woensdag 19 december 2012

THE END. American Style.

There I was, at a cute little airport in the middle of the United States. After literally months of preparation, I finally arrived in Saint Louis, and I have to say, I was a little bit nervous for what would come. When walking towards the exit, I spotted some girls dressed in awful neon-yellow t-shirts with black letters screaming "International Introduction SLU" on it. Great, that's for me, I thought for a second. Not longer than that though, as these students were so extremely friendly and open (and interested in Holland, that's always a plus), nobody could not have felt uncomfortable with them. Within minutes I got what felt like a hundred questions thrown at me, and during the bus ride to the campus I already got to know the ins-and-outs of St. Louis (Thanks Katie, Caitlin, Bee, Taylor, Alison, Briana, Tiara, Tim R., and all the others!). Yes, the weather will stay this awesome. No, St. Louis is not that safe, but you'll be fine. Pruellage Hall is okay, but not the best.

Oh, boy, was that true. Being used to having my own student apartment, the idea of sharing a kitchen with a 100 people, a bathroom with an entire floor, and even a little bedroom with somebody else, did not exactly sound appealing. Luckily I did not get a Chinese roommate (thereby beating the odds), because on day two an American guy from Cleveland, Ohio knocked on my door in the early morning, causing our first meeting to be between a fully clothed guy (Michael) and his family, and a foreigner (that's me) solely wearing his boxers. This was awkward enough, but when we started talking, we quickly crafted a bond, which through the months has evolved in a true roommate-buddies relationship. Thanks Michael, I am going to miss you (in fact, it's already pretty depressing here now), I hope to see you in Holland, so that at least I can teach you all the bad stuff about our little f*cked up nation (I blame Michael for teaching me this sort of language).

One of the best words to describe this semester has to be "Partyyyy," as from literally day one until the very last one, we've made the most of our time, because lets face it: nightly hours are not really meant to sleep... From day one, because when Mads and I checked in at Pruellage we met Stephanie and Alison for the first time; they directly invited us to a Spring Street loft party, and many of those would follow. Especially the first weeks were incredible and carefree, and a truly awesome group of Americans and Europeans was created that stayed together until the end. Thanks to all of you:

- Mads for the awful diners we had to get at Fusz and Griesedeck, and for the Danish combination at Ajax
- Gabriel for being the party guy that always wanted to include everybody
- RĂ©mi for all the alcohol you got me and for your wicked sense of humor
- Ran for being (by far) the best cook of us all
- Pablo for our breakfast-gossip, and for your humorously chaotic storytelling
- Rick for being a Pruellage buddy and for your AWESOME Swedish meals
- Thomas for experiencing Dr. Warren, Dr. Carlin, Jason Mraz and Carrie Underwood together
- Madome for being the whitest black guy I met, and for our awesome handshake-ritual
- Alison for our tipsy singing sessions
- Stephanie for telling me to 'fuck da po-lice" and for everything else, BRO
- MaryAnn for being such a sweetheart (and for the delicious Malibu, and the chocolate!!)
- Ashlen for your snoring sounds, for your awesomely embarrassing pictures and for part of the Thanksgiving experience
- Lauren for your cool Europeanness, and our extremely funny, dry conversations
- Phoebe for being (by far) the happiest person on earth
- Carla for adding the much needed Latina-Americana element to our group
- Tiara and Briana for being the coolest American twins I met
- Irene for all those Subways you bought, but even more so for your uplifting presence
- Victoria for keeping an eye on Mike, he needs it at times
- Reggie "Ratchet" for learning me all those codewords for private parts
- And to the many others!

As I will make my way to the airport on Thursday, I'll think back to all of you. Without you guys, my first experience in America could never have been so awesome. And you can be sure, that when anyone of you ever decides to go to the Netherlands, I will be the one to wait at the airport to receive you with the same openness and just plain kindness with which I was treated from day one in the States.

Peace out.

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