Bye, Bye, Arkansas, Hello Schiphol... travel blog

A restaurant on the Canal

Same view, different angle

Simon on the Bridge

It has been a quiet and peaceful day. I slept in longer than I have since I've been here. It was close to 10:30 am before I got out of bed and left my room. I'm not used to having wine with dinner and after such a long day yesterday, I really knocked out, like a log for sure.

But I awakened to rain, rain, and more rain. It hasn't stopped since. It has also been very cool out. It didn't stop us from going out though. We walked to the passage and I bought a few things.

Lesson learned about the exchange rate. It sucks! Of course it fluctuates, but the 100 Euros that I took from the ATM was $138.00 removed from my Bank of America account at home. On top of that is a $5.00 fee. The use of my debit card in stores balloons as well. At the museum I purchased 14.00 Euros worth of merchandise. Out of my bank, $22.00 was removed and plus a 1.26 fee for using my debit card. Despite it all, I've read on a lot of sites with travel tips that it's better to accept these ATM bank fees than doing the money exchange at a bank. Oh well, I knew it would be a pricey trip, but it's well worth it.

I purchased a pair of shoes today. I wear size 41 here. Wide-width was not widely (no pun intended) available in this store. I also checked to see how much it would cost to develop my film—which I have been using an old-fashioned 35mm to take the majority of pictures. Most of the time we forget to use Simon's digital camera, that's why most of the pictures I've posted aren't really that good, because they're afterthoughts. I believe mine will be much better. But with as many rolls of film I've got, it will probably cost well over $100.00 to get them developed and put onto discs.

So, right now it still rains. I'm looking at the clock for here and it's 8:12 pm and the other clock (Simon has so kindly set up for me) states that it's 1:12 pm there in Arkansas.

I promised you another entry tonight, mom, so here it is! We're going to eat some more Indonesian food right now. Soon after, I'm heading off for bed. Simon is currently watching the evening news (which comes on at 8:00 pm). The plans tomorrow may include visiting an Ikea store and going to the Army Museum.

Before I leave, I will list the most important Dutch words and phrases to learn, I've noticed. So, for you readers that plan a visit, these words and phrases will help you most of the time:

Dag = Day. Or good day. If your mind becomes twisted and you forget whether to say Goede Morgen or Middag, just say Dag. I've noticed everyone does, whether coming or going or simply passing each other by on the street. Dag.

Hoi = Hi. Very informal, supposedly used only among friends. But I've noticed a lot of people using it.

Dank u weil (w pronounced with a "v,"like veil) = Thank you very much

Bedankt = Thanks. It's used a lot.

Eet Smakelijk = Bon Appetit.

Pardon = Sorry (You'll use that a lot because you're always bumping into someone. Trust me.)

Sorry = Excuse me. (You'll use this a lot too. Statistics say that the Netherlands has the highest population density in Europe. Meaning that there's less personal space so one has to be aware constantly of the personal space of others.)

Ja = Yes (This works well in most cases. If you haven't a clue, just say "ja")

Nee = No (This works well in most cases. If it looks expensive, just say "nee")

Graag = Please

And a simple smile goes a long way in any language. Don't forget to use it!

Een prettige dag! Later meer.

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