At the end of February I took a few days off of work and met Rick in Amsterdam for the day. We arrived around the same time on Thursday morning, but since had (literally) just flown from America, I gave him a few hours to nap and wandered the city on my own. After accidentally walking through the Red Light District I treated myself to a latte and the most delicious sandwich (goat cheese and hummus and honey and zucchini) at a cafe called Staalmeesters. Which does not seem to have a website but by no means does this mean that I do not recommend it!
After seeking out the famous big yellow clog (near Dam Square in front of a souvenir shop, for anyone who is wondering), we spent the afternoon at the Heineken Experience. Of course it was very touristy but you get some free beers during the tour and my dad even bought me a bottle of Heineken with my name on it, which was pretty cool.
We rounded out the day with dinner at Winkel 43 which, if you will recall, I went to the last time I was in Amsterdam. We had actual dinner but really went there for the apple cake. Delish.
The next day I was left to my own devices, as Rick had to go back to America (no rest for the weary!) After staying in the hotel as long as possible (thanks for the free lodging!) I headed out for a day of wandering. I stumbled upon some real gems, notably the Eichholtz Delicatessen, which was utterly overwhelming, and Kitsch Kitchen where I had to really restrain myself from purchasing any household items. I also fell in love with Hopjes (coffee-flavored candies), and would not turn down a bag of them from anyone who visits Holland in the future (!)
Eventually it was time to go home, along with my backpack full of American treats my mom sent along and enough Stroop to last me the 2:45 train ride home.
bocadillo de calamares (calimari sandwich) with tinto de verano
melon con jamon, olives, a loaf of bread and a big cervesa
cafe con leche and writing post cards in plaza mayor
fancy tacos and margs at lulu’s taco bar
a cubo of 5 beers for 3 euros at cerveceria la sureña (we each had our own)
croquettes, tortilla, fried goat cheese with blueberry sauce and patatas bravas at fatigas del querer. (the waiter tried talking us into ordering the special, baby goat. we declined.)
needless to say I came away from spain a happier, tanner, probably heavier woman. worth it.
Rather than going back in time and explaining my trip to India (everyone who reads this knows all about it anyway) I am just going to leap back into writing and pretend it hasn’t been nearly 4 months since the last time I wrote something legit. I think its spring like today or tomorrow so, New Season, New Beginnings!
This past weekend was the holiest of all mid-March holidays, St Patrick’s Day! I rounded up some old friends (as in I’ve known them for a long time [6 years!] not that they are getting up there in age) and celebrated to the fullest. I made these (though due to me basically making up my own recipe for the jello part, they were not sweet enough and we only ate like 3 each. The trash got the rest.) and Suz made green pancakes for breakfast. Then we donned as much green as socially acceptable and headed out to the biggest Irish pub I know in Cologne. However, we were turned away at the door because it was already too full, so we went around the corner to a smaller, though no less crowded, Irish pub. A few hours of drinking Guinness and meeting people from all over the British Isles later, we purchased our final green product: a can of sour cream and onion Pringles.
Successful St Patty’s Day? I’d say so.
Last week, before jaunting off for a week of vacation, I took the presence of two dear friends of mine (as well as gorgeous weather and a light course load) as an opportunity to finally get a group together to Bier Bike.
The premise is simple: book the ‘bike’ for a few hours, buy a few kegs to stock it, burn some CDs, and travel around town having the time of your life. Powered only by the legs of yourself and your 9 closest friends (but with room for 16 people total) (and thankfully steered by a designated driver), there is really nothing jollier than a group of people singing and drinking and spreading cheer around downtown Hannover.
Next time, were doing it in costume.
Yesterday and today I was lucky enough to have two visitors! I was a proper guide and we did what any person should do while they’re in Germany for the first time: eat and drink as much as possible.
We had döner kebap:
Enough lamb (and lamb burps) for quite some time.
Went to a cafe:
And got complimentary chips and ‘guacamole’ from the bar I frequent the most:
Not really guacamole but thanks anyway, Pablo!
Not pictured include falafel, multiple stops at a bakery in the train station for a variety of pretzels, Burger King, a few pitchers of Strongbow, and a trip to Starbucks.
I can only hope that I gave them a good slice of German life. If not, they’re on their way to Munich for Oktoberfest anyway…
Before I moved to Germany, 85% of the conversations I had with people about my upcoming adventure included a phrase similar to ‘I bet you’re going to drink a lot of beer!’ I would always cut back with a long-winded explanation that I had already had my time to party in Europe, and that this time I’m going for an advanced degree and I’ll probably spend more time doing schoolwork than anything else.
Bold. Faced. Lie.
We’re about to start the third week of classes, but on weekend nights I return home from the club anywhere between 3 and 7am. During the week, it’s imperative that we drown our scholastic sorrows in Germany’s greatest asset. Our favorite bar knows to bring three pitchers at once to our table, at which time we erupt into a cheer. The night always ends with free shots from the bartender, probably because we can rack up a bill over €100 in a night.
I just chalk it up as social interaction and cultural exploration. If only I could get my tuition to cover my bar tab.