29 July 2007

Trip Blog. Day Twelve.

16:23 Netherlands whatever time. 9:23 CST.

Woo! Free Interwebs in a pub! A pub with a friendly bartender, who, in a minute, shall be bringing me a cheeseburger. In the interim, I am sitting here with a Heineken (and remembering just how much I really, truly LOATHE pilsners, but I have not yet learned how to ask for cider and I'm not sure I want a cocktail just yet.

I appear to have been correct in at least some of my assumptions about Dutch. One of those assumptions was that the language is sort of the love child of German and English.

Wow, that cheeseburger was really good. It had some sort of special sauce upon it, but that did not jack it up. And, I put my great habanero sauce upon it, so it was a good time.

I was saying something. I don't remember. Whatever. The bike shop was closed (I might have guessed, but at least now I know where it is for tomorrow). I'm sort of freaked out by the weather, but I am going to stick with the plan. If it ever starts sucking excessively, I'll hop on a train.

I need to find a bookshop or something that will be able to sell me a map; hopefully the bike shop will be able to point me in the right direction, but I do not want to end up accidentally giving Köln a miss. I did notice immediately upon arrival that the pointy signs which tell you the direction of the various towns have normal signs as well as bike route signs. I still want a map, though I'm sure it would be hard to give Köln a miss.

My hostel is great; the only way they could really improve is if they had wireless Interwebs, but then they would probably charge. I will just come back to this pub tomorrow for lunch and not worry about it. I am also not entirely sure if they have laundry, but I know my hostel in Köln does, so it works out.

Bleah, the Heineken. It's gone now, having been replaced by Irish Coffee with a shot of Bailey's. And whipped cream on top.

I am finding Maastricht to be much more friendly than Brussels. No one has griped me out for speaking English, so Amber, you were right. They speak sort of an odd language and Maastricht is small enough that they appreciate tourists. I have figured out some of the phonology, though, and I think that helps matters.

Three streets here have "Grote" in their names, and I am becoming more convinced that somewhere back in the day, somebody was Dutch on Grandpa's side. Example of why: the guy we all know and love as Charlemagne is Karl der Große in German (ß == ss), and is Karel de Grote in Dutch.

I really am trying to find a phone card but it might have to wait for Köln unless I happen upon one on the way back to the hostel. Brussels photos should be up in a day or two. Hopefully I will also have something more artful to say.

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