Amsterdam Trip

During the last weekend of my Carnaval holiday, I decided to take a trip to Amsterdam! I have been before but it was a very brief trip (for 3 days, back in July 2010). I did a lot of the touristy things on my first trip- toured the Anne Frank House (recommended at least once), toured the old Heineken Brewery aka the Heineken Experience, visited the Van Gogh museum as well as the Rijksmuseum (another art museum), and did a canal tour. So on this trip to Amsterdam, I wanted to stray away from the touristy things a bit and just explore the city!

Amsterdam is a very vibrant city, even when it’s surrounded by the dark, gloomy February weather. The trip to Amsterdam was pretty spontaneous which is always fun. My new Dutch friend, Xander, and I caught the train from Eindhoven to Amsterdam which takes an hour and a half. As soon as we arrived, we got to exploring! The main concern was to find our hostel- since I hadn’t actually reserved a room. It was a bit of a challenge. We finally found the Amsterdam Hostel Leidseplein, but they didn’t have any vacancies left! Luckily, the staff was helpful and directed us to another hostel, Hostel Orfeo, and ended up with a private room so that was nice- I thought we’d be sleeping in a room with 8-10 other people!

Once we’d confirmed we had a place to sleep that night, we hit the city. Our hostel was near Leidseplein, a street with a lot of pubs, clubs, and restaurants…there was plenty to do. Even though Xander lives in Holland, he hadn’t actually visited Amsterdam in close to 10 years so he wanted to see the Red Light District. As expected, the Red Light District is pretty amusing. It’s also always kind of strange to walk to the Red Light District, because it’s not really a defined area (like Leidseplein is)…you just have to wander around in the general vicinity until you see, yes you guessed it, red lights.

Amsterdam is filled with tourists, even in February. Most of the English speakers that were visiting were from the UK. It was almost reverse culture shock, because suddenly people were immediately speaking English to me, instead of first saying lots of things in Dutch to which I always reply “Engels?” (English? in Dutch). So that was kind of nice but it also made me feel like people who visit JUST Amsterdam and say they’ve been to Holland didn’t really get the full experience. There’s more to the country than windmills, cheese, and tulips!

After walking through the Red Light District, we went to get some dinner and drinks. This is harder than you would think, actually. We were probably just in a touristy area, but there wasn’t much variety in the restaurants. We ended up eating a Greek place with terrible service (just don’t eat at Mykonos in the Leidseplein area…it might be the name of a really good song by the Fleet Foxes, but it is NOT a good restaurant). After dinner it was time to enjoy the Amsterdam nightlife! Our favorite pub we ended up at was an Irish pub, also in the Leidseplein area. At one point we ventured over to another popular spot at night, Rembrantplein. This area was good for clubs but that wasn’t really mine or Xander’s scene. It was still fun to walk around though, because it had a huge square in the middle and there were lots of people about.

One great difference between Amsterdam and Eindhoven was the opening/closing hours of all the stores and bars. There were stores open well past midnight and the bars/pubs were open until about 4 or 5am. This is quite the opposite in Eindhoven, where stores close at 6pm and bars close at 2am. Another favorite spot of the night was a Sports Bar (I’m pretty sure that was the name, actually…) also in the Leidseplein. It was clearly catered towards tourists because it had the best deals on food and drinks! All in all, it was a pretty good Saturday night in Amsterdam, with lots of entertaining people. It’s impossible to get bored there because there’s plenty of people-watching possibilities.

For breakfast, I finally ate what everyone gushes about when they come back from the NL…a giant pancake! I got strawberries on top and it was sooo delicious. That day, we had more daytime to explore the city so we walked through the Flower Market (soooo many tulips) as well as all of the hot shopping streets. I didn’t buy anything on this trip, but I took notes for next time 🙂 We did another typical tourist thing and visited The Bulldog, to try a fancy cocktail. The Bulldog is apparently where Snoop Dogg and all the other celebrities who visit Amsterdam hang out. The fact that they have an 800 euro bottle of Dom on the menu is proof.

One other place that we walked through multiple times is the Dam. It’s a huge square in the middle of the city and the buildings surrounding the square are just beautiful. There are also lots of street performers at the Dam. So, if you’re ever in Amsterdam, you probably need to check out the Dam as well!

I’m glad we took a trip to Amsterdam because as it turns out I’m going back there this coming Sunday! The lovely Allie Woodward is leaving her humble Swedish abode and is visiting me here in the Netherlands for the weekend! I will be showing her around Eindhoven on Saturday and then we’ll take a trip to Amsterdam together on Sunday. I can’t wait!

