Apeldoorn, The Netherlands

We went out, three degrees outside, for the first time since I got here. There was a nearby shopping strip — Mango, Zara, and the local Dutch brands. We set out to look for these items, the only I items I target, take note, target, to buy while in Europe. This means everything in excess is me again not thinking of my finances. Going back, I target to get: a pair of knee-high leather (-looking) boots, trench coat (a basic), and gloves (my hands can really get really cold!). We ended up buying the gloves, at least for now, because it rained around 5PM, just about the time the stores were closing (I think our malls in Manila should close the same time. I mean, this would impact how people, especially the office-people manage their time. They would go home earlier than usual to their families, more chances of eating dinner together, and the list goes on on how this will impact the Filipino shopping and going-out culture altogether).It was freezing cold. I mean, I was freezing! My hands were getting numb in the cold so we got in one of the still-open malls and bought a 29-euro pair of leather (-looking) gloves. We got home around 7pm and boy were we soaked! I tried the experiment of not taking a shower when you get soaked in the rain just like we do in Manila (well, it’s really your mom dodging you to take a full shower when the rain has already given you an initiation).

Before it rained, I found the one pair of knee-high leather (-looking) boots that I really liked! Only that they didn’t have my size. And then it rained. What a drama.

The following day, today, was my first time to baby-sit my 10-month old nephew, alone. From 7am, the moment he woke up, to 7pm, the moment his mom, my sister, got home from work. My sister works in a university here as a PhD student-researcher. Her husband, my brother-in-law, works for Philips as a researcher-scientist. They’re scientists. I feel like I’m in the Big Bang real-life sitcom. We’re a family of geniuses. It starts with my mom, my nagging, know-it-all mother, if you know what I mean.

Anyways, today was a bit of a challenge, which I like. Actually, my sister and my brother-in-law have been calling me every other hour today to check how I was doing, and if I was having a hard time. Of course I said no, not at all. At least I can’t complain YET because everything is hard at the beginning. And it was a decision of mine to embark on this “journey” whatever you wanna call it, and I’m sticking to it. Ask me again after 10 days. Maybe I’d be eating my words.


Apeldoorn Centrum shopping strip where to get the basic gears of boots, gloves, and coat.

*This is part of a 68-Day Travel Diary called Reflections of a Nearly Thirty. Read the full Reflections Series here.


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About hellopenville

Writing is my one true north. (The other is eating spaghetti. I make the best pastas in the whole world I swear!) I have been writing since age 10. I remember being in another school a lot because of Campus Journalism contests. I was a grade-school copyreader, headline-writer, and feature writer, who emerged to be a college editorial writer and eventually a TV news writer. However, I have always been an insecure artist. These constant condescending thoughts always stopped me from creating: “No one would read this.” “This has been written before and therefore no one would read this.” “This is not interesting enough and therefore no one would read this.” “This is not relevant, or factual, or trendy enough and therefore no one would read this.” But I learned to risk to write even if no one reads it, than not to have written anything at all. To resist writing is to resist truth itself, to betray that which comes freely to you when you do not allow it to be manifested through you. I didn’t think writing was serious work. But every time I thought about writing, it would make me nervous. It would rattle me and frighten me. I would shake the ground under me. Aren’t dreams like that too? Read more at penville.net.


Europe, Holland, Travel, Travel Reflections Series (3 months in Europe)


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