Kelocity.com

A runner with an appetite for adventure!

Castle, Carnival… and Mr. Rogers February 27, 2003

Filed under: Europe,Semester Abroad — Kelocity @ 4:08 pm
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Ok: Mr. Roger’s died today. How sad is that? That is soooo depressing. I think God wanted to honor him today by making it a “Sunny day in the Neighborhood”. It was beautiful today…. 59 degrees to be exact… with no breeze at all. I actually had a short sleeve shirt on, and I was still warm, it was the greatest thing ever. I went for a long walk with Whitney today, that was a lot of fun. We went grocery shopping for the weekend.

Anyways, all that aside… I look really hot right now. LOL It is the first night of Carnival, and I’m sooo excited. I have my little gold sparkly shirt on and my new black pants that I got in Cologne, Germany. And, the best part: Emily went out and got crowns for us to wear to the bar tonight. I have my gold crown on and I’m prancing around in my castle… I am a princess for real tonight!!! At the Vink, its ladies night and the guys can only get in if they dress up as women. I’m really excited for this. I plan on being out, all night. More updates tomorrow! Ciao!

 

Castle Life February 25, 2003

Filed under: Europe,Semester Abroad — Kelocity @ 4:06 pm
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Today is Billy’s Birthday! Happy 20th Big Will! I miss everyone at home! I can’t wait to see everyone. Its weird, I feel like I have been here for years, and yet at the same time, it feels like I just got here. I’m having SUCH a great time! Its been sooo nice out all week. Again today, no clouds in sight… It has been sunny all week, and the weather is just perfect. I went for a run/walk today for an hour. I went through the back roads where all the neighborhoods are preparing for Carnival. I heard that people start working on floats for the parade in October for this event. I’m sooo curious to see! The parade goes right by the Castle on Sunday. I don’t think I’m going to dress up, but it sounds like fun! I had class all day today, from 10am till 4pm and I always sit by the window and I could not WAIT to get outside. After my walk around the town, I walked around the moat of the castle and I saw two peacocks! With beautiful blue and green feathers. I was so excited.

 

Carnivale January 29, 2003

Filed under: Semester Abroad — Kelocity @ 1:35 pm
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Today, I went for a walk around Well. They have this thing called Carnival, it’s a pretty big deal, the whole town gets involved and decorated and festive. I went through this neighborhood that was all decorated with red and green streamers, and flags, and flowers. It was so pretty. I will be here for the “big event”, so I’m pretty excited about that. The town is so beautiful. I was up before most Emerson kids, so it was nice to enjoy the quietness, and peacefulness. Following this, I had lunch and my Media Crit and Theory class. I’m sorry, that class is beginning to annoy me. It is all feminist and stuff. And I am sick of learning about that. I think the best part of class was when the street sweeper came and cleaned the sidewalks outside of the window. I find myself daydreaming a lot in the class, because I lose interest. But its ok. I have Renaissance and Reformation thought in a half hour. I love that class, it is focusing on the world up to the 1500s. Its so interesting, I really Love it. I don’t want to sound like a dork, but I look forward to that class all the time! That’s all for now!

 

Castle Well – Courses January 22, 2003

Filed under: Semester Abroad — Kelocity @ 1:27 pm
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I didn’t write yesterday because when too many people are in the computer lab, the internet doesn’t work, and I was getting really fustrated. Anyways, yesterday, I had three classes, all of which are incredibly amazing! First, I had European Literature. The books I will be reading in there are amazing! One of them, The Name of the Rose even has passages in Latin, because it is about Rome! I’m super excited! All of the books have this theory of “ONE” and “OTHER”. It means, if you are the majority, the superpower in a society, you become the “ONE”, and if you are the minority, or the weaker group in society, you are always the “OTHER”. For example, women are the “other” in society, because we are dominated by men. Whatever, the same goes for Race, Sexual Orientation, and Religions affiliation. And in this class, all the books we are reading, are from the point of view of the “other”, so we get to see a situation, from the opposite side, as we have seen in the past. Its really interesting, the first book we are reading is Anne Frank. We are going to Amsterdam this weekend, so I will actually see her house!

Cool piece of information: During World War II, Nazi’s took over this castle, the one I am living in! That’s why it wasn’t blown up in the war, THEY LIVED HERE! Scary huh? Also, there is this beautiful church down the street, and we found out that it is fairly new, because the original one was blown up in the war. I am surrounded by history, every little thing means something here, its hard to take in sometimes! I forget where I am!

My next class was Intercultural Communication. This class facinates me too! It is a four-hour long class, but it went by sooo fast. We had an interesting discussion, and then watched a documentary on Amish Country in America. I never made the connection that the Amish were Dutch, DUH! The video was half in dutch, half in English, and my dutch-speaking teacher was trasnslating the Dutch for us! And it was so funny because whenever they would speak in English, she’d translate it into English, not realizing that it was already English! It was so funny. We made fun of her, and she laughed too!! Everyone here has a great sense of humor.

