Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Switching gears again.

Brian and I spent the last couple days in Groningen, then Arnhem and the Hoge Veluwe National Park, then to Den Haag (The Hague) where our friend Adam is living now.

It's been great fun! The Hoge Veluwe is awesome, one of the few national parks anywhere that I particularly dig.

And then it's been heck of fun in Den Haag. Adam, Beej, and I have been sightseeing and taking it easy in the Netherlands' third city. ("What's fun to do in Den Haag?" "Nothing. Go to Amsterdam." We've heard this a couple times. Not entirely true.)

Adam and Beej. We're at Madurodam, which sounds South Indian but is actually a mini Netherlands.

Tomorrow I'm going to this zen retreat at Zen Centrum Amsterdam. Oddly, it's not residential, but I'm still planning to go off the internet for about 4 days. See you in July!


  1. Zen Centrum, Amsterdam. Hmm. Beware the Pequod.

  2. Maduradam! That's a place I was fascinated by as a child. I always wanted to go there.....
    It was built in 1952, and I was about 10 in 1966, and interested in miniatures.
    It looks so real, and it seems you would feel like Gulliver there.
    How fun!

  3. The Netherlands looks beautiful. I was just sitting here wondering how many different languages you speak and how many you are fluent in? Or do most places speak a common language?

  4. Whoa, I didn't know Madurodam was built in 1952. It looks pretty new.

    I know about English and Spanish well enough to have a conversation, and I know Dutch and German well enough to get by. Spanish has been useless, of course. Dutch sounds great and is kind of fun ("oh, you speak Dutch!") but maybe literally everyone in NL speaks fluent English. German was mildly useful, particularly in Germany, Hungary, and occasionally in Czech and Poland. But English goes far in most of those places too. It was particularly easy to speak English in Croatia, Bosnia, Czech, and Slovakia. The most difficult countries were Ukraine and Italy. Hmm, maybe I should write up a post about this...