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Dominique in Winterwonderland

Malmö – Sweden

There’s a ‘good’ in goodbyes

Dear you,

While typing this blog, I’m sitting outside enjoying the good weather. The last few days, or weeks actually, the weather has been perfect. Thinking back to the beginning of this experience, the first thing that comes to mind is the cold awful weather.  A day started around 11.00 and ended at 16.00. so much for the vitamin D L. (people say that the highest rate of depression and suicide is to be found Scandinavia as they see so little light during the winter). However, now I know that they can build up their vitamin D during spring and summer, as the sun comes up at 04.00 and the sunset is at 22.30! Not sure if it works this way though.. Long days, short nights. Thank god for Ikea and its curtains.

So, in four days, I will be flying back to ordinary life. School, work, schoolwork, working on school, deadlines, DPFs, seminars, more deadlines and so on.. although I kind of looking forward to move back in my room in Nijmegen and see family and friends again, I would’ve never thought I would actually miss this place (and even more, this lifestyle and the people). I feel very lucky when it comes to the people I have met at school but also in Ronnen. living with 30 other students on a floor is not always easy, but it also has it advantages; there is always someone who is in for a coffee!

Last night we’d organized a last goodbye-party for the ones who are leaving next week. Because one of my friends is going to travel around Scandinavia for a few days, I won’t be able to say goodbye to her on the day I’m leaving. It felt a bit weird to say goodbye to someone who you will probably never see again (she’s from Hong Kong, and I still don’t have a moneytree in my backyard. I don’t even have a backyard…). We agreed on visiting Amsterdam together (how convenient) while she was still in Europe J.

While writing this, I think I will write a blog on each person I’ve met and I have good memories with… Sounds like a plan, no?

Well, that’s for later anyways, so bye now

 

 

The unexpected days

Hi all,

It has been a while since my last blog. So here I am again, fresh and fruity, writing a new blog. It might be one of the last, since I’ll be going home in 23 days! Yes, I have already booked my flight back and honestly, I don’t mind going home again. I can’t wait to move back into my room in Nijmegen and do grocery shopping in de Appie. I’ll be so happy when I don’t have to pay 7 euros for a kilo tomatoes anymore!

The last few weeks have been a bit chaotic. I told you in my last blog that Henko came to visit me for a week but during this week, I got a call from home that my grandma got very ill. Although she had been very ill and recovered from it before, they said that this time it would be very hard for her to get better again. When Easter arrived, there was not much left of the sweet and cheerful grandma she used to be. On second Easter day, she passed away. Very sad, but I’m also glad she has been released from her suffering. Together with Henko, I flew back to the Netherlands on Wednesday. Her birthday would have been on Friday, so it was extra special that we could say goodbye to her on that day. I hope she is in heaven now, happily together with Opa watching over us.

On Saturday, it was my dad’s birthday. Guus came up with the idea to buy a tree that Oma had in her front yard. In the morning, we drove to Groenrijk, to buy such a tree. You can imagine when explaining to an employee ‘’we would like to have a tree like Oma had in her front yard’’, he has no idea what we are talking about. We tried to explain what kind of tree it was and eventually, we found the right one. Because it was already blossoming, we had to drive home VERY slow. With 10 km/h we arrived at the driveway and saw the exact same tree we just bought already planted in our front yard. Well, at least the idea was good 🙂 .

Coming up next time: a week in Sweden with MAP.

LoL

 

sheep, pancake, nutella..

A late night blogpost. The first time I thought I might spend my time more useful than just lying in bed, thinking about.. yeah well that’s what this blog is going to be about. Thoughts.

I sometimes have nights, such as today, that it seems impossible to fall asleep. I have been thinking about the reasons and it’s actually pretty obvious. I can’t sleep when I have to set my alarm. And that is VERY inconvenient. 13 out of 14 nights I don’t have to wake up at a certain time, as all my classes start after 13.00 PM. I’m a ‘light’ sleeper, so whenever I hear something or open my eyes just once, I’m wide awake. Now, you see.. Sweden is this beautiful country with its nature and all that, super awesome when daytime, not so awesome during nighttime.

