105 Days: That is how long my study abroad program is. As of today, I have 54 days left, which means I am about half way done. When I realized this, I had a lot of mixed feelings. I love Amsterdam so much. If I had it my way, I would take all of my favorite people and transport them here. This past week I assimilated back into my Dutch life after an incredible 17 days in Morocco. It was also filled with a ton of school work, so it is not as exciting as past weeks.
On Monday, Saint Patrick’s Day, I returned from Morocco, and was welcomed with perfectly rainy Amsterdam weather.
Wednesday after class, I met up with my friend Emma and a group from her school, UvA, to join them for a film screening at the Eye. I went with my SIT friends, Abi and Annalise. The Eye is in Amsterdam Noord, so I took the ferry over the IJ for the first time. The film that we saw, Sletvrees (Slutphobia), discussed the stigmas around the term slut and female sexuality in an American, English, and Dutch context. The film was mostly in Dutch, but had English subtitles, which made life much easier. The film brought up a lot of inequalities surrounding female sexuality and expression of said sexuality, but that is a blog for another time!
On Friday, we took a class trip to Utrecht- my new favorite place on Earth! We went to Rutgers WPF where we discussed the Dutch sex education system, which is incredible. That too is another blog post however. While at Rutgers WPF, I met a man who advocates for men’s rights, which aligns perfectly with research topic. (My research topic will be shared shortly once it’s entirely formulated.) We also went to a BDSM sex shop, called Laced Up, which really informative and completely debunked my ideas about BDSM~ Thanks 50 Shades! To finalize our trip to Utrecht, we stopped by this quaint feminist bookstore, Savannah Bay. Bringing 16 people interested in gender and sexuality to a book store may not have been the best idea. We wanted all of the books, and none of us wanted to leave! I definitely plan on visiting Utrecht again.
On Saturday, Annalise and I ventured off to the Van Gogh Museum. I am not a super artsy person, but I was completely drawn in my his artistic techniques and images. I was a foot away from original Monet’s and Van Gogh’s. It was honestly an overwhelming and incredible moment. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take pictures, but I will never forget. Following the museum, we had lunch from this little outdoor food shop on Museumplein, which was delicious! We followed our sandwiches with a hot and Nutella drizzled waffle. Museumplein was quite busy that day. We found the I amsterdam sign, but couldn’t take photos because of the crowds. There was also a protest about racism and politics, which is a growing problem in the Netherlands.
Souvenirs with Van Gogh’s “Almond Blossom” painting on them:
I can not believe the program is half way over. I have so much planned these next few weeks including trips to Eastern Holland and London. I also begin my research, so you will all hear about that and my many other adventures shortly!