Too Many Dam Places

Saturday, August 1 2009 at 00:01 (Books, Daily Life, Reviews) (, , )

Honestly, Amsterdam, Monnickedam, Rotterdam (haven’t actually been there…) – they all get so confusing. There, that’s the pun for this blog. You can go home now.

So where have I been for all this time? Well… After finally departing Amsterdam, with its cushy internet connection, we went out onto the wild and dangerous to know Markermeer, where we explored several towns before going out onto the somewhat larger and even more dangerous to know Ijsselmeer. Towns will be displayed via bullet points for ease and readability:

  • So the first town we went to was Hoorn in the Markermeer, which I can’t remember a whole lot about except that it was pretty and Dutch.
  • Then came Enkhuisen in the Ijsselmeer, (which we actually visited twice -ounce on the way out, once on the way back). It had A nice high street with a shop that sold good pumps for inflating inflatable kayaks, and a large and somewhat misshapen church tower that appeared to be the product of 500 year’s varied architecture stacked on top of one another, finally completed in just 1992. There was a chip stall, so we got some with remoulade and ate them on the way back to our boat.
    We also went to the nearby Zuiderzee museum, a recreation of a Dutch town as it would have been around 100 years ago. It was similar to, but not the same as, a recreation town we visted on the year 7 Dutch trip, but I have reason to believe that town was Zaanse Schans. Anyway, here there were houses full of stuff, but none of it really seemed alive.
  • Medemblik was just a palette swap of Enkhuisen, with an almost identical street placement and marina design. It was also very expensive – The Conduit was €60 from one of the shops, and at current exchange rates that’s £25 more than England. Recessions have SOME benefits…
  • Hindeloopen came… Hindeloopen went. there really wasn’t much to it apart from being another bloody pretty little Dutch town.
  • Same goes for Stavoren. I don’t think I even visited the town here, although there was a small beach on which I went swimming. The water was ~23 degrees.
  • Then, after another stop in Enkhuizen, we went back to the Markermeer and went to the marina in Monnickendam, which was… quite nice. We were stuck here for quite a few days due to weather conditions, so we inflated the Kayak and unfolded the folding bicycle (both of which had been residing in my already somewhat cramped cabin) and explored with them. The town was another pallette swap but it was interesting to be able to paddle through it along the canals and it was also fun trying to paddle under the pontoons in the marina and scare people by popping out from underneath them.
  • Then today we finally left Monnickendam after several days and a barbecue to go to Amsterdam via Volendam, where we stopped to get fuel. We’re now moored up in a canal surrounded by people having parties whilst my parents are trying to sleep.

So, passively… the weather. It’s been on and off – rain, cloud, bright sunshine, thunderstorm. The wind has been playing up too; it’s been very hard to go anywhere when there are 30-knot sqalls blowing over. (Those who make FFVIII jokes will be executed.)
Book-wise, I finished all the Harry Potters I have with me, up to No.5, which were then snapped up by my mother who has apparently already read all of her books. My father is ploughing through a book by Andrew Marr – Ha! I’ve also read Groosham Grange – an early Anthony Horowitz that ends up somewhat anti-climactic, and The Beat: Asking For It, which is a short paperback about a fictional rape case. It was all a bit weird and not terribly well written, but that’s what I get for scouring second-hand bookshops. The other book I’m trying to read is ‘The Devil’s Toenail’, but after findiing that I hate the premise, the writing style AND all the characters I fell back onto reading Adrian Mole for the umpteenth time. I seem to end up reading it every time we go on the boat, as it lives in my cabin.

Game wise, I was quite into playing Final Fantasy VII until everyone ended up saying some really vague stuff about Aeris (who is dead now) and lifestreams, etc. So I wandered around until I got bored and couldn’t find where I was supposed to be going. A big problem with the game is that I have no idea what all the places are called, because the only way to check is to enter a place, go into the menu and check what it says. You can’t do that from the other side of the map.  But yes, I do know where to go now. Don’t tell me again.
When I got annoyed with FF started re-playing Metroid Fusion so that I could finally review it, but I forgot to take any damned screenshots AGAIN. It’s so damned immersive.
Very recently, having not yet worked out how to shinespark downwards, I fell back once more, this time, to Breath of Fire VI. Unfortunately, my disc for this is massively scratched and corrupted, so most events in the game take several tries before they work properly. As soon as I get home I’m going to have to download the ISO – ripping my corrupted one doesn’t work. Anyway, I’d forgotten how cinematic the game is, and how beautiful the sptites are. It makes me think how nice it would be if these massively smooth and detailed sprites could be combined with FF’s pre-rendered backgrounds, but NO, everyone has to fit 3D models in somewhere, no matter HOW primitive they look.

Well, anyway. I can’t wait to get home and meet real people again. A wise person once said that Dutch just sounds like someone english talking gibberish – I think they are right. I did get a shock this morning, though – my brother has a job! He’s working at ASAP Marine Supplies for the next four weeks on probation, and then he might get a permanent place. This means:

  1. Less arguing around the house;
  2. My brother doesn’t have to beg/threaten other people for money;
  3. He might learn some discipline and have to deal with income tax;
  4. Perhaps best of all, he won’t be at home for the remainder of my summer weekdays when I get back! Whoop!

I can’t write any more, as it’s about to be 1:00am and we’re going to have to get ready to leave, and I’m not sure that I have any more to say even if I did have more time.



1 Comment

  1. Chris said,

    Another good thing with your brother’s job, is Family discount!
    But I wub FF7!
    Also, Bleach, Swimsuit edition, epic lolz.

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