Thursday, December 12, 2013

Getting There

For the first time in 5 months I experienced a less than perfect transportation system.  While trying to get to an app't in Groningen, the trains weren't running.  There was a bus giving a shuttle between towns, but that would have doubled my travel time and I would have been very late.  So I wrote and cancelled.  Then I tried going to English Mass tonight in Leeuwarden. The train was late and when I got there they were locking up because there was no one showed up.  Ack.  But then a saving grace...

A lady and I were trying to get in, not understanding why we couldn't when there was a scheduled Mass (this is when we noticed them locking up).  The priest actually came out of the offices and we got to talk for a few minutes.  He spoke English very well for a Frieslander and I asked if I made an app't with him sometime, if he could talk.  He was more than happy to make an app't on the spot, so we compared calendars and we are meeting next week.  We stood and spoke for a few minutes and I gave him a quick "This is where I'm from, this is what I'm doing" blurb.  He actually has family in Canada, so that explains his good English (I find this is common with natives - the good English being because of family in Canada).  Oddly it's always Canada and not the U.S.  Heh.  Go Canada!  I walked away feeling lighter and more at peace.  Happy.  I instantly felt better than I did with my interaction with the Groningen priest, so there is hope.  Despite it being cold, he was more than happy to give me some of his time to stand and talk a while. 

I casually walked through Leeuwarden, enjoying the lights and shops being open (I guess this Thurs evening was a late shopping day, but not normally so).  While there was no Mass, I thought about making a night of it while I was out.  Unfortunately I realized I was still a good walk away from some nicer shops, so I decided to head home. I caught the sneltrein (fast train) which got me home 20min faster than the stoptrein (even though it was 5 min late as well).

Cultural Difference: Shops will keep one or both doors open to give an inviting feel for you to walk in, even though it's 4 C out.  You wouldn't see that back home.  So, they choose higher heating bills (ironic, for a 'cheap' frugal culture) for a chance more people will feel easily welcomed into their store. 

Despite today's train interruptions, I'm home safe and warm.  I'm accepting the fact I wasn't supposed to be in certain places today, or if I was, late. And that's okay.  I made a hot chocolate, topped it with whipped cream and caught up on Facebook.  I've got Christmas music plays and I'm going to write a couple Christmas cards now and we'll see what else the night brings.  W. is working late so I have a couple hours to kill, yet. 

It's almost Friday, if that means anything for your schedule.  Hope your week is going well.  If you have snow, throw some this way.  It just doesn't feel like Christmas without a hint of snow.  I'm not sure Mother Nature heard my plea.

Tomorrow night is our town KerstMarkt (Christmas Market/Fair) and I'm really looking forward to it.  So happy it's just the next street over, so W. and I will walk over after dinner.  I'll see what I can do about getting pics. I'll close out with a couple of our tree...

I was hell bent on getting a real tree this year (for going without for so many years; and I mean many).  So off to the garden centre we went. W. wouldn't let me get a big tree, our apartment isn't that big, so we looked at small ones :)
 A small tree for a small apartment.  I like it, it's cute.  I'll give another picture as well, with it lit up.



hydra said...

That is an absolutely darling tree. You made the right choice! And great news about the priest. It was obviously all meant to work out that way.

Perovskia said...

I think so, too. Tomorrow will tell!

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