Amsterdam was fun (and not that kind of fun!) and definitely better than last time. We visited the Tropenmuseum, Rijksmuseum and Anne Frank House in addition to many other places around Amsterdam. I tried a Heineken to be in the dutch fashion and found it to be the only beer that I actually like! This of course was after a friend told the waitress he wanted to do a Heiny (of course referring to the beer) and made everyone laugh. After that, anything probably would taste good. I did go to the red light district just to see what it was and wow, never going back again. Thank goodness I went on Sunday evening because I don't think I could stand it on a busy day. I will stop now to avoid my crazy, feminist rant which has already been given multiple times. I also tried indonesian food for the first time which is AWESOME!!! I also tried duck another time and honestly, not a huge fan. Overall I would say Amsterdam was a good time and I would love to go back.
After Amsterdam we went to Cologne, Germany for a few days to wind down before returning to France. While it was interesting and the cathedral beautiful, it was not my favorite city. As in keeping with my new found goal of trying the local drink of every place I go, I tried Koelsch which, honestly, tastes like slightly fancier Natty Bo (or to you non-Baltimoreans, really cheap, crappy beer). Overall I feel that Cologne was a time to recuperate and sleep and relax after a crazy, exhausting week. Yesterday we left Cologne and arrived here in Strasbourg where I am literally 10 min on bike from Germany as I sit here in my bed.
So Strasbourg, I love you and think you are awesome. Yesterday we started orientation and had a meeting with Prof Bach who is acting as our advisor before we got here. About 2 hours after we arrived, we met out host families. I an living in a cute little house across the river from the European Parliament and down the road from the Council of Europe. I can pretty much see parliament out my window, its crazy! Plus I am only a 10-15 min walk from school which is closer than I was in Bmore. Not to mention this walk is entirely down the river. So I am living in a house with an older lady and another Syracuse Student like me, Kylie who actually goes to Fordham in New York (I think I spelled that right...). Our host mamas children and grandchildren are over a lot which is really cool. Kylie and I have the top floor which is nice. Our host mama does have very strict rules though on English usage: basically do not use it unless you have to, French or German only! Which I am ok with. I think this will be a good semester!
Today was our first full day in Strasbourg so we explored a bit. I have suddenly turned into a morning person and woke up at 8am, mon dieu! We ate breakfast and explored the town. I eventually went and got a cell phone which made me feel connected with the world once more! Other than that, we did a little shopping with all of the sales and just walked around this gorgeous city. I cannot believe this is my home for the next 4 months!!! Anyways, I shouldn't stay on my computer too long or else my host mama will think I am weird. Bis spaeter!!!