Sunday, November 22, 2015

My dad gave a lecture on sexual addiction to my schoolmates



"Don't you feel weird that your dad is talking about such a topic  in front of your schoolmates?" This is what people kept asking me that night, when my dad gave a lecture on sexual addiction. They might think I felt somewhat awkward when my dad was using terms like masturbating in my presence. "How is that weird?" was my first respond.With a dad being a sexologist, among other things, I was not exactly used to talking about sex but I certainly did grow up with the thought that talking about sex was not weird (perks of growing up with two psychologists for parents). And how could it, in these times, be still weird? To me that is ridiculous. I don't feel weird, I just feel very proud of my dad. I also felt a bit amazed at the knowledge that my dad still has, considering the many fields he works in. How could one possibly carry around that much information in his head? At first I was somewhat worried about this lecture, because I wasn't sure about how he in general does on lectures, but in contrast to my expectations, he was a lot more interactive and even had some on point jokes.



If you are looking at these pictures on an Apple device, they probably don't look the way that I meant them to look - I edit my pictures on a Windows laptop, but the difference in color intensity between pictures on this screen and pictures on my Macbook is enormous. It's really frustrating, because I think my edits look quite ugly on my Macbook.

Tomorrow I'm leaving for an exchange in Budapest. I have always wanted to go to Budapest, so when I heard the association for psychology students was having an exchange with Budapest, I immediately signed up! After hearing many stories about this city, I can't wait to go and see it myself. Have you ever been to Budapest? What did you think?

✈✈✈

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

HOTSPOT: Fika



Have you been at Fika yet? Fika, located in the oldest city of The Netherlands: Nijmegen. "Fika" is a custom from Sweden. It's a social coffee break, that you can have with other people, and it also includes food (yay!) So Fika in Nijmegen is perfect for a lunch date. They have a Scandinavian interior, that contributes to a great ambiance, one of the reasons Fika has become one of my favorites. At Fika you are supposed to pick two or three types of smörrebröd (bread), and if you like you can also add some sweetness, like this delicious piece of cake that I had. I took this pictures when I was at Fika for the second time, this time with my mom. So if you ever come in town, go check this place out!

(While I'm writing this picture, I'm starting to feel very hungry...)

◆◆◆◆◆

Monday, November 16, 2015

POSTCROSSING: Mail To Russia & Germany, From Germany & Singapore

Have you ever heard of Postcrossing.com? When Janne told me about this concept a while ago, I immediately wanted to try it. Postcrossing.com is a project that allows people to receive actual postcards in their mail from people from all over the world. This is how it works: You send one card to someone anywhere on earth, and You receive one from another, random person from somewhere else on this planet.

If you, like me, have a bit of an old soul, longing for times that have already past, that you have never lived yourself... then you might as well understand the beauty in sending postcards (compared to sending e-mails and texs). When I received my first postcard over Postcrossing, I could immediately understand why receiving real mail  is so much fun: the joy you feel when you find a postcard with your name on it on the doormat! Probably everyone has received cards at some point in his life, at his birthday or during Christmas - but those cards you might have expected. For Postcrossing, you never know for sure when you'll receive another postcard (it depends on the distance it has to travel and also on when the other person sends his postcard).

First I got to send a postcard to Sofi from Russia. Because I was visiting Amsterdam around that time, I bought a nice postcard with a picture that I thought best represented the city. If you don't want to spend much money on sending cards, try a thrift shop, they usually sell cards for 10cents.



The first postcard that I received came from someone from Germany.



Then I surprisingly received a second card. Not sure how that had happened, but alright. This card came from Loh, who lived in Singapore. Besides the card I also liked the Singaporean stamps.



The postcard below is the one I am about to send to Lena, who is from Germany. I thought the postcard was really cute (even though it says Happy New Year, which may be a bit early).



I am going to collect all these postcards and I am probably going to put the most beautiful ones up on my wall. It seems to me like just another way of bringing other cultures into my home! Would you want to try Postcrossing.com?

✉✉✉

Saturday, November 14, 2015

ADE: Hospitaly & PRJCT Music Festival

During the Amsterdam Dance Event 2015 I spent two different nights in the lovely city of Amsterdam. I captured some of the moments while I was at two different ADE parties, to give you some impression of what it was like. Pictures were taken by my highly convenient iPhone 5c.

