Friday, March 5, 2010

"Pub Crash" and Pictionary

I am having the time of my life. I know I say that every time, but I really mean it; this whole experience has been a non-stop adventure, and I am loving it. This week was certainly no exception. In addition to classes starting, this week included the most enjoyable social times thus far. I already told you about the two international dinners at the beginning of the week, but now it’s time to fill you in on Wednesday and Thursday—Pub Crash and Movie Night.

What would the first week of class be without a night at the pubs? Apparently the ESN (Exchange Student Network) believes the two should go hand-in-hand; they organized a “Pub Crash” (which in American English is normally “Pub Crawl”) on Wednesday night. The first 30 people to sign up and pay their nine Euros could participate and get a “free” drink at each pub (“free” because we paid 9 Euros beforehand). We met at the Hauptplatz (main square) at 8 p.m., split into 3 groups of 10 people each, and then headed to the pubs, where we proceeded to have a blast. :)

I think our group was what made the experience so fun. There were two other Americans (both from Minnesota, both attending Iowa State), two Dutch, two Croatians, one Swiss, and a couple Austrians who acted as our guides. We all got along really well, and we had such a great time talking to each other and hanging out. I am not doing an adequate job of describing how awesome it was. Dang it. I guess you’ll just have to take my word for it: it was AWESOME. And I learned so much! Here goes:

1)Dexter is another favorite show in Europe. But “How I Met Your Mother” is still the favorite.
2)In Holland, there is a version of the American Greek (fraternity and sorority) system. But it is WAY more hard-core. The hazing is CRAZY; it makes our Greeks look wimpy!
3)Weed is neither illegal nor legal in Holland. It’s legal for coffeeshop owners to sell it, but not to buy it. So how do they get it? Also, people can’t smoke it on the street; they get fined. And finally, people grow weed on top of their houses. During winter, the police fly over and see which houses have no snow on their roofs (These houses have heating systems for the weed plants.)
4)Strawberry juice tastes incredible!
5)China should buy Hummer and start producing them.
6) Speeding tickets in Switzerland are ridiculous: you get a 45 Euro fine for going 2 miles over the speed limit
7)And I am an epic failure at speaking both Dutch and Croatian.
And my favorite lesson from the evening:
8)According to a real-life Dutch frat boy: I am really fun to party with. Ha ha ha. :) His exact words, “We need to do this again sometime! You are really fun!”
All in all, it was SO MUCH FUN (have I mentioned that already?)
Then last night, several of us from the pub crash got together again at Nik (from Switzerland) ‘s room. He lives in the same building as I do. We had a movie night, and then I taught them how to play “Passing Pictionary,” which is one of the best games ever. If you’re interested, I can teach you, too. Anyway, they LOVED it! :)
Today has been a chill sort of day; I ran some errands and have been working on homework and my Wentz research paper most of the day. In a few minutes, I am leaving to eat dinner with more international friends and then go to a big Erasmus party this evening. But I can’t stay too late because I have to get up really early tomorrow morning. Why do I have to get up early on Saturday? So glad you asked! Because I am going skiing for the day! Did I already say that I am having the time of my life? :)

On a more serious note, though, I do miss everyone at home—my wonderful family and my amazing friends. I haven’t forgotten about all of you! In fact, I would love to hear from you, about what is going on in your lives. I can’t be there in person, but I am there in spirit. And I would love to pray for you; just let me know specifically how.

Oh, I have been doing well spiritually. I kind of had a spiritual epiphany earlier this week, and since then, my relationship with God has been rejuvenated and refreshed. It’s been amazing! I’m having my devotions really consistently, and I’ve even started reading the Bible and memorizing verses in German! It’s been unbelievably satisfying, like I am getting a whole different perspective on my faith and my God. I love it! That being said, though, things are far from perfect, and I have been going through difficult phases here in Austria. I would really appreciate your prayers if you think of it.

Well, I have to go, but I hope you have an incredibly day—wherever you are! Auf wiedersehen! (Until next time!) :)

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