Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Today's assignment was to explore outside of the norms and to find out about the rituals/traditions of any nationality of our choosing. . . Also, to compare to the U.S. . I decided to approach a male, who works here at the Hostel. . . One of the traditions that he spoke to me about was getting acquainted with others by shaking hands or rather giving each a kiss on the cheeks. . In the U.S., we don't do too much kissing on the cheeks rather giving a hand shake or two. . He also mentioned to me that during breakfast in the mornings, they either eat breads or potatoes in the a.m. which is odd to me because in the U.S., we have scrambled eggs, bacon, fried bologna, etc. . . There's always going to be a difference in certain cultures. . . We do celebrate birthdays the same by having a cake I might add. . . But another thing thats different is when we're presented a gift, we might wait to open it but for the Dutch culture, presents are unwrapped straightaway. . . But one thing that's crazy to me is they celebrate Christmas on a Saturday actually December the 6th to be exact. . Lastly, they also eat pancakes like a deep fried one but I'm guessing it's a tradition that's been around for a while or so. . .
The Dutch culture is very unique. . . This can, of course, be said of each culture BUT they physically set their selves apart from any other cultures. .
Talk about rituals. Today’s assignment was one of the best we’ve had. Our Mission-- go out and talk to a Dutch person and find out about one of their rituals.
Meet Gebbe De Vet. He works at our Hostel and I must say he’s one awesome guy. De Vet told me about one particular ritual they have in celebration of the Queen’s birthday, April 31, which by the way really isn’t her birthday, but her mother’s birthday. They celebrate by going to Amsterdam. The event normally brings about one million people from everywhere, and it’s a must for everyone to wear orange.
During the day, kids and their families have a “second hand” sale day on the street and everything sells for one Euro. In Dutch, they call it Vrij Mart. DE Vet told me you can get almost anything for a Euro, along w/ drinks and entry into the Kermis, which is carnival. When I finished talking to him I felt as if I had been right along with him celebrating the Queen’s birthday!
Sasha and Katzin from Moscow said that a very popular holiday in their country is New Years, similar to the U.S in the name, but very different. New Years for the people of Moscow is a holiday that is enjoyed for two weeks!Below are some of the traditions and things they do:
- Like us they also go buy fireworks
- At 12 midnight they write a wish on a piece of paper and light it, as the paper burns they put it into their glass of Champagne and drink it. By doing this it is supposedly said that the wish will come true.
- A very common dish that is prepared throughout this time as well is the Russian salad which is called oliv'e, which is the name of the man who fist prepared the dish.
- Depending on what type of year it is, being the year of a horse or rabbit for example the people usually eat vegetables representing the animal.
- Christmas for this country is celebrated on the 6th of January and it starts at night on the 6th and goes through the 7th. On this holiday families often prepare a duck, like we would a ham or turkey.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Then, it was time to do the laundry. Since den Blaak location does not house washer and dryer, we had to find one. Of course, the nearest one was 20 minutes biking distance all across the town. I think that there are closer ones but I just didn't have time to look for one. Plus, this Waserrettee is very inexpensive - only 7 Euro for 7 kilos. It is full service, as well (meaning that they will fold it and iron it for us).
Finally, we went to the really old part of Rotterdam that survived the German bombing. The buildings were just like what you see in Amsterdam, even more beautiful. I just wonder what the city looked like before the WWII. I think that last year I saw a poster of an old Rotterdam, so I will try to find one tomorrow.
Today was absolutely a great day. It was hot and sunny, so we took a boat trip on the “Spiro” to see lots of different sites along the river and beyond. We learned that Port of Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe, and from 1962-2004, it was known as the busiest port in the world. In the first half of the Twentieth century, the port activities moved toward the North Sea and a large canal was built to connect the river to the sea to make it easier to load and unload crates onto the ships. Over the years, the seaport expanded with it, the development of a new dock. Even though this boat ride was supposed to be more educational than anything else, I was totally relaxed with the soft sway of the boat and the wind blowing a cool breeze, I could see towering windmills on the horizon.
