Saturday, September 29, 2012

remember this moment for the rest of our lives

21-23 september
the weekend was quite an adventure! the good times started on friday afternoon when my friend and i hopped on a train to amsterdam for a Macklemore concert.
the idea for this concert started the very first night i was here in den haag. i met this girl at the pub and we got to talking. she found out i was from seattle and told me she was a huge fan of a rapper {Macklemore} from there! furthermore he was coming to amsterdam! she asked if i wanted to go and in my want to explore everything here and sleep deprived state i told her *of course i'd love to go!*
almost a month later it was really happening!

we made it to amsterdam and took a tram to the right area that we needed. we were a couple hours early so sat down for a quick drink before the show. they started letting people in about an hour before the start of the show and we were part of the first 20 or 30 people in line. we got in pretty quickly and after checking our coats we wandered in to check out how close we could get to the stage. extremely close as it turns out! it was a fairly small venue and we got within a couple people of the stage.

we hung out and made friends with a few people who had come all the way from spain for this concert as more people began to fill the room.
at 8.30 a pair of rappers came out and did a set. they were pretty good however they only spoke in dutch. we had no idea what they were saying! so we enjoyed the music and pretended to know what was going on. after they left there was about a half hour wait until Macklemore finally came out.
he was amazing and the crowd was insane! it was a sold out show of 700 people and the entire area we were was a sold mosh pit!

there were great songs and it was incredible to listen to him perform. near the end of the show he even dove into the crowd! after the crazy fun that was the concert we hopped in line to meet Macklemore!

he was incredibly nice and willing to talk to us. SO MUCH FUN. that's what i get for saying yes to things when i have no idea what i'm getting myself into.
the next day i had an appointment to pick up my bike!
now i really fit in here.

the afternoon was spent then spent at the market with my friends. its a very large and busy place where you can get lots of fresh food, especially fruits and veggies, for very little money. there are also sections for clothing, appliances, household goods. you name it and it is somewhere in the market. after loading our pantries with food we headed home to work on homework for a couple hours. we met up again to cook a delicious dinner of mushroom soup and sweet potatoes. we had a good time discussing all manner of topics before rounding out the night at dutch friends house for his birthday.

sunday in the hague was international peace day. my friend from Estonia and i went to visit the Estonian Embassy and i was able to hear more about her country and hope i can go visit some day!
after the visit we went to a cute little sandwich and coffee shop before heading home to do laundry and homework. i even got to skype with brook-ya! i'm so excited for her to finally be in seattle! can't believe she grew up so fast!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

nose to the grindstone

17-20 september
week two of classes! 
what could be more exciting! 
however that is the reason that i fly across the ocean for this whole grand adventure. 
so work i must. 
i ended up dropping a couple of classes because i was *way* over the recommended credit load. 
so my week looks like this

dutch - 16.30-18.00
dutch -12.15-13.00
ctrl, alt, del - 13.00-14.30
cost accounting - 15.30-16.15
ctrl, alt, del - 8.45-12.45
cost accounting - 14.45-16.15
into to dutch culture - 16.30-18.00

you may notice that friday is missing. oh how very observant of you! i do not have classes on friday which is great because it gives me the chance to be caught up on homework.....or to travel and have some fun. same thing right? 
this last week i was able to skype with ej which was a great hour. i had a big presentation due tuesday that was worth 15% of my grade but our group rocked it. wednesday night i enjoyed mushroom soup at a friends house and went to a lecture after. thursday night was an incredibly fun time at a friends apartment just chilling and just having a ton of fun. 

it's fun when there is a network of people you can just call up and say 'hey what do you want to do?' knowing that whatever happens will be a good time :) 
it was certainly true of thursday night and i'm sure it will be for many more evenings!

Friday, September 21, 2012

celebrate good times

14-16 september
this last weekend was largely an effort to celebrate our dear friend's birthday. 
i don't have class on friday so i spent the day going to get groceries and pick up a cute new dress to celebrate! {someone else's birthday is a good enough reason for me to get new clothes right?} 
at about 7 in the evening we all met up at the birthday girls apartment to enjoy the last of the no bake cake truffles and each others company.

i seriously enjoy spending time with these people. they all have their own fun personality and it makes for a great time!

all those fears about making friends - totally put at ease!