TONS of swans swimming in the Amsterdam canals at night!

Amsterdam at night- hard to see detail but easy to tell its beautiful.

What would a trip to Amsterdam be without a picture of bikes?

Comic Sans- an terrible, unavoidable font, even in the design-tastic country of Holland.

The famous club, the Bulldog.

Delicious pancake breakfast!

Daytime view of the canals

A view of the Dam, although it is actually much more expansive than my iPhone camera can show.

Grocery Shopping Pictures

Maybe I’m a little strange for wanting to photo document this, but I took some pictures on my recent trip to Albert Heijn.

Hagelslag- the name for the chocolate sprinkles that Dutch people eat on top of buttered bread. They will eat this for breakfast but also lunch. Yes. Lunch.

This shopping basket is the cool one you can wheel around on the floor because of the optional long handle. Dear grocery stores of America, take note.

This is "America" wine. By a Dutch generic brand. Do you see the humor as well?

The best soda everrrr. It's very popular here. It tastes slightly less synthetic than orange Fanta in the US and therefore 10 times more awesome. Name for orange soda here is sinas (and orange juice = sinaas-appelsap...why it has the word apple in it, I do not know.)


Hey! So I haven’t written in what feels like an eternity, because I was consumed with my week-long holiday for Carnaval!

In the Netherlands, Carnaval is only celebrated below a certain point in the country. Traditionally, Northern Holland had more Protestant roots, while the South of Holland was more Catholic. So, it is most commonly celebrated in the Southern part of the Netherlands. Carnaval starts the Friday before Ash Wednesday in order to celebrate the last days before lent. It continues until the Tuesday before that Wednesday.

After personally experiencing Carnaval for 3-4 days, I think it can best be described as Halloween combined with a Gay Pride Parade. I say this because there is a LOT of color, a lot of happy people, and lots of costumes! Some people put a lot of effort into their costumes and others just wear something really crazy looking. Some popular costumes: the guys from LMFAO, fairy tale characters, cowboys, pirates, etc. Cross dressing was pretty popular; I definitely saw more than one male Tinkerbell or male Snow White.

Since I am an international student on a budget, I went with a simple, cheap costume option- a bunny! I have bunnies on the brain because there are more rabbits here than there are squirrels in the US. Also, the rabbits all congregate so you will see hundreds of them in just one field. It’s so adorable. Anyway, the bunny ears worked out well because I could wear them with multiple outfits. Glad I stretched a 15 euro costume over 4 nights of fun 🙂

Eindhoven is a pretty hot city for Carnaval, at least on Saturday (because Saturday and Sunday are the biggest nights). The city center was so crowded, I took 10x longer to navigate. People were EVERYWHERE. Of course, this can get a little dirty in the streets, especially in a rainy country like the Netherlands. Carnaval is not for the faint hearted, that is for sure.

The best part about Carnaval is the patriotism. The whole weekend is filled with loud, Dutch techno-ish songs that everyone knows the words to. I talked to a few locals who would translate some of the song lyrics for me- they still make no sense- but it’s quite funny to watch everyone get so into the moment.

Also, if you’ve ever wanted to dance on a pool table, stage, bar, bench…Carnaval is that time. Go forth and dance your heart out, just make sure you wear a costume because if not- this is direct quote from a Dutch friend- “If you don’t dress stupid, you will look really, really stupid.”

Another great part about Carnaval is that everyone is pretty open and friendly- you meet a LOT of people and then you hang out with them for the rest of the night! My New Zealander friend Nichola, who dressed as a pirate, was my wingwoman and we met plenty of fun Dutch people. One group of Dutch guys, who were also students in the city, took us to a karaoke bar and I sang with them in Dutch! My pronunciation is actually getting pretty good 🙂 And I am picking up on vocab pretty fast! People aren’t joking when they say the best way to learn a language is to live in the country. We also sang some classic songs in English at the karaoke bar- my personal favorite was singing Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen.

At the end of Carnaval, there is a tradition to eat the head of a small piece of herring. The pubs provide the herring to patrons for free. I regret to say I did not participate. I am open to trying new foods and new things here, but consuming a fish’s face, I will not do!


Carnaval friends that we sang karaoke with!

So, if you take away anything from this post, it’s that you should at least once in your life travel to Europe for Carnaval. I really enjoyed my time experiencing the Dutch carnaval and I can only hope I get to come back in the future!


Oh, how I love weekends.

