After my semester at Emory University, I went back home. But I did not come home alone, I brought my roommate with me to Schiphol Airport! Jungwon was going to do another semester at Emory University in the fall, and a summer semester at Berkeley, but before all that she had a couple of weeks to kill and decided to come to the Netherlands with me! Or Belgium (southern neighbor of the Netherlands) actually because back in 2004, my family lived in Belgium. I am not so fond of Belgium, to say the least, and I will be more than happy to see my family move back home, to the Netherlands. But at least I have my own little apartment in the Dutch city Maastricht, where I'm trying to get my Masters in International Business.
Halfway through her stay we found Yasu on MSN, who was still in the States. He was supposed to travel around for a few weeks before returning to Japan in June. But after talking to us online and showing him some of the delicious food my mother cooked, he impulsively decided to change his plans and a week later we were picking him up at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam!! This was a day before Jungwon was departing for the States again, so we had a tiny SPICE House reunion for a day in Europe. Having my Emory roommate and Emory boyfriend here, made my homesickness to the States a lot easier to handle!
Of course I showed them both all around my country, visiting the capital Amsterdam twice (once with Jungwon, once with Yasu), visiting my Maastricht and my little apartment twice, and being with first-time tourists to the Netherlands, I also visited the coffeeshop twice to get some space cake. Yes, it was interesting, both times… but we won't be trying that again! And during the short time that both Yasu and Jungwon were in the country we went to Volendam, to dress ourselves up in traditional Dutch costumes and have our picture taken.
Living in Belgium, you kind of can’t escape taking your guests there, especially when they spend the nights at your house in Belgium… So we also did some sightseeing in Belgium. Jungwon didn’t need to see much of the country because she’d been there on her own once already, but we took Yasu on a trip to Brussels to meet “Manneken Pis”, the little pissing boy, who has its own chain of waffle stores in Japan.
With Jungwon we also did some sightseeing in Germany, the country neighboring us in the east. I absolutely love Germany, I can’t really explain why, but I never get bored of going there, it always feels like a vacation. We tried a lot of German goodies there including bratwurst, torte and of course delicious Mosel wine! It’s too bad we didn’t get to go there with Yasu, someday I’ll have to show him one around in Germany too.