Today I realised that I am one third of the way into my six-month European adventure. That’s a bit scary, considering how many more things I still want to do.
Lately I’ve been settling into daily life more than I have been getting touristy. I’m finding that the workload at Utrecht University is higher than I am used to, so I’ve been focusing on my studies quite a bit. (For the next three weeks I have at least two pieces of assessment per week, so I’ll be alternating between study and hibernation until November.) While it’s great that I am learning about Dutch and French culture is my classes, my Dutch language skills are languishing. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day for all of the things I want to see, do and learn.
The next thing I need to focus on is finding a place to do a 30 hour internship. Yep, I have to convince some business owner or organisation that it’s worth the trouble to hire an intern (one without functional Dutch) for a single week. I’ve applied for a volunteer position as a photographer, but that may be a bit too ambitious. I’m really hoping to be able to do something in the arts, but if not I’ll be happy to volunteer for a local cause.
One thing that I’m really excited about is my new bike. (The bike I was using before was stolen. It happens to everyone here, I’m told.) It’s a beautiful, sleek black bike made in Holland. It was pretty enough to warrant an outing to the park today, just for the pleasure of riding it around in the sun. I spent about 100 euros on this second hand bike and two locks, which is a little more than I had planned but seems pretty reasonable. It doesn’t have gears or handbrakes, but my goodness it is gorgeous. I’m kind of hoping that I’ll be able to take her back to Australia as I’m not sure I’ll be able to part with her. She’s a she now. The word “it” doesn’t apply to my bike. Good grief, I never thought I’d be so sentimental about something with wheels.
I think I’ll call her Felix.