(I will attempt to back-date some entries, but my overly-ambitious goal for this month is to write about all the trips and events and everything in between … This blog seems to have had an unfortunate case of neglect. I haven’t updated since April 2011 which is quite (un)shocking.)
So, with the most excellent Chinese Christmas and my packing disaster of New Year’s Eve out of the way, I headed to Amsterdam on the 1st January. I had intended my first impression to be from the plane, but I dozed off approximately ten minutes after we boarded, and woke up when everyone was getting up and attempting to remove their luggage from the overhead compartments.
“Was there even turbulence?” I asked my travelling companions.
Our first night was spent in Haarlem where it rained. Quite a lot.
I started the ERASMUS Intensive Language Course (EILC) on the 3rd January where we had a fair amount of fun. During the day, we learned how to conjugate verbs, recognise the difference between long and short vowel sounds, and managed to boost our non-existent Dutch vocabulary up a notch. During the night, we, well–sixteen Europeans? In Amsterdam? We absolutely did not bond over beer.
Our month was a special month. We knew that we’d be going our separate ways come February, and we knew that the only thing we had to do was learn Dutch. And it was just us. For a month. It’s a fairly strange predicament to essentially be stuck with sixteen random people who share your buildings and your lessons, but it all worked out fine — we clicked and then some. (And I can see a few of them side-eyeing my choice of words right now… ;))
We got to know the city: we cycled, we walked, we visited museums and art galleries. And when we were done with the city for the day, we got to know each other through the power of dinner parties.
It was a good January.