Monday, June 28, 2010


YEAH!!!! WOOHOO!!!!!
First of all, Argentina beat Mexico yesterday. Amazing game. Totally destroyed them, like in 2006. Now in a couple days we beat Germany in this big REVENGE for 2006!
Second in order of business, FELIZ CUMPLE AILÉN!!!!! My sister is now 17, I still can't believe it!
I promised her I would write the blog in English AND Spanish again, so I guess it will be another long post.
This past week the temperature here has gone up. A LOT. Today Esmee, Imke, and I went to the mall (The Alexandrium in Rotterdam), a very awesome mall, and walked a lot all around. First we went to Primaark, which is a shop with very cheap clothes. Yeah. Imagine having a JCPenney or something, but a lot cheaper, and twice as big, and with so many people that its hard to walk around. Yeah. That's Primaark. Esmee adn Imke bought a couple of things, but I didn't buy anything. Later we walked around the Alexandrium more and I bought some sandals, cuz I didn't bring any (I never thought I'd need any). After that we ate some Fries, with mayo of course, and I'm starting to forget why people in the US don't eat mayo. It's so good! Then we took the train again to Rotterdam Noord and then waited for the bus. During our wait, for some reason Esmee and Imke started talking about children, saying that Esmee's children will marry Imke's children, it was kinda weird/funny/odd. Oh, and there are times when I don't understand Imke's Dutch at all, she can speak VERY fast. There were also a lot of muslim people all around the mall, mostly at the Primaark though, and most of them were very rude and pushy. Nothing against muslims, but those were very rude.
Talking about muslims, last week one almost crashed into me and Romeo when I was driving him back from dropping off his books at school. The Turks and other foreigners from outside Europe don't seem to pay attention to the laws in the road, and this guy wasn't yielding to my right of way in the round about, since I was already in it. Nope, he just accelerated and barely missed me, thanks to my fast reaction and because I did see him. Very rude. Then, of course, he goes off in the same exit as me, and then in another roundabout where he doesn't yield, he goes very fast, and then suddenly stops like in the middle of the road. VERY WEIRD.
On Sunday afternoon Esmee and I wanted ice cream from Zoetermeer (there is a very good place there), so we drove there, but we also had to drop a couple things off at Imara's house. We got there fine, but then we were running out of time, so we just drove back to Berkel. Well, the GPS's directions get a bit confusing between the not-square blocks and the rotundas. We ended up going on the highway towards Den Haag, haha, it was pretty funny. It was really cool for me though as I got to drive in the highway now! Then we went back home and that night we had pizza, again. I tried the 4 cheese one this time, it was very good, but I think I'm getting bored of pizza every week. Maybe next time I'll cook something of myself if the other choice is pizza, haha.
On Saturday we went to Esmee's great aunt (kinda but not really, since they are not blood or politically related) and sat there with some "family" of Esmee's. I got to see more of the Rotterdam Noord area and the street where Esmee grew up. You know, that area of Rotterdam is really REALLY nice. I love how it has all the bike roads, pedestrian paths, roads, and tramways all mixed in that urban area. The transportation is amazing.
Saturday night we had a barbeque, drank some wine (Chilean, because I couldn't find any Argentinean one), then walked to the Dorp, where the Midnight Shopping thing had drawn lots of people. We ate ice cream (the tiny shop was overwhelmed, we had to wait like 15 minutes to get served!) and listened to some drums as some people went by playing them. Then Esmee saw like all the kids from her work and internship, haha, as there were a lot of families at the Dorp.
The week before was filled with me watching lots of football games, haha. I've also been calling home and friends. It sucks though cuz I still can't get a hold of Juan, something weird about calling Mexico I guess.
Tomorrow we are going to Delft during the day and then at night we are going to eat at McDonalds and then I'm going to the Twilight festival thing with Esmee, Romeo and Julia. Should be fun, I hope.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Argentina plays tomorrow again.... VAMOS ARGENTINA TODAVIA!!!!!

Following my recent trend of Argentina-related titles, haha, I'm excited for tomorrow's game! Argentina can DEFINITELY win.
Anyways, now to tell you guys what I've done the past 4 days.
