Sunday, June 6, 2010

One Day Left!

Since my last post, I've been working tirelessly on completing two research papers. Then, as soon as I finished, it was time to do every single thing I had been putting off doing all semester. Fun things, mind you. Like going to the science museum and buying souvenirs. Still, it takes up a lot of time. So, as I try to get everything done before leaving Tuesday morning, I haven't had much time for blogging.

There is so incredibly much that needs to be said about my time here. I still have several half-written blogs about Amsterdam that won't get posted until I leave Amsterdam... oops. Most likely I'll be feeling more eloquent and nostalgic once I get back to the underwhelming dead grass and superhighways of Texas. I'll write something nice then.

For now, I'm going to make some lists.

5. Wind. It is a very windy city and it makes biking extra strenuous.
4. Conversion rate. I've been fortunate that the conversion rate has gone down since I got here, but it's still frustrating that everything is priced with the same numbers as it would be in the US, except it's really 1.25 as expensive. For example, a top at H&M might be $12 in the US and 12 Euros here, but that that really means it costs $15. Trickery!
3. Streets. The streets are organized in a semi-circle, at best, and change names in completely random patterns. I still get lost anytime I go to a new place. Also, biking on cobblestone bricks = no bueno.
2. Espresso. They only drink espresso. Even if you ask for filter coffee, they will inevitably give you espresso.*
1. Water. Most places in Europe charge you for ordering water at a restaurant, but Holland takes it one step further. There are no water fountains anywhere here.

5. Being so close to water all the time. Biking along canals is wonderful.
4. Biking. And the fact that so many forms of transportation other than cars exist.
3. Pannenkoeken and stroopwafels.
2. Drinking in parks. Actually, being legal to drink in general. One more year before I'm allowed to order a glass of wine with dinner. A WHOLE YEAR.
1. Climate. Fifty degrees in May. Amazing.

5. Have access to my Netflix account.
4. Return to my full wardrobe.
3. Listen to 104.9 Salaam Namaste.
2. Eat Chick-Fil-A and Bedford Snoballs.
1. Have epic adventures with my friends.

My friends Rose, Rosemary and I on the roof of the NEMO science center overlooking Amsterdam.

* If anyone reading happens to be in Amsterdam or going in the next few months, check out the Stumptown Coffee in Albert Cuyp Markt. They're my favorite Portland-based coffee roaster (on my trip to the Pacific Northwest last summer I tasted and compared as many different coffees as possible) and they've sent a crew of baristas to Amsterdam for three months to show Europeans that coffee is still cool and often better than espresso. Check out the baristas' tumblrs here and here. 

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