Friday was the first day of project where I got to meet my coach. He seems like I can learn a lot from him, and he’s very friendly. Our project group had a nice casual discussion with him and I get to have a private coach meeting with him next week (where I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to show some progress on my project- eeeek!) One funny thing he mentioned when we met is that he had already googled me. “You have a website already, no?” he said. I think I turned about the brightest shade of red allowed. It was both exciting and embarrassing to know he’d looked up my work on the internet. But that’s what I have the website for, anyway.

After class on Friday, I went out with my New Zealander friend, Nichola. Our favorite pub to meet at has been the Tipsy Duck, probably because so many International students hang out there and the bartenders are really friendly. The Tipsy Duck played everything from typical European techno, to Sweet Home Alabama and Sweet Child O’ Mine.  I appreciated the American anthems!

We also have another favorite bar called Altstadt. I checked it out initially on the day it was snowing (there are only so many snowflakes my hair can handle) and because it had free Wi-Fi. But now we like it because of the atmosphere and the music. The bar plays a lot of alternative rock, and it’s kind of dark and mysterious inside…in a good way, of course. The design of the bar also makes it easy to meet and mingle with new people (although the loud music is perhaps not the best way to start a conversation. oh well). We stayed at Altstadt with our new friends until almost closing time. It was a good night. And I finally learned the fast way to walk from my apartment to the city center (nearly a 30 minute walk). Which means next time, I can bike and it will be even quicker!

Saturday was a fun day as well. After a bit of sleeping in, flatmate Juan took me and my Singaporean flatmate, Carling, to the Saturday afternoon market that is only a few minutes away from our place. You can buy literally anything there- it’s like a huge outdoor mall. The best part is the stroopwafels that are hot and fresh that you can buy for 1 euro. Mmmm. We also bought some chicken so that Juan and I could make a lunch he used to eat with his old flatmates (Carling and I live in their rooms now). The chicken is a huge leg for 1.75 euro and its so delicious. We made rice with it and it was perfect. After lunch we took a siesta (I swear, I’m learning more about the Spaniards because I am around them at home, the most). Juan plays ice hockey at the rink slightly outside of Eindhoven and he had free tickets to an allstar game. It was the Netherlands National team versus the all-stars from all of the Dutch leagues. So after the naptime, we (me, Juan, and all of Juan’s friends from Spain) bundled up, got on our bikes, and braved the chilly 6km bikeride to the ice hockey rink. The game was really fun (all-star team won in overtime!) and we also got to watch some amusing hockey challenge games that they played before the actual match. PS- Dutch hockey players are really hot. …Does that make me a “skate-chaser”?

The game ended at nearly 11pm and we rode an even colder 6km back home, where we were exhausted. Ate some dinner (I told you. Now I’m eating meals like a Spaniard) and went to sleep.

All-in-all a great weekend. But I’m sure I will have even better stories for you next week, because next week is CARNAVAL! Which reminds me, I need to find a costume.

Dutch Culture

Okay, so I feel like after a few weeks I have learned a bit about Dutch culture.


A typical Dutch diet goes something like this. Breakfast? Bread. All kinds. Lunch? Bread. With either butter & sprinkles on top, a sausage in between, or just stacked on top of other slices. (Not. Joking.) Dinner? Everything else they’d want. Probably more bread. I ate a slice of pizza for lunch once, and one of the Dutch students told me “that’s something I’d eat for dinner.” And by the way, a sandwich here is 90% bread and 10% meat, cucumbers, eggs and cheese. Oh, I forgot cheese! Insert a slice of cheese at each meal. Also, the beverage of choice is coffee (koffie) and lots of it. I love it because I already loved coffee and European coffee is so great. Plus, the obsession with coffee means that teachers/instructors suggest a “coffee break” every hour or so. In the bars, EVERYONE drinks beer. Liquor and wine are pretty rare. Probably because the beer is so good! The beers are also very very small. They like small portion sizes here. I’d say the average beer size looks like 3 or 4 shotglasses worth of beer in the same small cup design that all the bars serve with.


