Tag Archives: Amsterdam

Oh Shoot I’m Trapped

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Just a quick video I forgot about from Amsterdam… being a bit swilly in a maze. What else would you expect?? <33

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Jumping Off Cliffs Like It’s No Big Deal

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Bonjour mes petits munchkins!

…I’m in a bit of a pickle as to how I want to relay my trip to Amsterdam to y’all. Obviously, you guys are well aware as to the culture in Amsterdam, and what is legal, et cetera. I have a multitude of stories that I’m itching to tell, but I also have a nicely functioning brain floating around in my head, and it isn’t really in my best interest to publicly publish this kind of thing. I have hopes of having a successful career in the future, so I’d rather not have any dirt on me that can be dug up, yah know? But at the same time… AMSTERDAM WAS FREAKING CRAZY.

So, I have come up with a solution. I’ll publish the “legal” pictures here in the next post, but I also have a separate post with all the juicy deets if anyone is interested. If you want to read it, either leave a comment on this post with your e-mail, or shoot me an e-mail at halataxi@rocketmail.com, let me know you want the 4-1-1, and I’ll forward you a long the post in an e-mail. Not the easiest of solutions, I know, but I can’t really think of anything else, and this way we all win. Cheers!

On that note, I’ll continue per usual with a gap for the days of October 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st.

Donc.

Monday, October 22nd: THE WEEK OF PURE EVIL. Not like I can complain too much after a weekend of epicness, but still… this week was hell in a hand basket (school-wise, bien sur), and it all started on Monday. Per usual, I had class starting at 10h40, but two of my elective professors – pour l’Histoire d’art et culture et societe – decided that class had to be two hours instead of 1h30… excuse me but NO. Unfair, you suck. Yes, I have taken 3-hour classes in college before, but in freaking ENGLISH… with debates and stuff. Sorry, but 2 straight hours of nonsensical French forces my brain switch into overdrive and I do not appreciate it. I wouldn’t even be shocked if steam started shooting out of my orifices.

Sorry, that was a mini-rant. Anyway, after my torturous classes were done I had to go next door and take a mo-fricken fake exam. Yes, you read that right. For my three elective classes, our only grade for the semester is our final (eep)… so in an effort to “help us”, our superiors decided that all the Americans get the elite pleasure of studying for exams that don’t even count towards anything so we can see where we stand in the class. It’s complete malarkey if you ask me. If I have to invest the time into studying for something, it might as well count; I mean, what on earth is the point to even study?! But of course, I like being a good student too much, so I studied (on the plane coming home from Amsterdam…), and it turns out that the exam wasn’t that bad – I finished tres vite and now I guess I know how the professor is going to test us. Regardless though… down with fake exams!

I finally arrived back home around 18h30, which left me just enough time to shower before dinner. I 100% wanted to just relax and recuperate from the long day, but noooo. Instead, I had to spend the next few hours doing homework and studying for my three exams on Tuesday. Excuse me, what? Eventually I just passed out from an overload of information.

Tuesday, October 23rd: The apex of evil pour moi thus far in the semester. Tuesdays are a hellish day as it is for me, but add three exams into the mix and you’re better off just not talking to me. My day started at 8h30 with my first batch of classes, which didn’t end until 12h30. During that chunk of time I took my first exam of the day. This one actually counted, and was the 2nd of the semester so it was kind of a big deal. I wasn’t too worried about that since on the first one I got an A+ (chyeah beetches), but it still stunk. After that we had an hour (as opposed to the usual 1h30) break for lunch, where Hannah and I met up with Max and Preston to enjoy our few minutes of freedom.

Lunch ended too soon, and I had my Translation class… and my second exam of the day. Thank the lord this one was just to judge how we are doing, because honestly I think our professor made the exam while smoking meth of equal value. We had to translate the most obscure words ever from English to French… some of them I didn’t even know the definition to, and I’m a freaking English major, so I kind of pride myself on my solid grasp of the English language. Whatevs. I survived it, and had a brief 30-minute break until my final elective class of the week, la litterature. After that class was done I had to go take yet another faux examen, but this one was also pretty easy, and once again I can now get a grasp as to how the final will be.