And finally, I had Rennaissance and Reformation Thought! This class is going to be my hardest, but my favorite I think. My professor is young, not more than 25, he teachers college in a town about 45 mintues away in Nijmaegan. He is getting married in March, and going on a honeymoon, so we have to have Guest Lecturers during those weeks. He’s so cute though, he has a thick accent, but he really knows his stuff. In class, we talked about the history of Europe and how the countries each came to be! Its amazing! I love that stuff. We learned about the Roman Empire and how and why it fell. After that class, I am considering a minor in History as well. Maybe not right away, but something I can definitely see myself getting into.

At night, we all went to Sophies, the bar on campus. I had a heineken for 1 Euro. It was really fun though, just about everyone came, we sat on couches, talked, played cards, I read a little of my Anne Frank book. They have these awesome things here, that I got at Sophies! They are called Kinder-Surprises! It is a chocolate egg, and inside is a toy! Its Brilliant!!!!! HAHAHA. I guess they are german! They are so cool! That’s pretty much everything! The weather is perfect! Just warm enough that I don’t need a coat. Just a sweatshirt! Its wodnerful!

 

Castle Well January 20, 2003

Filed under: Semester Abroad — Kelocity @ 1:26 pm
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This morning, I woke up around 9:30. I got up right away, and went out for a jog. It was so nice, I went up towards the Vink, then through the woods behind the Castle, and finally through the village. It was sooo nice! One thing I forgot to mention was our keys. We each have a key to our bedroom, and then a computerized chip key that you wave in front of the door and it unlocks, its sooo cool, I feel like I’m in the Matrix or something. It’s awesome. Today is my first class, at 4:30pm.. It was Media Crit and Theory. My teacher, Karen Lindsey is awesome. She is a great person, and truly a great teacher. At first, I was not sure if I would like the class, it kinda sounded boring, and irrelevant to what I wanted to learn, but then I realized, as the class progressed, that it is more about the philosophy of media, and what each little detail means. For example, if someone in a movie has a red sweater, what does that represent? It really sounds amazing, so I’m really excited about it.

Then I had dinner, and found out what my Emerson Employment job will be. I will be cleaning up the dining hall after dinner, three times a week (2 hours total). It’s not bad at all, I wipe tables, and vacuum, and I get paid cash in Euros. Sounds like a deal to me! Tonight, I walked around the town a bit at night, and then I played Monopoly, AND IT WAS IN DUTCH!!! It was awesome!!!!!!!!!!

So rumor has it that Sophie (the girl our lounge is named after) is a ghost. Apparently she haunts the castle. And what would a Castle be without a ghost? So she is a little girl, a little younger than me, and she walks around and tries to make friends with the kids here. She is a nice ghost though, not a mean one. Some people leave gifts to her, and apparently, she likes them very much. She makes appearances once and a while, so people say if you talk to her, she’ll leave you alone. So every little thing that can’t be explained here, gets blamed on Sophie. I’m not reading too much into this, but everyone is all hyped-up and scared. Its funny.

I’m exhausted, its 10:32pm, so I think I’ll get some sleep. Tuesdays are long days for me, so I’ll try to get some sleep! Night!

 

Castle Well January 19, 2003

Filed under: Semester Abroad — Kelocity @ 1:25 pm
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Last night, we all went to the Vink, the local bar in town. It was fun, there were a bunch of locals there, but the majority was Emerson students. It was so much fun. It was really funny, I got there a little late, and everyone already had drinks. So I was like, “ok, I’ll just order a Heineken”. I go to the bar, and say,”Bottle of Heineken please!” The guy says, “No Heineken, only adfksgjasdjkg”. (I don’t know what he said). So I kinda hesitantly said, “Um.. ok, give me that!” It was good, whatever it was. Then I wanted a “Sex on the Beach” but I heard they don’t know the American names for drinks, so I said, “Anythng fruity”. The guy says “Froo-tee?” not knowing what it was I wanted. So I said, “you know, with fruit”? He looked at me questionably, and ironically made just what I wanted, “Sex on the Beach”. It was good. We stayed there for quite a while, there were 6 or so girls, and we talked about everything, so I really think I made some awesome friends. We are gonna have a great time! Around 1am, we came back to the Castle.

Last night was interesting. My bed is sort-of on a hill. One side is slightly higher than the other, so I feel as if I will roll off at any point. And my pillow is incredibly lumpy, not very comfortable! But I slept through the night only to wake up to bells tolling at 9:45am. I think church was in session, and the bells were chiming for 15 minutes. Granted they were pretty, but I was sleeping! Today is going to be a pretty full day, not many breaks in between, but hopefully I can find time to go for a run. I should have went this morning. I have to get my act together. For breakfast, Nelly (the incredible cook here) made awesome French toast. It was soooo good. That’s the right way to get your day started, let me tell you!

