The Strupwaffle is the best snack ever to be gifted to mere mortals in my opinion. But then again whole blog is my opinion..
The first Strupwaffle was flown down from Valahala by a chorus of golden swans. The Original had wafers strewn from grain that grazed Kiera Knightly’s fingertips. It was crafted by the finest bakers of the heavens, ensuring that every bite remained satisfying to the soul and complete to the molar. The syrup was harvested by honey bee’s, just regular honey which is an oxymoron because honey is heavenly and everything but regular(bee population is up 3% btw). The snack was then hand delivered to the Dutch people who promised to ensure it’s simple elegance. If we’re cool I’ll bring you some.
I’ve deleted this draft only once this time! If this happens again I will not inform you as to maintain the illusion that I am less accident prone then usual. Turns out that forty-five minutes of typing without a grade on the line is a debilitating loss. Really cause me to question the merit of this entire endeavor. Good thing I’m motivated and back with a vengeance and mad typing skills. Tech tech typing might have failed me but travel writing for Western is actually creating some nuance in my finger bones. Might take that last part out. This sentence too, or maybe I’ll keep it who knows.
Today I will be walking y’all through the daily routine of a contemporary cosmopolitan. Do all of this if you want to succeed abroad, in life, and during your mindful meditations!
First activity of the morning is I wake up. The next activity of the morning is I indulge in 20 minutes of meditation. Once I achieve enlightenment I hover crosslegged down the hall and into my community kitchen and kick it with one my flatmates. Some are cooler then others and they quality of the conversation varies as such. We discuss life and whoop up breakfast.
Breakfast is typically eggs, bell peppers, and cheese. Eggs and peppers are cheap as af and come in three packs for 1 Euro. Peppers are referred to paprika which is what the spice is derived from! Another PAPRIKA fun fact is that the green ones are just unripe, not separate vegetables. When I learned thisit blew my mind into a thousand pieces. My german friend Theresa would say ‘Mind Blowing,’ instead, which I love because it’s just wrong enough to be adorable.
Once the munching and chatting come and pass, I hover to my floor’s elevator and loosen my grip in nirvana so that I may mingle with the masses . I head down to my hotel’s lobby and walk through the automatic doors into the depressing dutch climate. Weather in the Netherlands is similar to that of Washington’s except for way more wind. Look it up on Reddit it’s insane.
There’s a giant rack where every bike in the hotel is stored. Here’s a picture instead of a thousand words-
I snatch mine and head to The Hague University of Applied Science. But, I work hard and have my very own blog, so today I treat myself to a pastry at one of the several bakery’s within eyesight. Baked goods have become a weakness of mine ever since I realized gluten intolerance is a social construct propagated by alt-right amazon shareholders. I stuff my backpack with lemon tarts and Nutella filled donuts and bike on.
IF I get to school and every single bike stand is full, I feel entitled to a certain degree of frustration. This doesn’t happen often but when it does it is daunting/makes for decent story telling. Dilemmas are good when writing because it makes the reader/obligated family member feel bad for an abstraction of yourself and root for the noble cause. It doesn’t have to be a major dilemma. Something small works to. In this case, I was in an innovative mood and strapped my bike’s chain to the frame of an acquaintance of mine before hustling up to class. Crisis has averted and pastries secured.
The ‘energy/flow’ of my Dutch classes is not super duper different then college at Western. A bit more dialogue going on between the teacher and the students. Easier for me to ask questions and receive critique and whatnot. One major difference is my teachers feel quite comfortable using me as a primary source for most of Donald Trump’s delightful antics. I try to explain that my free subscription to Washington Post only works in the US, but my journalism teacher doesn’t consider that a valid excuse. After all I am American, and am qualified to speak as such. Sometimes I randomly stand an recite the pledge of allegiance during lecture and my peers cry tears of envy. I smile knowingly at them while I utter the final word. I then weave around the room, dabbing their cheeks with my star spangled handkerchief.
When school is over I corral my friends into some sort of a bonding activity. It could be anything, but today riding bikes through the dutch countryside is the winner. Frank Ocean has a great song called “Biking” that I reserve for such moments. The part I especially love is: “I’m biking uphill and it’s burnin’ my quads. I’m biking downhill and it sounds like a fishing rod. Savage at bikin’, yah.” The song is best experienced while biking with good company in sparse shrubbery. Surrounded by slow canals and no sound but that slight click click click.
I DONT GET WEAK IN THE KNEEES
Zoop bap beep iz about time to eat! The sun sets at 17h (5pm for n00bs) and we all want to get home before the darkness sets. There are two buildings of residence for exchange students and my friends are split between the two. The Student Hotel (where I live) is the luxurious choice. It sports a pool table and private vending machines. DUWO is the other option. It’s a housing company in the Hague and has like three buildings that are decently close together. It’s the punk rock option in a ‘puke in the only elevator’ kind of way. We choose TSH for dinner and proceed on the fifteen minute trip. We pass over several arched bridges and narrow alleys along the way. It is all very European.
Dinners are a popular social activity throughout the world. We are all from the world so it is popular with us. I’m gonna generalize here because they all sort of become a blur when the gluhwein get flowing. For the most part they are great fun and chalked full of intelligent conversation about our friendly differences.
The cultural question I get asked the most is, “Ellis, why do Americans like their flag so much?” To which I reply, “Don’t you like yours?” To which THEY say, “Well, sure but we don’t have like flag poles in our front-yards and like fifty flag laws.” Then I’m all like, “Whaaaaat ,I thought every country had those rules. Your right, I guess that is pretty weird. I think it has to do with our novelty as country, and how the flag is like a symbol for freedom and bald eagles are an endangered species and the red, white, and blue are across from each other on the color wheel and jet fuel doesn’t melt steel beams.
I say something like that of they reply with a theory that is WAY more plausible and eloquent. Then I just sort of nod dumbly and say, “ Yeah that also makes sense. So is everyone like still mad at Germany?”
The personal question I get asked the most is, “Ellis, why do you never where a coat or rain gear when it rains?” To which I reply, “Cuz I’m just super hard core yo. Umbrella’s are for nerds and raincoats are upper body umbrellas.” I haven’t really said that but I DO get asked that all the time. I think that people from Washington are just true northerners that don’t let a little thing like latitude effect our pride as a people. Helpful to realize this when abroad. Nothin but a little rain.
The Temptations have a really fantastic song called, “I Wish it Would Rain” that I like to reserve for such weather. It’s about a man that wishes it would rain so he can go outside and be able to cry in public incognito. BAD ASS, not at all as sad as it sounds.
Ok there ya, a cinematic snapshot into the daily life. I go to bed after all this but that should be obvious because I’m not like sentient code or something haha. I leave the Netherlands on the 26th and will be working in Spain so that I may learn Español and eat muchos Tapas. I’ll be writing all about it. Adios!