My first 30 hours on the ground

Posted by & filed under day in the life.

Both my flights to Newark and Amsterdam were half an hour early to arrive. Waiting to board was the stillest I’ve been in months. The rest was wonderful. I drew a picture while at Newark I’ll have to make it available here whenever I get a chance to scan it.

The Amsterdam airport was like most airport and for that fact was comfortable. I was able to drift through the baggage claim with relative ease, purchased a city map (that doesn’t include Total Identity’s area), exchanged some cash, and ate some chocolate my mother sent while setting across from a fancy chocolate shop. I quickly learned I needed to purchase a train ticket on the national transit system rather than Amsterdam’s local transit system. The lady at the desk acted like nobody ever made that mistake before ;-). The airport isn’t connected with the local system.

Upon arriving at Amsterdam’s Central Station I wrestled my bags out of the train car aided by my experience wrestling them in. Let me tell you, looking for the signs at each stop which indicate what each one is, while looking for one in particular, not knowing which one is next is no easy task in Dutch – trains, buses, whatever.

My next challenge was to find Shelter Jordan, the hostel which had been recommended to me. I’d ask upon purchasing the map where it was, and they had narrowed it down to a stretch of few blocks. So I determined the appropriate tram, wrestled my three 50+ lb. bags on, and counted the stops to where I was going. I walked two blocks and found the hostel. They were full, and upon calling around a bit found that several others were too.

Not to worry, I would continue and perhaps later in the day there would be a cancelation. The nearest bank was said to be a ten minute walk away, but I was not prepared to walk with 150+ lbs of luggage if I had a local transit ticket. I’d managed to buy a 72 hour pass for the weekend at the central station in an attempt to establish at least one sure thing, public transportation for the weekend.

So I wrestled my bags back on, but a block later there was a roadblock so I carried my things the balance of the distance to Dam Square (that’s it’s name). On the far side of the square the lady at the back explained I needed a Dutch (sofi.) social security number in order to open an account. That had been next on my list for the morning.

By now it was 9:30 I’d been in town three hours. I returned to the Central Station in hopes of finding a locker or something to store my baggage in, but an attendant there said my bags probably wouldn’t fit. So, I decided it was time to got to Total Identity. I got on the Metro (subway), and away I went. I was able to follow a map posted on the interior of a slightly less cramped train car as we traveled. From my stop I followed my nose to the street that I thought should Total should be on. It was, and I recognized the parking garage across the street from my video chats with Paul Wolfs, the man I will be working with/for.

Up one more fight of stares with my bags and I stepped into the reception area of Total Identity. The two ladies there looked a bit surprised, and offered me coffee and water. I told them I was their new intern and that I was looking for Paul Wolfs. He was down straight way and gave me a tour of the place. I shared the gifts I’d brought. They like the half sized “American” footballs I brought. The creative director and and his friends started tossing his around almost immediately. Paul used his as a thinking aid, rolling it in his hands.

Our next stop was to meet Edo. The design graduate alumni from Ohio State. I’d picked up three apple fritters just before leaving Columbus from Buckeye Doughnuts …(“Born in the USA” just came on the radio here – in English – HA!)… We, Edo, Paul, and I, sat and chatted about my trip and where each one of us were originally from. The apple fritters were a hit.

I spent the next 4 or 5 hours calling around and looking online for a place to stay – the night, the weekend, or even just the duration of my stay. Paul took me to lunch at the hospital a block away. Imagine Tuttle crossing with a stadium rather than a mall. That’s what the area is like, lots of office development with the grass still just getting started around it all.

Finally, we found a hostel in a castle 45 minutes on the other side of town. I sent a few quick emails to my mother and those i had hoped to meet up with over the weekend, and took off for the central station where I would buy a ticket for Beverwijk from where I would take a bus to Heemskerk. I did make reservations at Shelter Jordan by phone for Monday and Tuesday nights just in case.