Today, I was kinda bored, so I decided to take a walk through the town. I went in the opposite direction of the way I went yesterday. I went down along a pier. And there was this cute little Dutch village. It was so cute! They had cobblestone streets, and cute little lanterns. Everyone was out riding their bikes! All the houses have cute little stone gardens, and there is this beautiful cemetery, really old, and classy. I had my disc-man on, and I was just admiring everything. Then, I noticed, in one window, this little old man, with balding white hair. He kinda looked a little like Irving’s grandfather. He was waving at me. I, of course, waved back. He then motioned for me to come inside. I was just kinda standing there! And he came to the door, and motioned for me to come in and take a drink. I kept saying no, he obviously didn’t speak English, and I didn’t speak Dutch. So I kinda tried to say “Hoya”, which means Bye. And I walked away. As I was walking back to the castle, I saw my friend, Emily. I told her about the old man, and we decided we would go and visit. When we got to his house, he was in the window again, and he was so excited when he saw that I came back. He motioned for us to come back inside, and we did. He then opened up a cabinet and pointed to shelves of liqueur. He pointed and said to pick. We picked out a wine, he got wine glasses, and we had a toast! He wanted us to take off our coats and stay, but we had a meeting and had to go, so we tried to explain, and left. The poor guy, I think he lived in an elderly complex, we were probably the most company he’d had all week! They told us when we got here, that the town gets really excited when the Americans come! So he was all excited!Great times had by all.

Tonight, we all went out to the bar down the street, not the Vink, the other one. And the funniest thing is that Emerson paid for all of our drinks. I had a glass of wine, that everyone toasted with, and a beer. They have this thing here called a “half and half” and I don’t know what it is, but its good. So we danced, techno music came on and stuff and I was happy. Then, six of us came back and played pool in the lounge here. Its $1.50 to play, but we beat the system, duck-taped the pockets and played over and over! Then we watched “Interview with the Vampire” with Dutch subtitles!

And the last thing I did today was book a flight online for my trip after Paris. Emily and I decided that we will go to Italy, traveling from Rome to all points north. From Venice, we will fly back to Brussels. The flight: $14.99. I know, its cheap, and its funny, but OMG, Hello???? 15 bucks! Sounds like a deal to me! So we booked it online! I am soooo excited to travel. Its gonna be amazing! Its 11pm now and classes start tomorrow, so I’m gonna go get some sleep!

 

A Semester Abroad – Castle Well January 18, 2003

Filed under: Semester Abroad — Kelocity @ 1:21 pm
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Well, I made it! I didn’t sleep for 36 hours, but everything here is amazing! My room is beautiful. It looks out into the courtyard! The town is so cute. The landscape is so funny because the land is soooo flat. It looks like New Hampshire, but without the mountains. It looks like someone went there and said "I think I’ll put a tree here, and here". All the trees are the same size, and so evenly placed, even the ones in the middle of nowhere! When we drove on the road, I felt like I was on a toy car set because everything is so colorful and big. It feels fake! The signs are so colorful, and pictures are huge! Even their speedbumps are huge! Its funny. The room is great! Its really big. We have a sink in it too! Our beds are above our closet and desk, so they are really close to our ceilings. There are big beams going across, and since our room is on top, they angle down. Needless to say, even though I am short, my roommate, Dara, and I have a "Hit your head on the ceiling" tally! We put up a few maps, so we will mark where we travel!

We have goats, and ducks that are very loud! But it’s cool. The castle was built in the 12th century, so the floors creak, and everything creaks! I still can’t believe I am here. We went to the little store down the street today. It is called "All under one roof" (Well, the real name is something Dutch, but I can’t pronounce it. But that’s what it translates out to be!) Everything in Dutch is hard to read! They put letters together that we just don’t in English, so I can’t pronounce anything! But I’ll learn, I’m sure. I know Hello is HOY. But even that is complicated because of the dialect. They don’t say that in Amsterdam, they call it something else. So I have to be aware of where I am and stuff. We are making plans to go to Rotterdam next week. My earliest class on Monday is at 4:30pm, so I totally have 4 day weekends. This is awesome. I’m going to buy a bike later, its 30 euros for the semester! Dara and I are gonna spilt one bike. Can you go wrong???? NO. There was a parade going by the Castle at 10pm last night. It was a little weird because it was cold, and hello??? VERY DARK!!! But there were a bunch of kids playing drums and trumpets and holding flags! Maybe that’s how it is in Amsterdam. We have a wonderful staff here. Everything is really cool! They are all trying to make everything go smooth. Well, all is good in Well! I’ll update you further as the trip goes on!

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This is where I lived for Four Months!!!

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me
Me, Inside the Castle.

moat
View From my Window!

VB
My room was on the second floor!

PACE
My skydiving buddies!

bed
My Desk, Closet and Bed (above the desk!)

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One of the towers!

mycastle
Just me and my castle!

well
Oh, the town of Well.. Population: probably 400!

 

 
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