Christmas in North-America

Well yeah, I was slightly surprised when last week suddenly everything here was decorated in Christmas style. Light chains were put on trees, the stairway on Mont-Royal is decorated with Christmas tree decoration and in malls they play Christmas music. And when it started last week, it wasn’t even the last week of November. So yeah, it was a little weird. Read more

Food Issues and POUTINE

Yes, finally we get there: food issues. Before I start, I want to say that you have to try every single food (except for “broodje kroket”) mentioned in this blog if you have the possibility to do so! Read more

Nightmare

So that’s it. Four months as an exchange student in Montréal, OVER. Somehow I got back home again, to Dutchland. I still can’t stop wondering why. I’m back to the old life, shit weather, dead town, everything too familiar, too much work for uni, working and everything I was happy to leave when I went to Montréal. I have the feeling that I’ve been there for just a month, and there are still way too much things I wanted to do while I was there. And I’ve just started making new friends there! Honestly, I’m homesick, I don’t want to be here. I always wondered how it’s possible how people can get a depression, but I think I’ve just found out one of the ways to get one. Finish your exchange period and you’ll know what I mean! And I still got so much money left, I could as well just go back.. Read more

Exchange life: Ready to goooo! (or not?)

Bonjour everyone!

This is my first post and I have noooo idea how to start. Maybe I should do so with introducing myself and telling why I’m going to bother you with my spectacular stories :). Read more

WE ARE TOO BLESSED (PART 3)

Follow Nate, a student in our Summer Programme in European Studies, throughout his time in Maastricht and Europe. Last weekend he travelled to the South of Germany with his friend and former room mate Austin.  Read more

The good life

Cheers! Proost! Skål! Prost! Santé! Salud! Salve! Saúde! You are probably sitting in the sun, reading books, listening to your Ipod, drinking beers, and observing the locals in a very appealing environment. Welcome to the good life. Let me guess, Ryanair has brought you to this nice destination?

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Berlin

Berlin is hip. Berlin is vibrating. Berlin is international. So many people act so outrageously enthusiastic when speaking about Berlin one automatically starts to believe Berlin is the hippest and überfunkiest of all places. That is probably true (although I am a very poor judge when it comes to hipness) but all those much talked-of vibes of this vibrating city appeared to be pulsating on an entirely different rhythm than mine. I know the language and I even know my way around through the city, but it seems that I completely lack the right mojo (for example, the concept of mojo has probably been abandoned by the Berlin people already ages ago). But I’m trying! Read more

We are too blessed

Follow Nate, a student in our Summer Programme in European Studies, throughout his time in Maastricht and Europe. Here are exerpts of his first week in our beautiful city. Read more

Cultural differences: Morroco vs. the Netherlands

Last week I had the opportunity to escape the depressive pre-summer weather in Maastricht in order to go and explore Morocco. Together with about 35 international students, ESN Maastricht had an all-in trip to the south of this beautiful country. The sun, the overwhelming landscape, the people, it’s just another world than the Netherlands. Time for yet another rant on cultural differences.

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Vienna

Being a UCM student, I am spoiled when it comes to vacation.  Just a week and a half ago, we got done with our last “reflection week,” so I probably can’t make any claims that I needed another vacation.  Still, it is not often that someone from my small hometown (2,653 people remember) makes it all the way over to Europe.  So when a friend of mine told me that he would be coming to Vienna for a conference this week, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to meet up with him and to spend a few days in Vienna. Plus, being able to cross another country off of my list of countries visited, feels pretty important to someone who is used to crossing off a list of states visited.
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Ball der Wirtschaftsuniversität

“You have to leave in half an hour”

“Ghr-urgh?”

I rub my eyes and wonder for an instant where I am until I recognize the room and the girl who just woke me up. She is smiling and holds a grey towel to me.

“I got you a towel so you can shower.”

“Urgh, no need to, got my tuxedo still on anyway.”

“I can make you a cup of coffee if you like.”

“You’re an angel.”

