Everything seems out of proportion to what I am used to now. From the massive portions of food, even when you order something that you think is regular to the huge buildings and the non walkable distances. I have to say that I am really looking forward to getting to Seattle, in hopes of getting good food. And they still use Styrofoam here, which really seems crazy. And don’t let me forget to mention that brewing flavored coffees is seen as delicious.
I have, however, been able to see some very cool things. Right after I wrote last, I went out and walked through an older part of downtown. I ran into a total stranger who moonlights as a tour guide and offered to give me a walking tour from a civil rights perspective. His name was Sergeant Gary and we spent 3 hours on foot. We saw Dr. King’s birthplace and the Ebenezer Baptist Church among other historical landmarks. We also went to the old market, still in use, and he pointed out all kinds of things that I would never eat. That was all in the meat and fish aisle. However, in the vegetable section there were plenty of amazing looking things. Walking through the city with a local gave me a more layered perspective than reading the historical markers. We also had a very random, topic jumping type of conversation. I can attribute going on this adventure to living in the Netherlands. The Dutch are super curious about everything. I think previously I would have politely declined. But this time I did something that surprised myself and said “Yes”.
After all that walking, I switched gears and checked in properly for the conference and took a long nap. I also went and got an American style pedicure – bliss!!!
I have been spending most of my time with my Dutch colleagues. Yesterday, we sat together in the stadium and it was difficult to be enthusiastic and celebratory when we all knew that it was a day of national mourning in the Netherlands for the MH17 passengers and crew. We were next door to the CNN center so we went to the food court and watched the coverage as the airplanes arrived into the Netherlands with the first 40 victims.
I accidentally poured myself some sweet tea today and took one sip. I could feel my teeth crying out in protest from the sugar! I poured it out. One more day of sitting in the stadium tomorrow and then Saturday it is off to Seattle.
I’ve heard from Renee, the boys are behaving and luckily I have back up keys in the neighborhood because her key broke off in the lock today. That could have turned out badly if I had the only other key.
When Joanne and her mom were visiting me and my mom in Seattle, I tried to explain Claim Jumper to her and I had her look online for images of the portions. She seems to suffer from the belief that it is my favorite restaurant. Here’s my public avowal that I am have eaten in a Claim Jumper exactly once and I promised myself then to never repeat the experience 🙂