An hour and a half later I arrived at the hostel in Heemskerk. I had to get some help with the bus. The hostel is a 13th century castle on the opposite side of town from the ocean. I had to stay in the servants house Friday night because there was a wedding in the castle, but I am now in the castle. I got to my room by 7 p.m. and slept through till 11:30 a.m. I’d only slept an hour or two on the plane, but somewhere between adrenaline and not having a very good sleep shedule to begin with I haven’t felt to out-of-whack due to the 6 hour time difference.

I plan to hangout for the weekend here and head back to Amsterdam on monday to try to get a bike, sofi. number, and apartment. The government paper work should take a few days. So I will be until then without a bank account. Hopefully, by tuesday or wednesday I will be ready to brave the UK. I am definately making reservations and planning a bit more before I go anywhere.

So, I’m off lest I end up blogging about blogging. I’ll check back in when I have more to report. Hope all is well with you.

Here I go-

I really want you to know

Posted by & filed under thoughts.

I found this as I was going through some old things. I was in rare form that evening.

Hello, I’m 23 at this writing. I live in Columbus Ohio and am a student at the Ohio State University. I’m writing because there is so much that so many fail to see. We are caught up in what team beat whom and what new thing will come out next. There is a pain that surfaces in my heart because of as much because I know there is more to life. Most people feel like there is more to life, but never are able to know anything further than the headline on the morning paper. Restlessness consumes our society, and I know what it is that we are looking for.

My story is part of what you need to understand so that you will be able to see what I’m talking about. I could draw a diagram, or tell you our right, but then the information would pass through your consciousness as quickly as last Monday’s breakfast. I just finished reading the second chapter of a book called Waking the Dead by John Eldredge, and I suppose it is in part due to the encouragement I have received from as much that I am righting you now. I recommend all of Eldredge’s books, and I would tell you all about them except I’m sure they would pass through your consciousness as quickly as the above mentioned secret I have to tell. This book will be one you will really have to know what I have to say in order to get through, but I promises what you will glean will be far more valuable than you can even now imagine.

I’m studying visual communication design at the Ohio State University, and I really enjoy it. It’s work and I would rather be doing something else some of the time I’m doing it, but that is how most of our life goes. We wish we were always somewhere else doing something other than what we are doing, and so you have just received the first taste of what I want to share with you, the fact that we so desperately want to be apart from our day-to-day dealings. We are wrapped in an unconscious anxiety over every facet of our lives not wanting any of it too often. Why is that? Have you ever thought about why there is something in us that groans at the thought of two more years of college, starving children in Africa, starving children in the inner cities, the stuff that comes out of the television, and the direction too many lobbyists are pushing out country? There is a reason and a perfectly good solution, but that is exactly not what I am going to tell you.

I grew up on a farm, sort of. I feel like most of my childhood was spent in school and working on projects facilitated by my mother via 4-H and FFA. The organizations aren’t really that important for our purposes, but the way I think this will all play out is that I will continue to share more about myself. As I do I’m sure there will be more that surface that will eventually contribute to your understanding of what I’m trying to say.

Back to the farm, it was a good time and I really miss it. Even so, I think I really missed most of what was most beautiful about it while I was there. While I was there I pushed hard to get good grades and build something from which I could step out into the world and make something of myself such that I would be able to exert an influence and in turn improve it. It’s that everybody’s plan?

Well, I think that’s about as much as I can handle for the evening.

So here is the low down:

Posted by & filed under day in the life.

I came home to Wauseon last Friday night by way of the Marion Christian Center which was nice. I spent Saturday and Sunday chilling at our county fair, and have been trying to pull everything together since then.

I take off tomorrow for Amsterdam (my flight info). Upon arriving I will head downtown to buy a bike, find a place at a hostel (Pray: online they are all full, but there was a note that they usually hold a few places for people without reservations), open a bank account, and do some paper work for the government regarding my internship.

By noon (that’s 6am Columbus time) I hope to have all that taken care of and plan to have lunch with my new employer Paul Wolfs at Total Identity.

Edo Visser my initial contact with the company and a OSU graduate alumni has requested I bring an apple fritter from Buckeye Doughnuts as I pass through Columbus on my way to the airport. I laughed out-loud when I first received the request.

At any rate, now that I’m actually getting closer to being over there (in Amsterdam) I hope I will have more time to write and customize this blog.