Friday, March 21, 2008

Memoirs of a Vagabond, part 2

Wednesday night I packed my bags in preparation to my next big move. Unfortunately, it's not into my own apartment... I haven't heard from those people in a number of days. Instead, I moved slightly north of Amsterdam to town called Purmerend with another co-worker and his wife. Now I'm only 20 minutes away from the city, instead of 1 hr, and maybe I'll actually be able to find a place of my own! (Here's to hoping).

*On a side note, let me instill a word of advice from someone ignorant enough to be scammed. DON'T TRUST ANYONE... at least anyone by the name of Jane Wilfred who states she's a missionary and is looking for someone to rent their home. And don't, I repeat, don't send money to anyone without meeting them in person, having a contract, or contact information. Seems like common sense... well... it IS common sense-- I just wasn't using it at the time. Lesson learned, with a slightly hefty bite in the pocket. *end side note*

So, yesterday I had a warm Purmerend welcome with some fabulous Turkish take out and a relaxing evening in my new "home". The only negative part is that they both smoke... and I've been finding it hard to find oxygen. But, they're extremely friendly and funny people.

As my life as a vagabond, I must tour the surrounding locations of where my temporary dwelling is. Since I had the day off today for Good Friday (gotta love Europe) Jan, my manager, took me around northern Holland.

First we toured around the tiny center of Purmerend. There used to be a cheese market in the center,but they got rid of that. Unbelievable that they would actually cancel such a wonderful thing... I know. There also used to be a cow market behind the center, but that too ended only 9 months ago. That's what all the bars are for in this picture, to tie up the cattle. We then drove around a number of the cutest villages, but due to the rain, I didn't take any pictures.
On the road we saw yet another windmill (surprise, surprise). And I couldn't just pass it buy, so we went inside that one too. This one pulled water out of the lake that used to be there.
It is now a museum and showed how a family used to live. The beds were built into the wall, but were only about 4 feet long. So either they got severe leg cramps at night or the Dutch population was MUCH sorter than they are now. Also, it was extremely drafty inside, due to the opening at the top of the windmill which allows the contraption to move around 360 degrees. Not sure I'd be "man enough" to live in one of them no matter how neat it'd be, unless there was some pretty thick insulation.

We then passed through Edam, famous for their cheese, and made our way to Volendam. Volendam was a large fishing community years back, and is now a large touristic location. While we were walking around, it snowed... snowed I say. Isn't it Spring yet?

Of course I wasn't wearing proper shoes, so after a few minutes my feet became numb and I thought I may have to saw them off. But we found a safe place to hide from the cold for a few minutes, where I transformed into a traditional dutch girl (along with bringing life back to my feet). So, if life as a vagabond doesn't pan out, maybe I can join the Volendamians... and spend my life in wooden shoes.

But then again the more I think about it, I won't turn into a traditional Volendamian whether I can make my career as a vagabond successful or not . The shoes are too.... too.... um, well,... wooden. So, I'll settle on modern dutch slippers instead.And...alright, they don't really wear the outfit anymore. Well, at least not all the time. And, only the farmers wear the wooden shoes - sometimes. But they do have their own language which the Dutch don't even understand. That way they can stay an exclusive community, ...I guess.


Danielle said...
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Danielle said...

I love that you got to dress up like a true dutch girl! And that you ended up getting slippers instead. I miss the dramatic actions from you, like having to saw off your legs because they were numb! I hate to hear about the apartment but I look forward to hearing of your adventures to come! Continue to hold your head high and enjoy your time in Holland! Hope you have a wonderful Easter!

ReL said...

Those slippers are adorable and you look so CUTE all dressed up! I'm glad that you seem to be getting closer to the city you need to be in and I hope that very soon you find a place of your own!