Tuesday, May 25, 2010

[tuesday, may 25] yellow.

i've always been drawn to the music. in a sense, it's kind of what makes me go.
while fighting my way through the clamorous streets, i distinguished a very faint voice. singing. one with so much passion behind it.
he sang 'yellow' - by coldplay. and he did it well. almost better than chris martin. ..almost.
my friends carried on as i stayed to listen, and ended up engaging in a really great conversation with him.
he was young.
and we talked about his life, his dreams, his plans. his hopes and adventures.
he reminded me very much of myself. not knowing what to do with his life.-it's a confusing place we're all in.
he said music was his passion.
so he quit school to play. and has never been happier.

do what you love, guys.

Monday, May 24, 2010

[monday, may 24] most parents don't know their children, really.

i never fully understood, could never fully grasp, world war II. it's all just so... heavy. i would be lying if i said i could now.
i would also be lying if i said i didn't see myself in her.

"I long to ride a bike, dance, whistle, look at the world, feel young and know that I'm free."

while visiting the secret annex, which is beautiful and sobering and uplifting and painfully heartbreaking all at the same time, i realized i have not lived to my full capacity.
i'm not going to spend my time right now struggling to find the words to make sense out of what i'm trying to say. but something inside of me changed while i moved from wall to wall. staring at the old magazine clippings and pictures she had so carefully placed in front of her for inspiration. then raising my eyes to see the one place she could catch a glimpse of sunlight every morning out of the attic ceiling. i was fascinated. inspired.

it's unfortunate to read such a moving diary at such a young age. in seventh grade i couldn't possibly find meaning out of this.
i'm glad i have read it with new eyes. it wasn't her thoughts on war or hitler that made me enjoy this diary. i loved reading her criticisms. she would justify her own actions and acknowledge her flaws. she was intensely flawed and intensley gifted and intensely human.

my day in amsterdam wasn't spent in complete reflection of all of this.
amidst both museums (we also explored van gogh), we found time to splash our feet in some water. one of my favorite feelings.

mom and dad,
a video clip of otto talking about the first time he read anne's diary stuck out to me the most, and i have yet to get it off my mind.
he said he knew that she had kept a diary. never read it, but imagined that it was filled with thoughts about boys and other petty things.
he came to the conclusion that, "most parent's don't know, really, their children."
i don't know why i love this so much. maybe it's because i have always thought this to be true. maybe it's just refreshing to finally hear an adult, a parent, admit it. or maybe it's his placement of the words. he didn't say "don't really know" ...but, "don't know, really."
he had no idea that she was so intelligent. so intentional. "it was a revelation. there, was revealed a completely different anne to the child that i had lost. i had no idea of the depths of her thoughts and feelings."
so cheers, mom and dad, here's to this summer. and maybe through all of this we can get to know one another, really.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

[sunday, may 23] the perks of being a wallflower.

maastricht has a matchless essence. every corner has something new to offer. the more we ease our way into the roots of the city, the more i fall in love with it.
pentecost sunday was spent at st. servaasbasiliek. a church near the square that we wandered in to, after giving up on finding the one we originally set out for. i do not know what was being said, or what even took place exactly. but it was incredible to witness. i hope i never forget that moment.
the afternoon made more of an impression on me than anything. i roamed the countryside by bike on a perfectly cloudless day. silently riding alongside albert canal was brilliant. all you could hear was the ricketing of bike pedals and small ripples in the water crashing against the pavement. as we rode down hills and circled through tree-lined paths, and the wind forced itself against my face, all i could think of was a chapter from one of my favorite books.
"and in that moment, i swear we were infinite."

[saturday, may 22] the one where we get there.

