This weekend I was fortunate enough to be able to catch some of my closest friends in Groningen for some much needed girl time. We stay in touch as much as possible, but with different courses of study, extracurriculars/jobs, and other friends to keep up with, finding the time to see each other is something of a miracle. This weekend we only had about 30 hours, and we made sure to make every last one of them count!
I caught the train at a very respectable 10.47 on Friday morning, feeling like something of a pack mule with a multitude of bags hanging from my body … I was finally going to celebrate three very belated birthdays, and I wasn’t going to do it in halves! Cupcake mix, homemade cream cheese & maple frosting, candles, and gifts were all accounted for, not to mention some celebratory necessities: heels (groan) and black tights. (I had big plans to raid the girls’ closets which, as always, was a very satisfying and fruitful experience!)
As usual, reuniting felt as if no time had passed, and two hours flew by without our notice as we talked and laughed over cappuccinos. (Drip coffee either doesn’t exist in the Netherlands, or it costs 3 euros at Starbucks and is reserved for emotional emergencies.) Naturally, I also had to reaffirm my status as a foreigner … by taking a picture in the bathroom. Can you blame me?!
What country are we in again?
Before we knew it, it was time to start thinking of more practical issues: how to get myself, the groceries and all of my things up to Barbara’s place on the back of her bicycle. (Nicole and Elisa would join us there later.) Barbara is a force to be reckoned with on a bike, and eventually we were home, but a certain soreness in my arms and derrière reminds me that it was no picnic!
We had decided to make sushi and were leisurely reading the back of our sushi kits (and perhaps also feasting on jelly beans) when two unexpected pieces of news were brought to our attention:
1. Barbara’s housemate had commandeered the kitchen, and
2. We were expected at a party in two hours.
But could we do it? Yes we could! We transformed Barbara’s room into a (fishy) lab of efficiency, taking turns to attend to the sushi, decide what to wear, and, in my case, whip up a batch of cupcakes. Totally do-able.
And, amazingly, the sushi turned out to be truly delicious! My camera doesn’t do so well in poor lighting, so you’ll have to take my word for it, but we built a veritable tower of it and devoured it at unprecedented rates.
Finally, although Barbara’s place looked very much the worse for wear, we were only 30 minutes late to the party, and the night was a huge success! Highlights include: the bar playing ‘Cotton-eye Joe’, as they always always do in Groningen; myself being the only one to know and perform the accompanying dance (or maybe being the only one without shame?); and Nicole telling a pesky boy that they would have a beautiful wedding to get him to leave her alone.
We didn’t shut our eyes until 6 in the morning, and a mere five hours later, we were up and ready for the day. While Barbara and Nicole attended a career fair, I baked and iced the remaining cupcakes …
… and scrubbed some mayonnaise off of my shoes.
You know, the usual. The rest of the day was spent in some of my favourite Groningen haunts, but I’ll save those for another post. For now, it’s back to the books!