One thing I love is that no one judges you or thinks you’re weird for your transportation method. (Except for maybe that fact that I don’t officially own a bike yet…people kinda judge me on that, haha). Everyone walks, bikes, or *maybe* takes the bus. I’ve seen lots of people on the bus but none of my friends or classmates have mentioned it. Most people have a very active form of transportation. I love walking because it’s just enough activity for me each day (25 min walk to university) and it gives me more time to soak in the surroundings. I’m planning on buying a bike lock for bike Juan is loaning me, but just haven’t yet. One downside to the bikes here- they are constantly stolen! My Spanish flatmate, Juan, invited me to dinner with two other Spaniard friends (from Madrid) Liticia and Jorge, a few nights ago. They told me that they have both had their bikes stolen multiple times. Most people here buy a more expensive lock than their actual bike. I think I will like biking here because of the bike friendliness- but I don’t know about biking in the US. It makes me very nervous to think of biking on the roads, since biking on sidewalks is illegal…


I thought that adjusting to the living conditions that most Europeans adhere to would bother me more, but it’s been an easy adjustment. Thankfully my apartment has a washer, and for drying- my favorite thing ever- I drape my clothes on the heater in my room! I know it sounds really ghetto but it’s pretty quick & easy, and your clothes get sooo warm by the time you pull them off 🙂 it’s just best way to end up with a toasty pair of socks before bed. The kitchen is small (to be expected) with a stove that you light, and a microwave my flatmate previously purchased- yes that’s right, no oven. I actually can do without an oven if necessary. I’m not really dependent on it. Also, we’ve heard that the second hand appliance shop has mini ovens for only 15 euro, so if necessary, we can buy one of those! I prefer eating ready-made things (fruit, sandwiches, crackers, veggies, etc). and luckily the supermarkets have all those things! Speaking of supermarkets, as you’ve already read, my favorite is Albert Heijn. If you happen to read my lovely friend Allie Woodward’s blog, you’ll remember she said you have to buy your grocery bags here (her here is Sweden). The same is for the Netherlands. You just buy those reusable grocery tote bags. I keep one folded up in backpack in case I decide to run into the grocery store on the way home. One great thing about the Albert Heijn- you know those mini baskets you use if you’re only picking up a few things? Well those baskets here have the standard small handles for carrying, but also have a big, long handle that you can use if you decide to put your basket on the ground (it has wheels too). So great if you’re only getting a few things, but they’re heavy (milk, water, etc.) Why don’t we have those in America?!


Well I never heard stereotypes about the Dutch people before I came here so I can’t really comment on that. Dutch people are for the most part, the same as I remember from my short Amsterdam trip in 2010: easy-going, friendly, intelligent, and very tall haha. This is the first place I’ve felt dwarfed by everyone else! I don’t mind it though. I spent my whole youth feeling awkwardly taller than everyone else in my grade so being around taller people makes me feel more normal, if that makes sense. Anyway, the response when people hear I’m from the US is pretty amusing. Most of the Dutch people don’t know where Georgia is, unless they’ve heard of Georgia Tech already (see, we actually are famous!). The most common response to hearing where I am from is, “Oh, well I’ve been to New York/California.” If they do know where Georgia is, they ask me why I don’t have a “drawl.” Then I say I have a slight one, but I “turn it off” when I’m here. The people I ate lunch with once begged me to speak in a Southern accent and I obliged. The responses, especially from the males, were quite hilarious. They begged me to keep talking like that, haha. So I guess Irish/British accents are to us American girls as American Southern accents are to those Dutch boys?

Most people either get really excited when they hear I’m from the US, and then ask me all kinds of questions, others just don’t seem to care either way. One thing I find amusing is that America is referenced EVERYWHERE here. They listen to American music, get inspiration from American companies (I hear Google and Apple referenced multiple times a day), there are stores boasting that they sell American styles, people discuss American politics and politicians all the time, etc. This has actually been quite helpful in the whole culture-shock process. It makes me feel more at home!

Classes & Moving in

Delicious sandwich from a cafe in the city center.

Hello again! What an exhaustingly busy two days. Yesterday I moved out of the hotel I’ve been staying in all week, went to my first day of studio (which they call “project”), then signed my apartment lease and moved in! Luckily everything went pretty smoothly.

I’ll start with studio. Like I said, my project is Object: Playfulness in the Playful Interactions theme. The best part about the fact that we’re called Playful Interactions- we are encouraged to play and have fun all day! The instructors (called “coaches”) gave a short presentation on how we would spend the day organizing and designing our creative space so that it can be playful, however we define that. They gave examples like the Google offices and Red Bull offices, with slides and fireman poles and whatnot. Our space even has a gaming room with a flat screen TV and an old Super Nintendo, Xbox 360, Wii, Playstation…the works. We are encouraged to take gaming breaks or just play against each other for the simple goal of, well, playing. Yeah, I like this project already.

