Back in Rotterdam

Trip Start Jul 16, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Netherlands  , Zuid-Holland,
Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Back from The Hague just in time for the written part of the Esperanto exam...

Who'd have thought I'd be in Rotterdam doing an exam. A spur of the moment thing. Not sure how smoothly it will go considering you're also supposed to know something of Esperanto history and culture. I had know idea until I was queueing up to go into the exam room.

There are two levels available this year, the basic and the intermediate. I'm jumping straight into the intermediate. The whole exam actually goes for 3 days; to progress to the next day you need to pass the previous day.

Somehow ever answer I changed turned out to be a change from the correct answer... and I don't know how they did it but they managed to pick words in the vocab part of the test that I couldn't even guess. In fact, I guessed all of the unknown to me ones wrong (a matter of matching the word on the left, with an Esperanto definition on the right). Given that I thought I'd just need a few extra points to pass, I was tempted to put the same answer for all of the ones I was guessing to guarantee at least one more point.

Anyway, after coming back to the congress hall after dinner... I saw that my name was up amongst the successful candidates for the first part...

Some how I seem to have run out of decent photos to stick up for today. I'm down to some bits of architecture and the inside of one of the pubs.

I'm not even sure what the building was that this statue was in front of...

This seems to have been some sort of monument to the rebuilding of some bridge. In a rather interesting skeletal building.

The organisers seem to have messed up. They knew there'd be about 2000 people at the congress but the biggest room only holds less than half that number... did they really think that no-one would mind being stuck in a different room such as this one watching it on tv?

Well, just the inside of some pub but I've uploaded it now so it's going to stay. This was actually a pretty packed bar just about any evening with people spilling out onto the footpath for 50 metres up the street. The White Ape. A good name with a good logo. Pity the t-shirts were so expensive... well they didn't have the Dutch name on them anyway.

Tonight was the evening of the ball. I certainly didn't expect to be going but it was just off the main hall where I was able to hang out without any trouble... and the door was open so in I went for a sticky-beak.

I must say the ball was pretty good. They had a dj (in the traditional sense of the word) playing some pretty good Esperanto and other music. They also had a bar going. It was pretty interesting watching the Esperantists interact. I had the feeling that most people enjoyed the ball more than any other part of the congress and the organisers would be wise to have another such evening during the week.

Aftewards we were lucky enough to hear about an unofficial concert by JoMo (Esperanto singer about whom I've raved in the past) at the White Elephant. I've seen him before - in Sarajevo and he's pretty good. A great selection of songs with some pretty catchy Esperanto ones amongst them.

I got a good photo with Osmo Buller, the top bloke in the head office of the UEA. He doesn't seem to be wearing a name card either. The venue was great as it was just at some pub. I certainly didn't expect to see the normally retiring Osmo Buller out at this venue knocking back the drinks.

The pub closed at about 2 but of course by now we weren't about to go home so early. We found some run-down place open in the next street where one of the Germans had a drunken conversation with some drunk - one of them speaking German, the other speaking Dutch - though I'm sure for the German the Dutch part of the conversation was a first. Either they understood each other... or they didn't care whether they did or not.

Definitely a pretty good night due to a stroke of luck finding out about the concert. Luckily I'm still on Tasmanian time, otherwise these late nights might be getting to me.
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