February 27, 2017

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In trying to continue with the trend of writing these posts frequently, I'm going to (hopefully) finish writing and uploading this by tonight (Monday). If not, I'm going to feel super ashamed...although probably not much remorse. [Edit: I totally didn't finish this on Monday night...]

Before I start talking about Amsterdam, I wanted to mention something cool that I got to help with this week. Our cards at Jacobs are RFID cards, so my friend Clement bought an NFC reader/writer to see if he could play around with the system a little bit. Earlier in the week he worked on decrypting the cards and had to go through trillions of combos, but it finally worked and he was able to make a copy. Now we're working on being able to put custom data on it, so wish us luck!

Now, onto 'Dam. Last week was seemingly a really long week and I kept looking forward to the trip to Amsterdam (even though I've already been there). It's a fun city, there's lots to do, and it's relatively cheap (at least compared to freaking Copenhagen). The trip to Amsterdam wasn't very eventful. I ended up leaving on Friday with my friends Dan, Maaike, and Chris...however, most of the big group of people going had left a day earlier. We had classes and decided being responsible would be a good idea, haha. It was nice having Maaike there, though...she is Dutch so she left us in on lots of fun tidbits of information. For example, there's this place in the Netherlands called Flevoland that was actually created from the ocean. It used to be ocean and the Dutch decided they wanted more land so they created it! Absolutely insane but totally cool.

The first night we got there we entered the city and walked through the Friday night antics of Amsterdam. Obviously some interesting things happen in Amsterdam, so it was really interesting checking everything out. We quickly went to a pasta bar that Maaike suggested, got some pizza, and I almost lost 50 Euros by losing my card...oops. From here, we made our way to our hostel (which doubled as a "coffeehouse", which I was not happy about because I hate weed and the smell of weed) and put our stuff away. It ended up being more expensive than I anticipated, which kind of ticked me off...but I went along with it. From here, we were off for a quiet night at a pub. It was a long day of travels and we weren't really in the "clubbing" mood yet. We searched around for a quiet pub, which almost took an hour, BUT WE FOUND ONE. I don't remember the name unfortunately, but it was nice and cozy and not too crowded which was nice and rare at 11:30pm.

We walked in, grabbed our respective drinks (mostly Heineken...ya know, when in Amsterdam), and just enjoyed each other's company. An hour or two passed quickly and we bought not too much because it was ridiculously expensive. Dariya oogled over the Irish bartender and we joined in singing Queen songs with all of the random English, Welsh, Scots, and Irish people in the bar. It was a fun night. After lots of fun, we called it a night and made our way back to our hostel.

On Saturday morning, we left the hostel (slightly later than I was hoping) and we did normal touristy things. We first went to the "i amsterdam" letters and got some silly pictures. We then bought tickets for the Van Gogh museum and got to enjoy that, which was super fun. Van Gogh is one of my favorite painters, so I'm really glad that I got to go through the museum while I was in Amsterdam. After that, the group got lunch and we split up so those who wanted to go to the Rijksmuseum could and those who didn't want to or already had been could do something else. I had already been to Rijks in November, so I decided to forgo seeing it again. Dariya, Jack, and I didn't get up to anything extremely exciting in place of the Rijksmuseum, but we walked around and did some more sightseeing. ALSO, in this time period I got talked into paying 32.50 Euro for a freaking haircut (I'm still really upset about this) and I bought 10 Euro worth of cheese...so I guess you could say that not everything went poorly. We continued with random sightseeing until we finally met up with Maaike again!

Does this haircut look worth €32.50? Lmk.

Once Maaike joined our ranks, she put forth her incredible Amsterdam knowledge and took us to dinner at this nifty food-cour-esque place. It kind of reminded me of Paper Island in Copenhagen. There was no place to sit the entire time, so I stood. It. Sucked. But it was still pretty good food.