Ironically the apartment in which I woke up that Sunday morning was the same apartment I had ironed my shirt the day before, a necessity because my crumpled shirt didn’t look anything close to complementing the tuxedo I had bought for the upcoming WU ball.
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Cultural differences: the Netherlands vs. Italy

After spending the past holidays with Suppo, his girlfriend Pia (yes, I was the awkward 3rd wheel), and his family in Sicily, I couldn’t help to notice a couple of differences between Italy (Sicily to be exact) and good old the Netherlands. Little note in advance, this piece covers Sicily and Maastricht, two very distinct parts of both countries. Let the culture clash begin.

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An ode to Glühwein

You are the Austrian/ German hot mulled wine that makes the cold cold Austrian winter much more bearable. Your delicious sweet spiced flavours cheer me up every time I drink You and the warm glow (where Your name is derived from, obviously) You leave in my body makes me forget not just the cold but all minor inconveniences bothering me, such as studying. Good thing they sell You at the entrance of the WU for just one euro and only two euros for a turbo turbo You (with the double shot of Stroh 80% rum in You), especially great since you can just finish one such a turbo turbo in a fifteen minute break from class. You make my life complete. When I drank the first hot sip of You standing under the beautifully lit trees in the park next to the Christkindlmarkt I felt pure joy, like a child I felt, and at that moment I realised that if there existed such a place called heaven You would be in it.
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Trip to Liege: rather the surprise

Last Thursday I had to go to Liege for 5 days for an international conference of ESN. I left our beloved city with mixed feelings. At one side I knew that this event would become crazy and I would get to learn a lot. On the other side I thought I would go to a city I wouldn’t want to be found dead in. The city had the appeal of  road-kill after I once had to take a city tour due to construction at the railways. Once I arrived at sincerely the most beautiful trainstation I have ever seen in my life, a bus straight out of 1967 took me through neighbourhoods I can only refer to as looking like genuine Communist ghetto’s. After this visit, I have to admit that my view of the city has slightly changed to moderately ok.

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Trip to Dublin: personal battle with Karma

An advantage of living in Europe is the fact that you can travel to a lot of big cities within a few hours. Last week I had to go to Dublin for a conference for ESN. Eindhoven airport has direct flights to Dublin via Ryanair and having Eindhoven only at an hour away, makes a trip to Dublin easy peasy. One disadvantage: Karma doesn’t always like me that much.

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The other side of Amsterdam

Exam week is finally over and so ist he first week of the new period.  So far I can´t really say that I care for the topic, so I don´t feel like writing about it.

But I can report with pride, that I fulfilled one of the things on my list. On this list I posted a couple of months back, I named a couple of things I really want to do before I finish with my bachelor. One of them was to go to Amsterdam to see the koncertgebouw orkest. Since my father had to be in Amsterdam on business I took the train up there and we had two lovely days in Amsterdam.
Since I study here I visited Amsterdam 3 times, well actually only 2 since the third time I just went to Schiphol to fly to Madrid. Those two times I went with fellow students. We slept in stinky gross Hostels above pubs and spend our time doing ´touristy` stuff in the old part of the city and the red light district. I always enjoyed that kind of Amsterdam – experience but this was pleasantly different. Sleeping in a Hotel were you get picked up from the train station and the bus driver takes youre luggage for you, don´t have to sleep fully dressed have as less contact as possible with the sheets, taking a stroll through Amsterdam and not snacking in the supermarket but sitting down in a nice café, drinking coffee and eating yummy appeltaart, and in the next morning: the breakfast buffet!!
Nothing tops a really good breakfast buffet, I could spend hours there.
But the topper of course was A) this was my first stay in Amsterdam were it didn´t rain – so beautiful weather, and B) my visit in the koncertgebouw.
My dad and I arrived early to pick up our tickets and then sat down in the café of the house to eat dinner, which was really good.
We arrived in the Hotel around half past one, I was exhausted, but it was worth it! The building itself is already worth buying a ticket (assuming you buy the cheapest tickets, as the more expensive ones are unaffordable) inside the names of famous composers are written on the wall in gold and on the all around the room you can see French horns painted on the ceiling – that’s right French horns. The instrument I play, because it is awesome, and apparently the decorator of the koncertgebouw thinks so too.
Our seats were, let´s say interesting. As we bought the cheapest tickets we sat in the very first row, wich ment we jad to look up to the orchestra, and we only had a limited view of the orchestra. This ment on the one hand that I had a pretty stiff neck by the end of the concert, but on the other hand that we practically sat next to the conductor and could see his every move and mimic.  It was fascinating, the whole experience and especially of course the music. This orchestra really can play !