we all hung out until about 11:30 when we made our way to the international pub to keep rockin.
it was a rather interesting time there. losing people and finding them again in the large crowd that was there. it was certainly a packed building and we had a fun time. by about 1 or 2 we were feeling all danced out and we walked one of our friends home. my walking buddy and i thought we would check out one of the other places that was busy that night. turned out it was a dj contest and it was all guys that were there. it wasn't really our type of music so we headed home for the night. overall the night was a ton of fun and i look forward to more evenings with all these crazy people!
*happy birthday* my dear! i hope you had a fun time and i am so glad that i have had the chance to meet you!
the next day was a pretty relaxed day. in one of my classes we had to write a group paper and give a presentation so i met with my group to polish off the paper and to start the presentation.
that evening a few of us met in Grote Markt to figure out a plan for what to do that evening. we had a guide book to Den Haag with us and after flipping through some of the pages we thought pancakes sounded really good. the pancake place wasn't open anymore but on a whim i had gotten pancake mix the week before. talk about convient. so we snagged some syrup and chocolate milk mix and headed back to my place.
there were tunes playing while we mixed up some warm chocolate milk {college student version of hot cocoa} and a batch of the yummiest pancakes i have ever tasted! we didn't have enough plates so we simply ate with our hands dipping the pancakes into the caramel syrup we had. *so delicious*
if only i could have pancakes every night :) 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


10-13 september
the last two weeks felt like a total vacation but on monday morning reality hit hard
i only had one class on monday but i was also coming down with some sort of cold. ya know the lovely running nose and hacking cough. not one to back down i went to my dutch class and learned to tell people, "Ik heet lindsey" or "Ik ben mevrow VD" and ask them "Hoe heet jij?/Wie bent u?" the best part was trying to go around the room asking people with a tissue clutched in my hand to use every 10 seconds. 
thank goodness that was my only class of the day so i proceeded to go home and drink 40 cups of tea with honey in an effort to feel a little better. 
the next day i went to the lecture for a class i had just picked on the day of registration. it was titled "Ctrl, Alt, Delete: The Digital Society" 
should be interesting. 
the first day was spent telling us about what the module consisted of and then going into some preliminary information on the cyberworld. the whole school is very international and there were plenty of opinions that were voiced throughout the class. i look forward to hearing more of the discussions that play out - i'm way out of my element in this field but hopefully i can learn lots of new viewpoints and information. 
from there was Cost Accounting. this class is immediately after the class for Financial Accounting {which i took last year at SPU so didn't need} and has many of the same students with the same teacher. it was the first day and many of the people had never been in accounting besides the financial acct. class they had just sat through so we covered the basics. 
after that i was done for the day so i headed to the store to pick up some ingredients for a home remedy i wanted to try, grapes, and chicken soup. i skipped on the big party that was going on in an effort to get some extra sleep.
wednesday started early at 8:45 with a 4 hour class for Ctrl, Alt, Del which was rather interesting as we discussed the digital revolution and all the mountains of work we will have to do for this part of the module. {my group had a 30 source paper and a 30 min presentation due next week!} but once we got to actually looking at the material it was rather interesting and fun to learn more about the world that we are living in. 
my only other class for that day was Dutch and we simply practiced more about our names and asked "Waar kom jij vamdaan?" {Ik kom uit de V.S.} we also listened to a dialoge in the book. two of the characters give their last names as Dikstra and de Vries. :) that was all i had to do that day and simply filled up on chicken soup and read my book for our group paper. 
thursday is the last day of the week i have class. i start with Multicultural Consumer Behavior {which i am trying to decide if i should drop. i am taking 37 credits and they recommend 24 to 30} then i have a break in which i simply went home to drink even more tea and try to rest. then comes the workshop for Cost Accounting which was actually great. we worked through some problems i hadn't done before and i was able to figure out what was going on even with most of the class sitting confused. it has nothing to do with the fact i have taken a whole course before and they have never seen it. nope. 
then i attended a lecture for Intro to Dutch Culture which was about Dutch politics with a focus on the elections that had just happened the day before. 
it was also the birthday of one of my good friends here! 

in an effort to celebrate we invited her back to my apartment and made a delicious salad and no-bake cake balls! they were delicious and we just enjoyed the evening together talking about everything/anything we could think of!

that was my first week of school here in Holland! looks like i have lots to learn but it should be a good time. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

jump a train and see the world

7-9 september
a perfect weekend.
getting to see more of this beautiful country and enjoying the company of good friends.
there were no orientation obligations on friday so a few of us thought why not go to Utreight?
however when we all arrived at the train station we noticed it would cost twice as much and take twice as long to go to Utreight versus going to say Gouda.
so in the interest of time and our wallets we hopped on the train to Gouda!
too be honest i think that's the farthest we thought ahead. i sure didn't think about where things were or what we would do!
so excited to go to Gouda! 

once we arrived i wanted to be sure to get a photo that said we were in Gouda. so we made everyone smile and get a cheesy picture in Gouda. ha. ha. the lame puns continued all day long {which i of course had nothing to do with}.

after posing we found a map pointing us in the direction of the city centre which had to have something good so we headed off in that direction!
it wasn't hard to find by just following the beautiful wide canals until reaching the quiet but bustling streets that comprised the city centre. there were the typical shopping stores but we also found a cute cheese shop with many different kinds of cheese for sampling such as pesto, italian herb, wasbi, old, young, and many more! we were just starting the day so we didn't want to fill up on cheese just yet but promised to be back later that day. just a little further was the big square with the church in the center.

