So it’s officially Super Bowl Sunday!
That means most of you back home are gearing up to watch the game, preparing various goodies and treats for the night ahead. To be honest, I’m jealous. Because of the time difference, the Super Bowl doesn’t start here until 12:30. That means if we were to stay up and watch the whole thing, we wouldn’t be going to bed until 4:00 or 5:00. Despite the fact that work on the Monday following the Super Bowl is always a bit rough, it would be especially tough for us only getting a few hours of sleep. Add to that the fact that we would be one of the only ones who actually watched the game and it equals out to a bad idea. For such reasons, we will be watching a replay of the game on Monday night. Talk about feeling Un-American….
On a related note, this has been my one complaint about moving to The Netherlands, my lack of ability to watch sports! Just about all American television channels and networks are blocked in Europe. Therefore, it makes watching anything, particularly sports, very difficult. When I am able to watch a game (I’ve found ways around the whole blocking issue), then the time difference almost always works against me. Noon and early afternoon games are ideal, but if it’s after 6:00, then its just too late here, especially when we have to work the next day. Of course, this was all to be expected but that doesn’t make it any easier. Sometimes you just want to watch an episode of Sportscenter!
Not much has been going on since Whitney’s last post, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. For the most part, it’s been normal life, with work and school going well. I had my first taste of Dutch coursework, as I was required to take an 80-hour course on Laboratory Animal Science. This meant I spent two weeks, sitting in class from 9-5 everyday, listening to lectures on the ethics and principles of studying animals in science, while also having to complete two presentations, write a four page ethics paper, and then take a three hour long exam. Fun times. Next week, I start my next course, which is a Dutch language course. The hope is that after completing this course, I’ll be close to Whitney’s level of Dutch speaking (she’s way ahead of me) so that we can continue and take higher level courses. We are going to live here four years; we are going to learn this language!
Aside from work and school, we had a bit of excitement in the city in the form of Eurosonic 2015. In short (and to quote from Wikipedia):
“Eurosonic is Europe’s largest showcase festival and takes place on a yearly basis on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday previous to Noorderslag festival in the Dutch city Groningen. Eurosonic is part of The European Music Conference and Showcase Festival Eurosonice Noorderslag. During the festival 300 bands and acts perform on 36 stages in the city center of Groningen.”
Basically what this means is that there are bands playing in every available space throughout the city for four days. They even build a large number of temporary stages and venues to host everyone. Because of it size and popularity, tickets for the festival sell out in a number of hours so we missed out this year. However, there were some free, open-air concerts, which we were able to check out. One band of interest; Kensington. I’m not sure if they are popular in the US yet (we are so out of touch with current movies and music back home), but if not, I suggest checking them out. They are a very popular Dutch band, but all of their songs are in English. Definitely worth a listen.
In other exciting news, we had our first real snow fall last weekend! In total, we got about 5-6 cm (yep, metric system, you have to convert), which is a big deal here. It certainly made our ‘commuting’ to the grocery store interesting. Whereas this time last year, we had an all-wheel drive SUV to deal with snowy conditions, presently we have only our bicycles. Ironically, biking in the snow is a lot like driving in the snow: slow down, increase following distance, pump the brakes, and don’t fight against a skid on ice. This is something I’ve been dealing with a fair amount on my ride to work each morning. We may not get much snow, but we do get a fair amount of ice. Scraping ice off my bike and dealing with frozen roads is becoming fairly routine. So far, I’ve managed to avoid any major wrecks or mishaps, but I’m sure it’s just a matter of time (knock on wood).
Well that about sums things up for us here lately. As I said previously, not much is going on at the moment. As it begins to warm up and the time/darkness works more in our favor (for a few months, it was only daylight from 9:00-4:30), we will hopefully have more news and adventures to share. For now, it’s just peddling ever so slowly on ice-covered roads.
Until next time,