I´m not gonna bore you with my attempts to describe their skill, I´ll just leave by that:

I can cross one point of my list with a big fat smile! Thanks dad!

All aboard: Train ride from Hell

Goodmorning you are seated in the Intercity from the NS. First stop: ‘village nobody ever heard of’, final destination: HELL.

Last weekend I had the first national meeting of ESN for the upcoming year. It was situated in Groningen and after a workshop, dinner, pubquiz and party, the actual meeting started Saturday Morning at 10 o’clock. All the fresh looking (uh not exactly) ESN local boards sat through an important meeting (at least for my own  national board).They would determine whether our policy plan and budget would be accepted. Not accepting this would mean that I could go back to the writing table. Luckily everything went fine and the meeting came to an end way earlier than we expected. This was good news for everybody from Maastricht, cause this meant that we would be back early. If life only was that good.
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15 Tips for Oktoberfest Virgins

What do you get when you take 60 students to Oktoberfest for the weekend?  An unforgettable experience that will likely be told to many friends for a long time!  I was one of the fortunate few to experience the opening weekend of Oktoberfest.  Apart from the beers and the friends that you are likely to make, here are some hints for the first-time festivallers: Read more

Living the life

“It’s my life, and it’s now or never.

I ain’t gonna live forever, I just wanna live while I’m alive!

It’s my life!”

Kinda lame to start whit a Bon Jovi phrase? Don’t think so. ESN Karaoke night in Club Loco every Wednesday with happy hour cocktails for €0,50, singing along with the Backstreet Boys, Bryan Adams, Bon Jovi, Ke$ha, Ricky Martin and Aqua shoulder to shoulder to amazing people from all over the world (though mostly Americans) is freaking cool! Sorry to you folks back home who like to think that the weekly ESN night in the Highlander rocks, we have two of those per week in real clubs. Though the weekly drinks in Ride club and Loco are pretty awesome already, my best clubbing experience so far was Thursday night in Praterdome, a five room club in the ‘entertainment district’. A huge bar in the one room, two undiscovered rooms (probably meant for those who want to enjoy a bit more privacy), a Hip-hop and R&B room and some of the sweetest yet kind of cheesy house tracks playing in another room. No need to question what room I stayed in. I and some friends were ruling the crowd from our stage overviewing it all when at 12AM the laser show started. People went insane. Allabonneur – Praterdome: 0 – 1.

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The Ultimate Guide to Dutch Style

So you are living in the Netherlands? Want to fit in/be cool etc etc? Well this is exactly what you need. The clear, essential and user-friendly: Ultimate Guide to Dutch Style.




The ‘Kakker’  (posh kids, well turned out)

 





Girls

 

Knee High Leather boots or plimsols

Jeans

White long-sleeved

Red leather laptop

Long natural (not dyed, maybe a
ponytail)


Hockey Stick MandatoryBoys

 

Brown leather formal shoes/all stars

Jeans with biggish brown belt

Striped shirt, unbuttoned a little (tucked into jeans?)

Brown leather bag (or hockey bag) and big watch

Long hair ‘Dutch style’ (ie. Too much gel, and flipped over to one side)

Hockey Stick Mandatory (possibly golfing gear too)

 

 

 

 

Sjonnys or ‘New Kids’ (chav-ish)

Girls

 

Black Shiny Nicholson Jacket (with furryhood)

Jeans

Moped

Lots of bling

CapBoys

 

Black or White Shiny Nicholson Jacket (fur optional)

‘Pimp’ Jeans

Moped

Big trainers

Cap

 

 

Field notes for non-Dutchies:

Many Dutch people find the following things undesirable:

– Make-up on girls (or guys!)

– High-Waisted Skirts

– Bouffant/Bee-hive hair on girls

 

and the following desirable:

– Simple jeans and t-shirt

– leather jackets on girls

– 1950s-style college sweaters (think American sororities/’Grease’)

– Hair gel for guys

Ways to deal with Homesickness.

