Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Caged Bear

Next weekend I am flying to the U.S. (Clemson, South Carolina to be exact). WHY? To be in a friend's wedding. Only for a weekend. Crazy, huh? I am not rich and this kind of jet-setting is really not my style, but, hey, my friend flew from southern Africa to attend my wedding, so I think I can fly to hers for a weekend, especially since she has asked me to be a bridesmaid...unfortunately, I have not been able to do this for all my friends' weddings, which I have sadly missed over the years :(

But, anyway, that is not the point of this blog story. The point of the story is....aside from the wedding and the beautiful Southern summer scenery and SUN, do you know what I am most looking forward to???

TARGET! Yep, after many months of not visiting the U.S. (and years not living there), when I do visit, I am like a caged bear who has been released back into the wild....only for me, it's release into the world of consumerism and I have a particular thirst for the unbeatable quantities and varieties of products one can purchase in stores like Target, Walmart, etc. You see, in Europe, well at least in The Netherlands, these kinds of stores simply do not exist! Ikea is the closest thing and who wants to buy everything there - ick- boring!

When you do need to buy several different things here, you have to go to several different stores to find them. Not so in the U.S.A. - the land of plenty (ignore the fact that so much of it is manufactured in China)....If I need something for the bathroom, for the living room, some clothes, some toiletries, and don't forget FOOD, you can go to one place!!! ONE PLACE! And you have so much to choose from in that ONE place!!! Different colors, prints, styles, sizes, etc. It's a consumer paradise. Sure, it's sometimes nice to browse around all of these little European shops, but it's also time consuming and - not to mention - not cheap!

First of all, finding which shops have which products takes forever, and then learning the pricing of products at these numerous shops, takes years to master!!!!!! I still don't know where to go to find certain things (recent example - one of those hangy thingys for the shower)! This is why I most often resort to online shopping, which involves learning the word in Dutch and then googling different varieties of the word to see if there is a shop even selling it online)!

Needless to say, I am so incredibly looking forward to walking into Target, breathing in the wonderful smell of ultimate consumerism and embracing it, at least for the few hours I have to do so. I will soak in the variety of choices, take time to browse and decide, and do what Americans do best, CONSUME! :)

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Upcoming travels

We have lots of European travels coming up with my family visiting in May and July!

- April: Greece for business and pleasure!
- May: Munich and Bavarian region with the father, stepmother and half-siblings

- June: Portugal --> Arno and I will also finally have a belated honeymoon!! Never been to Portugal, so really looking forward to exploring the country over a 2 week timeframe.
- July: Paris, for about the 5th time with my mom! I love this city!

Unfortunately, no fun trips outside of Europe, although, if I am really lucky - maybe a long weekend to Istanbul....hmm.....

Anyhow, will be posting photos from Greece in a couple of weeks! Stay tuned. Fun times!