Saturday, April 3, 2010


Who would've thought that Utrecht would still be fun after the third time of visiting it? My overseas coordinator invited Ashton and I to Utrecht once again to visit him, and also to show off his new paint job at his house. He was very excited about it. He's too precious. 

We arrive at Utrecht Centraal at 1, and the first thing Ashton and I did was go to Burger King and order food. I feel like such a bad Catholic (being Good Friday and all) and didn't realize that I wasn't supposed to eat meat after I ordered chicken nuggets. They were only a euro! Hans didn't get to the station until 1:15 so we enjoyed our food while waiting on Hans. 

For the first 20 minutes that he arrived, he just talked to us about why it was so busy in the station. There were people everywhere! After we finished eating, we started walking and Hans still had so much to show us. We went into this store, Xenos, where they sell really cheap things. Xenos had everything you can think of. I really liked the store. Then, we took a different route than the last two times I was in Utrecht, and he talked to us more about The Netherlands. We walked to the city center where people enjoyed the canals and the sunshine. We stopped for coffee, and sat down next to the water. I witnessed boats passing by, ducks playing, people sitting on the ground eating, and these three girls littering. It annoyed the hell out of me. 

After coffee, we went to the Museum of Clocks and Organ Music, and it has to be one of my favorites. We waited until 3 for the guided tour, so we wasted time in Bruna, a store like Hallmark in the US. Then, we did the guided tour in the museum. Oh yea, we had our museum cards so we got in free. However, mine didn't work. :( The girl still let me in though. I still have to call customer service about my card. 

Anyways, the tour was awesome. We listened to a lot of different tunes and chimes when the clock strikes every hour. We also learned how the whole thing works, and it was fascinating. The tour guide was very good at explaining everything in Dutch and English. She always had a smile on her face, and the museum attracts lots of young children. She also sang for us and made us sing this really cool Dutch song. My favorite organ/instrument was the one for dancing halls. The organ/instrument is massive, and played a swing-type song...and I absolutely love swing dancing. When I told Hans, he got my hand and we started swing dancing in front of everyone! It was great!!!!!

One of the organs/instruments also played Thriller by Michael Jackson, and of course, I had to bust a move. The Dutch people seemed to enjoy watching me dance. Ha. 

After the museum, Hans showed us the first department store ever in Utrecht that turned into a cafe/club. It was huge and the atmosphere made me want to sit and have a drink. We also went inside "The Beehive" store which is an expensive department store. Hans also showed us the main post office (where I bought stamps) and it was massive! My camera unfortunately died and I couldn't take a picture of it. :(

Finally, we took a different route to go to his home. We saw lots of green and flowers, which got me really excited. It's still a bit chilly here, around 40 degrees Celsius but it feels so good compared to below zero weather. Hans showed us his new paint job, and it did look good. He talked about dusting everything, and putting away a lot of his things. We sat down, had coffee and "Easter cake," and talked about everything. It was like a debriefing since Ashton is leaving next week, and I only have two weeks left in Rotterdam before I travel some more. 

We had dinner which consisted of corn, salad, potatoes, and fish. We also had ice cream for dessert. Hans mentioned the public television stations and the more people who subscribe for the program, the more time they get on the television. It's a really neat system. Hans also surprised us with a huge Easter egg filled with chocolate.

When I finally got home around midnight, I rode my bike while Ashton walked, my card to get in didn't work. It was a great way to end the day. :( I stood outside for a while because the intercom didn't work, and I also had to wait until Ashton got home. It was a pain in the butt. I honestly dislike this apartment very much. 

Utrecht made me realize just how much I'm going to miss Hans. He's such a wonderful person, and because of him, the trip here is much more enjoyable. He always has a smile on his face, and he loves having us here. I can't even describe him fully, he's just freaking amazing and I wouldn't know what I would've done without him. Unfortunately, he's retiring next year. The teachers and the students absolutely adore him...

Oh, and Hans's hobby is collecting money from all over the world. It was such a fascinating hobby, I think I might pick it up. He gave me Polish money for my trip to Poland. He also gave me the money that Philippines used when the Japanese took over my country. I can't wait to show my family!

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