 

Homesick [ˈhəʊmˌsɪk], adj; depressed or melancholy at being away from home and family homesickness (Collins English Dictionary)

I am officially home in Edinburgh for a few weeks and it’s good to be home, although really strange. I’m sure many students experience the ‘which home is my real home’ problem and I found that in some ways I am now homesick for Maastricht. (Strange.) Some people say that homesickness is merely being uncomfortable in a new environment, others don’t believe it exists at all. Whatever it is, some people may experience an uncomfortable time when living away from home and here are some good ways that I have found to deal with those feelings:

 

#1 Meet up with people. Literally the best thing you can do. Go for coffee or a walk or to the gym. Life – affirming things generally help to distract you. I would not recommend beer or the cinema as you will generally start thinking about the fact that you are homesick and beer has the added con of putting you on a high for a short while before a let-down in mood the next day.

#2 Bubble bath or a good hot shower. Makes you feel good and lets you take some time for yourself.

#3 Have a nice skype conversation with your family or friends from home. But not too long, otherwise you forget to live in the moment and appreciate your life where you are.

#4 Eat well. Food seems to have a big affect on mood so skipping the chocolate and coffee and having some fruit instead seems to be a good idea.

#5 Decorate your room nicely. It always feels good to be living in a space that feels comfortable and is a nice happy place to come back to after a hard day at uni.

#6 Join a club. Having a weekly club like salsa or football to look forward to can keep your mind off things. Also exercise increases your endorphins, which makes you feel happier too!

I am sure everyone is different, but feel free to comment if you have any other tips. 🙂

Dressing up and Amsterdam

So I went to this party on Tuesday – the theme was fairy tale so my roommate and I went as Genie and Princess Jasmine. My roommate painted on this cool beard and I think it fit me quite well. I went there alone by bike so that was fun riding through the city with a beard painted on…
The party was pretty cool and a lot of fun although there were less people than we had hoped. We always have free beer on our Helix parties, but only a limited amount, and because we anticipated more people the beer lasted the whole evening, so I didn´t have to spend a cent, which is my favorite way of partying. After the pub closed (something I really had to get used to when I first came here, Berlin never sleeps) we went on to a club. The standard of the club is obvious, as I entered it wearing blue close that didn´t match and, oh yeah – a beard!

The next day the whole year of my study had a programing class at 8:30 a.m. So that wasn´t fun. But I managed to survive this horrible bio-informatics- Tuesday always looking forward to Thursday. Thursday morning at 7 a.m. My two roommates and another friend of ours took the car to Amsterdam. We visited the BCF career event, an event for life science food and chemistry. I always find it very interesting and motivating to see what I might be doing after studying. We also visited a couple of company presentations and really enjoyed running around and collecting all the giveaways. After that we went to a Dutch frituur and ate French fries. We had booked a hostel because we wanted to use the next day for sightseeing. It was right next to the red light district – so in the middle of the city and it was also REALLY cheap.  A cheap hostel in the center of Amsterdam? Yep it was really gross as well. We dumped our stuff in there and then went out again right away to check out Amsterdam. I`ve been there twice already, so I kind of functioned as a tour guide. Amsterdam is a fun city and I think it’s really beautiful. After dinner we went to this pub and had a blast.  Around 12 a magician preformed in there and we we´re like: ‘oh no this is going to be embarrassing’- but it turned out to be really crazy – I´m still trying to figure out how he did that!
The night wasn´t that pleasant because we were in a 10 bed room and one guy snored so freakishly loud at one point in the night I thought he might die of it.
The next day we practically fled from that sticking hostel and went on a food hunt. We found a place that looked really nice and wasn´t all that expensive – first thing we did is go to the toilette – since no one did that in the hostel- and clean ourselves. After that, we enjoyed our amazing breakfast.

After going to the famous flower market we took a boot ride through the grachten of Amsterdam and then we went home. So all in all I had a pretty awesome week, and I even got a lot of work done in between. Now I have another day of work ahead of me, so I better get started now.
That was it folks – haltet die Ohren steif!

