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6 posts from November 2011

11/18/2011

Sinterklaas is in het gebouw

Though it shall be weird that I won't be spending my usual morning (3am-9am-ish) after Thanksgiving out bargain hunting and wrecking into donut shop signs, and of course, still be angry at people for putting up Christmas decorations so early, I don't have to go through that trouble here.  Christmas decorations have been up solidly for about two weeks, though by American terms this is slightly troubling, as I would wonder if there are some Xmasophiles in the neighborhood.  However, the Dutch "santa claus" is already in town, setting up shop, renting space, and filing the correct non-profit tax forms for his big giveaway and travels on December 5th.  Yes people,Sinterklas is in town, and yes,he has all the kids excited and the kruidnoten en pepernoten spread around. 

 

 

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So at approximately 12 on Sunday he came. He came via boat, theSpanje, as the saying goes he sails in from Spain, and I said to my Spanish friend sitting next to me, "You know that your ancestors' expansive, imperialistic policies of the 16th Century are greatly allowing the Dutch people here to have a great time."  Point noted.  So he got off and spent some time perusing the Scheepvaart Museumwhich, I must say, would of been a great time to be an unexpecting tourist who gets a face full of a bearded man in a red robe.  (I could of sworn it was still November?!).  Seeing the sheer awe struck in the little kids' faces was great, they were all smiling, all yelling, and all decked out in their Zwarte Piet and ecclesiastical headgear.  Then, about an hour and some crazy bass/techno Dutch beats  later, the official parade came by.  It had tractors, cookies, screaming kids, bands, people pretending to be helpers/slaves/Africans/chimney climbers/racists/Pieten depending on your ideological and anthropological viewpoint.  These people wear satiny looking outfits from the 16th century with their faces blackened. They handed out the gingery kruidnoten and anise-flavored pepernoten by the bag full.  All the kids just sat there with their hands out screaming," Piet!!!Piet!!! Kandij Piet!!!" And of course, the "Piet" would come on by with either a bag or butterfly net full of noten or candy to plop into their hands.  

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(To the left is a Pieten Band).  These guys are everywhere and on everything.  Bikes, bikes with 2 different sized wheels, wheelchairs, boats, mopeds, skates, carriages, horses, smartcars, firetrucks, their own feet, its like a caravan of nonstop helpers.  Instead of the secretive, "north pole" style of our Santa, Sinterklas runs a pretty transparent operation in the stylish and warm vacation haven of Spain.  He personally comes and scouts out the locale early to plan the most efficient routes, and with an ever-changing city, its helpful to be here early.  Our guy comes once, spending no pre-planning time, and has a base of operations in the far-removed non-Schengen region of the North Pole.....Santa needs to sit in on a holiday idol lecture.  Well anyways, after a parade that left the streets littered with Sinterklas vlaggen and all sorts of crushed cookies, though a lot made it into the mouths of hungry kids....I may or may not of had a few off the A'dam streets.....After this it was off to hear Sinterklas en Co. in Dam Square where it was a Pietfeest, full of blackened faces and Dutch Sinterklas songs that I just couldn't grasp.  Everyone would be just standing around, talking, staring, and all of a sudden this music would come on and everyone would start bobbing up and down or waiving their hands for a short time.  It was random holiday Dutch dancing, and my western Atlantic mind just couldn't quite get it.  After some songs, some Piet dancing, and a speech by the burgermeester  it was back to showing off Sinterklas's highly efficient and Pieten parade.  (Unfortunately I could not at all capture any of this, as my camera decided to lose power, where's this wireless charging we've been promised?).

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All the lights are up.  Every street has its own theme.  For theDappermarkt it has wreaths and its own name, for Albert Cuypmarktits diamond shaped icicles, the Kalverstraat has its presents and swirly wintry whisps, and the Negen straatjes has, well, a nine and a blue rectangle.  Not winning any creativity awards there, but they're too the point, and I respect that.  Typically it severely annoys me when people put up anything resembling holiday lights before December 1.  But here is nice, especially on the straatjes down on Berenstraat  and Nieuwespiegelstraat.  They look gorgeous, and look like its raining artificial light from the middle of the streets.  It brightens everything up, and is really itching at me to bring out the "I'll be Home for Christmas" by Sinatra (my favorite Christmas song, and coincidentally true).  Taken out of the Christmasy context, the lights are very nice, and definitely make the whole Kalverstraat-toeristen things a little more bearable.

