*Sorry I haven't posted in a while... I've been busy and got distracted. Please note that this post was written at different times so my tenses might seem a little off*
On Monday we started classes. The structure is 1.5 hours of language, 1.5 hours of culture discussion, then a 2 hour lecture on culture after lunch.
Dutch as a language is actually very similar to English, as far as the sounds go. Many words have different spellings but sound similar to their respective English words. The pronunciation is very funny and hard to learn though. All "g" and "ch" is pronounced chaahhhh (as if you're hawking a loogie from the back of your throat. It's a very difficult language but we're learning slowly. I'm glad to just be able to introduce myself or say something when buying things at a store.
Yesterday evening we had to come back to school after dinner for a movie called "Simon". It was actually really good and definitely covered a bunch of Dutch stereotypes (good and bad).
One of the girls in our group is a little obsessed with Power Hour and that's apparently all they do in Davis. To please her though, we promised that we'd play (it's not really a game) it last night. Because we didn't have shot glasses we just did it with sips of beer, which quickly just turned into casually drinking whenever you wanted. We left soon after to go to an Irish pub and met up with some locals we had met from a previous night going out.
Then came Club Poema (pronounced Puma); a Portuguese guy living in my suite here (Mario) told us about "student night" on Tuesdays and insisted we go out to it. The club was big and a lot of fun. I think most everyone stayed out past 3:30. A few of the guys didn't get back until 7am. It's a good thing class today doesn't start until 2pm.
Classes on Wednesday and Thursday continued as usual. We're definitely learning more Dutch words but it's still hard to use in everyday life. I would definitely be struggling if everyone didn't know English here.
Thursday night was another night of "going out". We went back to one of the previous clubs from last weekend. I find the pregaming usually more fun here sometimes than actually going out to bars; it's much cheaper to drink and it's much more relaxed as we play different drinking games and hang out with all us Americans. Mario thinks we're crazy because of all the different drinking games we've played and have taught him.
On Friday we're going on a field trip and leaving pretty early in the morning to The Hague. I'll update on that in my next post.