Needless to say, I was beyond exhausted, and once I got home I showered, ate dinner, did my homework, read some Game of Thrones, then sank into a well-deserved sleep.

Wednesday, October 24th: Another early morning with class at 8h30, but after that I was done for the day (well… kind of), so Nina and I went to the post office to get some international envelopes et les timbres, and I spent about 30-minutes being indecisive as to what I wanted to eat for lunch. I finally settled with Sandwich House and had this delicious sandwich with peppers, tomatoes, cheese and various other veggies on a sesame seed baguette. Nomnomnom. I took my sandwich to the ever-infamous French Coffeeshop, where I paired it with a mochafrio, which was equally dank.

I had every intention of studying for my last fake final of the week (Culture et Societe), but at that point I was at maximum capacity as far as exams were concerned and just sort of said screw it, aka I didn’t take the exam. I felt guilty for about a minute, but then I realized that a bunch of kids in my program skipped one exam, and I mean, it doesn’t count anyway… so the guilt quickly dissipated. Instead, I figured out what classes I want to take for my last semester at UVM, holycrapontoast. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but because I was such a boss with planning out my whole undergraduate career, next semester I only have to take one class: a senior seminar for my European Studies major (I finished my English major last year, holla). In lieu of taking a seminar, I have the option to take an Advanced Readings & Research class, but I’m not really sure what exactly it entails. I e-mailed some people and am trying to get the ball rolling with that, so I’ll see how it ends up. Unfortunately, in order to be a full-time student I have to take at least 12 credits, so I had to pick some others. I think I will be definitely taking Tolkien’s Middle-Earth (an entry-level English class, can you say easy A?), and I need to choose between Francophone Crossings — a 200-level French class… kind of stinks because it’ll be real work, but I need to keep up with speaking French; I refuse to lose all I’ve gained here – and Z Is For Zombies, which is a 100-level English class, and once again will be a walk in the park. So that means I have 9 credits. I also e-mailed my adviser and the English department head to see if I can take this class that is simply called Internship. Basically, I have to find an internship on my own, and I can get 3-6 credits for interning during the semester (I have to write like one paper, but that’s cake). I started e-mailing some people, and I think I may have found a potential: I would be interning at some magazine/newsletter in South Burlington and I would be in charge of planning meetings and kind of being the editors assistant. The best part… it’s paid! If I can get paid and receive credits at the same time I will be a very happy camper. Of course, all of this is still up in the air, but I still have a good amount of time before all of the kinks need to be worked out anyway. With the internship class, I could have up to 15 credits on the table, but of course I’m an overachiever and want to get the most bang for my buck, so I also think that during winter break I’m going to take two classes online: Crime Story: Agatha Christie and Careers and English: What Next? The Agatha course is 2 credits, and the English Career is only 1, so I’ll have a full course load once again. The best part about those two courses though is that they are only during winter break, so during my Spring Semester I’m only going to have class on Tuesdays and Thursdays for like 3 hours… and then whatever it is I have to do for my Research and Internship. HECK YES. I love life.

Now that I’ve bored you with my future classes, I’ll resume. After the coffeeshop I went to Monoprix to buy treats with Emily and Mike and then went to a Halloween/costume shop to buy tickets for a Halloween Bash for Hannah and I. I ended up buying a costume as well (‘tis a surprise), and the guys who worked there wanted to take a picture of me in it for their shop… I tried not to be 100% weirded out. They were cute though, so I didn’t take too much offense. When that debacle was over I stopped by Ian’s to pick up his sewing kit and chatted with him for a bit, and then headed home for dinner. I had some time to kill before Madeleine came home so I worked on sewing some more patches onto my backpack; it’s starting to fill up! The little things in life that make me happy, haha. Madeleine made an outrageously delicious apple tart, and I think I ate 1/3rd of it for dessert. Woops. I ended my night watching V for Vendetta; a much better day then the previous two.