Monday, June 27, 2011
An Interesting class assignment today required us to go to a Rotterdam market and pick one item and compare that item to one In the states. . I selected a pack of cigarettes, though I must say I don’t smoke. First thing I noticed was the cost. Cigarettes here start off at five dollars and up. Cigarettes in the state can cost eight dollars and up, depending on the state you live and the taxes. Advertising is the other noticeable difference. You’ll see adds in some publications in the U.S. and on billboards that show people smoking and looking “cool” because they’re holding a cigarette in their hand. At least that’s what the advertisers want you to think. Here in Rotterdam, no cigarette ads area allowed on billboards, magazines or newspapers. It’s only approved if it’s in a tobacco shop. There’s also a message on the label here in the Netherlands that’s not as scary or threatening as the warnings you find on U.S. packages. Labels in the U.S. have different messages: Can cause cancer, lung disease, death or hurt an unborn child. Now cigarette makers in the U.S. will also have to carry graphic pictures of the health effects of smoking. Variety and brand names also seem to be limited. You’ll find a greater selection in the state. In Rotterdam, sixteen years can legally smoke, but in the U.S. you have to be at least 18 or older and you have to show an I.D. Smokers here don’t seem to be treated like outcast like in the states. You’ll even find people smoking inside buildings and that’s absolutely prohibited in the states.
Today after we went on a great bike from the beach. We had a great assignment that our class was told to complete. This assignment was for my class to go to any store and compare and contrast any object that we use at home to any object in Rotterdam. The object that I decided to go and check was something as simple as a light bulb. The price other the light bulb here was 16 euros. Back home the price would have been a 4-7 dollars.Store we got it from was the AH grocery store.The object that I chose was a standardization object. I also picked up an ad for cell phones in deutsch. The ad that i got from the newspaper says a sale begins this season.
This morning we had hot lunch at the hostel and class in the Rotterdam library. We were talking about Global Marketing and this whole trip is all about just that. So, tonight, students have to find a product in here at the local store and explain how it is different (or similar) to the same one in the US using the 4 P's. I am looking forward to their blogs, so they should start popping up shortly.
As a sidenote - it is extremely hot today and we have easily topped 80F, if not 90F.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Saturday, June 25, 2011
The morale is high, the students are doing their work (at least in my class). It is 'professor' time now and Biff and I are grading student's assignments here in Cafe Dudok.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Today is Thursday and there's a lot more to look forward to throughout the city of Brussels, Belgium. Setting some time aside for class work and homework now, yesterday was full of its own adventures. While going to visit a few boutiques down the streets of Rue Antoine Dansaerttraat, I found that some of the people here can make you want to........forget your in another country! And I also discovered for sure that maps are not my forte'. So far Brussels has proved to be a very unique city. There are lots of beautiful antique buildings and status to see around the city, and the people here come from a variety of different cultural backgrounds. On Tuesday we went on a tour of the European Parliament and it was really nice, and probably would have been a little better if we hadn't gotten brushed to the side by another group. But overall informative and interesting to see how differences within their decision processes differs from ours back in the U.S. The walks can sometimes get crazy long, but everyday has its new experiences. Well, until next time! Bonjur.
So far we have accomplished quite a few things:
- Our classroom is set up and we are using it the best that we can. NOTE: Biff will teach on the balcony today. Lets see.
- Everyone was able to connect with their families back home. Skype is the life saver.
- Everyone is up and ready on time (8:00) for breakfast. NOTE: Those breakfast apples are really big!
- Fascination with Belgian chocolate is as high as I have expected. Not so much with sparkling iced tea.
- The visit to the European Parliament went very well but I still don't know who crashed the presentation: us or the Icelandic group?
- Only one team has accomplished the camera race (and they have won a USB thumb drive)!
|Hotel de Ville (Town Hall)|
at night, standing tall (215 ft)
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Sunday, June 19, 2011
- Room cleanliness - average
- Bathroom cleanliness - good
- TV reception - as poor as it gets
- Sound of AC - M1 Abrams comparable
- Sound insulation - poor
- Breakfast - very unhealthy selection
I think that all who decided to stay back in Nashville had easier day but I have one less leg to fly today.