Wow, I guess it's been almost a week since I updated on what all's been going on in this part of the world. Where to begin? Well, obviously I've been going to classes. A little bit on that note: My classes are all really interesting. For those that don't yet know, I'm taking Beginning Dutch, Russia and Europe (a history class), Intro to Sexual Studies, and Social Trends, Social Problems, and Social Policy of the Netherlands. My Dutch class meets twice a week and the others all meet once a week for three hours each time. As of now I would probably say that my Russia and Europe class is the most interesting to me. The class is basically Russian history since about 1900. Last year I took a history class on Central European history from around the same period, so it's nice to take this class with that background because I already have some knowledge of the subject and it's really interesting to get more of a European perspective on the historical era. We're about to start discussing the Cold War, so that will definitely be nice to learn about in a classroom outside of the United States. That's also my only class that assigns anywhere near as much reading as my classes at Oberlin ussually do. Until this week we were reading about 150-200 dense pages for each class, this week it's only 60. My other classes are all pretty interesting as well, but I don't want to go into detail aout them, so if you have any questions just feel free to email me and ask.
So, what's happened in the past week...? On Monday night it happened to be one of my floormates birthdays, so I got together with my whole floor (there are 9 of us, well, technically 10... but I'll explain that in a minute). We had some birthday cake and then all decided that it would be cool for our floor to host a party later that week. The floor I live on is the biggest in the building I'm in and we also have the largest kitchen/lounge area, so with that we have the ability to host parties. As a result of this conversation, on Wednesday night my floor got together again for a marvelous dinner party followed by a pretty crazy late night party that went way into the morning (which was slightly unfortunate since I had a 10am class the next morning). So, that party was my Wednesday night activity (along with some homework of course).
But now about the extra person on my floor. This is actually my neighbor. I live in room G3, and the room next door to me, G4, does have someone who lives there, BUT I have only actually seen him once, and after talking to my floor mates it appears that most people have never even seen him at all. The one time I did see him was when we were both entering our rooms at the same time, this was about a month ago, shortly after moving in. Since I hadn't met him yet I took the liberty of introducing myself by saying, "Hi, I'm Ruth, I live next door to you!" He stared at me blankly for a few seconds before nodding and entering his room. No introductions, no hellos, just a nod, it was strange. Since then I havent actually seen him at all. I hear him in his room sometimes, and I see a light under his door when I go to the bathroom at night, so I know that he's there, but he manages to avoid all contact with everyone who lives here. No one has ever seen him in our communal kitchen, so we're not sure what he eats, I've never had the problem of him being in the shower when I wanted to use it... so I really just dont know what to make of the whole situation. I think he will just remain the infamous G4. Oh and one more thing, we looked through the mail that comes to our floor as a whole and of the three things addressed to him, one was a letter from the university, and the other two were from the police! We're not sure what to make of it.
In other news, the last few days have been filled with a mix of scrabble, late nights, and lots of dancing. On Friday I started out the day by going with my friend Mike to the nearby Turkish market. I wanted to get some cheese for cheap! We walked around the whole market, I bought some yummy cheese (I'm not sure what kind) and I also got a new bike lock because my old one was starting to rust beyond the point of being useable. Mike bought some apples and a beard trimmer. I think that short list of purchases can give you an idea of just how much you can get at this market. After we left the market my bike got a flat tire! My second flat tire of the week actually. Bikes are extremely convenient in this city, but also a real hastle when you continuously have to get them fixed. So, right now my bike is currently in the shop getting a new tire. I'm bikeless and it's unfortunate.
After the market Mike and I walked through the city in order to meet up with Scott and Claire (these are all people from my program, I dont know if I've mentioned them yet... Mike is from New York State and goes to Pace, Scott is from Minessota but goes to U of Santa Clara, and Claire is from Seatle, but goes to Vassar... Scott and Claire are in the picture). We were going to go check out NEMO which is the kids science museum, but we realized
it was closing soon and wanted to wait until a day where we would have more time to explore the museum since we were going to have to pay for it. Instead we decided to play scrabble! If you know me at all, then you know that scrabble is probably my favorite game in the world. We went to a nearby cafe and got some cappucinos and sat around for a few hours playing that wonderful game.
Later that night I went out to a club called You II. Alanna and I ended up staying there dancing until about 4:30am, it was quite fun, and they actually played some pretty good music... Not just techno. I find that a lot of the places we end up going play a lot of techno music, and I really dont like techno that much... It's too repetative, and I find myself getting bored dancing to it. The next day Alanna and I went on an all female boat cruise, which was a very interesting experience. The crowd on the boat was a range of women from as young as us, to as old as 50. We spent the night dancing and trying not to feel too sea sick, but I think we both were glad to have gone, because how often do you get the opportunity to go on a boat cruise in the North Sea? Let alone an all female one.
Since I've been on foot for the past few days, I had the opportunity to take some pictures of all the bikers. I got held up at one of the canal bridges that was up to let a boat through, so I took some pictures of all the bikers waiting to cross. Maybe it's just me, but I just find it really cool to see about 20 bicyclists waiting at a red light and then zooming off as soon as it turns green. They're just like cars, except better, and more environmentally friendly!
Alright, that's all for now... My plans for the rest of the day include more Scrabble! And of course homework, the Sunday afternoon activity of college students everywhere.