On my first night (Thursday) I went to Hospitality, a sold-out drum 'n bass party in Paradiso. Click on either hyperlink to check out the line-up. Faye (one of my high school friends, who is currently in Southeast Asia to travel around for 7 months, all by herself!) invited me to go with her to Hospitality, I immediately said "yes", first of all, because I don't really care for what kind of party it is, I am always up for something new, and secondly, when I heard it was a drum 'n bass party, because I trust her choice of parties, because when she took me to a drum 'n bass festival (Liquicity) last summer, my first drum 'n bass experience, I had such a great time. Her reaction to my favorable answer: "Good, because I have already bought us tickets."



One thing that is certainly positive about my iPhone 5c, is that it is great in capturing light shows. While we were sitting at the balcony, taking a break from all the dancing, I took the pictures in the last row.



Some other fun thing to do when taking pictures at some place where there are a lot of (neon) lights, is holding a space bril in front of your camera lens. The effects are shown in the 6th row. 



Apparently I was kind of obsessed with shadows. People's shadows looked so cool on the walls, but because of the changing light and colors it was quite hard to take a good picture of them.



This also fascinated me: there were a couple of dudes wearing black gloves with little lights attached to the finger tips. It was really hypnotizing looking at these lights when they moved there fingers, so they spent the night dancing with there fingers in front of people's eyes. I took pictures of this bearded guy pretending to be some kind of street artist, who happened to have a lot of fans.

The thing I like most about drum 'n bass, is that the music makes you feel so utterly happy. Not peacefully happy, but overexciting, enthusiastically happy! Everyone jumps around to the music (in an almost athletic way - the sweat of some people was dripping of their bodies) and you are entirely free to act as crazy as you want.

On my second night (Saturday), Michelle (who has been one of my best friends ever since we were three years old, but has now moved to Amsterdam, which has always been her dream) and I didn't plan on going to a party, we just wanted to go out in town instead of getting tickets for an event, but then we ended up getting tickets for free for PRJCT Music Festival in the Amsterdam RAI, so we went there along with Michelle's boyfriend Lars and two of his friends.



Music was very, very loud and the RAI was a bit too big if you ask me. The line-up consisted out of some DJs that sound probably more familiar to some of you: Blasterjaxx, DVBBS, R3hab, Headhunterz, GirlsloveDJs, The Flexican & Sef, The Partysquad, FeestDJRuud. (I am also always getting a little bit patriotic when I tell my foreign friends about how many Top 20 DJs are originally from the Netherlands [Hardwell, Martin Garrix, Armin van Buuren, Tiësto, Afrojack, Oliver Heldens, Dash Berlin - this one is a favorite of me and Mitchell - Nicky Romero, Blasterjaxx] - it makes me feel as if our tiny country is succesful in at least one field, the dance scene. Also, don't think of me as if I only appreciate EDM, my taste in music ranges from EDM to Taylor Swift to alternative rock, which includes a lot, I just am not getting that patriotic when it comes down to songs with Dutch lyrics - I can only appreciate that sort of music at certain times).

So after two really fun nights, I can say that I can't wait for ADE 2016! Have you been to ADE this year?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

HOTSPOT: Sid&Liv


The picture I posted on my instagram

Have you heard of Sid&Liv? This cute lunch place in Nijmegen has become quite popular here in town. Janne and I decided to try it out. We had the brownie and after that a sandwich - it made me feel quite stuffed. While we were there we discovered they also do High Teas, so last weekend we went up there to have a cup, or a can, of tea. It was really good so make sure you keep checking out my blog, because there will be a post on our High Tea experience at Si&Liv quite soon!

I really love going out for lunch or dinner so if you know any good food places please let me know! What is your favorite place to have lunch? 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

THEATER Eline Vere

My beautiful mom
Trailer


Hey how are you guys? Do you like watching a play? Last week my mom and I went to see the play "Eline Vere", which is based on the Dutch book by Louis Couperus [1889, 19th century novels are my favorite] (I haven't gotten the chance to read it yet, but it has been on my To-Read list for a while now - the plot really appealed to me - now it's on top of the list). So when I found out they did a play based on the novel, I took my mom to see it for her birthday (unlike me she did read the book years ago). The play was absolutely marvelous! Hanne Arendzen, who plays the role of Eline Vere herself, did an amazing job. The play was very compelling - entertaining and at the same time making you wonder about the deeper psychological layers. 