 

 

Name: AaronAaronCIEE Amsterdam
Semester: Fall 2011
Homeschool: University of Pittsburg

All pictures by Aaron. Read more of Aarons blog at http://anorangeexcursion.weebly.com/de-blog.html

 

Prague!

A day ago I got back from Prague. All I can say is wow, what a weekend! Being in Prague is like stepping back in time to the medieval ages. It’s called the “city of spires” and “the golden city” for a reason. And my friends and I definitely made the most of our time there. Here’s a day-by-day breakdown of what went down:

Friday – I arrived in Prague for Kevin’s birthday which was 11/11/11. I checked into my 5 star hotel (which I got for a bargain) and trekked over to Kevin’s 5 star hotel. Already a good start. When I get there, we decide it’s going to be a classy night. We went to the cigar lounge and smoked some Cubans and drank a bottle of champagne (our money is strong in the Czech Republic). Feeling like complete ballers, we decided it was best to go all out for the rest of the night so we went to the biggest club in Prague. It was a five story club with a different themed club on every story. It was one of the coolest venues I’ve been to, but the ratio was way off; the crowd was probably 90% dudes (and most were creepers). We called it an earlier night than expected, but at least we kept it classy and didn’t stumble into the hotel at 4 am. I called it a night, went home, took a bath, and went to bed.

Jeremy prague

Saturday – We did some sightseeing and paid to go to the top of the Astronomical Clock Tower. After climbing all of those stairs though, our stomachs were rumbling so we ate some traditional Czech food. I had a “butcher’s plate” with about six different types of meat and some dumplings. Delicious! That night we went out to the Hard Rock Café. Somehow, I don’t think I’ve ever been to a Hard Rock before (at least that I can remember) but it was really cool. Definitely my kind of place. That night some of my friends from Amsterdam were celebrating Celia’s birthday, but after a long night I was too tired to stay out late. Plus the cold was biting and I literally could not feel most of my extremities. So I took a hot bath and went to bed.

Jeremy prague2

Sunday – Kept it classy with a half day spa day. I got a deep tissue massage and had some fish “exfoliate” (tickle) my feet. It was pretty cheap too because I went to a Thai massage place. Then Kevin, Vita, and I explored Prague some more. That night, we booked a ghost tour of Prague. It would have been pretty tame if had not upgraded to the tour of the catacombs and pre-gamed the tour with some absinth at a fancy, underground pub. Our tour guide was really giving me the heebie jeebies. He was related to R.L. Stein or something. My imagination was running wild and throughout his stories I could picture each scenario taking place because the city is so old and looks its age. After the tour, it was freezing cold and we were all a bit freaked out so we called it an early night. I took a hot bath and went to bed.

Jeremy prague3

Monday – We had breakfast at Café Louvre – a cafe where Albert Einstein and Franz Kafka used to eat. The food was great and the ambiance of the place was great as well. Kevin, Vita, and I rented an old car from 1928 to drive us around the city for a grand tour. We saw the castle, tons of churches, and pretty much everything Prague had to offer. Then they had to fly home to Amsterdam, but I still had till 2 pm the next day. So I went back to Café Louvre for dinner and had an impeccable dinner for St. Martin’s weekend (St. Martin brings in the white winter in Prague apparently and the weekend we went happened to fall on the festival for his arrival). I got a 1/4 of a roast duck with some dumplings and red pickled cabbage. I also, for some reason, thought I was a spy and ordered a martini like James Bond. I probably thought I was a spy because I was a kid in a 5 star hotel room by myself and every time I had to get to the front desk to ask a question I had to say “excuse me” and/or “thank you” in a different language since tour groups from all over were always in my way. Anyways, back to the story. While I was eating my dinner and people watching, a gorgeous Czech girl walked in the door and sat down with two middle-aged women I had been watching for a bit. I thought to myself for a second a decided to just do something ridiculous. I wrote my phone number on a piece of paper along with “I’ll be at Hemingway’s tonight. Enjoy.” I had the waitress bring the note along with three glasses of champagne over to the table, and, as I sipped the last of my James Bond martini, they looked over to see who sent them the champagne. I stood up, winked, grabbed my coat, and walked out. I got a text not too long after from the girl, but sadly she couldn’t meet up that night. She must’ve liked that crazy gesture though because she found me on Facebook and now I have a cute pen pal in the Czech Republic.