On Friday Esmee was feeling a bit better by the afternoon, and so we ended the week by going to buy groceries and Esmee getting some fresh air. We went to a supermarket called Lidl, and it looks exactly like Aldi in the US from the inside, I don't know about Aldi here because I have yet to go to one, haha. After that we went through the small city of Rijswijk (I think) and Esmee showed me her high school, the bookstore she used to go to, the church where her graduation was, and the bus stop where she used to wait to get back to Rotterdam. The evening was all very nice and we went back and had dinner and went to bed. Too bad Esmee felt very cold and that night she was cold too.
We have eaten pizza a couple times now, and the last time I got a Mozzarella one, kinda like Margarita pizza, and it was DELICIOUS. But for the most part the Dutch diet includes potatoes, lots of vedgetables, licorice candy, marsjepein (spl?) cookies, and other such things. The candy stores here are amazing, you go in and you can pick all the candy you want and put it in bags and you can mix and match as much as you want. I keep getting the Menthol drops, delicious, haha, while Esmee gets all her bitter licorice, with which she makes "necklaces" at night before eating them :-P
Saturday was truly an AMAZING day. We woke up around 10, well, I did, and I woke Esmee up at 10:30, mostly because I was bored and excited for the Air Force show. Then we went to have lunch downstairs and by 1:30 or so we were leaving to go to the Air Force Open Day. The road was pretty empty, and I asked Ramon how most products were moved through the Netherlands. Apparently they are moved mostly by trucks, like in the US, but most truckers don't work on weekends, which clears the highways up for the weekend traveler. Its truly an awesome thing. Of course the highways were empty for a second reason on Saturday, Holland was playing. We got to the Air Force Show and then realized that there was a TON of people. On Friday, more than 100,000 people had gone. On Saturday, almost 200,000 people went apparently. Yeah. There was A LOT of people. As we were entering the parking lot, we saw some helicopters flying above us, Ingrid called Ilona (Esmee's aunt) and apparently one of the helicopters was being piloted by Arie (Esmee's uncle). We parked and walked to the makeshift Helicopter hangar for the Allouette III's that were flying up above us. Then one landed and out came Arie. Bjorn and Kristen (Arie and Ilona's children) went running to their dad, and then they all came towards us and said hi. Arie was on a break, sort of, and he would show us the things he had been working on lately. Then came a guy with a suit, and Arie presented us to him. He was one of the top people from Eurocopter (the manufacturers of the Allouette) and Arie had to show him some things too. So we all walked by some US, Belgian, German, French, and Turkish helicopters and small planes and then went to a room next to a Jaguar helicopter. There Arie showed us how he had been calculating some different things with the Jaguar to land on a ship at sea, and other things about the different helmets they used, more experimental ways to record data, ways to let the control know what the pilot was doing, it was all really cool. Then we went outside and into the Jaguar helicopter. I sat in the cockpit, it was sooo cool!!!! It was just like the ones in the video games, haha, but I see how much more difficult it must be in combat situations to control it all. Arie explained all the controls, then we went outside, I stood and looked at the Eurofighters and F-16's flying above, and then we went walking back towards Arie's other "office". We walked around to some other helicopters, saw some Black Hawks, some russian helicopters, and then as we were going to the Allouette hangar something incredible happened, haha. Esmee was playing with her cousins and they were drinking some coca cola cans, so they were playing that game of taking the tab thing out of the can and then on the letter that it ends up you have to say a name of the person you will marry. So Bjorn got an E, and Kristen said "You have to marry Esmee!" and poor Bjorn was blushing and then I wrapped my arms around Esmee and looked at Bjorn and with my best Dutch said "Bjorn, zij is mijn!" (Bjorn, she is mine) and then we were all laughing, poor Bjorn a bit embarassed went to his dad and said "I already know she is his, and he can have her" it was so funny! I really like Esmee's cousins, they are all so cute and cool playing around!
After that we arrived at the "hangar" and we were offered some snacks. We sat down but then went outside to wait to see what the flightplan was. Then it started raining so we went back in, and finally it stopped raining and we went outside by the helicopters. After some flight and pilot changes, Arie said he would pilot and that there were 3 more people coming. We were all briefed on the safety and procedures of the Allouette, and then we went in to the helicopter.