The sun rises early this time of the year and my curtains are doing a pretty good job in not working. Besides, there is also this ‘natural’ alarm that goes off randomly during the night. SEAGULLS. This might sounds unfriendly (so for all the animallovers out there; ears closed), but my god, how much I would appreciate an airgun here. These silly birds make so much noise, that you literally wake up from it. I can hear you think, ‘’so what just go back to sleep’’. But once you’ve focussed on these inescapable sounds, I can tell you (from unfortunately too much experience) it is very hard to fall asleep again. The funny part is that almost every person who is sleeping on the right side of the building is complaining about it.

So here I am, wide awake and my alarm goes off at 4.15 AM. And 4.20. and 4.25 and so on and so on. Henko will be arriving tomorrow in the morning and I want to make sure that he wakes up on time to get to the airport.

Okay, so now I have told you about why I can’t fall asleep. This is what actually happens in my head when I try to fall asleep.

I set my alarm, thinking I REALLY need to sleep early. I go to bed at 23.00, scroll through facebook. My eyes will feel heavy, I put away my phone thinking YES this time I might sleep soon. I close my eyes. I think: ‘’please fall asleep, please fall asleep’’. I think: ‘’This ain’t gonna work’’. I start singing in my head: ‘’this ain’t gonna work’’. I’ll come up with another song I heard that day and I’ll just repeat a particular line over and over in my head. I start thinking that this will be a long long long night. I’ll look up tips and tricks on the internet about falling asleep. I’ll start counting sheep and at the same time all these random words come to my mind. Sheep, grass, wolve, fairytale, circus, clowns, bassie and adriaan, ”HIER B-één nul nul, A-DRIE-AAN LAAT ME NIET A-LEEN HELP HELP”, TV series. ‘’Oh maybe I should watch another episode and try again after’’. Gossip girl (currently watching), fashion show, clothes, ‘’ sh*t I forgot to take out my wet clothes of the washing machine, first thing tomorrow’’. Tomorrow, Henko, airplanes, ‘’als dat maar goed gaat’’, traveling, summer-holidays, internships, ‘’oh when will we be hearing something from school about filling in the form about the internships’’, important!, filling in the form, can’t afford traveling to other cities, trains, ‘’shit I should not be thinking about all this stuff right now’’, okay lets watch another episode.

This time I decided to spend my time on writing a blog, since I’ll probably won’t be writing this week anyway. It’s 01.40 so I still have 2,5 hours to sleep before the alarm goes off. Perfect.

1 sheep, 2 sheep, 3 sheep, pancakes, food, hungry, nutella, banana, france, holidays, camping, swimming, sea, fish, scary, 67 sheep

 

p,

SUNDAYFUNDAY

Heya

Last Sunday, Anna, Aybike, Beyza and me went on a ‘roadtrip’ to Copenhagen. I would like to call it a roadtrip because we went by car (it was only a half hour drive but still). Anna lives in Helsingborg, a small town 40 minutes above Malmö. She promised her mom to bring her to the airport in Copenhagen, and so the idea aroused. She would drive through (makes me think of McDonalds) Malmö and pick us up at the station. The night before a few my floor-mates organised a party on our floor and my experience with these house parties is that it will not end before a reasonable time. So I decided to ‘Nextflix and chill (sleep, to clarify)’ and tried to sleep early.

I’m kind of used to sleeping 10 hours a day and I prefer not to confuse my biological rhythm (is that a word?).

BUT the fifth floor has 4 incredible funny Dutch guys who really like to disturb every human being in the building and so they did. They went door to door and enter every room that was unlocked and sang/shouted/yelled: ‘’daaaaar moet een piemel in’’. Ha-Ha can’t stop laughing. I normally never lock my room when I’m sleeping because there is no reason to but from now on, I know better.

So, in conclusion, I didn’t get that much sleep, but still more than the other girls. They went to the party and stayed until 6 AM. The next morning, they told me that they didn’t sleep at all, because they were afraid they would oversleep.

Once in Copenhagen, the sun started to shine. After lunch (Churro’s) and coffee, we did some sightseeing and a little bit of shopping. We ended the day with a nice dinner outside and coffee on a rooftop bar.

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It was a good day, I’m loving it.

Seeyalaterskrokodillen

LoL

A night to remember

Hej människor,

So last Friday was a night to never forget. Not sure in a good or bad way. It all started two days earlier….

In our common kitchen we have a board on which one could write whatever you want. Mostly it’s about people still getting money from others, but now and then someone writes about an activity he or she wants to organize and IF you want to join, you can put your name on the board. So this Was on the board.

