Day 2 in Nijmegen, not playing favourites or anything, but this may have been the best day of the trip.. just saying.
Not wanting to get up and get ready, both Tom and I hung back while Demi went to class in Utrecht. I spent my morning doing the home work that I had avoided doing and re-packing the mess that was my suitcase. At 11, Tom biked over and he and I sat for tea with Demi’s dad Wilhelm. Realistically, the major portion of the conversation was between Demi’s dad and Tom because his English was a bit rusty but he tried to ask questions and that was enough. He drove us to the train station, which was much appreciated because it was cold as balls.
I took the time on the train to write a few postcards and make Tom listen to all of my favourite songs. Even transportation can be made fun when your with a friend. The same goes for waiting, when we got to Utrecht, Tom and I made our way towards the center to meet with Demi. Since she was coming from class, 10 minutes turned to 30, but all was well because there were people to be watched and jokes to be made. Finally caving to the cold I forced Tom inside the starbucks where we had been waiting to get a drink, this is where Demi joined us and the squad was complete.
As we walked you could just see the tip of a tall tower and this is when Demi told us her plan to have us climb said tower. Yes, I’ll admit that at first I was skeptical, “paying for excerise?!”. After our awkward tour through the Dom church with a man who seemed very funny but gave the tour in Dutch so I’ll never know. This left me the tourist who looked too stupid to get the joke, or laughed at the wrong time. ~language barriers~
We then met our next tour guide who would take us up the tower. He was a strapping young fellow, but honestly I’ll never understand how he does this job for a living. It is literally up and down a tower all day. I could just write that I walked the tower with ease but that would be a huge lie. I was panting by step 40 (there were approx. 465) and hated the close quarters of the stairwells. for most, getting to the top was like that scene in Rocky where he finishes training and jumps around all happy, but for me it was more like being dangled from a tower and wanted to cry. I hate heights and this view was no exception.
After sitting for a while, still scared, but also amazed by the view and just how intense it is to be this high in an old building. Being 95 meters in the air was mildly terrifying, but made me appreciate my beers more later. At the time time I was terrified and shaky, but it was definitely worth the view.
The way back down was easier, but not great. We walked all the way down without breaks like before so you get pretty dizzy (maybe just me though). From there we headed for our much deserved beers that had been blessed by the fact that they were served in a church converted bar. (It is pretty amazing, a must visit)
Insert a real talk:
This happened to be Canadian thanksgiving, and no, I don’t really get what that means but normally I spend it with my family and we eat lots and enjoy each others company. No one tells you what its like to feel kind of displaced on a holiday. I had never missed thanksgiving and knowing at home my family would be praying for my safety made me feel really weird about being in Europe. Of course this feeling was quickly replaced by the happiness I felt to have been missing that for something as special as this trip. I was sitting in a bar in Europe drinking with two of my closest friends and I wouldn’t let the slight sad feeling get me down. Though those friends may tell you differently.
After discussing it with these guys there was no one I would rather have shared that tradition with. I am truly thankful to have such amazing people around me. Thanks guys.
After the church/bar we continued to another bar near Demi’s campus to eat the cheapest meal (5 euros) and was pretty damn tasty. Once again on the road, we headed back to Nijmegen in which we finally rested from that tower walk and decided on our plans for the night. Bussed back to Weurt and ran home to get our shit together before our night out on the town. No more then 15 minutes later we were back out and on bikes on our way into the city (no, its not huge or complicated but yes, I still have no clue how we got there that night).
We went to this cool pub and danced x2 (because we danced more then I could describe). I love dancing with these guys because I don’t really care how I look since I know no one else there, and they are both super fun to party with. Here’s why: they never seem to tire, they dance their hearts out, they include you in the Dutch party. And there was lots of Dutch music, also old English songs… (and one Christmas song). At this point it is safe to say we were about 5 rounds in and things were beginning to transpire.
We basically peaced out and went a street over to another cafe. It was small and packed with students but holy crap was it fun. We found ourselves a small corner to claim our own, got some drinks and began dancing again. This little cafe was probably my favourite, it was really small but intimate and made for an interesting experience, similar music to the last one but not as packed. (More space for my dance moves)
There is something exhilarating about partying in a new place. I mean obviously the fact that you can do whatever you want but you also can really enjoy the people you are there with. It’s also really easy to immerse yourself into the culture when you are thrown into a bar without tourists.
For any still wondering about the title of this blog, at this bar we ordered a meter beer, which is 11 beers in a wooden carrier. I think this may have been a bit of a waste because we were all pretty gone to finish this alone. When we “finished” the meter we got to head out to the dance floor until it was time to go. I say finish because we (I) gave away three beers… oops.
At about 4:30 we got on our bikes and headed home, a long ride when you’re tired, cold, and drunk. I don’t know how they do it. We finally made it home and into bed around 5 and I know one thing, this night was one for the books.