Travel days are always very stressful for me. My main thought is, if one thing messes up that’s it, I lose my money, I get sent home, I never see Amsterdam and I get to spend the next month thinking about where I went wrong.. So obviously I put plenty of pressure on myself to make sure everything goes according to plan.
My bus was arranged to pick my up in the nearest big city, Lille. So, naturally, I arrive in town four hours early. There’s a Starbucks a few blocks away from the bus stop, so I sit there and charge both my phones and also look up where the bus is supposed to pick me up like 14 times. Everytime I move, even a muscle, I go through the rounds; do I have my passport, iphone 4, iphone 6s, and wallet.. yep, all here. I’m caring a backpack that weighs as much as I do, and I’m hell bent on everything going according to plan.
Okay, the bus should be there in an hour.. I should head that way. I get there thirty minutes early and begin to wait. It’s cold outside, I mean a heavy wind with a light mist and everything. I take a look at my wrist, okay.. The bus is just late.. That’s all. Pull out my phone again, check the location, walk around to see if there’s another bus stop.. Hmm.. nope this is right. I wait, and eventually ask the crowd of people if anyone was supposed to be on the same bus as me. Three girls speak up, and we have a conversation that calms my nerves a bit.
Another hour and a half goes by, I’ve had conversations with half the people that’s supposed to be on this bus about how outrageously late it’s getting. I meet one girl from Spain, here name is Miriea and when the bus finally does arrive, we sit together. We talk most of the bus ride, and she calms my nerves about the trams closing in Amsterdam. I learned quite a bit about Spain from her, we exchanged contact information, and I’m planning to go see her next week sometime! So I guess it was all just an elaborate inconvenience to make a new friend.
Arriving in Amsterdam was surreal. The Holland architecture was so beautiful, especially since the Christmas lights were up already. It’s like I had forgotten the bus that was two hours late and was just happy to be right in the middle of the red light district, just consumed by something so new too me. There were bikes everywhere. In the middle of the city it was only bikes and people walking right in the middle of the street. It created this spacious atmosphere for the immense amount of people flocking in from all over the world.
The next day Amanda, Madison and I begin aimlessly wandering Amsterdam, knowing that we have some free time before Mac and Hannah arrive. We decide that a free fairy sounds like something we could be apart of, so we decide to see where it takes us. Well, it takes us about 200 meters right across the bay. We land in a seemingly residential area, it was very charming and find ourselves heading towards the only tall building near us. As we start to admire the shape we realize that there is a swing at the top of it, swinging right off the side. Without any hesitation I insist on finding out how to get on that swing. The guide in the elevator instructs us to look up. What we see is the shaft of the elevator, and the ceiling is just glass. It’s a little scary how far away we are from the top. We then begin ascending and there was a beautiful light display. I was easily impressed because it was a complete surprise. We got to the top and had a 360 degree view of the city! It was cold at outside but the swing gave an adrenaline rush that warmed me up very quickly. Afterwards, we sat at the bar and enjoyed a cup of coffee with one of the best (urban) views I’ve ever had.
The next night we were sitting at the hostel bar after a day of visiting the very interesting Anne Frank museum and exploring the city a bit. I was probably about three beers deep when an Irish man asked me too dance. Unfortunately, he wasn’t very good. All he did was spin me in circles till I was almost dizzy, but when I gave up he sat right next to me. With an irrational sense of confidence in his heavy Irish accent he said “I bet you’ve never kissed an Irish guy.” I’m still unsure if that was liquid courage or he wanted to make me blush but I liked that he was undeterred by failure. He didn’t even consider what it would have felt like if I told him off in front of all his friends and mine, he just egged me on a little more. I personally, appreciate a guy who can go fearlessly for what he wants. So, to his and my surprise I decided to lay one on him. So I am proud to say that not only did I visit somewhere I’ve never been before, I also kissed my first Irish guy.
P.S. I will be writing my next blog strictly about my aupair stories and my experience in France so far!