Monday, July 7, 2014

Back from Amsterdam

For the 4th of July, some friends and I took a trip to Amsterdam for the weekend and rented a house in the suburbs. My brain turned into German mode (yay!) since all four of us speak German in some capacity (I'm the weakest link) in our international group of two Americans, a German, and a Dutch guy. I think we confused some other train passengers as we talked in a mix of German and English but it was a great way to work on my language skills. If I did this all the time, I'd be significantly more fluent. It's just funny that a trip to the Netherlands yields more German speaking.

Anyway, more posts about the trip will follow of course, when I have time. Until then, here's a short story of something that happened to me on the Amsterdam tram: I was in a tram seat and there was a handle on the wall between my seat and the passenger seat facing mine. There were also straps to hold above. As some other passengers were boarding the tram, a gentleman faced me, grabbed the handle on the wall and held the back of my seat, basically "straddling" me! He wasn't touching me, but it was extremely awkward, for sure. I thought that maybe he was doing it just as people were boarding to give them room but as the tram started, he was still there and I couldn't take it any more. I said, "excuse me, but could you please give me some  room?" and he complied, standing closer to his family and holding a strap from the ceiling. I don't think it ever occurred to him that doing such a thing would make someone uncomfortable!

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