Tuesday, February 10, 2009

those are some nice stars.

Since writing last on Saturday, we've now spent over a day at Wim's house. Dad has gone to visit a friend (he had to take Wim's spare bike, so I couldn't come) and Wim is at work, so I'm here alone. It's a beautiful day, cloudy and very quiet but not that cold.

On Saturday night we caught the train to near Tilburg, and Wim's ex-wife Simone picked us up from the station. The two, though separated now, are still very involved in each other's lives, and Simone lives with my cousin Sophie, who is also fourteen, about five minutes' walk away. It's interesting, and unusual; in a way it is really nice, as we spent all of yesterday together and they usually also eat together, but Sophie says everything is easier for the family now. Anyway. It was late and cold when we arrived, so I stayed talking with Dad and Wim for a while and then went to bed. Wim is really interested in astronomy, and having researched it a lot for my Extension II story in High School and also having a real (though totally uncommitted) interest in the field, I am pretty impressed by some of the things he's shown me. He's really nice.

On Sunday we came together for lunch, which Sophie and her best friend Stacy (who is from England and has lived here for a year now) had prepared for us. They said they had stayed up till three in the morning talking after being out dancing till about midnight. Stacy tells me that the social life for under-fourteens in Holland is much better than anywhere else. They are rather sweet, very dolled up and capable and pop-music-y and still easy to get on with, despite my being older. I went for a walk with them, hung out with them for the afternoon, and then went with Sophie to watch her dancing lesson which was fun. Her friends also seemed to enjoy trying out their English :)

For lunch we had tea and hot bread rolls, with meat and cheese or with vlokken (a very traditional kind of chocolate flakes, delicious)--the same as I have had for every breakfast and lunch while I've been here, but a bit fancier because the girls had done it all nicely. After walking the dog and Sophie's dancing and all that, we had dinner and then sat in front of the open fire, watched TV for a while (it was a show called Banana Split, which is something like Candid Camera) and then walked home to Wim's place. It was a really good day. I've been learning some new things while I've been here, and having new experiences too, one of which is extended family. I sometimes see my family and child cousins in Adelaide, I rarely see my other family in Melbourne and such, and I never see family on this side of the world. I could get used to it.

I've posted some more pictures on Picasa as well, of the day we went to Helmond and of Oma's friend Mrs. van de Weij.

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