I have to say, since coming to Utrecht I think I have done a lot of growing up and am becoming very independent (as pretentious as that sounds). It may sound lame but little things like fixing the light on my bike and adjusting my bike seat without any help from anyone have been sources of great satisfaction for me. Normally, if something of mine had broken at home I’d just ask my step Dad to fix it without really trying to do it myself (Sorry John – obviously here I can’t do that, so I am quickly becoming more practical- practical by Hannah standards anyway!). Other students find this self satisfaction in making their own meals but I have never really had trouble with cooking although my house mates do like to pay me out because I make massive meals (enough to feed about six people) separate it in portions, freeze it and then eat it for a week. My logic is when I get home at 8.30pm I am too cold, hungry and tired and I want food quick so if I have these meals ready I can eat quickly without resorting to unhealthy pre-packed frozen meals or takeaway. They always ask me if I get sick of eating the same thing for a week but I honestly don’t because I cook meals that I really like so it doesn’t bother me to eat it every night.
We are getting to the business end of the semester now (I have exams on the 4th and 7th of November) I have received one of my grades for an assignment and I was pleasantly surprised with the grade. I also finished my Dutch level one course this week and have decided to enrol in level 2 (I’m really starting to enjoy the language) and although I can’t speak too much of the language I can understand most things that are being said (if people are speaking slowly and clearly) and the supermarket no longer seems like a different planet to me.
Yesterday I went to Efteling (a Dutch amusement park) on an ESN excursion and it was a really lovely day. I made some great new friends Branagh from Ireland, Lea from France, Ophelie from Belgium and Paul from Lithuania. It was really nice that we had such a great time together because nowadays when we meet new friends it is generally over a few beers that you get to know each other. But as we were at an amusement park we were taken back to our childhood and social inhibitions were minimal as we asked each other “Oh! Do you want to go on that roller coaster?” “Yeah, I do! Do you want to go on the front carriage with me?” It really was a lot of fun. The best way to describe this amusement park is a mini Disneyland with amore classic fairy tale theme than the commercial Disney productions. There was a wooden roller coaster as well as two other roller coasters and there were sections of the park dedicated to different fairy tales. For example there was the witch’s house where Hansel and Gretel were, Rapunzel’s tower, a talking tree and many other cool attractions. On the bus ride home we were all exhausted and I looked down the bus and saw that about 75% of the people were sleeping.
Other than that, I am going through one of my clumsy stages again and my housemates are seeing the true Hannah. The other night I forgot I left my tap on in my room and flooded about half my room. I returned to my room and started cursing so my room mates came in and all burst out laughing saying things like “how did you manage that?” but they helped me clean it up which was nice. Doesn’t help my case in proving that just because I’m the youngest doesn’t mean I’m immature! This little story kind of contradicts my feelings of independence at the beginning of the post … but I’ll always be clumsy, even 6 months in Utrecht can’t fix that! The weather really is starting to get cold and I am feeling nervous about the winter but fingers crossed I’ll survive! (I think if it gets any colder and I have another tap incident there may be a small ice rink in my bedroom!)