So my project group has maybe 12 people in it and we have a huge room to ourselves. When we went inside to brainstorm how we would be setting up our playful space, we had tons of tables (like, 2 for each person at least) as well as chairs, a plastic couch, and several shelves. We decided we wanted our space to be very open, and to foster communication and sharing. We designed our “Coffee Corner” using the couch and some tables and a blackboard. We will have coffee time in the mornings and an afternoon coffee break together. Then we have our group spaces (the freshmen work in teams so they need their own space; everyone else works individually).

We also have a good space for quiet working/prototyping/whatever we want really. The system seems like it will work well. I’m not really distracted by other people working in studio. In fact, it other people working around me motivates me to get more work done. I’m excited about our group’s layout, and to see how it turns out. We also planned a ton of semester-long games (ideas, at this stage) such as a timeline of photos/drawings we find interesting, a sculpture appropriately dubbed “The Thing” that we will contribute to all year, and giant versions of classic games like Twister and Connect-4. We have to present these concepts on Thursday so we’ll see which of these ideas we actually develop.

My projectmates all seem very friendly and have a variety of strengths/weaknesses so I think we’re a well-rounded design group. I am amazed at how everyone is willing to help one another, teach one another, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I love all my studio friends at Tech but the difference between the studio students is that a lot of the work done at TU/e is done in groups (unlike mostly individual projects at Tech). The group projects help create a kind of automatic togetherness.

Each person in the group shared their best skills and many of my classmates offered to give a workshop on his/her best skill. If all these workshops follow through, I have a feeling I will be improving my skills in all kinds of different areas.

Onto moving in, I have the best room in my 3 bedroom apartment, I believe 🙂 It’s long and roomy with a nice desk AND a balcony that overlooks a courtyard that adorable bunnies hop through. I can’t wait till it gets warmer  so I can sit outside on the balcony and drink a coffee in the morning or something. My flatmates are so far, pretty great. One of my flatmates is Carling, a Singapore exchange student, and she’s actually in the same studio project as me so we have a lot in common! I am so happy to have to someone I can discuss all of the workload with. Our other flatmate is a Spanish exchange student who as already been here a semester, Juan. He’s very friendly and knows a lot about Eindhoven and TU/e since he’s been here for awhile. He told me he came to study because he wanted to improve his English which is great because I can practice Spanish with him!

I am also very excited because today on my 25 minute walk home from class (I really need to get a bike…) I found an Albert Heijn! Ahhhh I am so excited because the Ah-Ha (the nickname for Albert Heijn) is the cheapest grocery store with the best selection, I think. The other grocery store, C1000 is actually closer to me but since Ah-Ha is on the way home, I think I will be picking up my groceries there. Tonight, I dined on a feast of a microwavable cheeseburger that cost me .50 cent euro. …Hey, it was a long day and I was feeling lazy.

Speaking of today, I had my first actual classes (called learning activities). I am not going to go into too much detail (already a long post) but I am taking classes called Kansei Design (a Japanese form of design that involves designing an experience to feel a certain way) and Look! (a glorified CFY/2nd year ID-ish class with lots of mood boards, sketching, photos etc but we’re designing cutlery so it could be a good portfolio piece). The first class is at 8:45am and the second lasts until 5:45pm so it feels like a long day but I have a nearly 4 hour break in between them. Plenty of time to hit up the Tuesday afternoon market in the city center, where they sell everything from fresh fruit, breads, to handmade scarves and jewelry. I wished I could’ve spent more time there today but I didn’t really have money to spend and was just kind of browsing for future reference.

PS- It SNOWED hardcore on Friday afternoon, only an hour or two after I published my last blog post. The snow was sooo fluffy and we got probably 5 or 6 inches. It was so much fun to play in this weekend. Although now that it has hardened, been salted, and plowed through, it’s not as fun or pretty anymore. Sigh. I will attach some pictures.

Until next time! Tot ziens!

Real update post!

Okay so now I have been here for 3 full days and I guess I owe my blog an update 🙂

After our arrival and check-in to the hotel, I went and opened my Dutch bank account, walked around Eindhoven so I could check out my new room/house/flat/apartment (whatever you like to call it. You never realize how many words there are for it until you’re surrounded by other nationalities) from the outside, since I don’t get to pick up my keys until Monday. It looks like I have a bit of a walk (~30 minutes to the university) but that’s what bikes are for, right? Speaking of bikes, it might take awhile until I learn all of the cycle etiquette. There are separate bike paths next to roads and these bikers are probably more dangerous than cars, simply because it’s hard to remember to look both ways to cross both the bike path and the road. After exploration, my parents and I went out for dinner at a Mexican restaurant (pretty good, although the chips and salsa not so much). We tried a local beer, Domelsch, and found out that we’re currently in a popular area for it. I thought I’d be seeing Heineken signs everywhere but it’s more common to see Dommelsch, Bavaria, or Amstel even.

