Time flies when you’re having fun. I never really believed this until I sat down to write this piece one week into my European adventure. It certainly has not been the easiest of adjustments, but I am in love with the Netherlands and Amsterdam! Monday-Thursday, the 16 of us stayed in a hostel in Egmond, about 45 minutes outside of Amsterdam. It was absolutely breathtaking. We biked to the North Sea, got hot chocolate from a Dutch waiter who lived in Arkansas at some point, and had our first Dutch lesson on Wednesday. A small group of us also took a night hike to the dunes, in hopes of reaching sea. But instead, we got lost. (Not to worry; we obviously made it back in one piece!)
On Thursday, we stayed at a hostel in Amsterdam finally! Besides the fact that a group of us got awkwardly hit on by two drunk Norwegian men in the lobby, it was an incredible! Friday evening, I met my home stay mom, Joke (Yoka). I live in the Zeeburg district of Amsterdam, which is about a 15-20 minute bike ride away from SIT’s headquarters near Centrum . I also have a room mate, Taylor. She is from Southern Maine and actually works where I vacation. We get along very well and have explored our neighborhood both days this weekend!
Amsterdam embraces everything and everyone I quickly found out Saturday night when I went out to Rembrandtplein! No one uses public transportation (even after a night of drinking!) I saw (see) cyclist everywhere, which makes me antsy to get mine tomorrow. My only concern is that no one wears helmets. People here have an innate sense of trust and understanding for one another. Even at the bars and shops that I went to Saturday evening, if I didn’t want to dance or talk with someone, they were very understanding. This was a lovely surprise after dealing with American men since turning 21. Another plus to Dutch living is the fact that every 2 hours we have a tea/coffee break!!
This blog is certainly a procrastination tool, since classes start tomorrow and I do have a good deal of Dutch to review before class. I will (try) to update my blog every Sunday. Until next time, tot ziens!!