 surrounding the edges of the square were lots of different restaurants and the building where the cheeses used to be brought to be weighed.

it has since been turned into a cheese museum and tourist information center so we ambled in to check it out. there was a set up showing how the cheese was weighed that one of the people working corralled us onto to take a group photo.

they had lots of good information and even more cheese to sample! we were all feeling a little hungry for some more variety so they pointed us to a great coffee place and said any of the places around would have good food. so we walked a little further and picked a place that looked relatively inexpensive. we sat down and all decided to order toasties. instead of calling them grilled cheese they are toasties! so much cuter.

after our late lunch we continued to walk through the streets unsure of what we may find. we stumbled upon serene streets with museums and works of art. we found another church surrounded by houses with cute balconies. along another street bordered by water we found another museum and a library with the yummiest looking bakery attached.
cute little balconies. that is half the face of one of my good friends here. you may call him Daddy Long Legs or DLL for short.  
little patio on the water

little bakery next to the library 
after this little stop we made our way back into the square and stopped by a little sweet shop to get a late afternoon treat.

afterwards we stopped by the Koffee Factory to enjoy some coffee and play a game of Jenga. i didn't play or it would have only lasted one round!

it was nearing time for shops to close and we wanted to pick up food to have a picnic for dinner so we made our way back to the cheese shop and picked up a sample pack with different styles of cheese then stopped by the grocery store for bread, honey mustard, drinks, and dessert. on the map we had seen a large windmill next to a park so we thought we would go there for dinner! after making our way through town to the windmill we discovered there was some sort of food conference going on - unfortunately they weren't open to the public so we continued walking back in the direction of the train station.
the windmill we found
saving the falling buildings - basically superheros 
beautiful wide canals
gazing thoughtfully 
the park 
our dinner!
there was another park that looked really close to the station and turned out to be pretty easy to find. we picked a spot and unpacked dinner! it was absolutely delicious and made even better by the time spent talking and laughing with these lovely people. we talked until it started to get dark and then we all headed home but didn't want the night to be over yet so we made our way to a friends apartment. we made it through the first half of Bridesmaids before no one could keep their eyes open anymore and went home to rest before the next trip tomorrow!

the next morning we assembled again, only this time to hop over to Amsterdam!
once again we didn't really have a plan but rather just wanted to roam around and see what we could find. {side note i had forgotten to charge my camera so i don't have many pictures - just ones i hijacked from other people!}
immediately after walking out of the station you see a sea of bikes! it's pretty cool to see just hundreds and hundreds of bikes parked in an area.

from there we walked through the streets stopping to enjoy lunch at a little cafe. we found an older area with a large church and an open area with lots of pigeons. we walked into the middle of them and they hardly moved! then as we were talking an older Indonesian man catches my eye and motions for me to hold out my hands. when i did he poured some white rice into them and had me hold my arms out and did the pigeons come! he gave each of us some rice for the pigeons and then kept moving to other people. it was such a Mary Poppins feeling to be feeding the birds! after i had no rice left i went to thank him. turns out he has been doing this for about 30 years when ever the weather is warm enough. just goes out with his boxes of rice and lets people feed the birds. so sweet.
our little group 
feed the birds
after that we kept walking through the streets just checking out what was around. we made our way by some museums but didn't stop. we walked along the canal and through pretty little streets.

not a care in the world and good friends around. we came across an open air market that we took the time to go through. it was full of funky clothes and old cameras - and plenty of rad sunglasses.

after the exploration we decided to stop by the grocery store to pick up some food for a cobbled together late lunch/early dinner. we wanted to find a good park to sit in but when that wasn't working we picked a good spot on the canal and plunked down. we were all enjoying sharing food and sitting by the water when a boat came pulling up right in front of us.

they were simply making a stop but then invited us on for the ride! alright! so we climbed aboard and spent the next couple hours getting to know all sorts of new people and seeing Amsterdam from the water. it was a completely unexpected and delightful trip. we hopped off when we came back by the station but we weren't done yet! the sun was just setting and we kept walking to a different area to check out what else was in this large city. we just had fun walking around and talking.

we even walked through the red light district which was packed! we didn't stay long at all and decided we had been there long enough and hopped on a train to head home.

it was a fun day and a cool city explored with great friends and pleasant surprises!

finally to round out the weekend - sunday.
the last day before classes turned out to be a perfect summer day! and what better way is there to spend a summer day than at the beach?
there was a big get together of international students going to the beach so a couple of my friends and i hopped on the tram and headed out to Scheveningen! i wasn't feeling 100% so when we got out there i went to find some cool air and water before heading out to enjoy the sun and surf with our huge group of friends! it was a wonderfully chill afternoon of sun and water.

but there were plans for the evening! after our lovely afternoon a big group of us walked to one of our friends apartments near the beach to chill for the evening. it was a night of good music and lots of fun chatting.

unfortunately all good things must come to an end and we had to head home to rest before our first classes here in Holland!