Aside before I begin telling the story of that night: this morning Dan thought it would be a good idea to get an edible to take to the Van Gogh museum because he thought an art museum would be fun while he was high...it DID NOT end well. The people at the coffeeshop apparently told him to eat half of the muffin and wait at least 5 hours before eating the second half. Dan, however, was NOT having this. He ate the first half and got paranoid that the people at the museum would take it from him at the Van Gogh museum and ate the entire second half. At this point, the first half started to set in and he was able to "enjoy" his high during the Van Gogh museum. This included him doing some really strange stuff like sitting on the top floor of the museum and saying, "I feel really good. When I close my eyes I feel like I'm swimming in ketchup. Swimming in ketchup. Swimming in ketchup." It was amusing and frightening all at the same time. He was really high. During lunch he ordered a 16 Euro meal because it sounded good to him (haha, sucker) and once we finally walked out of the building he was basically entirely gray. He did not look good. Still, he went to the Rijksmuseum with Lillian and we went our separate ways. Later we found out that he decided to leave the museum, got sick, and somehow made it home all on his own whilst really high and sick. Later he met us at the food court place for dinner feeling much better.

After dinner we made our way to a store so some people could buy alcohol to pregame the clubbing we were going to do. I, on the other hand, did not buy alcohol because I'm cheap. Haha. We got back to the hostel, sat around and talked while people drank for about 2 hours, and then Lillian, Jack, and I made our way for some club. Nothing extremely stupid or eventful happened to me that night...although some interesting stuff happened for sure. We got to the club Maaike suggested, got through security (which was super funny and nice...woo security at that club!!), and checked our coats before heading for the bar.

The music at this club was really good. Great mixture of well-known older songs and newer songs (that I struggled with but pretended like I knew, in typical fashion). We danced around a bit while Lillian tried to get a random guy to buy her a drink—Jack kept pushing me at random girls, even after I told him I wasn't really looking to hit on anyone that night. THEN he got mad at me when I tried to do the same. Meh. Lillian came back, we drank a few beers, and we started dancing like idiots. By a later point in the night, Lillian took a vodka-Pepsi from the bar paid by some random guy and we started dancing with some random girl who came up and looked really sad (idk). It was fun. It was going well. And then Lillian left. Jack and I continued to dance with the random girl, he left, and I found some other random girl and started dancing with her. Meanwhile, I'm like "where the heck did they go?" After a few minutes and during a song I had never heard, I walked around trying to find the two. Eventually, I found Jack consoling Lillian on the steps near the coat check. Lillian asked for water so I ran to the bar and got her one (WATER COSTS MONEY IN CLUBS LIKE WTF DO THEY NOT WORRY ABOUT SAFETY??!) and then we all got our coats and left. We hopped on the bus headed for our hostel and Lillian wasn't doing too hot. She kept apologizing for "ruining the night" and was rather tipsy...probably from all of the free drinks she got. We rode a little bit and eventually Lillian starts puking...on the bus...right beside me...a little got on me. Blech.

I looked at Jack and we decided it would be best if we got off at the next stop in the case that there was a round two. So, we got off near a Dutch frites place and got some Dutch frites! Woo! Dutch frites are a great post-clubbing food for anyone wondering, and I'd like to think they helped Lillian sober up a little. While eating our frites outside, we met an Irish gentleman (kind of) and his lady friend. We got to talking and realized he was rather drunk. Jack started saying things like "fucking wot mate" to him and instigating (typical Jack) and we eventually got him pretty fired up. Eventually he informed us that he had lied to us previously. He wasn't, in fact, Irish—he was English and afraid to say it! We didn't have any idea how to respond to that, so we continued to ask him questions about Ireland which confused him. But then his lady friend pulled him off into the night and we didn't see him again.

Eventually we made our way back to the hostel. We went up the extremely steep stairs, Lillian dropped tons of frites along the way, and we went to bed. Later on, I could hear her get up in the night to puke again...but I sent her a loving message via Facebook Messenger to "quit puking and go to bed". I have such a great bedside manner.

Sunday, I woke up really early (considering I didn't get back until 3:00am, if not later), went outside for a quick snack, and waited for the slowpokes to get ready for the last day in Amsterdam. Dariya went to the Anne Frank museum, the rest of us went to get breakfast, and the day was pretty slow until Jack left around 1pm. After that, the rest of us made our way to a cute little island via ferry and sat around and went through a gift shop. After this, we went to the town center, watched a bunch of street performers, and eventually went to the train station to play cards and eat Yoghurt.

We caught our train, not much interesting happened...UNTIL we saw a bunch of people coming back from Karneval (or Carnival in English/Rio) and I got tons of pictures with them because they all looked awesome and were causing a ruckus in the train station playing really loud music. There were even beer-drinking Ronald McDonalds...SUPER COOL.

But yeah, got home, went to bed, and a new week started! The end. Hannover next weekend, maybe? We'll see.