Jeremy prague4

Tuesday – Yesterday I woke up in the morning and went to Café Louvre for breakfast (it was across from my hotel so that’s why I frequented it). I noticed some of the waitresses looking over at me while I was reading USA Today and eating my breakfast. They were talking amongst themselves and it made me feel like they recognized me from the night before so I decided to eat quickly, pay the check, and leave. Then I went souvenir shopping for a bit and checked out of my hotel. Then I had to fly home to Amsterdam. When I got back though I felt good about getting back to my room and almost felt like I was coming home. Even though Prague was amazing, being away definitely made me appreciate my decision to study in Amsterdam. When I finally arrived at my building, I realized I was starting to catch a cold so I went to bed fairly early and took some Nyquil.

Wednesday – Today I had class and some chores to do even though I was feeling pretty sick. I got most of my stuff done so I went to Yao’s birthday for a little bit. I didn’t want to go out to the club since I’m sick, but at least I went to PHK for a bit and got to see it for the first time even though the semester is over half way over. (I guess now it’s technically Thursday and I’m going to bed and resting for a long while.)

(You may notice some of the pictures are not from Prague. They are from Amstelveen actually because last Thursday I went there with Pete and Taira for their class. It’s where the nearest mall is and it’s a suburb of Amsterdam. We also went to the Cobra Museum which is a modern art museum.)

Jeremy amstelveen

JeremyName: Jeremy
CIEE Amsterdam
Semester: Fall 2011
Homeschool: University of Southern California, USC

All pictures by Jeremy. Read more of Jeremy's blog at http://abroadinamsterdam.com.

 

11/15/2011

Een klein plaats genoemde Texel

Believe it or not, this country isn't all flat.  There are actually things resembling hills, and one of the most beautiful places to experience this at was on Texel Eiland.  Its the beginning and southern most island of the Waddenzee island chain.  It took an hour and twenty minute train ride and a quick stop in Den Helder to catch the ferry, but was so very worth it.  The entire island has three very distinct geographies, from flat pasture with the Dutch sheep (a very common site), to hilly, sandy dunes (which are along the outside of the island, very helpful for navigation), and pure white sand beaches that stretch along the Nordzee.  It is the most changing and quietest places I had ever been, and nothing beat biking through the national forest with only the stars and bike lights to guide you on the leaf-strewn path.  Smelling the salty, and gloriously clean air was unique, and seeing a land that is endangered from climate change that might not be there in 20 years was especially heartening.  I'd retire here too, so it looks like when I get into my 70s I'm going to have some major thinking to do.

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Me and a few friends decided to take the day-trip, though we could of easily of made it into a weekend excursion.  Upon arriving we set off from 't Horntje into the great beyond.  We saw the "towns" of Den Burg, Den Hoorn, en Den Koog.  I'd say Den Koog was the most intriguing.  Everything is in either Dutch or German, and the houses are fantastic.  It was dead when we got there, but a local, cheery bartender told us that the Germans love the spot.  Because one must pay to use beaches in Germany or Denmark, and in the Netherlands it is free, they flock here like crazy to dig their holes.  Also, it was quite interesting to walk among the dunes and see little plots of leveled land that were no bigger than a backyard shed.  Apparently people rent these during spring and summer, and put up a little shed-like cabin to sleep in and use as a vacation/weekend getaway.  The dunes are all-natural, and the island, besides the infrastructure, is left up to its own devices.  No changing, no saving, no poldering, just an island and water.  Because of these people's obsession with reclaiming land from the seas, it was very breathtaking and amazing to realize that I was only an hour away from A'dam.
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This next event also merits extreme attention.  Museumnacht 2011.With 45 museums participating with over 226 events, it was a night full of awesomeness.  The museums opened at 630 and stayed open until the classy hour of 2am, with a bunch of after-parties and dance-events.  (Thing to left is the lightbox that distinguished what was a museum--I was completely unaware that there were so many on my normal commute route!).  This day was a five month day in waiting.  I love museums, and with everything open and free on one day, I couldn't help but be overly joyed.  By starting at the Scheepvart Museum with a fantastic light and sound show, it was a great way to start the night.
One would be surprised at the efficiency when you release me with 35,000 other museum-goers biking everywhere very quickly on tight itineraries. Let's see, the Tattoo Museum was by far the best museum of the night, with all sorts of ancient artifacts, weird pictures, and the fact that they were having a hoe-down out back.  Second place goes to the Scheepvart Museum.  All I can say is: Aaron could never live on a ship but would love to do the woodworking.  The bronze would go to the Hollandsche Schouwburg which used to be a theater, then turned into a Jewish deportation center in WWII.  They new building is a museum, but the old bombed out one is behind, with a very moving garden and statue with wooden tulips.  At one point you can stand on the 3rd floor, see the blueprints of the old theater, and look at the current stripped down shell of it.  It was a night that was months in the making, and now, is a memory that I won't soon forget.

