27 juli 1979
Dear Mother and Daddy,
Before the sun gets too warm, I'll sit in it and write you a few lines. From the balcony I can hear the dentist's drill, check out everyone's laundry, and read grafitti on the wall enclosing the apartment complex! It is unusual to see open windows, but with the warm weather yesterday and today I see a few.
I received your letter of July 18 yesterday. I can't understand why it takes your letters 2-6 days longer than those that come from Baton Rouge. Maybe Alexandria is an out-of-the-way place?
Before lunch I will walk to the city center to shop for MV's birthday present. She is the wife of J.'s best friend. I don't know what to buy. Maybe something for the kitchen. She has one boy 1 1/2 years old and is expecting another baby in January.
J. apologizes for not writing. He said he will try to drop you a letter soon. If you have a chance, you might write Mr. and Mrs. S. a short note. They have been very good to me. Last week-end they took me shopping (we bought cheap meat) and they bought me some plants. Also, they keep my refrigerator stocked with fresh vegetables from their garden.
Tomorrow we go back to Olst to visit with the Italians and J.'s parents. We will go have dinner in a Chinese/Indonesian restaurant. I hope I have eggrolls. I want some Mexican food so bad I can taste it, but I'll just have to wait until Christmas.
I will see about interviews Tuesday. If I don't get a teaching job, we will leave on August 18 for a vacation in Italy. I want the job, but I want to go on vacation, too. I have mixed feelings.
I baked whole wheat bread on Tuesday and it was beautiful. It didn't taste too bad either. We finished it last night with bacon, lettuce, and tomatoes. That was J.'s first BLT sandwich. It passed the test. Tonight we'll have ribs. That is his favorite.
I'm doctoring fever blisters on my lip and in my nose. Maybe I got too much sun, but nothing else is blistered. I just hope they are well by next Tuesday. Either I am getting used to the tooth pain or it is disappearing. Anyway, I haven't had to take aspirin in 4 days. But I still have to be extra careful when eating cold or hot food. I guess we shouldn't have bothered those teeth.
Well, I'll check my wash and get ready to walk a couple of miles. Take care and write whenever you can.
Heineken Brewery in Rotterdam
[Our apartment was built on the former site of the old Heineken Brewery in Rotterdam. Interestingly enough, our home in Zoeterwoude was just down the road from the present Heineken Brewery. And why I was baking bread is still a mystery to me, since the Dutch bakers make the most delicious bread. Fresh every single day and any kind you can imagine. Plus, our apartment was located just steps away from the most wonderful small bakery, cheese store, and butcher. Was I just being domestic or trying to fill up my time?]