The sun is shining in Groningen right now. That is rather unusual for this small city in the northern Netherlands where it rains virtually everyday. The bicycle also happens to be the dominant mode of transportation in Groningen, so the rain presents a bit of a special challenge. However, long-term residents do not seem to be much troubled by cycling in the rain. They always have a rain coat, poncho, or a fancy “rainsuit” from HEMA (a small chain of stores here where you can kind a little bit of everything). As Groningers are also adept at cycling with one or no hands, many also carry umbrellas. Naturally, I have not invested in any of this oh-so-critical rainwear. I also bought a bike that doesn’t have fenders so all the muck and wet kicks up on me when I ride. It’s really lovely. One look at my backside, and you can tell I’m a foreign exchange student. Speaking of which, I - oh by the way, my name is Garrett. I should probably tell you that as mijn vriend (aw yeah, be impressed with my Dutch skills!), Liz, will be blogging too (actually, she probably won’t. We’ve been here for 3+ months, and this is the first bit of blogging - or is it tumblring? tumblig? Microblogging? - that either of us has attempted). Yeah, that sentence sucked, huh? Sorry about that. When using parentheses do you capitalize the first first letter like you’re starting a new sentence? What if what’s between the parentheses forms a complete sentence? Do you put the period inside of the parentheses or outside of them or - bleh, ok, sorry again! Where was I going with this? Oh yes, my name is Garrett, and I have come to Groningen from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign by way of the NEURUS program. If you don’t know what that is, please refer to the above description. Myself and the two other NEURUS students I am here with from UIUC, Liz and Sarah, had been asked to blog about our experiences over two months ago. Better late than never? “Uh, no, never!” said you because I write like a post-post-modernist, stream-of-consciousness, self-indulgent HIPSTER……………Oh sorry, I just had to instagram a picture of myself in a fedora recording a banjo accompaniment to the Azalea Banks remix of Lana Del - oh bleh, sorry, I just threw up in my mouth a little bit too. But 4 serious, I promise to write about actual experiences and not clack away on my keyboard about nothing in future posts! And Sarah and Liz will have much more informative, better-written posts. Well, actually, Sarah won’t be blogging (she has an aversion to it); she’ll only be posting photographs, but she’s a fantastic photographer! Ok, I’m going to go out and enjoy this rare suneshine-y day now! I bet you a 1 cent euro coin (Why do those even exist? Nobody uses them.) that this will be the first and last blog post that any of us UIUC NEURUS folk write! Forever yours, Garrett with the eternally mud-covered ass.
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