Let me tell you. Taking off on a helicopter is a bit rough and feels very weird. The helicopter veers to the left, stabilizes, and then goes up and out. After that, it was all just amazing. We went around the base, were in the air show, and hovered like 400 meters in the air, getting a 360 degree view of the area. On the very far Southeast we saw Eindhoven, but closer to the east we saw Tilburg, and to the west Breda. Its so amazing to fly. It just made me wish that I was a pilot, haha.
After the flight all around the base area, we landed. Esmee then got a couple pictures with Arie's helmet (I'll post them on Facebook, they are very funny) and then we said goodbye and left.
That night we had dinner and then Ingrid and Ramon went to Appeldoorn to get a new table they had found on Marktplaats.
On Sunday we woke up around 12 and then after lunch we walked to Oma and Opa's house. There, Gerard and Karen, plus their children Bregje and Thom, were drinking some coffee with Oma and Opa. We all hung out there for a couple hours, then Arie and Ilona came, and after some minutes we all left to go to Rotterdam. We went through the Blijdorp neighborhood (where the zoo is at) and got to the Euromast. I still find it so weird that you can "rappel" down the Euromast, and slide down a line too. We went up to the very top on the Euroscoop and got the best view of Rotterdam. I saw De Kuip (Feyenoord's stadium) and some really cool buildings, and of course The Swan (Erasmus Bridge). After that we went to a Pancake boat, where we all sat down and ate pancakes while the boat went up and down the Maas river. The pancakes were DELICIOUS. Esmee drank a cocktail, I had some Passoa, and then we went back to Berkel en Rodenrijs. We all got ice cream at the Dorp (which on a Sunday afternoon is COMPLETELY empty) and then went to sleep.
Today Esmee went to the Efteling theme park and I stayed here. I am now finishing this blog post, finally!
Tomorrow I hope we will go to Zoetermeer, maybe I can buy my Messi shirt then, 15 euros I think it was.
Later this week we are going to a Twilight marathon with Julia and Romeo, hopefully it doesn't make me puke :-P just kidding!
I also hope to go to Toy Story 3 maybe this weekend or something, would be awesome.
I'll post back later.

El Tano.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Argentina 4 - Korea 1!!!!!! VAMOS ARGENTINA LOCO!!!!!

Wow..... So.... where did I leave you guys off at? Saturday, right?
Well.... Saturday I was very happy because of Argentina winning.
Sunday we relaxed at home and then in the afternoon we went to Delft, with the entire family, walked around a shopping area and then went to see some movies. The girls went to see Sex and The City 2 and then me, Ramon, Rico, and Romeo went to watch The Prince Of Persia The Sands of Time. The movie was really good. It was in English, luckily, and subtitled in Dutch. I can actually now read Dutch and know a lot of what it says, kind of weird, but I guess watching TV and with loud people I've been forced to read some Dutch subtitles, and it has helped me learn the language more. On Sunday night Esmee didn't feel so good, and she has gotten only a bit better in 5 days now.
On Monday she went to her school to talk with her teachers about her work at the internship, and the games and other projects she has done for the children. She did very well and got an 8. That day I also watched the Dutch game versus Denmark with Romeo and Rico, it was pretty fun. The family has been watching more football than I expected really. That night we ate pizza and then Esmee felt very bad before going to bed.
On Tuesday we were just at home, Esmee had to cancel her plans as she didn't feel good, I saw how to make a slushpuppy, ate some of my DELICIOUS Dulce de Leche, and relaxed and stayed with Esmee. Arie, Esmee's uncle, also called us telling us that we were invited to a Dutch Armed Forces exhibition on Saturday, which I'm really excited about. Maybe we get to fly on helicopters, who knows? :-D
On Wednesday the day was pretty similar to Tuesday, except that my NUON Shirt which changes color based on body temperature arrived, its soooo coool, check the video on youtube, NUON Oranje Shirt. Esmee bought it for me, a very nice gift, and then I drove to the market with Ingrid, we bought groceries, went back home, had some sandwiches for lunch, and then I made some slushpuppies for Esmee, went to the market to buy some ice cream, bought a book for Esmee (The Vampire Diaries), and then came back home. We had some Mie (pronounced "me") and it was sooo good, but it was like a big mix of vedgetables, pasta, meat, I don't know what else, very good.
