William and Mary Law School

My Three Office Adventures

Adventure 1: Today was my first day of work! Yay! I walked over there on Friday to get a basic idea of where I was going, and I took the tram this morning. Honestly, I still have no idea where my office is. I get in the general vacinity (it's in the middle of a major shopping area), but then I get turned around and end up walking in circles until the door miraculously appears in front of me. At least I wasn't late, but that's more likely because I anticipate getting lost and give myself excessively more time than I actually need. I want to start taking the bike my host family has for me, but I haven't really ridden a bike since junior high. Also, I don't think that I can reference a map while trying to hold onto the handle bars...

Adventure 2: The office has a PC for me. I have become rather addicted to my Mac, but I can handle a PC for a few months I guess. I was a little concerned that the keyboard would be different since I'm in a new country, but I was pleased to see that the only thing different was that they decided that the key that gives | and \ symbols needed to be on both sides of the keyboard, so the shift key on the left is only half as big. No big deal. Haha...then I started working on my report. I hit the key for a hyphen, and for some reason got the plus sign. I tried again, but that key seemed determined to be positive. So I tried the plus key...and got an apostrophe. This seemed odd, so I tried the other symbol keys. Almost all of them seemed to be having an identity crisis, refusing to give the symbol that they were labeled as. Given that this was probably going to get confusing, I made a chart:

Symbol Chart

I still haven't figured out where the ~ symbol is. Hopefully I won't need it...

Adventure 3: For 15 euros a month, the office provides lunch every day. It's a great deal, so of course, I couldn't pass it up. It's basically a giant selection of sandwich-making things, but all the labels were in Dutch. Below is today's sandwich-making process:

Bread: Wow...lots of bread. Well...this one is open already.

Condiments: I don't see anything that looks familiar. There are lots of different shades of red (I happened to see one in the fridge when I got home today and asked what it was - raw meat that you spread on bread. Who knew). That one looks like it could be some form of mustard. Oh! This whitish-yellow one has the word pesto on it...and a picture of a red pepper and pickles. Sure. Why not?

Cheese: So. Much. Cheese. Hmmm...these three are sitting very welcomingly on a plate. The big one looks like it would be the easiest to slice with this strange cheese-slicing implement. Done.

Meat: Uhhh...let's see. There are darker colors and lighter colors. Square cuts, round cuts, thick cuts, thin cuts. Some have other colors mixed in. Does that mean it's bologna? Wait. This pile if really thinly cut cut meat says "ham." I have no idea what the words before and after that are...or if "ham" means something else in Dutch, but sure. Sandwich!

I'll try to give more substantive information next time. But those are my adventures for now. [I haven't really learned much Dutch yet, but let's pretend I signed off with a really impressive-sounding Dutch word, k?]