ST Patrick’s DAY Friday

Couldn’t be vaguer but for some reason people signed up for it (probably because it involves a lot of alcohol). So days went by, nothing became clearer, except for the fact that one particular person (the one who ‘’organized’’ it) yelled around 10 AM on that Friday that he wanted to get ‘’REALLY drunk!’. Then around 8 PM people gathered in the kitchen, so I’ve heard (I was livestreaming (is that even a word?) a handball game Netherlands-Iceland). After the game finished I went to the kitchen in my fancy suit (panther pajama pants (alliteration) and baby-soft bathrobe) to see what was going on. And guess what: Alcohol was going on. Still no actual plans for the night, but they were going to leave at 9 PM.

It was 5 to 9.

Then I ‘cut the knot’: I was going with them to somewhere. This was actually a big surprise (I think for everybody), since I’m not really into partying anymore. I changed clothes (why?!), we made a picture with the group, got on our bikes and cycled to somewhere (no plans yet, but I don’t think anybody cared?). So we cycled to the city centre and after arriving we finally came up with ideas where to go.

  1. Go to Irish pub (GOOD IDEA on ST Patrick’s day, it’s prob very quiet).

So we went to the first Irish pub. Waited in line for half an hour, age-limit was 23. Failed.

  1. Go to another Irish pub (yes because the age-limit prob will be 16 (?)).

So we went to the second Irish pub. Waited in line for 15 min, age limit 25. Failed.

  1. Brainstorm on the street where to go next (age-limit was the main problem).

Brainstorm finished, no good ideas. Failed.

  1. Go to Burger King.

No Burger King in the neighbourhood. Failed.

  1. Go to a club with no age-limit.

It’s kind of hard to get in Swedish clubs when you are 19, since the age-limit is almost always 20. Only one club has an age-limit of 18 but it is extremely expensive to get in (20 euro). So.. Failed.

  1. Go to the club with age-limit 20, say goodbye to the puppies.

And so we went to the club Moriska in Folketspark (2 persons got lost along the way). There was no line (normally you would be happy with no line, but now it meant to there were only 10 people inside). We paid the entrance-fee and got in.

It was really fun, even though not many people were dancing, until Beverly noticed that her and somebody else’s phones got stolen. She had it in her purse and probably while dancing with a few guys it got snatched. We tried to find out who it was and confronted a few guys but they proved their innocence by showing their empty pockets. The phones were gone. The thieves were really smart for turning of the phone immediately so that we couldn’t see the location with the ‘find my I-phone’ app. So idea number six à sort of failed.

Next time we will probably stay at Rönnen and have another house party. Saves entrance-fees, too high prices for drinks, and two I-phones.

Adjö!

 

 

Everybody lies

As a follow-up to my blog about the BIG surprise, I’m going to confess to all of the lying I (or we) have done to make the surprise a real surprise.

Preparation

  • I can’t even remember the first lie. I think it must have been during the Christmas holidays. The trip was already planned for four so it became pretty clear that I really wasn’t going with them. I really tried my best to came up with ideas to still be able to join them (not). I looked up every possibility to travel from Malmö to Italy or the Netherlands, but it was all way to expensive. And moreover, I should be in class that week and I have been taught that you may not skip classes!
  • Travel à I had to book my flight and flights mostly can only be booked by Creditcards. I don’t owe a Creditcard, but I could use my dad’s. There was only one catch. We had to be sure that mum didn’t look at the Creditcard-transcripts, before the trip. And so the second lie started. Dad told mum to not look at the transcripts, because he had bought a gift for her birthday.
  • Gear à We also needed to secretly pack the gear I needed in Italy. Obviously, we couldn’t pack it in our car, because that would raise too much suspicion. Luckly, my dad’s colleagues always go to the same part of Dolomites and they could take my stuff with them.
  • Clothes à Since I could only travel light, I couldn’t bring many clothes with me. My sister packed some old clothes and of course the things you need while skiing; gloves, scarfs, warm socks, etc.
  • Accommodation à the trip was booked for 4 persons. We always drive to Italy in two days. The first day we drive to Munchen and stay the night. While mum was away, dad talked to the owner of the accommodation about me staying at her accommodation on our way back. He told her about the surprise so she wouldn’t say anything to mum. He did the same thing at the accommodation in Italy.

