Friday, March 07, 2008

Ik koop €15 van voedsel omdat ik een smurf wil *

It has not yet crept up on me that I fly out to Amsterdam, via Boston and Reykjavik, in less than two weeks. And I have to tell y'all: I picked the wrong damn time to take a trip to the Eurozone. I say this because the dollar is slowly but steadily inching downward against the euro, as it has been for the past week. It's now US $1.53 to the euro, or €0.67 to the dollar (check it out here). I was kind of crossing my fingers for a big collapse of the euro in the next week with a simultaneous jump of the dollar. But that ain't gonna happen. The other way around is probably more likely. And, of course, it will happen while I'm over there. To get around that, I have been buying scratch-offs, but to no avail. The most I won was $2, and that was with the first one I bought. Since then I think I've wasted about $10 to $15 on the Lotto in the last two months (I'm stronger than I look), and have $3 to show for it. Maybe I should play more, but somehow I figure I will win not much more.

I'm not a patient person.

Well, at least my refund came in. Most of that goes to the summer, while the rest will probably go to my half of the hotel, the lovely Old Quarter in the Oud-Zuid (Ow'd Zide) Red Light District section of Amsterdam. At €75 for two people per night, it's the cheapest my friend Jim (who's flying into Amsterdam from SoCal with our friend Gil) could get outside of a hostel. Note: I would've been fine with a hostel, but noooooooo, Jim won't stay in a hostel. He also won't fly out of LAX for some reason - has to be fucking Ontario!!!

Sorry, must calm down.

I hope that most of my budget will be food and drink, because I really just want to see what's there. Fortunately, there are supermarkets nearby, which (to my understanding) are the cheapest place to get food, far cheaper than the restaurants. Regardless, I've been cramming Dutch into my head since January, by way of Rosetta Stone, Pimsleur, Berlitz and the Teach Yourself series (that last one is hilarious, with strange transition music, an overly enthusiastic Dutch-speaking man and a Dutch-speaking vrouw who evokes all the excitement of mayonaise on witte brood). Considering that 99.9% of all Amsterdammers speak English (better than many Americans, and yes I'm talking about Americans who only speak English), I have to wonder if this a waste of time. Nah, what if I run into the one monolingual Dutch person whom I have to talk to? It's good to know at least a little of the language.

And at least if I buy €15 worth of stuff at the main supermarket chain, Albert Heijn, I can get a free Smurf figurine!!!

* The title means "I buy 15 euros of food because I want a Smurf."


roopa said...

Have fun in Europe! You're right, this is a bad time to go there - I was in Scotland and London last October and I spent soooo much money because the dollar SUCKS against the pound. And it's really bad against the Euro right now.

Just enjoy yourself and don't worry about the damage to your credit card statement until you get back :)