Today we saw the Argentina game, what an awesome game!!!!! I made some more slushpuppies and tosties for Esmee and relaxed a lot. My neck has been hurting for some reason that I couldn't even imagine. Oh, also, last night Esmee was sleep talking. A lot. And then she asked me something and I thought she was awake, so I answered. Next thing I know Esmee is awake looking at me and saying "Javier, you were sleep talking" and I had to explain to her that she asked me something first, it was so funny! We'll see if Esmee sleep talks again, I'll have to observe her more at night :-P
Tomorrow looks like another easy day, as Esmee still has some fever sometimes. But Saturday and Sunday look to be exciting. On Saturday we have the Dutch Armed Forces Exhibition, then a party that night, and on Sunday we are going on a Pancake Boat on the Maas River in Rotterdam, seems like theres a pancake buffet while you get a tour of the harbor and everything, and then we are going to the Euromast of the Erasmusburg!!!!!! Can't wait! I'll post again on Sunday. Hope you guys' week is going well, mine sure looks like it'll improve!

Saturday, June 12, 2010


What a day!
Today, after an exciting week of going downtown, getting an International cell phone, calling home, calling Argentina, eating ice cream, lots of more rain, watching movies, and a great day in Rotterdam, Argentina won! Now we'll have to see what happens with the US.
This past week it rained. A LOT. We babysat with Esmee again, and let me tell you, that house is so beautiful, its an architectural beauty, with bay windows, bar/peninsula/island breakfast place, I don't know, its just so coool! I guess thats how the rich people live. After babysitting on Thursday we stayed there a bit talking with the kids parents, mostly cuz they were asking me things about Argentina, which I can't seem to stop thinking or talking about since I got to Europe. With Esmee we watched the Goal! movie, or parts of it at least, and then after that we drove to McDonalds for some McFlurrys, and this time we didn't get lost like last time, so much better, haha.
With Esmee we also went to get some ice cream the other day and, since it was raining, we sat at a little restaurant in downtown Berkel to eat something and wait for the rain to pass. It was all pretty exciting actually, I'm sure that as it keeps raining we'll be doing that more, hahaha. I really love Berkel, with its dorp and the shops and all, its a really nice place.
Today we went to Rotterdam, it was soooo coool!!!!!
Finally took the Randstad Rail to Rotterdam instead of The Hague, and finally saw lots of people walking around!
Rotterdam is really amazing. The architecture of every building is so unique, I guess its the only good thing that happened after WWII here, since there's only 2 buildings in Rotterdam that remain since before WWII. Silly Germans with their Blitzkrieg. City Hall and a church in Rotterdam stand out completely, you realize they are not part of the special architecture the city has. I also saw the Rotterdam harbor, beautiful, with tons of boats, and the Erasmus Bridge with the Euromast there, pretty awesome.
We walked along the market, ate more Poffertjes at a special Poffertjes place, saw the Cube houses, well, we saw almost everything Rotterdam has to show in those 5/6 blocks by the harbor, haha, but its amazing. I am still amazed by the different buildings. I'll have to post some pictures of some of them.
Weird fact, in Rotterdam there is an Argentinean restaurant called Los Toros, and the owners are Surinamese/Indian or something like that. Very weird. Nobody in there even speaks Spanish or is Argentinean.
Today we also went to Jumbo Supermarket, and I found Dulce De Leche! And it was cheaper than in the US! hahaha. Too bad they didn't have Yerba Mate. I'm still craving some mate.....
Oh, and after we came back from Rotterdam, we were biking back home (against the Dutch wind, something VERY hard) and when we got in the house, Argentina scores!!!!! So awesome. I was worried about missing the goal, oh well, we made it just in time.
Tonight Esmee is babysitting and I'll watch the US game I guess. Tomorrow night we are going to go to watch The Prince of Persia with Ramon, Rico and Romeo while Ingrid and Esmee go watch Sex and the City 2. I think it'll be pretty fun.
Tuesday Esmee has like a free day, so I think we'll go to a big mall in Rotterdam probably, or else do something in Zoetermeer. So my next couple days are definitely going to be fun.
