Sunday, June 26, 2011

Deep Thoughts: The Amsterdam Edition

I've only been in Amsterdam two and a half days and am mostly just struggling to get over my jet lag before I start classes tomorrow, but some random thoughts on this new city I have begun exploring:

  • The thing about old, quaint (although quaint might be the wrong word to describe a city where marijuana and prostitution are legal and where there are live-performance sex shows) cities is the cobblestone. Now, don't get me wrong. I love cobblestone. I think it gives character. I was severely disappointed by the lack of cobblestone on the Harvard campus when I visited Boston in May. But heels. Cobblestone hates heels. And when you get lost in a cobblestoned city for an hour and a half and roam around, well, your heels suffer. Let's just say shoe repair is on my list of things to do when I get back to L.A.
  • Things I love: my universal voltage hair straightener. I wasn't too worried about my laptop or my camera or my iPod or my Kindle (yes, I caved, but more on that later), but I was terrified that I might have to go two and a half weeks without straight hair in Amsterdam. But luckily, my magical hair straightener that I can use on wet hair can also be used on European voltage.
  • Now, I know about this whole globalized world thing, so I wasn't surprised to see Burger King, H&M (which, like in America, plays annoyingly loud music), and Tommy Hilfiger. But I was surprised by the Color Me Mine around the corner from my hotel. Of all brands to cross international borders and the Atlantic Ocean, the pottery-painting chain had made that jump? Really?
  • Little old Jewish women are the same everywhere. A woman who barely spoke English came up to me in shul and without introducing herself or asking my name felt the need to tell me that she has a 32-year-old son studying in the Mir and promptly tried to set us up. 


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