Thursday, October 25th: AWESOMENESS. I had one class from 10h40 a 12h30, and then hung around on campus for an hour to wait to go PARAPENTING!!!! Parapenting = Paragliding, and it was one of the most amazing experiences ever. Picture this: being on the top of one of the French Alps, running off a hill and suddenly having the ground disappear beneath your feet. Guys, it was so so so unbelievable. At this time of year in Grenoble all the leaves are still changing colors, so the scenery was beyond compare. I videoed the majority of the flight, so definitely take a look at it. Seriously, if you ever get the opportunity to go, DO IT. It was something that I can’t really even use words to describe, and I’m pretty darn good with words. It was something that I’m never going to forget for as long as I live.

After living life to the fullest by running off a mountain, I went home to shower, rest and have dinner before the night began. It was the night of our first Halloween Party in Grenoble, and of course Hannah and I had to do it in style. I dressed up as a Geisha, with my Kimono from China, some tights and high heels. I can pull off a good Asian, if I do say so myself. In her own words, Hannah dressed up “as a slut”, so of course we were magnets. I mean, we’re both tall (and had heels on to boot), I’m a tan American with black hair, and she’s a blonde German, so unfortunately it was inevitable. Once we met up, we walked to Natasha’s friend’s apartment (comically enough, another German) to pre-game before the fiesta. The party didn’t start until 23h30 so we had plenty of time to do our thing. Following all the necessary preparations (i.e. costumes and wine/mixed drinks), we met up with some of Natasha’s friends from school, then made our way to the club where the party was. In all honesty, it was a pretty freaking fun time. I talked French with a lot of different people (and nationalities), got some free drinks, and had a blast breaking it down on the dance floor. One guy tried to show me “typical French dance moves”, but he looked like an epileptic puppet, so I made the excuse that my feet hurt (which they did) and went to sit down for a little. Apparently, sitting down is equivalent to having a giant sign flashing, “come bother me” above my head, because I think a new guy or pair of guys came up to me about every three minutes. One made me a braided necklace out of fake spider webs; honestly, the way people try to court you here… it’s just bizarre. I realized I was exhausted around 3h00 and made the terrible trek home in my heels. About halfway through I went barefoot and didn’t regret it. I got home 30 minutes later and passed out instantly. Sweet success.

Friday, October 26th: Today! I woke up around 10h00, woke up, puked (casual, I know. I officially have realized I can’t have mixed drinks with a lot of sugar. I wasn’t even that drunk the night before; the sugar gets me in the morning every time), and then decided I wasn’t ready to face the world yet (plus it was a very cruddy and rainy day), so I went back to bed. Hannah ended up waking me up by texting me at 13h30, at which point I decided to be a normal human being. At 15h30, I met up with Emily at Mezzo di Pasta where I had a tasty soup and macaroni with pesto, and we started to plan our trip to Morocco!!!! Details on that to come, but I am so beyond excited I don’t know how I’m going to be able to wait until December. Eventually Hannah met up with us, and after she finished eating we went to the Pathe Cinema to go see Taken 2. Heh, not my first choice movie to watch while abroad, but Hannah wanted to see it and I promised I would go with her, but it actually wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. It was pretty much an action film (plus it ended happy), and I was extra proud of myself that the film was in French and I could understand everything; I’m getting better everyday with this French!

Side Note Story: At the beginning of the movie, there was this large group of OBNOXIOUS teenagers that would not stop yelling and dicking around while the film was playing. After 10 minutes, a guy who worked at the theatre approached them and told them to be quiet, but they completely ignored him. A few minutes later, the workers paused the film and forcible removed them from the cinema. One idiot kid tried to punch the large man who was escorting him out, which was pretty hilarious to watch. Once all the perpetrators were gone, they rewound the film and everything continued normally… but 20 minutes later 5 police officers went out the same exit as the idiot kids. I’m sure they were being stupid and up to no good. Honestly, never a dull moment over here in Grenoble, France. I can’t say I hate it.

