Sunday, August 21, 2011

A brilliant day out in Rotterdam - watch out for super long post, but lots of photos below :D

During summer, we have a different schedule for Dutch classes, and sometimes the teachers like bringing us out on field trips, which is awesome, so we don't have to sit in class for 4 hours doing the same things.

Last week, we were told that we would be doing the Fire Boundary Walk (Dutch site) around Rotterdam this week. I was quite excited about it, because I'd seen the walk before, and I even brought the map back to KL to show my dad something historical about the city.

And then I remembered that roads in the city centre would be closed the whole weekend for the Bavaria City Race. And I know this because they sent a letter to us to instruct us to move our cars away from those spots. Ah, the joys of living in the city centre can come back and bite us on the ass.

So, being the considerate person I am *ahem*, I informed the teacher about this, and that there might be difficulties in going for the walk. As a result, the walk was postponed to the week after. Which is the week I've planned to go to Spain!! Aahhhh.... :(

I ended up moaning to myself, telling karma that it had better be good to me in return for me being considerate and ending up missing this walk and having to have a lesson in the classroom instead. Hehe.

And karma did return the favour. In leaps and bounds!

This morning, as I arrived at the school for the lesson, I saw everyone milling around outside. How exciting! I love when something out of the ordinary happens.

I parked my bike and a classmate saw me carrying my huge dictionary with me, pointed at it and giggled. Because apparently we were locked out of the school and couldn't have the lesson. Instead, we would walk to a nearby park/playground and have an outdoor lesson. Well, I say lesson, but it turned out to be games instead. Not that I minded. Except for the fact that I spilt Chocomel all over my pants. Sigh.

It was one of the teachers' birthday, and he brought us cake and drinks. Me, being the clumsy, excitable person I am (really, you'd think I'd be more graceful after so many years of doing ballet), totally got excited about something someone said, knocked the paper cup I was holding, and promptly spilt the Chocomel all over my knees and my dictionaries. I can only be thankful that I was sitting next to two girls who, naturally, had tissues and water with them. Ah, girls :)

Anyway, it was a nice and different sort of lesson - weather was great, people I was sitting with were great and the park was great.

Karma wasn't done with me yet, though. After the lesson was over, a few of us wanted to go for a chat and drinks, and we decided to try the newly-opened NAI (Nederlands Architectuurinstituut) cafe.

I love it.

It reminds me so much of bars in KL, with the relaxed and modern al fresco seating!

That's Ihor from Ukraine. Behind him is a huge NAI logo painted on the side of the building. I love the building. I can imagine the kind of pressure on the shoulders of the architect who was commissioned the building that would be the Dutch Architecture Institute ;)

That's Diederik, who was suffering under the heat of the sun. He's not Dutch, I tell you. They normally love sitting out there till they melt like the butter on a poffertje. I normally dislike sitting in the sun, but I really like the fresh air that comes with it. Give and take, I guess.

Slovalenka enjoying the sun.

Ihor still explaining how the height of the Erasmus MC is being increased level by level.

The whole terrace. Doesn't it look like a kind of WIP or 789? Ah, the special treatment I used to get. Hehe.

A strange, but somehow captivating sculpture rising out of the water. I think the yellow pointer thingy looks like a Google Maps pin. I think I'm becoming too technologically-aware. I think I might have liked it more if my first impression of it would be to say that it reminds me of a butterfly discovering a candle flame and being so mesmerised by it that it stayed there day and night till the candle burned out and the butterfly turned yellow in memory of the flame.

Well, Diederik couldn't take the mighty sun anymore, so we moved inside and occupied the long sofa with beautiful cushion covers.

And then we ordered lunch. Mine was a BLT soup (yeah, I've never heard of it either). It was okay. Nothing to shout home about.

After this really lovely outing - I also visited the NAI bookshop, which was sooooo nice - I headed across the Erasmusbrug with Schrobbenmaster to look for a shop for lamps.

In the end, the shop didn't sell lamps, but we stumbled upon some sort of market/festival thing - again. I think I've earned the title of Queen of Stumbleupons :P

It was more of a kid's thing, but the stalls were quite interesting. Even saw an illustrator I've seen at the Swan Market and the design centre. I bought drawings from her before and she remembered us. What a nice girl :) She was there with her mother (I think). So sweet!

It's a really nice-looking neighbourhood. Very family-ish and peaceful. Nothing really for tourists, but it's nice to see a part of Rotterdam that looks more homey, designy and freshly cleaned up.

There was some sort of mashup between hip hop and flamenco from the guys and girls in black and red over there. Uh... I didn't really think they were very good, but everyone else was good-naturedly cheering for them. I actually felt a little sorry for them that they had to watch this substandard Latin-style dancing, when on the poorest streets in Spain or Latin America, you would be able to find really spirited and expressive dancing. But... yeah. That's a whole different story there.

I think a lot of Dutch people like to do these sort of dances just for the fun of it, and not necessarily to be the best at it. I don't agree with that concept, but I can understand that they find it fun and just want to experience it. My disagreement with that comes from the idea that if you want to learn something, you should put your whole heart into it and really want to do it well.

Saw this corner cafe which, I think, is a bookstore/cafe, or some literary cafe, and I am so gonna go back to try it!

One of the acts practising. See the little boy with the bike on the left? He is super cool. He has dreadlocky hair that's tied up into one big dreadlocky thing, which he tucked into his singlet, and it's so long that it poked back out from under the singlet. And it's held together by this steel plate at the tip of his dreadlock. I want a kid like that.

Cosy-looking old-style supermarket.

After having ice cream. I had to take a photo with the bench that matched my pants.

I've recently started watching old episodes of Super Trio Mega Show on YouTube and really enjoying them. Ah, YouTube :) I'm coming to you shortly.

Hope you guys enjoyed this super super long post.


Mumsy said...

great pics. Rotterdam should appoint u as their tourism ambassador :) and yes, WIP Holland sounds cool..

frachely said...

Something looks diff from what I expected......NAI looks pretty nice tho hehe