I'll update again later.
Tot straks!

El Tano.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Dinsdag 8 Juni, Tuesday June 8, Martes 8 de Junio.

So, yesterday was my mom's birthday.
I called her at like midnight, I was very tired, but at least I got to wish her a happy birthday.
Now about my last week or so.
The past couple of days have been very Dutch, if that is an adjective.
It is very sunny, 25 C weather, and then, faster than you could say "stroopwaffel", the day becomes dark grey, it starts raining (or hailing) a lot, and you feel like the country is sinking again (I'm joking, since The Netherlands has these GIGANTIC dams at the ocean to keep the water away from the low country, haha). The opposite is also true. It feels like 17 C, it rains a lot, the day looks like it will be disgusting, and suddenly the sun comes out for 15 minutes and the weather goes up a lot. Oh, and by the way, those 2 cycles happen like every 30 minutes. At least you know that the weather has one of 2 choices, sun or rain. Right now, its raining. For now.
Esmee was a bit sick the last weekend and a couple days(not if you ask her, but if you ask me she was), and it was raining a lot more last week and this week. Last saturday was like the first really nice weekend of summer here, so the entire country met out at the Scheveningen beach by The Hague. Esmee and I didn't go because there were too many people, a lot of police because of some incidents from last year, and she was sick. That night there was also a Bon Jovi concert at the beach, tickets at 55 euros and up.
I've been trying to figure out this thing of the work permit lately, so hopefully I can get that set up to start working asap, that would be nice. Esmee and I are also trying to figure out what we're going to do during the month of July, and I know she wants to go to Paris, so at least there we shall go I think.
Today I went grocery shopping with Rico, and we bought some milk, which cost 99 euro cents for 2 liters of milk. I guess its a bit more expensive than home, but it didn't seem like too much.
Something awesome that I've been meaning to say here is that there are tons of people here who have cars running on natural gas (GNC), which is something I hadn't really paid attention too since I was last in Argentina. It's much better to have a gas car, because the benzene (oil, nafta, gas, however you want to call it) is pretty expensive, but you can fill up a tank of gas for a medium sized car like a Citroen Xsara in like 20 euros, much better than filling up liters of benzene at 1.29 euros/liter.
Esmee is working right now, she had a test today which she was studying for a bit yesterday and earlier this morning. I don't really think we have many more plans for this week, I guess I'll see when I can go to The Hague to get my BSN or equivalent. I also want to go to the Plus supermarket. When you buy anything there, they give you a bracelet with the flag of some country for the World Cup. They are randomly picked, so hopefully I won't have to go too many different times before I get an Argentina one and a Italy one, haha. Another supermarket I've been meaning to go to is Jumbo. I've heard from a couple argentinean people online that they have found dulce de leche and yerba mate there, so hopefully they have it! Or else my other options are: finding a lebanese/syrian shop which might sell mate, go to Tango Restaurant in Amsterdam and buy mate there, or maybe order it online (something I don't want to do because there is one vendor online in the Netherlands which sells mate at like 8 euros the kilo). Maybe I get a care package from a friend? (ehem ehem.... Alan.... Carlos.... Chino... whoever else reads this.... I NEED YERBA MATE)
Anyways. I'll update this weekend, hopefully after drinking some mate. I haven't had any in like 4 weeks.... I'm feeling some withdrawal :-P not really, but I'd like to drink some mate.
Tot praten!

Primero de todo, ayer fue el cumple de mi mamá. Asique...
Bueno, ya la llamé anoche a las 24 hs, y ahora le deseo de nuevo, jeje.
Ahora les cuento de esta semana pasada.
El clima se ha comportado de una manera muy Holandesa, si lo puedo describir así. De un segundo al otro, puede ser el día más lindo del mundo y pasar a ser un día gris, lluvioso, mojado, y hasta la temperatura baja bastante. Lo peor de eso, es que el ciclo se repite como cada media hora. El clima aca es muy loco, pero al menos uno sabe que una de dos cosas van a pasar, o va a llover, o va a salir el sol.
