Email: Feb 12th, 2016 - new home

Hey all,

    I wanted to send you all an email to get you updated. So London went on without a hitch. I figured out the tube, and an oyster card. Not really a problem. So I got off at Piccadilly station and ended up wandering around soho. There were a lot of clubs and bars. Not a lot of pubs. Which is what I was looking for. I just wanted to find a pub and have a couple beers and then head back to the hotel. Anyways, I did manage to find one called the White lion…or white horse…I can’t remember. All I know was it had been there for quite a while. I ended up talking with a guy named Hughe, who has been a regular there for 30+ years. His friend looked like he’d been a regular there for more much more than 30 years, and he didn’t talk much. Anyways, he was a nice guy, a musician who also DJ’s the longest running uptown funk night in SOHO. He gave me his flyer and said to come to a night when I’m back in town. So after that I made my way back to the hotel and managed to get a few hours sleep before I had to be up to get the airport for an early flight to Dusseldorf. 

    There was nothing really to interesting to report on the flight. It had maybe 20-30 people on it and was quick. We were in the air for maybe an hour. Now, this is where the fun starts. I don’t know if I’d mentioned yet, but the region is celebrating Carnival. It originates from when everyone used to fast for lent. The idea was that everyone would party so that all the alcohol and meat was eaten before the fast started. Otherwise, it would go bad during the fast. SO rather than waste it, lets just eat it all in a few days. Now of course it is really just a party for 4-5 days. Everyone dresses up in costumes (like halloween, but less ghosts and ghouls) and drinks and parties for a whole bunch of days. This was apparent when i got to the translation in Dusseldorf. It was full of people dressed up, chanting and singing and drinking. It was pretty fun. The trains I was taking were mostly local trains, so the party continued on them as well. groups would get on for a few stops, continuing to party, then all get off somewhere along the way. The train was comfortable and only lasted a couple hours. I arrived in Eindhoven a little after 12 I think. 

    I got in contact with my roommate Nienke, who said she would come pick me up, but I said I wanted to walk so that I had a better idea of where I was going. The 15 min walk took me 25 because I took a wrong turn, but I got here without much of a problem, Her boyfriend (Jorgen) and her, were both recovering from the previous nights Carnival festivities. so it was a low key introduction. We talked for a while and she gave me the tour. Then I set off to find the school and wander a bit. 

    Eindhoven is much more industrial than I expected. I probably should have expected that, based on it’s history, but I didn’t. It was mostly and industrial town that was a main manufacturing hub for philips and a few other industries. This town was basically built by Philips. The home Im staying in was once part of the workers quarters that they built. Not much remained after the war. It was pretty much levelled because of it’s industrial power and location to germany. I think it was bombed by both sides for different reasons. 

    I am slowly settling in. All the proper documents are taking longer to get than expected. Bank accounts are waiting for city ID’s, which is waiting for an available appointment, which is in a couple weeks. I think by the end of the month I should have everything set up. I managed to buy a bike a couple days ago. Turns out that most bikes you buy here are stolen. People don’t seem to care though, they just have crappy bikes that they don’t care about and if it gets stolen, then they go buy another one for cheap that was probably stolen from someone else. Anyways, it’s what Nienke calls a grandmothers bike. I thought it looked like all the others, but she translated one of the stickers and translate to Grandmas Bike. Literally. It was certainly a bad buy, as I didn’t notice the broken spokes on the back wheel, which I had to go get fixed. I think I should have waited, but I was in such a hurry to get something that I didn’t really think. Either way, it’s my bike now and it makes getting around so easy. The biking infrastructure here is amazing. I makes riding a joy. No once wears helmets because it’s so safe, the likely hood of accidents with cars in minimal, and most injuries are related to car on car accidents. 

    Classes have gotten underway and I’m still adjusting to it. Our first class, our teacher basically told us that with all the press the school has been getting, that he is sure we are feeling the pressure to produce good work. I wasn’t aware the school was getting a lot of press and there fore wasn’t feeling the pressure. However I am now. Because things are just getting under way, i’m not sure what the work load is like, but I think I’ll be pretty busy with homework. So don’t be surprised if you don’t’ hear from me for a few weeks. 

    Lauren is getting excited to come. We are meeting in Amsterdam on the weekend of her arrival. She’s found an AirBNB for us to stay in and hopefully we can explore the city a bike. I think it’ll be a lot of fun once she gets here. Anyways, that’s all for now. I don’t many photos right now. 

The first one is of the market they have on tuesdays….or wedesndays…..I can’t remember. 

The second is of a typical dutch main road.

Love you all,


Cal TuftsComment