Well, I've finished my first week here. I've got a little house, its at the end of a row of connected houses (pretty much the norm around here, nobody has a free standing house.) I've got a little yard with a few flowers. The house interior is painted white with a Greek theme. Lots of friezes hung from the walls, with statues and lots of plants (lots of plants means > 20).

The area I'm living in is very nice, the grocery store is right around the corner. Along with a couple of restaurants, including a Chinese place and a little snackbar (serving shoarma).

My desk in our office is rather interesting. I keep staring outside at the weather here. Holland is cycling between sun, clouds and rain about every 2 hours. Absolutely insane weather and I can't stop watching it. Maybe 5 years of sitting in a 6 by 6 cube shut out from the world is too much.

Thursday I drove down to Eindhoven in the afternoon. Some people were testing my program, Sprint, and I was to meet them. Got stuck in a traffic jam on the way home and it took me 3 hours to go 140 KM. (the speed limit is 130 km/hour for comparison.) That was very tiring.

Friday night I went to downtown Amsterdam. I took the train in (its about a half hour). I got off at Central Station, bought a British newspaper, and had a very good rib dinner. Walked around, couldn't find any movie I wanted to see, got tired and went home. Turns out that living over here doesn't equal always going out every night. I get tired and want to stay home some nights, same as in Mankato.

I went to downtown Hoofdorp on Saturday and went shopping. Bought a little CD player and fan for the house. The shopping area is quite large actually. Ran into a couple of places that wouldn't take credit cards. Rather unusual. Everyone over here has PIN cards (debit cards).

On Saturday and Sunday I enjoyed watching the French Open tennis tournament in real time. It was on 4 channels in 4 different languages. BBC picked it up late, so finally one of the 4 was English and I could understand the announcers.

I've been practicing my roller-blading. The streets and sidewalks are made of brick and the jostling makes it difficult.

On Tuesday I went down to 's Hertogenbosch (phoneticly den Bosch). Its about a 90 minute train ride. My project manager lives there and we worked that day in her apartment. It overlooks the Markt square and is very cool. We went and looked at a 500 year old cathedral in the town. Absolutely gorgeous. 's Hertogenbosch is in the south Catholic part of the country. Got to walk a kilometer to and from the train station in the rain. Felt like I was back in the Army.

Goals for the rest of the week - get a mobile phone and a Playstation! Should be fun.

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