Friday, January 25, 2008

Back in Middelburg

The long trip back to Middelburg climaxed with the loooong walk from the train station to my room in Bagijnhof. Usually about a 20 minute walk, I'm pretty sure it took more than 40 this time, due to the 101 pounds or so of luggage I was dragging along with a carry-on bag. At one point, I tried to speed up the process by carrying the non-wheely suitcase on my shoulder instead of pulling it on top of the wheeled one, but then the strap broke.

Let me correct myself: the metal buckle connecting the strap to the bag broke.

So I had to put the bag back on top of the huge wheeled suitcase, this time fearing it would break the handle of my wheely suitcase. Which would have been a major pain.

But, luckily, it didn't.

Now I'm back in Middelburg, facing misery, homesickness, jet lag, etc. This never happened until I came back last summer, when I felt homesick; now that homesickness is multiplied because a) I'm not going to be home for almost a full year and that's a pretty scary length of time, considering I've never been away from home for more than 6 months, and b) because no one else is in town yet, even though classes begin on Monday - most of them are coming back on Sunday, or even Monday.

So I ate dinner in front of the computer, by myself. I'm really glad my house eats dinner together. I hope the house ambiance holds up after Daan and Paul are really gone.

It's nice to be back in my room, in many ways. It's a little weird, though, because it's the symbol of a totally different lifestyle. But being hear doesn't mean you switch into "Middelburg mode" or "RA mode" or "Student mode". I have to go gradually from "home/vacation/family/Portland/American mode" to "Middelburg/RA/student mode".

A funny thing: Passport control officer addressing me in Czech, obviously pleased that he could say a few words. I understood him, and all, but really didn't want to have to tell him, "I actually speak more Dutch than Czech, maybe we should try that", or worse, "Actually, you probably speak more Czech than I do, sir..."

Tonight before bed I think I will make a list of things to do this year, and/or ways to take advantage of this year... Maybe I'll post it up here. I know one of the things already: Read all of these books you've acquired, and keep dragging between two continents. Even the Spanish, French, and Dutch ones. Good for your language skills!

Now time to get back to cleaning and organizing. Joy is coming over shortly to say hello, collect a laptop, and share a pot of tea and some See's chocolates with me, so I better make sure there's a place for us to sit and all.

Ooh. Maybe if I hurry, I can put together my padded footstool before she gets here!