Sunday, May 14, 2000

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

Yesterday, while tramping about Amsterdam, I managed to strain my hip somehow. Makes it a little painful to walk. Here's hoping that Advil will do the trick. Fortunately managed to find a parking space near church, and managed to sit down some during tea afterwards. I admit that I sometimes wished during the service that it was a bit more low-church so that it didn't involve so much standing up and sitting down and standing up and sitting down, but I did OK anyway. :-)

I'm somewhat impressed that I managed to wake up this morning in time for church. This morning at about 2:10, a huge mob of drunken revelers started singing what I can only assume is the Dutch version of 99 bottles of beer on the wall, although, from the length of time they screamed it out at the top of their lungs and from the amount of variety in it, perhaps it was instead aleph-nought bottles of beer on the wall. (For the non-math readers: aleph-nought is technically the smallest type of infinity; mathematicians have proven that there are different kinds of infinity, and that some are, well, more infinite than others.) It sounded awfully loud, particularly the shriek at the end of one line of each verse, and when I got up to investigate, I noticed that it came most loudly not from the open window, but from the closed door. It sounded like it was coming from our kitchen.

I discovered that either one of our housemates was among the animals, or that the animals had gotten in and left all our doors open. I closed, locked, and latched all the doors, muting the sound a bit, and went back to bed. After a stupidly long time ("stupidly" in part because by that time I had a headache from the noise and weariness and a stomach ache from trying to suppress my intense anger at these almost-sentient alcohol-powered life forms), I gave up and put in earplugs and sandwiched my head between my feather pillow and the feather duvet -- feathers and down drown out sound pretty well, I've found. I think I managed to get to sleep around 4 or a little later.

This morning, the whole grounds out there is littered with bottles and broken glass. I'm surprised that I didn't wake up to the sound of an ambulance.

We are so ready to leave this place. Hopefully our portrayals of Dutch student behavior will at least bring a few laughs to someone.

Actually I'm getting over the anger. I admit that it helped to see someone (I hope one of the party-goers) out cleaning up the mess they left.

* * *

Relaxed in the botanical gardens for a couple hours. That's such a pleasant place. The only problem today is that it's actually rather uncomfortably warm in the sun, an unusual condition for the Netherlands.

Discovered that a long walk (or a short drive when walking is uncomfortable) south of here is a restaurant with indoor, ourdoor, and patio seating, a playground for children, various animals nearby (at least donkeys, goats, and swine), and very good pancakes. The (more expensive) pancakes we had at the pancake house on the Oude Gracht were not nearly as tasty. I wish we had found this place earlier. Although we have to turn in the car on Tuesday, I expect that later this week, when my hip feels a little better, we can take a mile-and-a-half ramble down the country paths and have some more delicious pancakes.