El fin de semana pasado Esmee estuvo un poco enfermucha (no si le preguntan a ella, pero yo creo que si) y creo que el mal clima de los últimos 6 días no la ayudaron. Por suerte el sábado pasado hubo lindo clima, y fue impresionante, todo el país estaba en la playa de Scheveningen, al lado de La Haya, había un concierto de Bon Jovi, y era un bolonqui de gente. Nosotros no fuimos, pero se veía en la tele que había muchísima seguridad, más que nada porque el año pasado hubo unos disturbios con alguna gente que tomó demasiado.
Estos días tambien estoy viendo de trabajar aca, pero tengo que ir con Ramón a la oficina de Impuestos y Aduana para ver eso del permiso. Con suerte puedo hacerlo lo más pronto posible para poder empezar a trabajar. También con Esmee estamos viendo de arreglar nuestros planes para Julio. Ella quiere ir a Paris, asique se que para allá iremos, pero después más que eso, o las fechas, no sabemos.
Algo que quería comentar aca es que en Holanda tienen autos a gas natural, como en Argentina. Me impresionó un poco, pero creo que era más que nada porque en los EEUU no tienen autos a gas. Es muchísimo mejor, y más barato también. El tanque lleno de un Citroen Xsara costaba como 20 euros.
Ahora mismo Esmee está trabajando, regresa en un poco más de una hora. Hoy tuvo una prueba y dice que le pareció que le fue bien.
Algo que quiero hacer estos días es ir al supermercado Plus, donde después de cada compra le dan a uno una pulserita mas o menos, que tiene los colores de algún país en el Mundial. Espero no tener que ir muchas veces antes de conseguir una de Argentina y una de Italia, jejeje. Otro lugar donde tengo que ir es al supermercado Jumbo, donde parece que a veces tienen Yerba Mate y Dulce De Leche. Si no hay ahí, tengo que buscar un almacén syrio o libanés, o si no iré al Restaurant Tango en Amsterdam, porque la verdad es que no quiero comprar mate en el Internet. Hay un sitio en el que lo venden por 8 euros el kilo, CARÍSIMO.
Lo mejor sería que algún buen amigo mío me mande algo de Mate (*ehem ehem.... Alan.... Chino... Carlos.... si leen esto..... NECESITO YERBA MATE)
Ya hace 4 semanas que no tomo mate. Es demasiado.
Pondré un nuevo post este fin de semana me imagino, con suerte despues de tomar unos mates.
Nos vemos!
Doei Doei!

El Tano.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wow.... so I am late again..... Perdón que hace tiempo no escribo nada.....

So, by now I am an expert in driving in Rotterdam and surrounding suburbs, including Pijnacker, Berkel en Rodenrijs, and who knows, soon enough Zoetermeer :-P
The weekend before my birthday, I met some of Esmee's family at the campsite, like a nice trailer park where Dutch people go for the weekends sometimes. Esmee's grandparents, uncles, and great aunt were there, from her moms side, in Ede, in the other side of the Netherlands, and we all had a very nice time, I even spoke some Dutch! We went to the lake with Esmee's cousins, who are all younger than us, and we caught some tadpoles and toads. On Monday, Esmee, Ramon, Esmee's grandpa, and me all went to a city by Nijmeggen, on the German border by the Rhine. I found it funny that on the day before I was 20 I would go by Nijmeggen, the Dutch city I had been to 19 years ago when I lived in Europe. The area was a different Netherlands than the busy city/suburbs of Zuid Holland. Nijmeggen had a lot of transit, but the areas surrounding it were all covered in pastures, with sheep and cows and different kinds of windmills, all together with the highways, bikeways, and walkways typical of the Netherlands. We got 2 couches from some sort of Dutch Craigslist, and then went back to the campsite.
The best part of the weekend was the journey back home on Monday evening, as I spoke in Dutch with Esmee, her grandparents, and her great aunt. That ride home was full of laughs and me trying to use all the Dutch vocabulary I know. In the end we dropped Esmee's great aunt off at her place in Rotterdam and then came back to Berkel. Then it took us like 30 minutes to disassemble Opa's trailer, now THAT is some space-saving Belgian Engineering! a 2 wheel, 3m x 2m x 1m trailer with a metal frame ended up fitting in a 3m x .5m space! Amazing.