 

Name: AaronAaronCIEE Amsterdam
Semester: Fall 2011
Homeschool: University of Pittsburg

All pictures by Aaron. Read more of Aarons blog at http://anorangeexcursion.weebly.com/de-blog.html

 

Night at the Museum(s)

Lately I’ve been falling into a routine of waking up, doing homework or wasting time on the internet, going to class, cooking dinner (or having someone cook me dinner), watching a movie or a few TV shows online, and going to bed. In the beginning of the semester, CIEE told us that there were going to be phases during our time abroad – the honeymoon phase, a slump where you fall into a routine, another exciting time because you know you won’t see your friends for awhile (if ever again), and one final slump when you get home because you wish you were back in Amsterdam. I can definitely tell which phase I’m in now, and I’m surprised they called this spot on from the beginning. I’m blaming the slump on the cold, gloomy weather. I’ve never had to wear so many layers just to go out and it’s only the beginning of November! Cold and cloudy is not my thing. I don’t think CIEE is correct about being sad when you get home though because I’m excited to see California (and the sun) again. Hopefully, the next exciting phase will come soon.

I have been frequenting some museums and exhibits lately.

Firstly, Museum Night 2011 was awesome! All of the museums in Amsterdam were open late and served champagne/wine/beer and some even had DJs. I didn’t get to go to nearly as many as I planned on going to, but it was fun nonetheless. The video below is a video of the opening ceremony – a light show which set the mood for the entire night. There are also some pictures from the Schipvaartmuseum where the opening ceremony took place. I thought my family would appreciate the pictures of the old ships since Halloween just came and went and my whole house was transformed into a pirate ship like it is every October 31st.

Also, I went to an exhibit about the discovery of human anatomy for a class I’m probably not going to stay in, but it was a pretty cool exhibit. See pictures below.

My favorite museum I’ve gone to lately is the Van Gogh Museum. It was amazing seeing works of art that could be recognized by most of the knowledgeable population around the world. Sadly there are no pictures because you aren’t allowed to take pictures inside (you have to buy prints in the gift shop…), however, there are some pictures of Museumplein and the huge “Iamsterdam” sign there.

Jeremy iamsterdam sign

I’m leaving for Prague on Friday for my buddy Kevin’s birthday, so hopefully that will bring me out of the routine and jump start the next exciting phase CIEE predicted. I’ll be sure to take lots of pictures and write a nice, long post when I get back on Tuesday.

Love you Mom, Dad, and Sneery! I send lots of love to all my friends and family too! See you soon!

 

JeremyName: Jeremy
CIEE Amsterdam
Semester: Fall 2011
Homeschool: University of Southern California, USC

All pictures by Jeremy. Read more of Jeremy's blog at http://abroadinamsterdam.com.

 

11/10/2011

A'dam Foodism

I love food. Yes, its imperative that we eat, but it never hurts to indulge once in a while (or whenever you bike past a bakery).  So, I dedicate this entire post, these words, to the glory that is food, the cuisine I have found to be spectacular, and of course I can only sum up the places where I've tried out my palate!

APPELTAART
This one is close, almost too close to call.  Either or is a win, but I think I give the slight edge to Winkel up there on Noodermarkt. They are renowned for their taart, and for good reason.  Its cinnamon flavored apples in a half baked (still doughy) pie with a crusty, delicious exterior.  With a large dollop of homeade slagroom you have a slice of heaven.  The line is always out the door, the pies are always fresh, and its in a prime locale to just watch people sort through cheese and clothing.  But, it you want a low-key spot, Cafe Papeneiland is a nice substitute.  I would argue that their slagroom is just beats Winkel's, a little creamier, a little thicker, but they have less crust, and not as much "doughy" pie that I crave.  So this one needs further review, something I intend to finalize. (Below on the right and middle is Winkel and on the left is a slice from Papeneiland.