The next day (Wednesday) I got up early and braved the freezing cold 20 minute walk to my new school, TU/e. It’s pretty much the Dutch version of Georgia Tech. It has the same guy-girl ratio and everything. For the day, I attended a few orientation-related things and made new friends- Nichola from New Zealand, Roman from France, and Annie from Hungary. I got to eat lunch with them in the TU/e auditorium; it has a cafe with a huge amount of seating. The campus buildings here really put Georgia Tech’s to shame. They remind me of our Biotech buildings, but much taller and with some European flair. The food in the cafe is AMAZING and lots of healthy options, another thing that has me swooning. Tech could seriously take notes on this University. There is a huge array of foods; delicious sandwiches on the best kinds of bread, lots of fresh fruit, freshly mixed fruit juices (I tried the lemon-lime twist, SO GOOD), salads with all kinds of toppings. It might sound similar to what GT offers but I promise you it’s a whole other world. And the food is so cheap! 2 euro for a big sandwich, nom nom.

The ID department is much bigger here than GT’s. There are about 650 students, and instead of one studio per year, there are about 5 or 6, all named by colors (orange, purple, green, blue space, etc). We get to pick a “theme” and then a project under that theme. Each theme meets in their mandated “space” aka studio room. I am doing a project called Object: Playfulness which is under the theme Playful Interactions and meets in the orange room. All I know about my theme so far, since we don’t actually meet until Monday, is that I will be analyzing small, portable handheld games that everyone can play and understand, such as checkers, jacks, etc. I believe I am supposed to come up with an object that can be associated with a similar game or a different version of those games, of course I will find out more details on Monday.

I joined Lucid, which is similar to IDSA but a bit more social, like a fraternity or sorority. Their office is awesome, filled with tons of design books, supplies, and snacks that you can buy at a discounted rate. On Thursdays, Lucid runs a bar in the basement of the building with all the ID studios (so great) where you can buy beers for .80 euro each! And if you’re a Lucid member and put money on your key fob that they supply you, the drinks are even cheaper. Nichola, Roman, Annie and I went to the first Thursday drinking night of the semester. The bar atmosphere is very cozy, with lots of comfy couches and chairs where you can get lost in the delicious beer and great conversations. I am learning so much about so many cultures. We mostly spent our time comparing our respective countries and laughing at all the differences.

Then we went to get some dinner, and went to a burger/shake joint (yep they still have those here). I tried the famous frites (fries) with mayonaise. It was so yummy! I don’t think I’ll be eating it regularly because it’s pretty fattening, but I liked it. One funny thing about here: they put shaved carrot pieces on their burgers, and all the toppings are below the meat as opposed to on top.  A little different, but they still taste good.

Finally we made our way to the street of bars, which was quite active because we found out that the Eindhoven football club had a game going on (at Philips Stadium in Eindhoven, it was way too cold to go to that though). I ordered a Hoegaarden and the bartender Nico, who we found out was Belgian, was so excited about us ordering Belgian beer that he gave us 2 free beers and 1 discounted. We felt nice and toasty to combat the cold, but it had been a long day, so a little while after the game (and the winning celebration, accompanied with lots of Dutch techno songs) we parted ways. Nichola and I are both staying in the same hotel right now so I tried to guide us (big mistake). We got a bit lost but it wasn’t anything to worry about. After I got home I fell asleep pretty quickly. Will jetlag ever go away?

I will update when more fun details emerge 🙂 For now I have a city to explore and a weekend to enjoy!


I am finally here! Actually I’ve been here two days but the jet lag and the lack of regular internet has temporarily delayed my posting. So first before I tell you stories, I want to include a little list I kept on my phone of the things I learned on my traveling day, when I flew into Brussels, Belgium and then took trains to my school’s location of Eindhoven, Netherlands (Monday/Tuesday):

– First rule of driving in Belgium/Netherlands: there are no rules (hence why I won’t be driving here, ever).
– Belgium is 60/40 in terms of speaking Flemish (Dutch with a different accent) and French.
– This area is the most densely populated area in Europe.
– Belgium had a railway strike the day before we arrived. Thank goodness we came the next day…

For now, that’s all I can contribute because I have a lecture to go to. Tot ziens!