Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Culture Clash

After almost six weeks in South Carolina, being back in Amsterdam has been a bit of a shock. First of all, it was about 98 degrees when I left Charlotte on September 7th and it was about 62 when I got here on September 11th. It's full on autumn. The trees are changing colors. Everyone is wearing scarves. I wake up cold everymorning - which I did in SC but that was because the air conditioning was on too high.

And then I am having a bit of a culture clash trying to readjust to some of the Dutch things that I had forgotten about. I met up with my friends Susannah, Naomi, and Emma for drinks and Jamaican food. Afterwards we went out with her friends and ended up in a Blues band. When I tried to tell the bassplayer that I enjoyed the show he cursed at me in Dutch and told me that he was on break. I got elbowed in the Albert Heijn. I was almost run over by a taxi as I rode my bike.

Monday and Tuesday were hard at work. I tried to keep my head down on Monday and just work but the organization's debate culture was alive and well and I soon found myself arguing over things I really don't care about. Back to just trying to make it through the day.

Monday night I cut Simon's claws and I cut one too close and he bled ALL OVER the apartment. I have bloody paw prints on everything. I didn't sleep at all because I was trying to stem the bleeding. I ended up having to dip his paw in flour after all my attempts to bandage it failed. Bandaging a cats foot is not as easy as one would think. One big shake and bandages fly off. He's fine now and I'm still traumatized.

So - let's see. I've been back since Thursday night and I've been a wreck. Hm. Let's hope things get better. Today's plan of attack includes eating a lot of chocolate, buying cheap flowers to brighten up the apartment (pink dahlias and white chrysanthemums), listening to cheerful music loudly (including Laid by James, Barracuda by Heart, Wonderboy by Tenacious D and Dancing Queen by Abba), and watching Mad Men (a show I became obsessed with in the States). Going to bed early and going for walks at lunchtime to eat soup seem to help too.

1 comment:

  1. The air conditioning is set for optimal sleeping conditions!