DESSERT
Now this was for a while a very troubling and difficult one to decide upon.  But, after a short walk one day on a road that I typically bike, it was all but solved.  A little place called Holtkamp possibly has the best pastries, cakes, and chocolates in the entire city.  It's frequented by the queen, who likes the plain double chocolate cake (which is always sold out).  But their pies/specialty cakes are where the magic is.  Everything from chocolate mousse tarts to champagne-chocolate covered monstrosities, to a cake that looks like it's having an allergic reaction (bumps and bubbles...not itching and runny nose).  My favorite this far (besides a below item) is a hazelnut tart that is covered in walnuts and buttercream icing.  Can anyone say a 2 inch high by 4 inch long buttercream covered hazelnut bar isn't perfection?

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STROOPWAFEL
This culinary delicacy is everywhere.  Everyone has "this or that" stroopwafel, stroopwafel with little stroop cookies, cookies with little stroop wafels, and whatever. But That Guy on Albert Cuypstraat as I like to call him has the best.  He makes and rolls the dough right in front of you and produces a warm, small plate sized wafel that is bending in your hand as you eat it because it's so fresh and warm.  Its crumbly, gooey, and you can even have it dipped in chocolate.  Only 1.50 Euros, so very close, and caramel filling---count me in.
MORNING PICK ME UP
Lanskroon.  These ladies know what's up.  They're always cheery, friendly, and will play along with your sometimes incoherent and drooling Dutch. They're known for their stroopwafels, but their relatively inexpensive, diverse, and delicious menu encompasses all that one needs to go to EU Law for 8 weeks straight. Personally, I find their poppyseed turnovers, espresso coffee, and hapjeswafels to be their best. 
PANNEKOEKEN
This one is not too close to call, it's to SOON to call.  Pancakes Pancakes everywhere and I don't know what to choose! I'd have to say that my favorite pancake (the pancakey part) must go to Pancakes! op Berenstraat.  It's done thick, crispy, and has a unique texture that is socially acceptable and filling enough to eat alone.  But, my other place, Pannekoeken Upstairs has much better and interesting toppings.  Plus, the atmosphere is found no where else in the world, and has much quicker serve-time.  The guy is a pancake god.  After more investigation I shall confirm the executive decision here. (the "bali" with banana, cream, coconut, and banana liquor vs. cardamom, chicory, ham, and rasberry sauce)

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PATAT FRITES
By a far margin, in fact, probably the biggest here, VleminckX de Sausmeesters win this.  Double fried, hand cut potato fries that crunch on the outside and are soft patat in the middle.  Then with about 20 different sauces to choose from, (especially the Zeeuwse mayonnaise). There is always a line, and seeing that most of these are locals, its ought to be good, and trust me, for 3 Euros you can be happy for quite a long time.  I recently went to Belgium and had their fries, but the stall on Voetboogsteeg has the Belgians beat at their own game.
CHEESE
I have two categories here.  First, my favorite market cheese dealer is Johan Kaas on Albert Cuypstraat.  Yea the guy right before him has free samples, but is always angry and won't cut huge chunks up for you in case you hadn't felt like buying 300g of Maasdammer Kaas. Johan cuts, slices, and dices it up for you, his Boeren Kaas is creamy and soft, and its always on sale.  He's a great guy with some great cheese, what can you say? Nextly, I really enjoy a cheese from Kaashuis Tromp op Utrechtstraat.  They have everything, but their black truffel cheese is simply to die for.  Its so perfect that I'm not sure you actually do anything with it, besides eat it plain.  It's sample galore around this place, and is a cheesy site to see.
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BREAD
Simon Meijssen wins this one, though mainly because there are too many bread places to try, and not enough room in the stomach to do them all.  But this place is local, has a few locations, and is a quick trip down Albert Cuypstraat. Though  the morning crew is always a little testy with me, anything on the rack behind them will make up for it.  Friesroggebrood is simply delicious, its raisiny, somehow crunchy, and a great morning treat.  Then there's their croissants, the meegranen is probably the best multi-grain thing I've ever had, and don't even get me started on their corn-rolls and rozijn brolletjes. 
DONER KEBAB
The fact that this place lies not 20m from my apartment is dangerous.  Doner kebab is on every street corner, they are like an infection that has spread all across Middle Europe.  All it is is lamb, lettuce, tzatziki sauce on a bun.  Or inside a piece of flat bread that resembles a tortilla, only drier and flakier.  However, this place gets on the list not because of sheer geographic proximity, but because it is so damn good.  Regardless of the hour, people are waiting in line, and I've seen it go halfway down the block to the grocery store.  Once you get in, it's quick, and typically you get the joy of the employees take no enjoyment out of their job, they throw food around, throw knives to each other, and generally just don't care.  But their spic lamb is sooooo good, and for only 3.50 Euros you get a whole Turkish pizza that rivals the Doner capital of Berlin.
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FRIED THING---AND PLACE TO GET IT
I love kroketten. They are typically some mysterious ragout mixed in with some type of mysterious meat.  They are a popular snack item that can be found at any self-dispensing FEBO. If I'm really hungry and want a cheap snack, I'll go there.  But my Monday ritual takes me to Holkamp.  The Queen's favorite bakkerij may be dishing out delicious taarten, speculoos, en chocoladen, but their crown-royale is their garnalen kroket. It's filled with garnalen (shrimp, though you can get just cheese or lamb) and deep fried in homeade batter.  Its just that right bit of crunch to hold in the steamy spiced ragout that makes the start of the week all the more better.  Paired with a usual slice of taart and I'm in heaven.  Oh and it helps that these have been called the best kroketten in all of Holland, and that means, the world.
TO ALL THOSE HATERS
The Dutch do know what's going on.  They have quite the cuisine, and I'd be hard pressed to find a better place than right here for bread, cheese, and speculoos. Not to mention a good old koffieverkeerd en warme chocolademelk.  Will I bring home some A'dam with me on the plane that security can't take away? Most definitely, but part of the immersion experience is ingesting some of it!

