We rode our bikes all over Well, which isn't hard to do since its so small, and around the nearby areas. Residential Well and the downtown area (if you can call it that) remind me of the Epcot versions of Europe.
Everything is so cute and neat and clean! Its so quaint, and I love it! Anyway, we had to be back at 1:00 for an academic program meeting with Dulcia, who is the Director of the program.
She explained some of the history of the program and things that would happen throughout the semester. She's pretty hilarious and kind of a beast. She lives here in the Netherlands for half the year, and the other half she spends in Italy with her husband. They are both art history professors/know-it-alls. So basically...her life in super awesome and I want to be her. She is actually co-teaching my art history class, so I'm super excited!! Anyway, after that meeting, we had more free time which I spent hanging around the castle grounds and doing random stuff. [PHOTO_ID_R=our-streetx.jpg At 3:30 we had a meeting about Travel Information with Johnny and Rene. It wasn't really that informative, but who cares? Haha. After that they gave us another lecture on Dutch culture which was pretty funny.
They tried to teach us some Dutch and laughed at our attempts, especially when they tried to teach us the Dutch version of "Happy Birthday" (which is nothing at all like the English version!), and promised that wheneverits someone's birthday, they will get sung to. Can't wait for Friday! They also compared Dutch and American culture, and they gave us yummy Dutch candy to try! After that I just hung out with my great roommates until dinner. For dinner we had Dutch hamburgers, which are actually made from pork I think someone said? Well, they were still really good.
Dessert was some kind of caramel ice cream/mousse, and was delicious! So, basically today was about Dutch culture. At 6:15 we had to meet in the courtyard to head to our boat tour down the Maas River. We walked there (that's how small Well is!) and on the way we walked through the main strip of town. People were out eating and drinking at the bar and started staring at us as we walked by like we were the Parade of Americans. It was awkward...but still funny.
When we got on the boat, Johnny gave us 2 slips of paper and we were told that each slip was good for one drink at the bar. So everyone got drinks and all the students and faculty toasted to the new semester here. (To say "Cheers!" here, you say "Proost!"sp?)
Anyway, a bunch of us started talking to Johnny about pretty much everything. We learned that he 's from Venray, which is pretty close to here, he used to live with his girlfriend, but that didn't work out so now he lives with his mom again, and he's only been working here a year. He also told us that muskrats live in the moats and it is a really bad idea to swim in them. I also met one of my professors. He teaches European Literature, and he kept swearing! He would say something like "Fuck. That's such a great fucking book. Really fucking awesome!" I was trying so hard not to laugh. When the boat tour ended we all got off and headed back to the Castle. I spoke to Rene a bit on the way back about the differences between here and America. He kept saying how he has never been to the US, and really wants to go. Then we got back to the castle and just hung around in the room. We're all tired, and classes start tomorrow!!!
Today was our first really sunny day in the Netherlands! We woke up at around 9:30 and the sun was up and birds were chirping! It felt like we were in a Disney movie, or something! Anyway, we had brunch at 11, and after that we were free until 1, so I mentioned that I wanted to go on a bike ride. Vanessa, Anthony and Noel decided to come along.