Monday, June 30, 2008

Paris

Previous weekend I've visited Paris, France with my little brother (althoug he's almost a head taller), uncle and aunt, and a cousin (from different uncle and aunt). This was a present for our 21st birthdays (I turned 21 the end of 2006, my cousin last year april, and my brother this month) from our uncle and aunt (who have no kids).

We planned to leave the Netherlands on Friday round 2 o'clock. But traffic was hard and my brother and uncle didn't arrive home until about 4, bummer. This meant that we would be in traffic jams around Brussels.

My uncle was driving on navigation but according to him it wasn't working properly and if one of us could check the plan he'd printed. Well....before I figured out where we were, he was already asking which way. And since the road that we were on didn't match the roads on the map, I just choose the direction that matched the most. And then my uncle kept asking which way but since I don't know Belgium I didn't know which way, and neither did the others. So my uncle became angry that we couldn't read the map. Well...I'm sorry but if things don't match I can't help.
He should either chose to ride on navigation or on the map, not a combination since they both have a different route.

In the end we got there of course.

My uncle rented a penthouse almost in the middle of downtown Paris. We were located near the metro station Strasbourg, St. Denis. It was on the fifth floor without an elevator. It was killing for my knees (haven't told you that story yet, will be this/next week).

We were supposed to go out for dinner, we grabbed a "snack" on the way. But dinner never came. The next morning my cousin, brother and me were starving. Luckily my cousin had brought with her some dried crackers, it wasn't much but still to have something in your stomach. My uncle said we would be up by 9 so we could really have the whole day. I think it wasn't before 10 when he got out of bed.

We would have some breakfast near the Seine. On the map it looked close by and we, "the youngsters", thought that we would have food soon. Guess again. The river was closeby but we just kept on walking and walking and walking. When my uncle asked if we wanted to eat here, we were like YES PLEASE finally!

Then we walked to the Louvre, and we saw the piramids described in The Da Vinci Code, we didn't go into the Louvre because it was too busy. In front of the Louvre you have a fake Arc d'Triomphe, then we walked the gardens of the Louvre, to the place d'Concorde with the Obelisk, and then you have the Champs d'Elysees with at the end the real Arc. Because we were all broken of the walking we toke the metro to the Eiffel tower. My uncle and aunt when to look for a nice place to sit and drink wine, while we went up.

Because the Netherlands had to play soccer that evening (the European Championships) we would have an extened lunch at around 3 and then have snacks just before the game. But we were in line waiting to go up into the Eiffel tower when it turned 3, so we thought here goes our food again. And we were making up stuff to say that we wanted normal (and enough) food without really asking for it.

When we came down it was almost 5. And we thought that Uncle and Aunt already ate. Luckily they hadn't. Because the more fancy restaurants weren't open yet, we returned to our appartment (starved and ready to eat), changed for the soccer match (in orange) and headed out for dinner. Across from us there was a nice restaurant but my uncle only wanted to stay an hour if he couldn't watch the match at the restaurant. But since it was busy they changed the channel for us and we could have a 2 course dinner (bread, appetizer and main course).

Unfortunately the Netherlands lost the match to Russia (but they have a Dutch coach) but the evening was still great fun. We were at a bar with a lot of French (of course) and they asked why we lost, since we had beaten France so easily (4-1). We had underestimated the Russians and we just played bad. But we won from France because we were good then and they justed stinked. And they walked away looking sort of hurt but returning only a few minutes later.

One guy tried to get me to dance with my boyfriend. My French isn't that good but I could manage to say that my boyfriend wasn't my boyfriend but my brother, what resulted in an embarrassing looking French guy.

The next day we visited the Sacre Coeur and Montmartre. It was fun but quite busy. In the afternoon we already returned home.

Have to go back to really see everything.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Brasil (finally)

Hey girls,


So I was busy the other workdays, but now I even have permission to surf the web for 1.5 hours. Wow. Because I don't know what is going on in the company anymore (I've been gone for about a year), the others give me work. I always finish the stacks they give me at the end of the day. But this morning they had a meeting that was unnecessary for me to attend. And since it was before most of them got started, they didn't have any work for me yet. So I can finally type my post on Brasil. Well...being interrupted every now and then by the phone. All 16 phones are put through on mine :s.


Here it goes:


When you have to travel outside of Europe (when you live in Europe) you have to be at the airport 3 hours in advance. And of course you have to take in account the traffic (we always have a traffic jam somewhere). So we were at the airport 3,5 hours in advance (I could hitch a ride with a friend). Of course a lot of people were late but then again we were waiting for check-in at least 1.5 hours :S. When the first of our group (we had group check-in cause we were with 31 girls and 1 guy) got at check-in we found out that we were up-graded. So jeeej more space for your legs, but it was still uncomfortable.


