Thursday, January 3, 2013

2012 Year in Review: Tulips and More! (I of V)

…hello, Blog.

I bet you thought I forgot about you. That’s simply not tr- …what’s that? Oh, I know I haven’t written in ages! It’s just that things get busy… I get lazy… and then people were all, “OMG the world is going to end!” So I thought really… what’s the point? Zombies (because we all know that’s how the world’s going down) can’t read anyway. Even if they could, I’m pretty sure they’re more preoccupied with brains than with the internet. (Clearly they have not been introduced to Grumpy Cat.) But then a funny thing happened! Or really, didn’t happen. The apocalypse. It just… it didn’t… happen. Then I was left feeling rather silly! Because now here are all these people dying (or I guess not dying, really) to read my blog and I’ve not been very accommodating. So I thought, “Oh! I’ll update on New Year’s Day to mark the start of a whole new season of blogging!” And, as we all know, when I say one day… I really mean sometime long after that. In this case, I’m only two days late!

While the year of 2012 did not usher in the Zombie Apocalypse, it did bring me a whole heaping pile of awesome. As I forgot too long procrastinated sharing it with you all… let me take the time to do so now.

My year started with a newfound sense of freedom. After several long years, four moves, and a change (or two) in majors I finally completed my undergraduate degree! My diploma arrived shortly after the new year and there was much rejoicing. (yaaaaaaaay)

After a long, gray winter, the hubs and I finally got around to seeing more of Europe by taking a tour of The Netherlands (namely Holland) and visiting the world-famous Keukenhof. It was nothing short of amazing! Let’s see if I can sum up our trip in 10 words: cats, cows, cheese, chocolate, Chocomel, windmills, Anne Frank, tulips, canals. …nope, not quite. There were also chickens and clogs, fresh fish and amazing hand-painted Delft pottery. I mean, just amazing! And when I type tulips, I should write TULIPS! because there were so. many. They also came in thousands of varieties! But the best part? The scent of the wind after caressing hundreds of acres of tulips.

Tiltin' with the 'mills.
Cat & Canal

Shortly thereafter, I took a day trip to Munich with a friend of mine. After I got us off the train at the wrong stop like a total traveling pro, we made our way to Dachau! It was a beautiful, warm and sunny day… which was in complete contrast of the dark history of the camp.

I still don’t think I can put into words the effect the camp had on me, but I can say that it was very interesting to see the various reactions of others visiting that day. When we left, my friend and I were rather somber and reflective; though we did chat a bit. This, of course, was interrupted by the only person who could interrupt such a mood – the Classic American.

The Classic American is the only fitting title for these people, I think – akin to the name of a sandwich you might see on the menu at Denny’s or something. It’s not that they don’t speak the language, it’s that they come expecting everything to be in English. They have almost no idea what to do if there isn't English translation or an English speaker around. Then when they find someone who does speak their language, they must engage in conversation. Conversation, of course, is their word for flaunting their limited knowledge of any- and everything and attempting “jokes” that often consist of their lack of understanding of their cultural flub-ups or frustration at cultural differences. ('Why should I tip the woman who’s sitting outside the bathroom? She’s just sitting there!' accompanied by the look of, 'Am I right or am I right?') Then they expect and try to get you to laugh in agreement. In general, they’re annoying to those of us who are just trying to blend in.  

While it was completely jarring having to speak with someone who seemed completely unaffected by everything he’d just seen, we didn’t have to tolerate him long! Soon the bus arrived and we were whisked to the bahnhof, where friend and I fled to the Munich city center to explore a bit. We even had time for a quick trip to the famous Hofbrauhaus and some souvenir gathering!

Had my over-eagerness not gotten us off the train too early, we probably would have had more time to hang around. However, what I was able to see of Munich was pretty amazing and I know there's much, much more.


  1. I'm very impressed by the amount of c-words you managed in that list!

    1. Me too! I'm just disappointed I couldn't think of a good joke to follow them up. Holland: land of the Cs. Oh! Damn!! Holland was pretty much carved out of the sea (literally), I'm sure with some thought I could've used that! Hindsight, you bastard!