The day itself

  • It was mum’s birthday but I was traveling so I couldn’t talk to her during the day. I asked her if she wanted to FaceTime with me in the evening, because I made-believe her I class from 17.00 to 20.00. She told me they were going out for dinner, so that would be fine.
  • I wanted to congratulate her in the morning, but my flight was really early. I sent her a message saying that I set my alarm early especially for her.
  • My dad and sis picked me up at Brixen station, which is almost an hour-drive. I arrived at 15.00 and normally they still would be skiing. Dad told mum he wanted to spit up so that she could go skiing with my brother. Dad and sister would go skiing elsewhere.
  • After they picked me up, then went back to the ski-lodge pretending they had skied all day. I went to a bakery and read a magazine and I went to the restaurant just before they had made the reservation.
  • One last lie: I sent mum another message with a picture of me sitting in a coffee bar in Malmö celebrating her birthday, so she would be sure I was still in Malmö.

I think it’s safe to say it’s a miracle that she didn’t notice anything after all this lying. But it all was for the greater good.

LoL

 

 

 

The BIG surprise

Hi peeps

In my last blog I wrote about exams and classes I pretended to have during last few weeks but it was ALL a lie. Because, everybody lies (House M.D).

So this is what really happened:

My dad, bro ‘n sis and me had planned a surprise-trip for me to join them a few days in Italy. My mum’s birthday is on the first of March, which was in the middle of the week that they were in the Dolomites. That day I got up at 04.00 AM to leave Malmö for a few days (2 weeks, oops). I sent my mum a text for her birthday and told her that I had set the alarm to congratulate her before she woke up. I also asked her if she wanted to FaceTime me in the evening (knowing that I would already be in Italy by that time). I took the bike to Malmö central station and got on the train to Copenhagen Airport. It was pretty exciting to travel all by myself, so I took 4 trains early just to be sure I was on time. And sure as *** I was. I had to wait 2 hours before the boarding started.

After a one-and a half hour flight I set foot in Munchen. I had to wait another 2 hours before I could take the train to Brixen (a small village near the place we stayed). After a 4-hour train ride, I arrived at my FINAL(LY) destination. My sis and dad picked me up and brought me to the restaurant where they would have dinner that evening. My dad texted me when they were about to arrive so that I could hide myself somewhere.

When we were young, we used to hide under the table when my mum came home from work. She always pretended that she hadn’t seen us and asked my dad where the kids were.  At that moment we would suddenly appear and yell SURPISE. Well.. what a surprise. So I decided it would be fun to hide under the table again and so I did.

They entered the restaurant and sat down at the table. My mom didn’t really got the hints the others were giving her, so after a while (15 minutes in a very uncomfortable position!!) I thought it would be a good idea to make her look under the table by kicking at her shins. She actually looked at me three times but didn’t see me, so time for action. I put my hand next to her chair. When she saw my hand the only thing she said was: whose hand is this?! WHOSE hand is this? That’s when I appeared (maybe a bit weird for the other guests) from under the table. She was really surprised and happy to see me and so was I J!

This last part obviously has been recorded but I don’t have the recordings right now. I will upload it on my blog when I get it.

This is it for now, new post coming up soon!

LoL

a lovely visit

Ola amigo’s!

A lot has happened since my previous blog. I finished my series (House M.D), started a new series (White Collar), found new cheap supermarkets (YEEY!), worked on my school assignments, met up with a girl who is following the same course, found knackerbröd with cinnamon-flavour but far most important: Henko came to visit me last week (FINALLY!).

I hadn’t seen him since the day I left to Malmö (Facetime doesn’t count). And even though I call him almost every day and sometimes even twice because I’m bored, I missed him a lot. I sometimes find it really hard not being able to share your experiences during these times. Of course you talk about it on the phone and text, but it’s still different than when you are together. So in conclusion, I was really happy to see him again. We had a whole week to spend with each other but it still went so fast.

To start with, the day he arrived was the worst day (regarding the weather) I have had since I moved here. It was so cold and it was snowing, which is really unusual in this city. We spend most our days in coffee cafés playing games.  The last night before he went back to the Netherlands, we went to an ice-hockeygame of the Malmo Re
dHawks. I had never been to such a game before so I didn’t know what to expect. After the first 20 minutes, I thought it might be good to look up the rules since

whatsapp-image-2017-02-14-at-23-42-46
The only representable picture we took together 

I had no idea what was allowed and wasn’t. After reading a whole Wikipedia-page with history, rules, players, etc. I came to the conclusion that almost everything is allowed (EVEN FIGHTING!) and you just need to score a goal. Pretty easy, right… The funniest thing was watching the referees struggling to find a safe place to stand during the game. I almost seemed like they have a magnetic field around them which attracts players to bump against them and they’re not even wearing protection! Poor men, I hope they get paid really well!

