Sunday, May 9, 2010

After a three hour delay thanks to a faulty airplane, an act of God in the form of an unpronounceable Icelandic volcano, and a long wait to re-book a flight to Tanzania, Tori an I arrived safely in Amsterdam. Much to our delight... I mean, chagrin, we've been forced to spend the night in a Dutch hostel. Our limited familiarity with the pronunciation of Germanic languages and relative inexperience with international travel made even the journey from Schiphol airport to Amsterdam Centraal Station an odyssey (we encountered, among other things, a siren of a KLM agents wearing too much blue eye shadow, a Charybcis of unintelligible announcements, and a Scylla of over-eager bike-riders).

Nevertheless, Tori's optimism encouraged me to enjoy Amsterdam as much as possible, large piles of garbage and aggressive bikers included (not going to lie--the city was waaaaaaaay dirtier than anticipated). Our arrival precipated no minor stir in the station when we spent approximately 20 minutes working out how to use the ATM (excuse me, cash machine). Among other highly cultural activities, Tori and I took pictures of a WWII monument (we think that's what it was...), stared at the royal palace (currently under construction), and wasted one euro each in a casino (complete with flashing marquee).

You think I'm joking. If I were being serious, I would have mentioned our excursiont to the erotic museum, where we found sketches of questionable female sexuality (by Pablo Picasso and John Lennon, no less.) Tori being the saintly paragon of virtue she is, we ruled against trying some of Amsterdam's more *exotic* substances. Instead, we decided not to substantiate American stereotypes, and simply observe the red light district (as opposed to participating...) by night. I'll leave you, dear reader, to supply the appropriately lurid details. Needless to say, Tori, who needs to take a chill pill, and I, who should probably do the same, plan to go to bed far earlier than the time dictated by our hostel curfew for fear we'll miss our 11:00 AM flight, first to Nairobi, then to Kilimanjaro, and finally to Dar, where we'll meet Teacher Jimmy, our boss for the next four weeks. At the moment, Tori's state of being and emotions can be described as the following: "tired," "nervous," "that's it, Matt, stop asking me questions."

Given Tori's lack of coherency and apparently inability to contribute anything other than her response to the above question to this particular entry, I retire. Here's to a safe flight to Tanzania, a successful meeting with Jimmy, and a blog post which hooked our readers on the indescribable excitement that is our journey. Kwa heri until next time, friends!


  1. Sounds like you and Tori are having quite an adventure already Matt! Hope you make your flight on time and arrive safely in Tanzania. Thanks for the lovely email.

  2. Guh, if you're going to show off, at least make sure you spell your Greek goddesses right. Psh, you know I love you ;-)

    The dirtiness is interesting, although not wholly surprising. That large a gathering of pot heads would lead to some pretty lazy street crews.

    I must ask if you got accosted in the Red Light district by a prostitute. My memory hearkens back to Las Ramblas. Can you believe that was a year ago??

    Tori, you are such a trooper, and I could hear your voice through Matt's writing. I'm glad you guys get to spend a night; I don't think that was on your original itinerary, so at least Eyjafjallajokul (pronounced ay-yah-FYAH-lah-yer-kuhl) allowed you to rest.

    Thinking about you guys & wishing the best of luck on the last leg of flights. Safe travels & have fun!!

  3. David, they are mythical creatures from the Odyssey, not Greek gods.

    But, Matt, these typos are highly uncharacteristic. I'll blame it on the jet-lag and different keyboard.

  4. Don't call me out, bitch:

    "[Scylla] was one of the children of Phorcys and either Hecate, Crataeis, Lamia or Ceto (all of whom may be various names for the same goddess."


    "In Greek mythology, Charybdis or Kharybdis...was a sea monster, once a beautiful naiad and the daughter of Poseidon and Gaia."

    I'm pretty sure that makes them Greek gods, or at least demi-gods, in addition to being monsters.


  5. Hahahaha I laughed out loud at this. :) I miss you guys!! Hope the chill pill works and you arrive safely in Tanzania. <3