Carol Bontekoe

This blog has been keeping track of my adventures since 2004. The stories and the adventures have come from my college dorm room to Uganda, Peace Corps Kyrgyzstan, learning Dutch in the Netherlands to living in the wilds of Homer, Alaska. I went back to school in Amsterdam to study Theaterwetenschap (Theatre Science) at University of Amsterdam. And now my adventures as a Fruit Fly, a Sexy Unicorn, and creating a movement with Team Sparkle in Chicago.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Since my lil sister Diane didn't make her flight to Spain I found myself with some time on my hands. I spent my first night in Madrid just wondering around walking into any store that was open...Stores open after 5! Wait till I tell everyone back in Friesland that that really happens some places.
I ended up walking into an underground Supermarket. Similiar to the first underground supermarket I ever saw 5 years ago in Prague. While rolling down into the store on a converbelt I realized I'm starting to be a little travel jaded.
When I fisrt started traveling abroad I had to take in every sound, taste, smell... i wanted to absorb the country into my pores. I often did with the frequent acne that came along with these trips. In the past five years I have gone from only one country under my belt, Sweden when I was 13, to double digits. I have studied photography in the UK, Whitewater rafted the Nile, drank virgin margarhitas at 8 in the morning in the carribbean,have drank more vodka in Central Asia than one person should consume in a life time. Over the past six months, since moving to Friesland, I have gotten to travel around the norther part of the Netherlands, Watch Rugby World Cup Semi Finals at the Eiffel Tower, dancing till all hours of the night in London, learned all about Bols jenever in Amsterdam, jumped a fence in Italy, and now am exploring Madrid. I list these things not to brag but to try and understand why I wasn't overcome with joy as I rolled into the supermarket. When I was in Prague 5 years ago I went out of my way everyday to go to that underground store because I thought it was the most unique thing on Earth. AN UNDERGROUND SUPERMARKET! I also thought, okay still think, the "Prague Czech it out" shirts are so clever and cool. I seem not to get overwhelmed anymore by how cool and new and exciting things are. My skin for the first time in my life, is clear. I often will see something that would have suprised or shocked me in the past and now find myself going oh, that's nothing compared to... insert country I have been to before where ever I am at the time.
Traveling is all I every really wanted to do. No, let me rephrase that... exploring.There isn't really anything left to discover except for the things you discover for yourself. The wonder and awe that you find in things. I have been extremely lucky, no no that isn't the right word...blessed, with all the traveling I have gotten to do in my short lifetime. I wandered the aisles of the underground supermarket thinking about how I always swore I wouldn't get jaded, I would always find ways to be excited. and then without trying I was reassured that I might not be as jaded as I think, when I saw a woman pull out a giant knife cut off the head of a fish, gut it, and cut of the tail and wrap it in less than 10 seconds. No one else there was amazed but I was restraining myself from applauding. And then I saw that the store had Mountain Dew and Oreos. Two things I haven't seen in months. ¿Man does life get better than this?

Friday, February 22, 2008

My 24th

I had my 24th birthday two days ago. I didn't want a party or anything big to happen since my 23rd birthday in Kygyzstan ws a disaster.
In the morning Rob(my boss) said: "oh, 24? hmmm... I had been working for 6 years and started my own company the next year."
Well, happy Birthday to me. All I could say was good for you. I was changing his daughter diaper at the time. Thank goodness after that I had volleyball. Even with my birthday I'm still on average 40 years younger than the other players on my team. They all kept telling me how I ahd so much time ahead of me and that I was so young. Thank you that is exactly what I want to hear. I ahd made cupcakes for everyone on the team just to make sure they really understood I'm not as old as them.
In the evening the family I work for took me and a friend of mine out for dinner. I had a fantastic meal. Only problem is I found out I don't know what the Dutch word is for Lobster cuz apparently it was on menu. Dang I missed out on free lobster! If only I had know.
I tried to go see the movie Kite Runner since I will never get around to reading the book. Only problem is we got five minutes in and there had only been about 4 lines of dialect in English. We grabbed our coats and ran out of the theatre. I over exagerated my English and in ability to understand English.
"Oh, I am soooooo sorry Do you speak ENG-LIIIIISH????!"
"Well... We were in the movie Kite Runner and it's in Arabic not English"
blank Stare
"We SPEEEAAAK ENG-LISSSSHH. So, we can't watch that and we want our money back."
We got the money back and since we both felt like we had just made 8 euros we decided to go spend it on Blonde Beers(yummy!) Lauren wanted to get me a piece of Chocaolate cake but it was to expensive and they don't give anything for free in Friesland... not even on your birthday.
Over all a nice and very relaxed b-ay. Tonight I'm going out with "the Girls". The group will include an Aussie, Polack, Chinese girl, and an Israeli. Well, it looks like my 24th year is going to be competative as my most random year of my life... thus far.