Induction Week & The Start of Term

So I’ll pick up where I left on Friday morning as I have been a very busy bee since my last blog entry.

Friday night we went to a party in Adele’s building on the top floor where it was a joint leaving night/ birthday celebration. Despite not knowing anyone we quickly made some new friends and found our closest link to home since being in Maastricht, Calum from Aberdeenshire. Finally someone who could understand my accent and whom I could have a proper conversation with without having to repeat every third word I said!

Pavel and Kelsey departed on Saturday morning for their road trip across the border to Germany, which left me all alone without any flatmates. Not to worry though; I soon made plans and managed to convince Renee, Jaicy and Bjorn that coming with me to watch the Calcutta Cup Six Nations would be a great idea. I had heard from someone that there was a Walkabout in Maastricht, so you can imagine my disappointment when we walked into a haggard little pub when I was expecting a large Australian Sports Bar. Despite this though the place was full of boisterous old men screaming at the Tele-screens just like they do at home! Not knowing that the Swedes hadn’t got the faintest idea about any rugby laws, it took me until halftime just to convince them that it does indeed differ to Aussie Rules. We had an enjoyable time though however poor the result.

Scotland vs. England

Scotland vs. England

I then got a text inviting us to a party thrown by some of the French girls we have befriended. The map came out for a second time that night and we arrived, frozen to death, at a really nice flat near Markt square (-17 degrees Celsius is not what I would call great weather). Sergio and Gonzalo where there and introduced me to Pisco, for which a good description would be a mix of Lighter Fluid and Beezleboss juice. Sergio explained that it was Peruvian moonshine made in his dad’s back garden, bottled at the source and when mixed with wine (any colour) was delicious….. I politely declined a second measure.

Sunday dawned and so did the ominous task of starting my first tutorial assignment. Now I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed; but making us read 207 pages of a textbook my credit card refused to purchase and then having to answer 4 extended exam style questions, all before we even had our introductory class, does seem a bit unfair. Never mind, my spirits weren’t shaken because it was Super Bowl Sunday!! Pavel’s friends Kevin and Etienne had come round to pick stuff up from the flat and kindly invited me to their’s to watch it. I hopped on my newly purchased bike (which has a whole 2 gears, working front brakes and has been Christened The Gold Cobra) and pedalled round, bag full of beer. Alberto Contador watch out! I won’t be needing drug supplements in order to win my Tour De France title. Waiting for me was an absolute feast: Pizza, Kip Dippers, Caesar Salad and bags of Doritos. The Canadians do love their football.

The Gold Cobra

The Gold Cobra

Having woken early on Monday to plough through some more reading, I was exhausted. Burning the candle at both ends this week doesn’t begin to describe it. That however didn’t put me off attending an organised Speed meeting and Tequila night at Highlander. I tied my drinking shoes for another night out on the ‘toon’. Arrrrrriba!

Tuesday was my first official day of classes and I really enjoyed them. Instead of lectures the courses are designed around a Problem Based Learning (PBL) environment, which encourages group discussion within small teams and is taken by Tutors who banter with you like they are your best mate. Pity the work is fairly impossible, but with a timetable of only being in Tuesday and Friday mornings I can’t really complain. I was then graced with the presence of a new flatmate, Martha from Spain. Now living with two native speakers, I think that there is more chance of me coming home fluent in Spanish than ever learning a proper sentence in Dutch.

I met up with Tristan tonight who will be coming over to Glasgow in September for his Exchange Period abroad, and am now hitting the sack to prepare myself for another hard day’s work tomorrow. Bring on the weekend and Pub Crawl Round 2!

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