few things I have had here in Leiden are Kroket, Kebabs, and fried Gouda. A Kroket is a fried roll with meat inside which was pretty tasty after having a few beers at the local pub. I had a kebab on my way home from Amsterdam, and I was told it wasn't "formal" kebab due to the fact that we got it for take away. It was very good, meat generally served with a garlic white dipping sauce and pita break, it’s not a Dutch food but you see them everywhere in Leiden and Amsterdam. Fried Gouda was so yummy! Deep fried, I should stay clear of, so unhealthy. I am craving some Indian food and there are a few local restaurants here I am just trying to get someone to go with me. (Most of the student I am living with tends to cook because cooking is much cheaper than dining out.)

I have also planned some of the places I would like to travel to while I am here. I have found a few web pages that have been very helpful. helps find cheap airfare through out the whole month of travel. I am planning to fly to Ireland which if I plan it right my tickets will cost 10 EUROs and then once I book with the airline I will pay landing fees and some taxes but if I book early I could end up only spending less than 30 EUROs to fly to Ireland round trip. Traveling is so easy and can be cheap if you can find the deals. Also word of mouth from many who are here has helped me find the deals on train tickets as well as airfare.

Well I think I have written enough for the evening. I love the e-mails and feel free to share my blog.

Thanks and until then.

'Live and let live' (sort of what the Dutch live by)