When the movie was over, I headed back to my apartment and then had soup and ratatouille pizza with Madeleine for dinner. It was extremely tasty. Now, I’m just lying in bed typing this up for all of you lovely individuals. I’ll probably go to bed early because this weekend is an excursion with the rest of my group to Aix-en-Provence. Stay tuned for the crazy stories that I’m sure will ensue.

❤ Love, peace and afrogrease.

Nights I Can’t Remember, Friends I’ll Never Forget

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Bonjour bonjour bonjourrr!  Herro beautiful people. Hope all is going splendidly – lord knows I have exactly 0 complaints (well, actually… I wish my Toms didn’t smell as rancid as they did, but that can hardly count as a complaint).

So, where did I leave off? I think I talked about my Friday already, so Saturday is where we will begin. Woooo.

Saturday, September 29th: Slept in a little bit (aka like 10:00am, it’s hard to sleep in for me if I get drunk the night before which is LAMESAUCE), had some breakfast, and came to the conclusion that it was a lazy kind of Saturday – mostly due to the fact that it was nasty, rainy and repulsive outside. Ick. I can’t say I totally hated it though; I haven’t had a day to myself where I just chilled hard since I’ve gotten to Grenoble, so I guess it was long overdue. Madeleine came home for lunch and she made some popular Greek dish (it’s like Mussaka or something like that, and had lamb/beef/potatoes and vegetables in it… uber tasty), and then I spent about 3 hours going through my iTunes library and creating a “France” playlist… it’s 590 songs and is a mélange of dancey, chill, raging, and overall bizarre music that I am 100% in love with. Then I read a little bit, but decided I was still tired from this awesome lifestyle I’ve been living, so I broke in my playlist and took a little nap.

Afterwards I headed to MacDo (McDonald’s in French) to steal their wifi. The beautiful thing about this MacDo is that it is always busy; so I literally just walk in, not order anything (I mean, let’s be real, their food grosses me out unlike any other) and squat for as long as I desire. What did I do on the Internet, you ask? Buy freaking tickets to AMSTERDAM. Jealous? You should be. Nina and I are going October 18th-21st to visit one of her friends, plus we’re going to a concert to see Feed Me, Nero, and other fantastical dubstep artists. It’s going to be a raging good time, and we will be well acquainted with the coffee shops by the end of the weekend (haters, go on and judge/hate, but it’s legal and I mean… COME ON. It’s freaking Amsterdam. Yolo).  Needless to say I was souped beyond believe after my purchase. Eeeeee.

I’ve been outrageously hungry lately, so en route back to my apartment I stopped by Mezzo di Pasta and ordered myself some delectable gnocchi with vodka sauce (only my favorite pasta combo ever).

There was a group of French dudes who kept trying to converse with me, but I wasn’t in the social mood — plus I was trying to enjoy my gnocchi and set a new Sudoku record — so I glared at them with my headphones in until they stopped pestering me. Finally, I made it back home, where I started to get ready for the night, woo! Soon enough, Madeleine came home and we had some dinner (short term memory loss is kicking in and I can’t remember what it was. Zut), and then the night arrived.

Earlier in the week I stumbled upon a poster promoting a “rap battle” called The End Of The Weaknote to everyone: posters are one of the most effective ways (at least in Grenoble) to find out about events around town. I’ve been to so many fun things already because of my searching and taking pictures of every poster I come across.