My birthday was fun. I went with Esmee to her internship, where I saw all the little kids with who she works and her co-workers too. All the kids were impressed that I spoke French and Spanish and English and even a bit of Dutch, but they were very nervous. They sang Happy Birthday in Dutch in some different ways, it was pretty coool. Then we took the Randstad Rail (Regional train) to Zoetermeer, where I met Imke and her boyfriend Mark at her apartment, we ate some cake, talked about different things, and then Esmee and I we to the Zoetermeer downtown/mall, a very nice shopping area, where we saw Julia, another one of Esmee's best friends. With Esmee we went to a supermarket where we picked up a cake Esmee had ordered like 3 weeks ago, it had a picture of us from last summer in NY, the cake was for my birthday, a VERY nice gesture of her. Her family also gave me the original, official "Nederland" Oranje national team shirt! That night we had dinner, I wore my shirt and my Oranje hat, and we ate the cake, delicious.
A couple of days later I went to the Spanish store in Rotterdam, it was in the middle of a turkish neighborhood I think, because everybody around spoke Turkish and there were turkish shops, haha, was a bit funny. By the way, Jamón Serrano is VERY expensive. There were some small boxes for like 50 euros..... There, with Ramón we bought some supplies to make Paella on Sunday. I've heard of this paella so long that I couldn't wait to try it! I drove back, another awesome experience filled with bycicles, people walking, and tons of cars, hahaha.
I tried slushpuppies at the shops in Downtown Berkel. Its like a VERY sweet icee kind of thing, but very good. I've also finished reading The Lost Symbol by now, a VERY good book, I highly recommend it.
Last Saturday we went to a city close to the Breda/Tilburg area of Noord Brabant (actually its in the South of the Netherlands) to go to Esmee's uncle's house for his wife's birthday. He also showed us some helicopter videos he made while flying, VERY neat stuff.
On Sunday we celebrated our birthday, and it was raining. Now I FINALLY know what Dutch people mean by how wet their country is. It can be sunny one second and raining intensely the next. Such was the weather when we were putting up the tent with Ramón and Rico. Everybody was inside, Esmee's family, some friends, it was a really nice time. Until the wind and rain started coming down. That second, Ramón, Arie, Ilona, Opa, and me ran outside to bring the tent down before it flew away. Too bad we had to take the cover off first. It started hailing. And it wasn't small pieces. They were 1 cm in diameter, and they hurt like heck. Luckily, soon enough we were back inside.
Monday was pretty uneventful, but Tuesday was pretty fun.
Yesterday Esmee also took me with her to her school, they were doing some grammar exercises in class, and some exercises of "this, that, as, than" but in Dutch. I have to admit, in the beggining Dutch looked hard, but little by little I see that I am learning to speak and the grammar doesn't look hard at all anymore. I guess already knowing 3 languages helps a lot, haha. We also went to the Zoetermeer downtown, I had some churros, and we went by some "Oranje" stores full of things for the Dutch Football Fan to ready himself for the World Cup.
Today I'm trying to get somethings for the BSN (SSN of the Netherlands) to see if I can work, there's a couple opportunities I have found Hopefully something good comes out of this! Wish me luck!
Tonight we're eating Poffertjes, and I can't wait!

Bueno. Ya he manejado en Rotterdam como 2 o 3 veces, en Berkel en Rodenrijs, en Pijnacker, y por ahi que dentro de poco maneje también en Zoetermeer :-P Ya estoy re acostumbrado!
Pero les tengo que contar de como 2 semanas de cosas que pasaron.
El fin de semana pasado fuimos con Esmee a un parque de trailers donde se van los Holandeses a vacacionar para los fines de semana largos. Tomamos el tren en Berkel Westpolder y fuimos hasta La Haya, y de la estación central nos tomamos el trén con rumbo hacia Utrecht. Ahí cambiámos de tren y fuimos hasta Ede, donde nos buscaron sus padres. En el parque de trailers nos estaban esperando los tíos de Esmee, los abuelos, y la tía abuela de Esmee. La pasamos muy bien, hasta hablé Holandés, nos reímos mucho, y después el Lunes con Esmee, su papá y su abuelo, fuimos a buscar unos sillones cerca de Nijmeggen. Esa zona de los Paises Bajos, cerca del río Rhine y de Alemania, era muy distinta a la zona de la costa con los suburbios y las grandes ciudades. Había molinos por todos lados, vacas, obejas, y casas, con autopistas, rutas, bicisendas, y rutas para gente llendo a pie. Lo único malo es que todavía no vi tulipanes.... NO PUEDE SER!!!!!
