Holla Holland

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“The bench” from The Fault in Our Stars. It was okay.

 My parents would never believe this, but somehow I’ve claimed the role of navigator among my group of six travel buddies. Call me Sacagawea.

When I turned 16, my parents made me take a map test of Dallas before they would let me get my driver’s license. I’m not sure if it’s that, instinct, or blind-confidence, but I have actually done a decent job of getting our group where we need to be, whether it be in Brussels, or this past weekend, Amsterdam.

On Friday afternoon, we got out of class, packed up our backpacks, and jumped on a three-hour Megabus to The Netherlands.

Despite excellent signage, Amsterdam was more difficult to navigate than Brussels, simply because everything is in Dutch. But we never really got lost. And more importantly, we found a cheese shop (pretty sure this was my instincts kicking in, because as you know, I love cheese).

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In our first lap around the Amsterdam Cheese Company, I ate at least 15 little cubes of Dutch deliciousness. I’m ashamed to say that that first time was a munch-and-dash, as I didn’t actually buy anything.

But I redeemed myself by stopping back in later and coming out with a three-pound wheel of gouda. I have no idea how I’m going to eat an entire wheel of gouda before it goes bad, but I guess I’ll just have to lean on my roomie Sam (lucky you, Sam).

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In addition to some rad cheese, Amsterdam gave me my first hostel experience. And it was definitely interesting. A booking snafu meant spending the first night in a room with two girls from my group and three boys that we didn’t know at all. 22 a night also meant that the place wasn’t very clean, but I’m not really sure what I expected.

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Amsterdam has a few eateries with hot vending machines. This is a super cool, convenient way to buy food if you’re like me—cheap and afraid of talking to people.

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Unfortunately, like I mentioned before, everything here is in Dutch, so I ended up spending 1.60 on this:

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Is it a sausage? No. Is it a corndog? No. Is it a fried twinky? Nope.

It’s fried gravy. A big ole cylinder of fried gravy. Do I regret it? No. But 2/10 would not buy again.

Along with a lot of cheese, a confused stomach, and lots of dirty laundry, I brought home a dozen bruises from climbing up on this sign:

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Still no regrets.

It’s hard to believe that I only have 14 weeks left of this crazy adventure, and that I’ve already done so much in the three weeks I’ve been here.

This coming weekend I’ll be jumping on a plane to the UK. London, you ready for me?

 

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