our delay in houston was not a bad one. we all truly appreciated the kerr family's hospitality throughout the week. cruising around lake conroe has a tendency to make one's mind forget any desires of europe. but getting here was like a dream nonetheless. the fresh european air brought chills to me. after arriving in amsterdam we took a bus to our new home. passing windmills and sheep grazing the countryside along the way helped me realize that i had finally made it. i think my friend, caleb, felt the same way after taking note of the fact that nothing here is in english.
our maastricht arrival soon approached and we quickly got settled into our dorm rooms (which are thankfully much more spacious than collins). the window is my favorite part. we can keep it open to let fresh air cool us off and enjoy the beautiful trees in the courtyard.
we headed to the market for some groceries later that afternoon.
what a joke.
the only thing that i am certain that we purchased here was spreadable sausage. comes highly recommended by dr. rust, but i haven't yet decided where it falls on my scale. so far my wonderful method of choosing what the locals choose has not lived up to it's expectations. this food will take some getting used to; i can't live off of bread and butter much longer. if you look closely at the picture you can possibly see the body wash i purchased. in the states it is called "touch of happiness" which translates to "happy time" over here. this brings a small bit of laughter to me every time i reach for it in the shower. which brings me to...the showers. i did not know we would be sharing them with boys. strange.
the sun set and we debated calling it a night, but we felt exploring the town was a much better start to our summer here.
erin and i had purchased a very cheap bottle of wine from the market and a group of us shared it as we walked across the city.
the bottle looked far too pretty for how this wine tasted.
a guy living across the hall from me led us to the shamrock, a small little pub full of locals, and he ordered a pitcher of grolsch (netherlands beer) for us. after being there for only a short time, a young man asked us if we would be willing to move to a table to make room for the maastricht rugby team. he offered to buy us another pitcher for the act, but i jokingly told him that wasn't necessary as long as we could mingle with the team. we were expecting young athletes..not men that looked my father's age. so jean and i went to meet the rugby team in hopes of a movie-like experience with them doing some sort of team chant. i'm fairly certain they understood what we meant because they all began some sort of group humming. as we told them goodbye they approached us with kisses. just the normal european goodbye ones...except jean's friend (the one who's poking his head over my shoulder)...he was a little friendlier. he said, "one," and kissed her left cheek. he said, "two." and kissed her right cheek. ..then as she started to walk off, he said, "three." he grabbed her face and started to approach her as she quickly swatted him away yelling in disgust. so, so funny.
we found a beautiful church right in the center square. i took several pictures, but none turned out. fortunately, i managed to capture these of a nearby fountain with absolutely no meaning at all. ...it's actually quite spooky looking. maybe i'll learn something about it in my dutch art history class.
we stopped in some sort of club on the way back to the dorms where quite a bit of dancing was taking place. cyndi lauper's "girls just wanna have fun" came on and we had to join in. european boys sang along to the hit, and it was easily one of the funniest moments of my life.
we were very exhausted from the day and got back to out dorms around midnight. we decided to open some cinnamon roll-like bagels from the bakery for a little midnight snack, and of course, they tasted like cardboard.
good thing dr. rust had scheduled a brunch for us this morning. we made it downstairs to find that brunch consisted of bread, egg rolls, and some yogurt. surprisingly, the egg roll was pretty delicious as long as i could convince myself it wasn't morning time.
after brunch we had a small orientation.
we walked all throughout the town and found our ces classes too. it was all a bit overwhelming for such a short time period, but i can tell that i'm really going to love this place.
the main part of the university that my classes will be held in is an old monastery that they've restored. the wooden staircase reminds me of dead poets society, and the walls have been painted in such a way that they resemble alice in wonderland's crazy scenery. it is a very interesting place, and i am so excited to begin studying here.
on our way back to the dorm we passed some boys around our age playing street futbol. there are fields placed throughout the city the way basketball courts would be placed around the states. it is all so different and exciting.
a group of us went out for dinner at an egyptian type restaurant. nora's. a kebab, fries, and a drink (dr. pepper!) for only five euro. i am pretty sure it was the first time any of us have been full since sunday. soo good.
after dinner we headed over to the highlander, one of the two bars showing the inter-bayern champions league final. (will had to tell me that is what it was..i was told maastricht was playing?). munich lost which resulted in some exciting yelling from different fans.
i was ready to come home after the game, and found my way all by myself. it feels good to get the hang of things around here.

cheers, here's to a new home.

Monday, May 17, 2010

[monday, may 17] dallas to houston to mid-atlantic to newark to houston

marilyn monroe once said "it is better to be absolutely ridiculous than to be absolutely boring."
well, the last twenty-four hours have been nothing short of absolutely ridiculous. the flight from dallas to houston went exceptionally well. my pack wasn't quite underneath the seat in front of me and our overly energetic steward did quite the number on it. it was thrown to the back of the cabin after being dramatically ripped from beneath my feet. very, very humorous. I was glad to find that everything was still in tact upon leaving.
second flight was off to a great start. i sat in the very last row next to a young woman from cyprus who was in the states doing music therapy work. unfortunately, after thirteen hours that is no longer interesting.
pretty decent airplane meal. worst movies I’ve ever seen.
my friend jean woke me up around midnight. new change of plans. being half asleep, i didn’t quite comprehend what she was saying.
we were flying over the atlantic at this time, just three hours away from amsterdam. we had to turn around. more ash from the unpronounceable volcano forced all european airports to be shut down.
we stopped in newark to refuel and speak to a flight attendant about the possibility of staying there for the night. they had already housed eight hundred unexpected guests and could not fit another plane-load. there was an older couple that was a bit confused and frightened by the turn around and unscheduled stop; they couldn't speak english. an announcement was made that if anyone could speak italian they would really like a translator. after a girl traveling with us ran to the front of the plane with her iphone translator in hand, she quickly came back to her seat and another announcement was made: "actually, we need someone that speaks romanian." ...i'm still not sure if they know what they are doing back in the states.
we continued on for three more hours to houston and arrived back around four thirty this morning.
i heard one girl say, “i’ve never traveled so far to get nowhere.” we all taxied over to the sheraton airport hotel to seek out a place to stay. we were then notified that there were no available rooms due to the vast amount of people in need of lodging for the week. we camped out in the lobby for a few hours until different arrangements were made. someone started to compare us to mary and joseph at this point. we all needed that laugh.
don't worry about us, we're enjoying lake conroe until thursday when we take off again.
making history. rolling with the punches.
in one of my classes this past semester we talked about how brick walls are put in front of us for a reason. they get rid of all of the people who don't want it bad enough. well, i'm determined. i'm going to europe.
wearing the same clothes since yesterday morning. and ready for bed at three o clock.
an unforgettable adventure indeed.
cheers, here's to eyjafjallajökull and the unexpected.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

[sunday, may 16] and so it begins.

for i hardly know what may come of these days, but it will be nothing less of what i have dreamed.

cheers, here's to an unforgettable adventure.