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New Hobbies
It appears that I am both in a new country and having some form of difficulty. Clearly, it is time for another installment of: Leila picks up a new hobby.

This time, it involves my new bike, and a certain quality to the streets of the Hague. This is one of those places that is so old, it didn't really get "planned." But it's also small enough that you can usually stumble your way to where you were intending to go, so long as you have the time and general sense of direction. I just got a bike to help with this process, which either means that I wind up on the other side of town without a clue as to where I am or where I'm going, but also that it's not too tiring to get back. My general strategy for getting utterly lost en route to my final destination involves a lot of peering at signs that say things like: Utrechtsbaan, turning down random streets with the use of the same thinking by which tea leaves are read, taking any street with cobblestones (my street is cobbled) and asking the Danes for directions. It is this last method of lost-getting that is my particular favorite.

I have discovered that there are an infinite number of ways to generally amuse the laid back folks living in the Netherlands. Attempting to pronounce street names, asking for directions, being American, and giving descriptions when I don't know the street names. My favorite thus far went something like this:

Me: It's near that wide open thing with all the trees where they have a flea market on Sundays
Helpful Dane:Flea Market?
Me: You know, it's right next to that castle-looking thing. With a duck pond. With the funky looking ducks.
Helpful Dane: A castle. And a duck pond. I've lived here 18 years. This doesn't exist.
Me: there's all these tourists around it
Helpful Dane: Do you mean Parliament? Where they have an antique market? By the Lake?
Me: Sure, why not!

So, remember kids, when the cobbled streets aren't actually where you live, ask for the duck pond with the tourists.

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:D As are YOU! You get my post card, lady?

I did! You should be getting a letter sometime shortly. (or, you know, not so shortly. I have no idea how long it takes for something to get from Massachusetts to the Netherlands)

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