AaronCIEE Amsterdam
Semester: Fall 2011
Homeschool: University of Pittsburg

All pictures by Aaron. Read more of Aarons blog at http://anorangeexcursion.weebly.com/de-blog.html

Relaxing break then back to the grind

Even though my exams were over, a lot of my friends still had exams last week. So while everyone was studying the building was calm. I just sat at my computer for a couple days and only went out Jeremy uvafor food. Understandably, I was feeling lethargic and cabin fever started setting in so I decided to go out and be productive with some friends that didn’t have exams either.

Alli, Pete and I went to the Rembrandthuis, which was actually more than what I was expecting. On the outside it looks like a skinny, tall building like the ones you’d find along the canals. Inside, however, it was set up as if Rembrandt and his students just up and left one day. I made paint the old-fashioned way and perused through the gallery of Rembrandt’s paintings and sketches.

The next day Pete and I went to De Hortus Botanicus. The botanical gardens were awesome! A mini hedge maze, numerous greenhouses representing different climates around the world, and a butterfly garden are just a few cool things this place has to offer. Truly one of my favorite places in Amsterdam and luckily it’s just down the road from my dorm. Botanical gardens

By Friday, everyone was ready to let off some steam. The ISN Halloween party was that night and I don’t think a more ridiculous group of people has ever biked around Amsterdam (and that’s a VERY bold statement). I was in a skin tight green man suit with a glittery green mask to match – I was…The Human Cave. Enough of that, more of the party. It was such a crazy night and the whole club, Odeon, was packed with people in costume celebrating the end of exams. The night undoubtedly got out of hand for many many people, but it was so fun nonetheless. My buddy Davis DJed downstairs for a couple hours so it was fun till early in the morning.

After a couple days of resting, we were ready to venture out on Monday. Pete and I decided to bring everyone to an open mic night at a little bar called Candela in Leidseplein. Pete played and is one more step up to stardom. Yeah Pete! USC Thronton baby!

Also I got a haircut, registered for classes for next semester, 2nd block has just started, and I had a CIEE meeting today which really set in the idea that I’m half way through. I’m not sad though. I’m really happy because I know that all of the fun times I’ve had so far have only been half of my adventure. Being out here has definitely taught me to appreciate a lot of the things I have back home like friends, family, and (of course) Mexican food. I’m missing California, but I’m enjoying the Netherlands and I can’t wait to tell all of these stories to everyone.

Miss you all! Love you family! See you soon!

JeremyName: Jeremy
CIEE Amsterdam
Semester: Fall 2011
Homeschool: University of Southern California, USC

All pictures by Jeremy. Read more of Jeremy's blog at http://abroadinamsterdam.com.