Liège and a family day

What a weird time of year it is – I hardly ever have a whole week at the university because there´s always some reason to start the weekend early. Last week I had Friday of – actually because we were supposed to use the time to write on a paper, but my boyfriend and I had our 4 year anniversary. He picked me up after my lesson and we drove to Liège, which is about a forty minute drive from Maastricht. This city is both REALLY pretty and REALLY ugly. We spend almost an hour at the main train station which is just awesome! The sun was shining what really enhanced the building with all the glass and the light effects. We took a lot of pictures and just sat there looking at the trains and people coming in and out.

The way from the train station to the old part of the inner city is lined with a bunch of buildings that perhaps were modern when I was 2, not very good looking.



But the inner city is very nice with a lot of churches and beautiful shops. All in all we had 2 great days there and left the city well rested.

On Saturday I had to get up real early because I had to be at the University at 8 a.m.
Surprisingly enough I got up and ready in time and even managed to have some breakfast but then I couldn´t find my keys – ooh why does this always have to happen????
Well, I arrived at 8.15. My studievereniging SV Helix organizes a family day every year, were first year students can bring along their family and we simulate a day at the university for them so they can see what we do here all day long. The families participate in a practical in the lab, they have a tutorial group to get to know the Maastricht’s PBL system (problem based learning) and they listen to a lecture. I helped organize this event (I didn’t play a major role in the organization though) and I was one of the students to lead a group around, play the role of the tutor and help whenever needed. It was really exhausting but a lot of fun – especially the practical in the lab. The students really enjoyed showing their skills to their family. A lot of parents came to us later on that day to thank us for the opportunity.
After that I went home and all I could think of was to sleep. We all got to take leftovers from the family day – something the Dutch consider “bread” but in Germany could only pass as hot dog bread, so my boyfriend and I had hot dogs for dinner.
So that was my week – we had a BBQ with some friends today, nothing more.
Haltet de Ohren steif!

Home sweet home

Thursday and Friday of – Yeah I can finally go home again! On Wednesday after a quite boring practical in the lab I took the bus to Aachen Maastricht airport and flew to Berlin. My mom and sister picked me up at the airport. I love coming back home – I get to see my family and friends and my beloved home city – Berlin is the best. I get to choose what we’re going to eat – so it’s all my favorite dishes during my stay. Last week Carmen, my roommate decided to visit me spontaneously. She took a ride from Aachen and I picked her up on Thursday morning. So what to do with a friend who has already been to Berlin? I couldn’t just please her with the touristy stuff because she’d already seen all of that. Luckily I live in Zehlendorf – a district hardly any tourist ever visits. So I could fill the first day showing her around my district – my school, my hockey club and the beautiful lakes…
On Saturday we went on a long tour through Kreuzberg.  We stayed in a park there for a long time ´cause we listened to some guys having a jam session. It was a lot of fun.

Both of us didn´t bring anything to work for the university so we could just hang out without having the feeling that we actually should do some work. I used to bring all my books and tuff for the university and schlepp them back to Maastricht without even taking them out of my suitcase – so now I don´t even give it a try anymore. Since I do that, my luggage has become a whole lot lighter.

On Sunday we went to see my sisters hockey game – they won (maybe I´m a lucky charm?). After that we had a BBQ at home and my brother also stopped by. He studies in berlin and lives in an apartment near the Ku´damm. After that Carmen, my boyfriend Jorrit and I piled all our stuff into his little car and we drove back to Maastricht. As much as I love coming home I hate driving back – don´t get me wrong, I´m not constantly home sick, sitting in my room counting the days till I get to go back, but I always find it hard to leave. Being in Berlin is great AND now it also means vacation for me, and Maastricht means work. But as soon as I´m back into my Maastricht life I don´t really mind.

Today my roommate came to know that she passed a really tricky resit – so this means celebratory Pizza and Germany’s next topmodel. We don´t get the TV channel so we always watch the latest episode online. So don´t anyone dare tell me whose been kicked out this week!
Gotta go now – Haltet die Ohren steif!

 

why isn’t life more like vacation?

What is the one of the nicest things about going on a vacation/meeting abroad? Is it the sun? is it the long beaches and cocktails? Is it the hillside? The beautiful girls who always seem to be nicer than the ones in your own country? Do you appreciate the local food the most? Or is it the sunset which goes down on the city while it is covered in the thousand of yellowish lights which have the sole purpose of making the buildings even nicer?

