The ramblings of an absent-minded doctoral student

The ramblings of an absent-minded doctoral student. Chronicling my life as I earn a PhD in history.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Den Haag: Day Two

Ik heb pijn! Walking for seven hours yesterday was a really bad idea. I am in need of either a muscle relaxer or a massage.

In any case, I managed to get myself up this morning at a respectable hour and was on my way to the archives before 10am (they don't open until 10 due to the renovations, so I didn't feel bad about not being up even earlier). I found the right tram stop and got on the proper tram, although I accidentally rode without paying as I was under the impression I could buy a ticket from the driver. I couldn't actually find the driver in order to pay and just hoped I would go unnoticed. Here's hoping I don't get arrested. Once I got to Centraal Station, I found the HTM offices and immediately bought an OV-Chipkaart for access to the trams and buses. Even though it's more expensive up front (€7,70 to buy the card itself, then adding money to ride), each trip is cheaper (at €1,30 instead of €3,50). Works out in the long run, I suppose (and the card is good until 2018, for whenever I come back!) After much wandering around and turning around and generally having no idea where I was, I found the Nationaal Archief. Turns out, it should have been quite easy to find if I had actually continued past the construction zones. Now, at least, I know where I'm going, so the next few days should run relatively smoothly.

Due to the renovations at the archives, there is limited room in the temporary studiezaal. I managed to get through two boxes of documents before my camera and phone batteries died. Unfortunately, my camera didn't seem to charge properly last night, so tomorrow I know I'll get through all the boxes I've reserved. I felt really good about how quickly I was working, all things considered. Today I'm searching for more documents in the catalogue to reserve for the next few days (here's hoping I can get a seat) and working further on my Dutch language course online. Time here in Den Haag is flying by! It's bittersweet. I'm excited to go home on Sunday, but I also know I have much I could do here. I'll certainly be working to plan another trip out here. It would be wonderful to spend 6 months to a year out here, learning the language and working through more records. Maybe it's something to consider if Kyle deploys again. I've always wanted to be fluent in another language. If I'm going to do it, I need to be immersed! Same with learning French. I just need to live in France for a year or so! #wishfulthinking

Below is an example of some of the items I've found here in Den Haag (fortunately this is much easier to read than most):

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