Thursday, June 14, 2007


Once in elementary school, I learned a lot about Holland, but all I remembered was that their Santa put treats in wooden shoes that children left out. Then I saw part of EuroTrip which showed scandalous activity in Amsterdam. Sadly, I was neither able to confirm or disconfirm either of my previous “exposures” to Amsterdam. The airport, however, is quite nice. The carts are free, which made it much easier for me to get around with my heavy camera equipment. I explored the airport in my 3 hours, stopping at pretty much every “store” which got boring once I started seeing the same things over and over again… but I also found a museum and a casino! Due to heavy fog and mist outside, I was not even able to see some of the scenery around the airport, but I did find lots and lots of wooden shoes as keychains, magnets, plushies, and more! The bathrooms surprised me, as they were very small compared to other airport bathrooms I have been in: only 5 stalls in the women’s room! But the line wasn’t huge…. And there didn’t seem to be more restrooms than usual… perhaps Americans just tend to use the restroom more frequently, or perhaps the stereotype of women flocking together to the bathroom is actually a characteristic of American women.

On my flight over here, I watched Pan’s Labyrinth, Music and Lyrics, and Finding Nemo. I would recommend all three. The first was very well made, a deep exploration into a child's imagination, questioning whether the adults are too corrupt and discouraged to see or if the child consoles herself with her imagination. The imagery is vivid and the filmography is astounding. I found parts of it a bit scary, but then again, I am quite the scaredy-cat when it comes to any sort of creepiness. Music and Lyrics was a chick flick with a very nice soundtrack, a typical romance that girls dream of :). And of course Finding Nemo. Who hasn't seen it? Well, then maybe you should! Despite not having slept for about 24 hours at this point (not an unusual occurrence for a MIT student you may think, but it is summer… and I like sleep), I decided to stay awake and watch movies while I could because Northwest Airlines allowed me to select my own movies while many other airlines do not allow that. :D

I met an interesting couple on the plane who told me about an interesting experience they had in the airport; the conversation started because I saw the woman crocheting and this surprised me because my own crochet needle had been taken away in the security check in a previous flight. The couple told me (and they could have been pulling my leg for I tend to fall for things easily... hmm) that they had actually been caught by security, but they had stabbed the guard three times to show him that the crochet needle was not at all sharp or dangerous and thus should not be considered as a "sharps." Having been hit but not hurt, the guard let them through!

I also discovered something new, I bought a postcard from one of the stores, and they conveniently had a stamp so that I could send the postcard directly from the airport! Perhaps this is common knowledge, but I had seriously been contemplating where I was going to get a stamp! In addition, I solved my problem of not knowing what to get my hosts in each country. Being the second person to visit these hosts at the same time, I knew that the other students had brought MIT insignia gear as gifts for the hosts. Therefore, unique to my project, I decided to bring my hosts for each country a gift from the previous country I had been in! So I bought a box of gourmet chocolates in the shape of Holland's wooden shoes. :D I will give it to my hosts as I leave as a token of my appreciation.

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