In my point of view one of the best parts of going away from your home-turf and most of your responsibilities over here is the radio silence.  The fact that you are not up to date is one of the best things which can happen to you. This might occur due to a variety of reasons. You have such a tight schedule that you do not have the time for it. You might go to a country where you are unable to understand the language they speak on the radio or television. You might be in a country where the internet connection is comparable to 1993. You might get kidnapped or you are just too lazy to check up one the news.

The fact that you are not able to touch your blackberry more often than you touch your girlfriend has huge advantages. You don’t try to solve awkward silences  by grabbing your telephone, but you have to be creative to think of something else.  You do not think about the political mess your country is in (and no this does not apply to Belgium only, Dutchies). You do not think about how many bombs Khaddafi dropped on the people who are supporting him (apparantly there were no people who were against him, so why drop bombs on them?). You don’t wonder off by thinking about who became the 326728292th  pop idol.

You actually live life like everyone is supposed to do. You appreciate the culture and life around you. You try to explore and discover the city you are in. You learn more than you’ll learn in a history book. You are not pre-occupied with other stuff because you want to enjoy. You actually do what you love to do the most instead of pretending to do so in normal day life. You don’t care about financial issues anymore because you are on vacation. You don’t care about time or deadlines. The only deadline you have to take into account is when this piece of heaven on earth is going to end.

why isn’t normal day life a little more like vacation? Is it too much to ask for? You tell me..

Dutch delegation at AGM Budapest 2011; thanks for the crazy times:)

a weekend off..

Exams are over, let the partying begin.  It is an unwritten law that students go absolutely mad whenever the official exam week is over.  We like to get together during these exciting times and basically party our ass off.  I’m no exception to this and I therefore have a bunch of parties planned for the upcoming week. First of all I went to visit an old friend in the Hague with two mates.  So after my buddy finished his exam at around 7 (mine was already done at 2) we hopped on the train to final destination: party zone. Beforehand we made up all kind of lame (and stupid) things we should do during this weekend in order to come across like a real tourist. Here’s the list:

– Visit Sealife
– Visit Crazy Piano’s
– Visit Binnenhof and Buitenhof
– The-club-which-must-not-be-named
– Visit Schilderswijk
– Visit ADO den Haag stadium
– Visit the beach and swim in the tropical sea
– rent a tandem  and drive it into the sea
– Visit a karaoke bar while being sober and perform a duet with a random person
– Bungee Jump
– Do stuff for the university so we actually do something useful this weekend
– Eat fresh herring with a jagermeister
– Drink a beer during the trainride to the Hague and home
– Visit palace Noordeinde
– Visit Vredespaleis
– Go to Madurodam
– drink a Schevingse trippel
– Play ‘mens erger je niet’ (Ludo) in the train
– Find 50ies bathing suits to make us look retro before we dive into the sea
– Eat clams
– Eat kaassouflee with peanutsaus.

It isn’t that special and a lot of the items on the list were just random thought while we were in a corny mood.So after we arrived in the Hague we immediately went to a bar called ‘Pavlov’ hoping we could score a Scheveningse triple.  The first fail of the weekend was born. After a beer, the tab and  a good laugh at our friend who had to pay 7.50 euro for a pint because he forgot to ask the price of the thing, we took the tram to his place. Because we arrived there at about half past eleven we kind of had to rush in order to catch the last tram to Scheveningen. Whenever I am in the Hague I kind of insist on going to a bar called ‘Crazy Piano’s’.  In this bar artists play the music on their piano’s. This might not sound very spectacular, but once you hear their version of Snoop Dogg’s ‘Drop it like it’s hot’ you are blown away. They will play every kind of music you can think of, from rock to trance and hip hop. It’s a true recommendation to go there if you plan on visiting Scheveningen.

