No real plans tomorrow (or 'today', as the case may be), and then there's of course Kerst (Christmas) and Tweede Kerst (Second Christmas - yes, they have two Christmases here). Basic plans for those days: presents and lots and lots of food, including fondue. Then a new week begins - we're going swimming again on Monday (M bought new goggles and wants to race me again), I'm on my own on Tuesday (might go to Zwolle to go shopping or something), not sure about Wednesday, then going to Utrecht on Thursday to see C and L, possibly spending the night there, then Friday seeing the other L, then back to Emmen to celebrate New Year's Eve with M and his family, and then the next day to Scheveningen with the other M to do the Nieuwjaarsduik (literally, 'New Year's Dive'... thousands of people running into the freezing cold North Sea). Believe it or not, that was not my idea, but I couldn't turn down a nutty adventure like that!
Anyway, that's at least two and maybe three train trips to Utrecht, depending on whether or not I spend Thursday night there, and I don't have a discount card anymore because mine expired in October (when I was, of course, no longer in the country and so couldn't renew it). M thinks that's ridiculous - "That's crazy. Why can't they come here? Why do you want to pay three times? That's a dumb thing to do." I tried to explain that it's not just the people that matter; it's the city, too. I want to go to Utrecht - I lived there for a year, I miss it, I want to see it again and spend time there and see all my friends, and so if this is the way it's going to work, I'm fine with it. I'm on vacation; I don't mind spending a little extra money, especially since I have no idea when I'll see all these friends again. And, privately, I'd like a little time away from M, too.
But he just harped on about it, repeating the same things, until I finally just snapped, "It's my money; will you quit bitching?" At which he rolled over and went to sleep without a word. Sigh. I think he's having trouble accepting the fact that I'm not just here to see him; that I want to spend time with other people too. He's being really annoying about us breaking up - he tries to be cute about it, but it's not cute, it's whiny. I have had to tell him every single day since being here that yes, he's a great person, but no, I do not have romantic feelings for him anymore. At which he mournfully says, "Not great enough, then." Grrr. The problem is that he doesn't understand that you can like a person a lot, and think they're really sweet and nice and attractive, and yet not want to be in a relationship with them. It seems like we have the exact same conversation multiple times a day. At first, it just made me feel guilty, but now it's starting to get really irritating. How plain do I have to be here? Grow up!
And with my luck, he'll read this. Well, M, je mag niet boos worden - dit heb ik allemaal al (meerdere keer) tegen je gezicht gezegd, dus ik heb volgens mij volle recht om het allemaal op mijn site te zetten...!
But anyway, on to something else: Christmas presents. Shopping, shopping, shopping! I already know what I'm getting Mom (and she knows too, thanks to my big mouth) and I had a really good idea for something for my sister today while M and I were shopping in the center. I've already got lots of little things for M, his mother (my Secret Santa) and those five girlfriends in Utrecht, plus I've gotten a couple of little things for people back home - chocolate, etc. I wish the chocolate letters were still around, but I missed Sinterklaas (6 December), so they're pretty much gone. M has gotten me the new Marco Borsato DVD (I can't wait to watch it - part of it was taped at the concert I was at last June) and some Celine Dion body wash, and I think he's also planning to get me some perfume and this colorful scarf that I liked.
Anyway, I still have no idea what to get Dad - anybody have any ideas???
A basic recap of the past few days:
17 - left Orlando
18 - arrived in London, left London, arrived in Amsterdam
19 - biked to Emmen while M worked
20 - went to the Zwaluwhoeve (spa)... got a hot-stone massage and enjoyed the different saunas and tubs/pools
21 - shopped
22 - went swimming, made tacos for M's parents
23 - did essentially nothing...
One last note: turns out I'm getting an A in astronomy. I hadn't expected that; I thought it would be another B+. I wrote to the teacher to ask my grade on the final (he had already changed the website to reflect the Spring class, so I couldn't get it myself) and he wrote back, "You got an A. Good job!" Well, first off, there's no way I got an A on that final, plus, even if I had, he would have told me the numeric grade, not the letter. The fact that he told me the letter means that that must be my 'final grade', not my 'grade on the final'. But that's what I really wanted to know anyway, so - cool! :)