El lunes a la noche volvimos para Berkel en Rodenrijs, y eramos 5 en el Citroen Xsara de los abuelos. Esmee, sus abuelos, su tía abuela, y yo. Nos divertímos muchísimo, me puse a hablar Holandés y nos reíamos un montón.
El martes, para mi cumple, fui a ver un día en la vida de Esmee, jajaja. Pasamos por el jardín de infantes en donde Esmee tiene su pasantía, y todos los niños de la clase me cantaron el Feliz Cumpleaños en Holandés! Fue re gracioso, ya que estaban todos muy nerviosos.
Después nos tomamos el Randstad Rail, el tren regional de Rotterdam y La Haya, y fuimos para Zoetermeer (Raro nombre para una ciudad, significa como "Más muy dulce"). Ahí fuimos caminando a el depto de una amiga de Esmee, donde la conocí a ella, Imke, y a su novio Mark. Estuvimos con ellos un rato largo, charlando, comiendo torta, y jugando FIFA, jaja. Después con Esmee caminamos al centro de Zoetermeer, donde recojimos una torta que ella había ordenado hace 3 semanas para mi cumple. La torta era hermosa, tenía una foto de los dos el año pasado en Nueva York. Después, volviendo a la estación del Randstad Rail, nos cruzamos con Julia, otra amiga de Esmee. La familia de Esmee me regalo la remera oficial de la selección Holandesa, y esa noche me puse la remera y una corona naranja mientras cenamos y comimos la torta.
Unos días después, Ramón y yo fuimos a un local Español en Rotterdam, que quedaba en el medio de un barrio turco. Ahí me di cuenta que el Jamón Serrano es CARÍSIMO. Una caja bastante chica costaba como 50 euros. Ramón compró sus ingredientes para su famosa Paella, y yo manejé a la vuelta, lo cual fue otra experiencia divertida, ya que las calles estaban llenas de gente caminando, gente en bicicleta, y autos.
El sábado pasado fuimos a una ciudad en el area de Breda/Tilburg. Ahí fuimos a la casa de los tíos de Esmee, Arie e Ilona, porque era el cumple de ella. Estuvimos ahí un rato, y él nos mostró unos videos que el tomo en algunos de sus vuelos en helicóptero.
El domingo toda la familia de Esmee, del lado de su mamá, vino a la casa, y también algunas amigas suyas. Ramón, Rico, y yo armamos una carpa afuera porque se había puesto a llover y Ramón necesitaba cocinar su paella afuera. De repente, cuando estabamos todos adentro, se puso a llover muchísimo y había un viento re fuerte. Ya se lo que dicen los Holandeses de que se aburren de la lluvia. De un segundo para el otro se vino un granizo fuertísimo, y Ramón, Arie, el abuelo de Esmee, Ilona, y yo salimos a desarmar la carpa antes de que se volara. Ahí fue cuando el granizo, de 1 cm de diámetro, nos empezó a pegar, muy fuerte, en los brazos. Por suerte entramos bastante rápido y toda la tarde siguió bien.
El lunes no hice mucho, pero el Martes fue RE divertido.
Ayer fui con Esmee a su escuela, donde estaban haciendo cosas de Holandés. La verdad no era tan dificil, creo que yo lo podría haber hecho también. Tengo que admitir, el Holandés es más facil que parece al principio, y de a poco voy aprendiendo más. Después fuimos al centro de Zoetermeer, donde había un mercado con muchísimos quesos. Comí unos churros y después seguimos viendo el centro de Zoetermeer. La gente se está preparando para el mundial, y había algunas casas decoradas todas de naranja, también muchos locales asi.
Hoy estoy viendo de que tengo que hacer para trabajar aca. Deseenme suerte! Sería buenísimo si puedo trabajar la semana que viene ya.

Tot ziens!
I'll update sometime soon, hopefully.