Poster + Armband

Anyway, I met up with Nina, Emily, Preston, Maddie, Natasha, Evelyn and Ian at 20h30 at the tram stop, and from there we made our way to the “battle” – I put battle in air quotes because it wasn’t exactly a face-to-face battle, but rather a competition for local people who wanted to show off their freestyling/rapping skills. There was also an MC who is semi-famous and a DJ who hosted the event, along with a band (I was on the fence about them, probably because I was crashing by the end of the event) who played at the end. Also… there were break-dancers! Personally, I think break-dancers are an incredibly sexy breed (I mean, look at their abs), and these guys happened to be Italian. Yuuuup. The show in its entirety though was a really fun time; the winner was some guy whose name I can’t spell/remember, and a lot of the contestants (and hosts) were full of personality, and it was just entertaining watching them, despite the fact that I could only understand about 10% of the words that were being said. Dammit, not being fluent in French yet! In due time. The battle ended at 1h00, and we all were completely exhausted by the end of it all, a bed was a really nice place to end the night.

**If you haven’t yet, check out my last post with all the videos from the event to see what a French rap battle is like.**

Sunday, September 30th: Chilled around in bed for the majority of the morning, and then came to the realization that I actually had homework to do, darn. Shortly after I cracked open my books, Maddie texted me saying that her Nina, Natasha and Emily were at our lovely French Coffeeshop, so I moved my homework party to Centre Ville. I actually had less than anticipated (did I mention how much I LOVE how the work load over here is about 3847234098 times easier than last year?), and ended up getting ahead of schedule and doing my big homework assignment that is due on Thursday. Go me.

After a few hours, Maddie and I were starving for lunch, so the two of us plus Nina, Natasha, Emily and Max went in search of some good, cheap grub. It was a success (per usual); we found an amazing smoothie/sandwich/crepe/Panini shop called Naturel Delice, and of course I got one of those cards where at the 10th stamp you get a free item, #fatgirlproblems. My sandwich was bizarre in the best possible way: a sesame seed baguette with Brie, some other kind of cheese, apples, chicken, pickles, lettuce, peppers and a white cheese sauce – soooooo good.

Definitely going back, especially to suck down some fresh smoothies, nomnomnom. We ended up hanging out at Delice for a while; I played some music and it was a nice relaxing time. Eventually, we all parted ways and I went home for dinner (again, can’t remember what we ate… I need to start writing this down the night of regardless of whether or not I blog). I was still pretty exhausted from the weekend, so I was in bed and asleep before 20h45, old lady status. The boy ended up calling me at 22h00, but he awoke me from my deep slumber so I don’t think I was speaking coherently; he ended up just saying goodnight and I fell instantly back to sweet, sweet sleep.

Monday, OCTOBER (WHAT? When did it become October? NO MERCI) 1st: Class, mer^2. Slept until 9h00 and slowly got myself into the whole weekday-shwagu routine (psh…). I had class from 10h40 until 17h30 with some breaks, which sucks, but I trouped through and got it over with. The highlight of my school day was when Emily and I purchased tickets to IRELAND!! We’re going from November 15th-18th and it is going to be yet another amazing time. We’re staying with Emily’s friend Thursday night in Dublin, and then the three of us are going to a friend of a friend’s apartment in Galway and staying there until Saturday, where we will go back to Dublin and fly home on Sunday. This semester is cracking up to be one of epic proportions…

Moving on, the same people who hosted The End Of The Weak had an event starting at 18h00, and since I don’t have dinner until close to 20h00, I decided to go. Hannah and Max opted to join me, and I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but it didn’t disappoint. First of all, there was free food and wine, so instantly it got a gold star. I happened to wind up drunk by the end of it, and considering we were only there for an hour, I crown myself champion of the boxed red wine (be jealous of the esteemed level of class). We ended up talking to this guy named Abba who was from Uganda but currently resides in Berlin (Hannah was excited to have someone to speak German with), who was a featured rapper in the event. Here he is in all his glory, along with friends.

He was a pretty cool dude, and definitely had some goals lined up for the future. I’m envious that he just plans on traveling for a shitton of years acquiring knowledge and making friends; I’m starting to think that I want to do the same thing… anyone else in?

