Saturday, July 25, 2009


Woo long overdue posts about my awesome endings in Europe. We'll start with my 4 days in Amsterdam. My sister and her boyfriend KC arrived in Geneva and we got over jet lag, and the next day took an easyjet flight to Amsterdam. We arrived and met up with our couchsurfer, Jaap, at the train station and he showed us to the bus as he biked home. The first surprising thing in Amsterdam we noticed was the crap loads of bike, EVERYWHERE! Everyone rides a bike and the bike traffic in the city is probably heavier than the car traffic. We spent a nice relaxing evening with Jaap eating lasagna and jamming to Johny Cash. Jaap was actually planning on immigrating to Vancouver soon so maybe we'll see him sooner than I think.

We started our trip in Amsterdam with a free New Europe tour learning about all the history and architecture of Amsterdam. It's a really gorgeous city with beautiful canals and interesting architecture. The rest of the day was more wandering and taking in the sights.

The second day we decided to rent bikes and explore the city the locals way. We took our bikes to a nearby market buying bread and cheese and fruit for a picnic in Vondelpark. We also cruised over to a local brewery on the west side of the city called, Brouwerij't IJ. We finished off the day with a tour of the redlight district. It's definitely an interesting sight to behold, but no pictures were captured because apparently the prostitutes have big scary body guards that come out and smash your camera... OR they may have a cup of urine placed next to them that they throw at you. So good to know that.

We finished off the stay in Amsterdam with some delicious traditional pancakes, more like crepes if you ask me. And then headed over to Museum Island to check out the Rijkmuseum, the Dutch museum of history and art. It was unfortunately under construction but all the masterpieces were there so we oogled at some Rembrant and Vermeer before heading out for a nap on the lawn. Sara and I visited the Anne Frank house, the house where she was in hiding during WWII. It was pretty emotional and interesting. We finished the day meeting up with Jaap and the other couchsurfers who were staying with him and heading to his friends' freegan dinner. Every thursday they prepare a vegan dinner from free food they've collected at the markets, either asking vendors for food they wouldn't sell or dumpster diving for discarded food, here's they're website, very interesting blog! The dinner was delish with some stir fry, salads, delicious turkish food, hummus and more. There were people from everywhere, Italy, Turkey, Israel, you name it. It was a really fun experience and only something you can experience with couchsurfing. I love couchsurfing soo much!

We then boarded a train for Berlin and that story comes next, look out!

pictures here,

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Endings :(

So as you all probably know I arrived back in the US last Thursday after a great 2 1/2 week trip with my sister and her boyfriend, KC. It was pretty sad to leave Chambé for the last time, and now that I'm back home I'm starting to come to the realization that I won't see the friends I've been with for the past year in a long time. Hopefully I can make to over to Brazil and back to Europe soon to see them all again. I still had an amazing year though and one that I will never forget, I feel that I understand my American identity more, and I've learned a lot more than I ever thought I would about some European cultures and how they view Americans. I've come to the understanding that I'm very lucky to be born in the US, and it's an identity I never want to lose, even if I end up living in Europe, or somewhere else, in the future. I can't imagine living in a country where everyone looks the same, acts the same, and whose opinions and beliefs are the same. Before I moved to France I had the idea that Europe was just as mulitcultural and diverse as the US but really it's all very seperated by country, the czechs in the Czech Republic, the fins in Finland, etc. I feel that France is pretty diverse for Europe and everyone, for the most part, is accepted by their French neighbors.

I hope I can continue practicing my french because I definitely don't want to lose it after all the hard work I've put in. Hopefully one day I can use that skill in my future career, fingers crossed.

Well anyways I'm actually back in Pullman now which is pretty strange, after being gone from here for a year. Not much has changed, but I do have a really nice apartment with 2 close friends. So that's much more bearable than dorm life. Right now in mid-July it's pretty dead around here so I'm hoping the excitement picks up in August when school starts. My schedule looks pretty full this semester, with lots of Finance courses and the stress of getting my French credits to transfer over here. I also need to find a job but that's pretty slow going right now too so we'll see what happens. I'm going back to Seattle on Tuesday, and my cousin is coming to visit us for a couple days, and I'm going to a concert and then in August heading over to Chicago and Ohio to see family, so pretty busy summer plans. I'll prolly keep updating this once a month or so, so stay tuned :D.
Gros bisous,