By Rosie Wood
7 a.m. came all too soon on thirsty Thursday in Holland. Now you may be thinking of the traditional college Thursday night that is so American (or so I keep hearing). However, thirsty Thursday in the Netherlands has quite a different meaning. To the immense displeasure of the entire Tar Heel crew, water is not free here. It's not even cheap or cheaper than any other drink. So by the time Thursday rolls around, these Tar Heels in particular were rather parched from trying to conserve Euros by drinking less. First thought of the day: thirsty.
Downstairs, fed, and ready to go at 8:15 a.m. Time to roll! It took an hour (about) to arrive at our day's destination: Utrecht. We first took a lovely tour of, day I say it, a stereotypical Dutch town. Now this is what I had been waiting for! (Minus the tulips.) Our tour guide was the best so far, for a few basic reasons: She waited for everyone, spoke up, and sported a set of very nifty braces.
Being thirsty for knowledge (and water) I was excited and concerned about the looming prospect of scaling 465 stairs to the top of the tallest church tower in Holland, Dom Tower. We climbed the tower: It was great, but made me thirstier. Then we had three hours to explore the winding streets of Utrecht, which is a larger version of the Streets at Southpoint. Like Southpoint, the outdoor market leads into an indoor mall with a movie theatre. I thought my thirst could be quenched with a larger theatre-sized drink. My hopes were crushed! Doors were locked. The theatre was closed. I...was thirsty.
So I made my way back to our meeting point, passing by Utrecht's two large city-length canals, full of water that I could not drink. Tour complete, it was game time. We played our second game of the tour. Our performance improved from the first game, winning 7-2. As usual with field hockey six giant water cannons soaked the field before the game. It was free water, but I could not drink it.
I like Holland, but it makes me treasure what I know and love. America: Land of the free...water.