 

Mum, dad, bro ’n sis are going to Italy this Friday without me. Normally we go to Italy with the five of us, but this time I couldn’t join. The Uni decided that particular week was a really good week to plan two oral exams, which I need to pass to get the 30 credits. I don’t understand why they are not willing to reschedule these tests. Don’t they know I’m a member of the well-known Carpaij-Family and I was born as a daughter of the Queen (not sure which one though but it’s what my mum always tells me (it’s complicated))? And maybe they’re not aware my brother is king Guus and my dad has much influence in the school system. Nevertheless, I still have one ace up my sleeve. De DENKTANK.

LoL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On an old bike you must learn itn

Hi there!

Lazy Sundays, I love them. Sleeping in, watching series, reading magazines, trying out new recipes (joke, I hate cooking) but every time when I turn the page or put the episode on pause I feel I bit uneasy. The feeling of guilt. I think we, students, all know the feeling that you promised yourself a day off from school, sports, appointments, meetings, work, or other commitments and do nothing else than relax and Netflix but it would be better to do something useful. That’s exactly the feeling I had today.

So here I am, writing my second blog. As I told you in my previous blog, Malmö has a lot of lovely coffeecafes, so to make it a bit more ‘fun’ I cycled to the best in town. Yep, that’s right, cycling.. Sweden is one of the few countries where they use bikes as transportation. They’ve made cycling-paths throughout the whole city. Because I’m really good in busting my bicycles in Nijmegen and I don’t have a dad who can fix it here, I thought it would be smart to bring an extra. I have been here for more than 3 weeks and my bike is still in one piece and I haven’t had a flat tire!

One of the Asian girls on my floor asked me if she could use my other bike, since public transport is quite expensive. “Of course” I said, but at the same time I was wondering how she was going to ride it, considering she is 10 cm shorter and Asia is not really known for their cycling-culture. But still, it could work, couldn’t it?

We tried but came across several problems (and not even the one you would expect). I’m going to tell you what happened in the same sequence that the problems occurred.

  1. The bike was locked. But what I didn’t know, is that everyone is used to the chainlocks and not the locks we have in the Netherlands. I asked her to try to unlock it, but she couldn’t. (okay maybe it was a bit rusty but still..)
  2. The next step, getting on the bike. She didn’t really know how she was supposed to get on a bike, so I tried to teach her. First by explaining and eventually by showing her. By the look on her face I could see that she was really flabbergasted. Her mouth fell open and she said. WOW! HOW DID YOU DO THAT!?
  3. Okay, she got on the bike. The next step à First I need to tell you something about the bike. My dad found this bike behind our house in the gutter. (He likes to fix things in his garage especially bikes, ‘cause my bro ‘n sis also have this talent for busting their bikes and getting flat tires so we always need an extra). This bike is really old (from before WO2 to be precise), so the chain is a bit loose. You need to make a few extra pedalling-rounds before the bike starts working. So if you don’t have enough speed to make these extra rounds, you will probably fall off. So yes.. that’s what happened next.
  4. To avoid this problem, I pushed a bit to give her some speed and she would have enough speed and so the next problem occurred. She couldn’t reach the pedals when they were below so she needed to brake.
  5. The brakes. Apparently people from outside the Netherlands are used to brakes on handlebar. My bike does have these brakes, but I kind of forgot her that those probably don’t work anymore, because I prefer a coasterbrake (terugtraprem). I think you can guess the follow-up, but I’m going to tell you anyway. I said/shouted (in really bad English since my bikeriding-vocab is not so wide) that she had to pedal backwards in order to make it stop and so she did.
  6. After using the coasterbrake, the bike stops and you get off it. It sounds really easy, but if you can reach the pedals when they’re below you probably won’t be able to reach the ground and keep the bike upright at the same time, so yeah. BOOM. AUCH.

So I think that the expression ”op een oude fiets moet je het leren (on an old bike you must learn it)” doens’t go for everything. But we had fun though and ”participating is more important than winning” (meedoen in belangrijker dan winnen).

LoL

PS. It actually is WinterWonderland at the moment, just without the snow. Windchill -15. For ***’s sake

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