Eventually, duty called and Abba had to go and rap with his fellow brethren, so I went and took a tour of the graffiti exposition (see the below video for the virtual tour), and listened to the medley of languages that these guys were rapping in – we heard Italian, French, English and German… gnarly.

Unfortunately the hour arrived where I had to go home to eat dinner, and we weren’t able to see the live graffiti painting. Oh well.

Saw this on the walk home. Not gonna lie, it made me giggle.

Also a walk home spot. Would you carry your child like this?

It was pretty comical going home and being decently drunk by 19h45; I definitely thought my French was way better than it actually was/my tongue was way looser, but Madeleine didn’t seem to notice (also, she wouldn’t care regardless), so it’s all good. After dinner was finished, Max and I decided to go back to the event and see what was going down. There were definitely more drunk people — the rapping got progressively worse — but it was a fun time regardless. By the time we got there, the “live graffiti” had already been finished, but I can’t really say that it looked like much. I took a picture, so feel free to judge for yourself… but to me it just seemed like some drunken sailor splatter painted everywhere, wahwahweewah. We didn’t end up staying too long (I had a test the next morning), so I still managed to get a nice sleep. Three cheers for combating the Monday blues!


Tuesday, October 2nd
: If there were an opposite of a Mecca, Tuesday’s would definitely be it… so long and drudging. So yeah, I was in class from 8h30 until 17h30 with some breaks, but my teachers/classmates decided to be amazing people, and it turns out my day wasn’t so bad after all.

First off, it was my Russian classmates birthday today (she turned 25), and my Australian classmate, being one of the sweetest boys to walk the planet I’ve now decided, bought her a freaking cake! Not just any cake either; it was a raspberry/mousse/chocolate cake from one of my favorite patisseries (Cordon Blue), and it tasted amazing. He also brought in candles and these cookies called Tim Tam’s (epic as well), and my professor was in on the plan and brought in all the necessary utensils along with orange juice.

How delicious does this look? RIIIIIGHT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A great way to end a Tuesday morning, if I do say so myself. We spent the last 10 minutes of our first period happily munching on delicious food and chugging fresh OJ, chyeahh. Have I mentioned I love France and never want to leave? As if the tasty sweets weren’t enough, in my translation class (which I now have decided I like), my professor saw me rip a gigantic yawn and gave us a much-needed break, plus more cookies! A run is in my near future after all the tasty treats I’ve been gorging on, that’s for sure.

Finalement, the end of the school day came to a close, and I took the tram home and hung out at Victor Hugo for a little bit to absorb to sun’s appealing rays. Due to having such a long day, I didn’t last very long, and soon enough found myself back home, got my homework over with, wrote some postcards, and had dinner with Madeleine. We had salad, cooked veggies, couscous and *GaSp* MEATBALLS – fhoasudhasodnas BLECH. If you don’t already know this, I detest meatballs. I think they are repulsive, icky balls of nasty that have a special place in hell reserved for them. It was here that I found myself in a predicament. Normally, I would slyly hide small fragments of the dreaded meat under other bits of food, but in France you’re supposed to clear your plate, zut. Not wanting to be rude, I squished a bite of ball between vegetables and couscous and just sucked it up. I can say with pride that I didn’t gag once; thank goodness she didn’t give a large helping. Sheesh, the price you pay for being polite! Post-disturbing dinner encounter, I wrote the majority of this blog, and went to bed at a reasonable hour. After all, the API weekend starts on Tuesday, (except I stayed in this Tuesday… my liver probably thanks me) so I’ve got to rest up for the fun that is sure to ensue!

Wednesday, October 3rd: Tis today! I had class from 8h30-10h20, then Nina and I went to the API office to let them know we are going to Amsterdam, and now we’re sitting in our regular Cafe doing homework and such. So far, so good! The weekend is slowly approaching and we have a ton of stuff planned, so get ready for even more stories! =)