The evening was a blast which was rather noticeable the morning after.  After we got ourselves together, we set out for our epic quest to do all the stuff from our to-do list. We headed out for Sealife in order to meet my idol for the past three weeks: Crabzilla.

crabzilla When we were brainstorming for things to do in the Hague we visited the site of Sealife. When the site opens a picture of Crabzilla comes streaming down and this made such an impression that I immediately was star struck.  I felt like a three year old during Christmas when I walked through the corridor to the basin where HE was being held.  I entered the area and my big hero kind of did not do a lot. He (not sure about the gender, but I prefer monsters  to be masculine) was easy to spot, but was far from the creature of awesomeness I expected him to be.  He was massive for a crab, but I had other expectations due to the extent to which he was promoted by Sealife. I imagined him to be a monster which would devour anything which would come near him. Actually he was more like the big friendly giant.

crabzillaecht

We therefore left a bit unsatisfied. The other sea creatures on display were oke to see but didn’t get us very excited, which probably had to do with the Crabzilla deception. However there was an option to raise the adrenaline level: bungee-jump of the pear. We quickly skipped that one when we discovered it would cost us 70 euro. The jump wasn’t that high and we thought it was too much money for that jump. Whenever I will go for a jump I want it to be super extreme and I didn’t get that feeling when I stood in front of the place. So we decided to go to the next goal (the one I dreaded the most): eat fresh herring. These are considered a treat in Holland and it is a typical Dutch thing. To make a long story short: It was AWFUL. The sensation I was feeling can be compared to jumping head first into a swamp with your mouth open. The mixture of my alcoholic cocktail of the previous night with this little fishy was a clash of the titans. Thankfully my stomach handled the situation fairly well and I survived this luxury treat. Below you can find an impression of how I was feeling.

before:

before during

tussen after:

na We then headed to a shopping mall to go to a fun house to destroy some cash while doing games. We cashed the price, a toy car and Spongebob stickers, and decided that it was time to grow up again. We took a tram to the Binnenhof to explore the wonderful world of our government, before we went home for predrinks and some dinner.

Before we knew it we were sitting in a bus towards the city center of the Hague. After we mindlessly wondered through the center in search for a good bar we entered a place called Danzig. There weren’t a lot of people at the time but we decided that it was fine for the time being so we could relax a bit before we could unleash our dance moves.  We order some pints and a tequila shot for my friend because he received a chip for a free shot. The naive boy was lured into the web of a pretty lady who wanted him to become member of the club. He only needed to sing up for free and then he would receive a free shot (and a shitload of spam into his emailaccount). This shot obviously was a special shot of the bar and he therefore still had to pay for his tequila. After a while, our host didn’t feel really well and decided to leave. Because it wasn’t even half past eleven he provided us with the directions home and wished us a good night. We headed back into the club and enjoyed ourselves until the club personnel decided that it was time to tactically remove us from the dance floor because the club was closing.

We headed further into town to search for a place where we could get something to eat. Beer always gets your mind focused on the most terrible midnight snacks. The perfect opportunity to eat the sandwiches ‘kaassoufle with peanutsauce’. Unfortunately we couldn’t find a place which was that retarded to provide us with that , so we took off to find the night trains. This didn’t go down as smooth as I would hope it would to go down, but after some time we found the bus stop.  We were given pretty good directions but still managed to miss our bus stop. We therefore exited the bus one and a half kilometers too late. Thankfully Mr Google provided my telephone with Google maps so we could find our way home again. We traveled back home in a shopping cart we found near the road. Not a good plan of course, because this didn’t work out that good either. If someone accidentally passed us and decided to film it for Youtube and I would add it to my blog, you would laugh your pretty behind off. Thankfully nobody we were aware of taped it, so you have to use your imagination in order to experience what went down that stupid half an hour of my life.

After we woke up Sunday-morning we decided to cancel the remainders of our to-do list due to physical inconveniences.  Two of my mates played a bit of pro evolution soccer while I was watching the final of the European Championship korfball. Don’t ask me why because I frankly just do not agree with that sport, but I won’t go into my motives for that in this blog. We left the Hague at about 4 o’clock and had a blast during the train ride home. Mark slept while I was making an attempt to write this blog and make it sound interesting for you guys. You may decide for yourself whether I succeeded in that mission. The most original comment receives our hard-earned Spongebob stickers.

I will post a video of the trip in about a week. I just don’t have the time to do that this week and plan on doing it in the weekend. I wish you a good first week of block 2.