It’s been an interesting week. I’ve probably never been as organized as I have been. My priority for the next 3 months is passing my subjects and rounding off my degree so everything is dedicated to having enough time for studying so I don’t fall behind and have to catch up later. There’s enough stuff to do for me without school, but my priorities are set… although the occasional distraction is welcome (and necessary).
Going to lectures again for the first time in over a year. What a drag. I really attempt to pay attention by actively taking notes and responding to class questions but there’s nothing inspiring going on. Supply Chain Management and Financial Accounting is what’s left. It’s interesting to understand the mechanics of both but I spent the day Sunday planning to do 2 chapters of Financial Accounting and ended up only being able to do 1… which involved a lot of breaks watching documentaries about Native Americans, playing didgeridoo and guitar, and doing squats while waiting for my eggs to boil. I’ve got a bit of a pain coming from my left knee though. I hope it’ll subside.
My subjects are going to take some time although I’m not giving up my extra curricular activities to do it. I’ve stopped practicing Portuguese on Duolingo though. I figure that now I’ve got some basics, I should move on to conversing with people. It’s the only way to learn really. But again, that’s not on my priority list. I’m keeping up Kung Fu and gardening activities at the moment. My MOOC on Disasters and Ecosystems is almost over as well, having handed in my final assignment for it on Friday (3 days before the deadline) so that frees up time for school.
I’m glad that I met some cool fellow students on my first day of lectures though. One of them is also a bit entrepreneurial and was interested in what I was doing in terms of starting my own organization and growing stuff. I had some good conversations and I’ll probably continue them next time I see them in class… although I also have to look for someone who’s got a copy of the new edition of the textbook we’re working with. Bastards changed it again (although differences are minor).
Game of Thrones Board Game Day
I’ve been looking forward to the Game of Thrones board game day ever since I first played it. I adjusted my strategy this time around, and the odds were in my favor until I started taking on battles I couldn’t win. I was playing as House Lannister again and did a better job at alliances this time around. I also expanded more conscientiously, focusing on taking castles, then taking supplies when the time was right and making friendly deals with House Tyrell and House Greyjoy.
I probably should’ve stabbed the Greyjoys in the back earlier than I did, although I would’ve won if the Starks didn’t make a strategic blunder in the North, as that would’ve meant a weaker Greyjoy and my plan would’ve worked (Stark had to only leave a unit in their home castle which they could’ve done and still guaranteed a battle victory, but they didn’t and Greyjoy got an easy win taking on an empty house). I was also too aggressive on the Baratheons by taking castles on their coast… which wasn’t the smartest move as it drained a lot of manpower and the Baratheons had ample strength from its main army and supporting ships. I was too friendly with my coastal neighbors and I really think me and House Stark should’ve teamed up earlier to take on Greyjoy, although I only realized this post-game (as Stark was getting kind of owned by Greyjoy throughout the whole game). Greyjoy won in the end, but only by a margin.
After an epic Game of Thrones day, I was planning on receiving some couch surfers from Germany: 2 ladies who were finishing their school and making the most of their off-time for studying by traveling the Netherlands. This included 2 nights in Rotterdam at chez moi.
We chilled at the house for a bit as I got them settled and showed them the spaces and views. I was planning to go to a housewarming that day so I checked with the host in advance to see if I could +2 the invite which wasn’t a problem.
Going to the party was easy with 2 metro rides. There were about 20 people already at the party when we arrived and I started talking with people around the beer pong table. I ended up joining 2 games as well. They called me ‘the beer pong master’ by the end of it 😛 I think the fact that we have a dart game at home really helps, as I usually practice when I’m waiting for food to cook; darts and beer pong have a fair amount of overlap.
We chilled a bit at the house party and decided to take the last metro home so left relatively early. When we got to the metro station however, we had to wait another 17 minutes so we decided to walk to the next metro stop instead of just waiting on our butts. We ended up walking all the way home.
It was a nice walk. The girls didn’t really expect the Netherlands to have a city like Rotterdam because they just came from the Dutch countryside somewhere, where all there really was was farm houses and plenty of nature, Rotterdam being pretty much the converse of that. We walked over the Erasmus bridge, then walked towards the Euromast where we passed by the park which was really beautiful in the clear sky and the full moon. Walking next to the water was also nice with the reflections from the water being very picturesque and fit for a painting.
I like being a tour guide. Maybe that’s some of my mom’s genes rubbing off on me 🙂
The next day, I had to study so I left the girls to make up their own plans. They spent a significant amount of time on the balcony absorbing sunlight which it was a really good day for. We’ve got a pretty good system of pallets outside as well which, complemented with a bean bag, makes an excellent lounging object. The girls were planning to cook dinner for the house that day as well so they left into town to explore and get extra ingredients.
When they got back I was still studying and they went back on the balcony, taking a nap outside in their sleeping bags. I was glad they were planning to cook as that took a weight off my shoulders and allowed me to focus a bit more on finishing my chapter.
The food they made was really good. I never put so much effort into cooking as I’m fine with simple meals, as long as they’re good ingredients. It was completely vegan, and very tasty. They used some of my homegrown mushrooms as well as other things grown at my volunteer workplace. I like contributing towards the production side of food rather than the cooking, although I don’t dislike cooking either… I generally appreciate people putting effort into making tasty things. They even brought their own spices in empty film roll canisters which I thought was pretty nifty.
After dinner, we played a game of Settlers of Catan where my roommate owned it. He had 10 points when the next best score was only 5. The girls enjoyed it though. Since I had work early the next day, we hit the sack soon after.
I woke up early the next day to do my workout before work and planned to have breakfast with the ladies so that we could chill one last time before they moved on. I told them to add something to the graffitied door of our living room before they left and said goodbye as I left for work. When I returned there was a message in German there, something about peace, love and anarchy.
It’s funny how detailed this section is compared to the previous writings. I guess that by being around travelers, you yourself start to also take in the moments with more gratitude and appreciation. It seems like that because you want your couch surfers to have a rich experience, in return, you receive a rich experience. If you’re reading this: thanks for letting me host you and hope to see you again!