Monthly Archives: December 2005

Last Day in Maastricht

Today was my last day in Maastricht, at least for the next half year. I’m not finished with my studies yet, but I’m going “abroad” to Uppsala/Sweden from mid January onwards.

I subrented my room in Maastricht because it is quite ok and I want to keep it for eventually doing my Master’s programme there. I haven’t ultimately decided that yet, but Maastricht is definitely an option. I had taken out most of my stuff before Christmas already, but today the rest had to be picked up. That was basically my mattress and a few smaller items like an electric kettle (one of the few kitchen things I really rely on). Now I hope that the new subtenant actually pays the rent. One never knows.

I think I’m really going to miss Maastricht because it is a lovely city. Small houses, little streets, high prices :-). But the quality is usually really good. I had lunch at the V&D department store. They offer a “Thaise wokschotel”, a Thai wok menu, where you select the vegetables and the type of meat you want to have and they cook it live in front of your eyes in a wok. It tastes different from the normal food you get everywhere, although the ingredients (like onions, mushrooms and so on) are pretty normal.

The other thing I realized was that I hadn’t been to often to the shops in the city. First, as a male student you don’t engage in these shopping tours. Second, these stores want to sell something so you need money. That’s why most of the time I walked or biked (wait, biking is not allowed there) through the shopping streets was late at night en route to friends or a party when the stores were already closed.

More on Uppsala and the ongoing preparations in one of the next blog entries.

3 Christmas Markets In 3 Days

Globalization does not stop at the Christmas Markets. Everywhere you can buy the same stuff and although I’m not really a Christmas Market fan, I happened to be at three different Christmas Markets within three days last weekend.

First in Bad Hönningen, a city, which is normally a famous destination for bowling groups (although the actual bowling plays an inferior role when these groups come visiting the city). The market was one of the nicest I visited, it took place in a medieval setting and was not too commercial.

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Santa Claus in Bad Hönningen

Then I went to Bonn. Here the Christmas Market was much bigger and above all, the shops had opened until 18 o’clock on Sunday. Unfortunately, all the good and cheap webcams were sold out at the major stores. I desperately need one, especially when Skype announced the built-in video functionality for its new beta today.

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King-sized Christmas Pyramid in Bonn

 

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LEDs instead of candles

Let’s come to the most commercial Christmas market of all, the one in Maastricht. Here they just installed the same gambling machines, which had been already there during the “Kirmes” funfair a few weeks ago, put an incredibly green light on the whole scene and there it is, the Christmas market. Well, it was not that bad, the “Schaatsbaan” for ice skating was really nice.

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Christmas Tree in Maastricht

 

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Ferris Wheel in Maastricht