We arrived in Brasil round 10 pm (local time) and it was still very very warm. And since it was very very cold in the Netherlands, we were hot in our thick winter clothes. We were transported to our hotel and our guide told us that she would be our guide for the first part of our stay.


The first hotel was luxurious. I think we could have stayed here the whole week and no one would complain. We had a lot of space in our rooms. Near the beach, big pool, the breakfast buffet was larger than large.


The next day we did a tour through the city and visited different shoppings malls which lasted the whole day. It was okay but we were in the bus the whole day. Only got out of the bus to make pics of a church or building. At the end of the day we split up for dinner, but ended with most of them in the same restaurant.


The following morning we needed to be ready at 8. Pff, that was early. But what was waiting for us was a day of fun. We were going for a buggy tour :D. And our driver was just a bit more crazy than the others because we would always go a bit faster or bit higher than the others. During lunch I overheard classmates talking about when they would get some rough riding. And I was like, "what! You should have our driver, he's mad. We aren't sitting on top of the seat anymore because we almost fell out a couple of times". So that day was fun but exhausting.


The next day we started with a mini tour. Which was just mainly sitting in the bus for most of the day. It isn't really worth mentioning. The hotels we slept in were quite the opposite of the first one. Although we didn't expect everything to be that good, this bad was also something we didn't expect. We went to Joa Passoa, New Jeruzalem (ow my, you had to dress up for dinner, and the "jesus" was trying to convert you) and Recife. We did do a tour in Recife and the town next to it (can't remember what its name was) with a great tour guide. It was just that previous we were out of the bus only for a few minutes. This was the case in the beginning as well and he didn't tell us we would be out of the bus for hours. So no one took any money or water. We were exhausted. After two hours it was like "If the bus isn't around this corner I'm going to sit down and you guys can pick me up later".


After the mini tour (5 days) we went to Tibau du Sol for our last week. This was an all inclusive "resort". So we had food 3x a day and then some snacks in the afternoon. All drinks were free including local alcohol (so most people drank capirina or capifruta).

In the total of our stay we had a few resort/hotel meetings. And we had a question list that had to be answered and presented in a 20 min presentation at the end of the fieldtrip. But we didn't do much since the teacher never gave us instructions. When we arrived in Tibau du Sol, the teachers told us that the presentations would be rescheduled for when we were back. So in the end we didn't have to do that much for school. Only those few presentations but we couldn't understand that much because the Brazilians in that area almost speak no English and well...we don't speak Portugese.

One day I walked with a friend from Tibau to Pipa. They had told us this was possible when the water was low. Well...it wasn't. We had to climb rocks for about an hour. My feet are still sore (yes it was 2 months ago).

This was sort of the story. I know it's way shorter than if I had written it when I came back. But with the phone ringing every 5 seconds, typing this post almost looked impossible.

But I'll be posting more starting next week, because next to starting work this week, my parents are on holiday and I have a whole household to run as well (I'm not getting enough sleep). So starting next week my evenings are off.

If you want to know something from Brasil please ask then I can tell you the story, if there's one.

And my colleagues are back.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Work

Most of you bloggers have time during the workday to read other blogs and to write your own. But I've only started yesterday with work and I'm already stacked. As soon as I have done the whole stack, the next bunch appears, aww poor me :P.

But work is fun. Back to the old colleagues, even the same sector I had before. The only trouble is the workload. Their downsizing the company (because of take over), so there's a not so nice atmosphere.

Paris was fun. Will blog about it this week (like Brazil).

I'm signing out, both work and this post.

Friday, June 20, 2008

again no brazil :(

Okay, so I told you that I would have the brazil post up and running, but then I didn't, sorry. Been to busy doing the exams and since yesterday nothing (well...except having fun). The schoolyear is over, jeej :D. Hopefully all results are going to be positive, but I'll probably have to wait for a few days before I know them. I already got enough grades back to know that I'm through to the next year. Finally, an education I didn't quite/had to quite after a year.

As soon as I publish this post I'm going to pack my bag, because I'm going to Paris for the weekend. I'll be posting about brazil, paris and everything that happened in between in the next few weeks. And that I can promise.

See you guys on Monday.

Monday, June 16, 2008

I'm still alive

Hey peeps!

Yes I'm still alive. I have been working my ass off the last few weeks but now all deadlines have passed and I only have finals (for which I can't study). But I hope I can blog more often now that the schoolyear is almost done. A lot has happened in the last few months (like Brazil, the post is still on its way).

Kiss