rebness: (La Nuit Etoilee)
Okay, here are some pics from Amsterdam. None with me in, sorry. I only ever upload photos of myself to Facebook. On the plus side, LJ people know how I really think, so good trade-off? Yes?

Schtop! These photos are ready now.  )

I am deadly serious about moving to Amsterdam. I've talked it over with my flatmate and I'm aiming for August, as I need to give my job a year and I should have one last mosquito-ridden summer in Spain. I hope I can stick with it - I'm tiring of Spain and want the comfortable trappings of northern Europe again, but I'm really enjoying my job at the moment and learning a lot. Should one stay just for a job? I dunno.

Also! I read in The Guardian a couple of days ago that cauliflower sales are plummeting, on account of them looking like dalek brains [sic] and tasting like rubber. I myself have had a terrible aversion to them for my entire life, hating their pasty vegetable complexions and their boiled, tired presence in my parents' cooking.

I was inspired to give my arch enemy another whirl, picking one up for 90 cents. I threw some into some pasta one night, some in a curry the next and tonight I tried the dreaded cauliflower cheese. Reader, it was awesome. I finally had the guts to make a roux and bechamel myself (are you impressed, [ profile] saffronlie?) and made the tasiest damned cauliflower cheese I have ever tasted. Granted, it was one by way of France (bleu d'Auvergne) and India (spices and a cheeky pinch of curry powder), but....mmm. All is forgiven, cauliflower. :D 

rebness: (Snufkin)

So hay, I’ve been back a couple of days from the Netherlands and Andorra, but delayed updates is how I roll.


Andorra was… a giant airport lounge. It looked like Montreal, but without any sense of history or awesomeness. Duty-free prices that are not all that free, with about five thousand perfumeries and fur coat (bitches) shops. The Pyrenees were huge and beautiful and completely non-walkable, so I instead took myself to a spa for the day. It was 30 Euros for four hours – I was lolling about in the pool for the first hour and a half, getting increasingly annoyed. This is never going to work, I growled to myself. I swam to the outdoor! Hot! Pool! with the amazing views of the snow and the mountains around.


Four hours later, I emerged from the spa completely relaxed, very happy and with my skin smelling and feeling divine. Oh bb, I am going to Andorra again as soon as possible.


Now, Amsterdam:


Amsterdam, I owe an apology to you. You were everything a city should be: beautiful, lively, fun and sad. 


We did all the usual things: rented bikes (I fell, hard, twice… the bruising is awful), ate at wonderful restaurants, visited museums. The Resistance museum was very informative – er, I hadn’t even known that there had been a Dutch Resistance during the war. The Van Gogh museum may be a cliché, but by God… I cried. I don’t know what it is about his art that reduces me to tears, but it’s only when I see the original paintings and can see each brush stroke.


We also visited the Anne Frank house, which was as horribly depressing and as awful as I thought it would be. It was worth it, for it truly brought the horror of what happened and some sense as to why, in that oppressive atmosphere, betrayal was almost inevitable, but it was also enraging. There were stupid people on their mobile phones: “YEAH. I’m just in the Anne Frank house. It’s okay. A bit bare. YEAH LET’S GET STONED LATER,” and then a moronic debate/exhibition thing where 56% of people there  honestly thought that we should censor all satire of religion and politics in Europe, without even the slightest trace of irony given their location.


There’s also the inevitable, boring thing that Chris and I ended up trying out. We refused to smoke cannabis because… well, I’m not going to debate it here. I just don’t like smoking; let’s leave it at that. The space cake, however, was not off-limits. We tried it, sat there complaining for two hours about how there was no effect and left the café. And then Chris said something or other and I just couldn’t stop laughing.


We wandered Amsterdam in a kind of haze. I said that I couldn’t feel my legs properly and Chris said that he felt as if his knees were stumps and we were walking on stilts. It set me off and was frightening to lose control, but we kept laughing and laughing despite it not being funny. It wasn’t hardcore or awesome. It is nothing to brag about, but it was interesting in retrospect. I don’t think I need to try that again for another six years. Actually, I doubt I’ll ever try it again.


After that, we left for the airport train, which had to be recalled due to a power failure at the airport itself. Made my flight with twenty minutes to spare, curling up on my seat sleepily as snow began to fall. Amsterdam, you were amazing.


I’ve thought it over and talked it over with various people. I’m going to try for some jobs there. Wages are higher in the Netherlands, it’s northern Europe without the endless chavs and EastEnders and well, why not?

ETA: Thank you all for birthday wishes, by the way! Sorry I wasn't around to thank you, but it was lovely to see them! Special thanks to [ profile] pigeongirl99 for the birthday cake! :D


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August 2013

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