February 8th, 2011

Last night we went to a local bar called Odessa. They have international students night on Monday’s. It was so packed that you could hardly move. I didn’t stay very long. I was able to sleep in today because I don’t have class on Tuesday’s! It was beautiful out today. It was sunny, not raining and not too cold either (or windy for that matter). I ventured around Leiden today purchasing things that I need. It felt like I live here finally. I saw people I recognized and I knew my way around pretty well. I had two people come up and talk to me. They spoke in Dutch and seemed surprised I didn’t. One guy thought I was from England. Today was a good day. There were students walking around everywhere which helps me feel more comfortable since that’s what I’m used to. I started class Monday. The class The Netherlands in it’s European Context should be relatively interesting. Maybe it’s the attitude I’ve been in but it seems like there’s a lot of “well America’s the only country that does that” and comments like that. So hopefully that class is not a bunch of comparing the two countries. I had Photography class Monday as well. I learned that my (very old) camera can do more than I knew it could! I’m excited to learn how to take pictures. The class is affirming my desire to invest in a nice more professional-like camera soon. I’ve always loved taking pictures and looking at photography. The professor is super cool as well. She’s a professional freelance photographer based in Rotterdam (which we’re going to at the end of the month!). She’s taking us to an exhibit in Amsterdam as well. Lots to look forward to!

I’ve definitely been home sick. I’ve been here for almost a month so the allure of being Europe is sort of wearing off. I try to be open minded but it’s definitely starting to be apparent that there’s a double standard- in the sense that what’s appropriate for American’s to say and what’s appropriate for the rest of the world to say. Two of my friends and I were walking back to our dorm and this group of guys were playing soccer in the street. They said hello and then said “Americans” very condescendingly as we were walking away. Can you imagine if the situation were reversed? And my friends and I were in America and we said “Dutchmen” in the same manner. First of all it would be unnecessary secondly it would be considered ignorant or rude. I don’t know. My American culture is definitely becoming more apparent to me now. You don’t really notice it when you’re immersed in it. I just really wish people didn’t think so pourly of the US. Maybe I’m just not used to being a foreigner yet. All of these experiences and lessons I’m learning will be so useful for me in the future.

Myself and two other girls are planning another trip. Perhaps to Switzerland! I still really want to go to Copenhagen so we’ll see. Maybe I’ll be able to go before I go back home. I booked my flight to England today for Spring Break (I leave March 3rd). I’m very excited to go!

I’m going to the island Texel for the weekend with the program I came with. It’s an optional excursion but I want to see the water- I miss it! I googled it and it looks beautiful so I’m excited. I’ll be sure to blog and post pictures afterward.

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About Ivy

I'm Ivy. 23 years old, resident of the great state of North Carolina. Lover of music, tea, unicorns, traveling and daydreaming. I have one blog about my semester abroad in the Netherlands. The other is a compilation of things I've written.
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