Let me tell you about the story, based on the play (spoiler alert): "Eline Vere" tells the story of a young girl from a wealthy family in The Hague, The Netherlands. But Eline feels constantly very lonely and unhappy. Also she is always very confused about life and her own feelings. Even when she finally gets engaged, to Otto, she feels quite happy for a while, but this doesn't last very long. Vincent is her favorite cousin, but he is poor and a layabout who likes to roam the world, so her sister Betsy is not very fond of him.Vincent tells her he believes in fate, and partly by this new insight, Eline finds herself in doubt about her and her fiancé. When he hints he is not as fond of Vincent as Eline is, she worries even more: Will she be able to make him happy? Eline, going all crazy about all the feelings rushing through her, decides to break up with him. Eline, feeling so clueless, gets into a fight with her sister, so she decides to leave her sister's house, where she has been living ever since her parents died a couple of years before. Then her aunt from Belgium shows up and asks Eline if she wants to come with her on a journey through West-Europe. During this trip, Eline does not worry that much about "happiness" and she seems to be doing good. Her aunt lives a life of partying and drinking a lot, but when Vincent shows up with a friend from America, named Lawrence, this man makes her realizes this isn't the place for her, and he even wants to marry her, but Eline does not yet know if that is a good thing to do so she asks him to wait. By this time Eline has realized she actually did love Otto, and that it was a mistake she broke up with him. Her aunt thinks Lawrence only wants to marry her because of her money. Eline returns to The Hague, where she goes all crazy about Otto and Lawrence and she becomes very depressed, Her own melancholic train of thoughts decides her fate.

The story may seem very dramatic and melancholic (which is not essentially a bad thing, like I love dramatic storytelling), but the way the story is told on stage is intriguing. If you want to go see it as well, click on this link to see show dates

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

TRAVEL srprs.me trip to Madrid



A random pick of my photo collection of our trip to Madrid! Last summer, Mitchell and I wanted to go away for a couple of days, but we didn't want to spend too much money. While we didn't have anything in mind, and at the same time we didn't really care where to go, I run into an ad on facebook of SRPRS.ME. Srprs.me is a travel agency where you can book a trip, pick a date and type of journey, and they do the rest for you! They pick a destination, flight, book a hotel, including breakfast, only for a couple of hundreds of euros. And You Don't Know Where You Are Going Until You Get To The Airport! That is so much fun! Weeks in advance we were speculating about where we would go (Mitchell joked we would probably end up in Chernobyl, so we started calling our unknown destination Chernobyl). We did the "city tripping" type of journey and so, we ended up in Madrid (Mitchell was especially glad about this because now he got to visit Santiago Bernabeu). If you ever think of booking a trip by SRPRS.ME, bear in mind, that you have to make the best out of what you get. So, even if you end up in a town you would never go to by yourself, be open minded and go explore the city's secrets. Every city has something exciting, you just don't know about it yet. SRPRS.ME makes sure that they always pick a city that has plenty to do. It usually won't be some typical city trip town like London or Barcelona, but if they send you there, they probably have picked out a hotel in some part of town that you wouldn't think of in the first place. So they do there best to book a trip that is exciting, but at the same time it is up to you what you make out of it!

So these pictures give you a quick impression of our trip to Madrid, but I have a few hundred more that will end up in a photo album that I am currently working on. During our four days stay, we visited most of the highlights of Madrid, like the cathedral, the royal palace, Santiago Bernabeu, an actual arena, went on a cableway, and to a market called El Rastro and the El Retiro park (with the lake), but we also just walked around town and ate some traditional tapas. We definitely had a blast! Madrid is probably a little bit less touristic than for example Barcelona, which I really liked. Also our hotel was perfect, it was right in the middle of the city's shopping center, so we could do everything by foot (even though we bought a five days metro ticket... we ended up hardly needing it). Walking everywhere made the city feel quite small, but therefore really cosy! The weather was really hot though, and since Madrid is far from the coast, there wasn't anywhere to go to cool off a little bit.

We enjoyed it so much, that we are definitely going to do a SRPRS.ME trip again. I actually bought Mitchell a gift card for our anniversary. Also we made some videos because we wanted to an after movie but my computer doesn't work properly so that will probably take a while before it is finished.

Would you dare to book a SRPRS.ME trip?