The first month is up.
I took a huge risk in July when I paid forward one month’s rent in an unknown city for an unknown apartment with unknown roommates. I got as lucky as lucky ducks get.
It’s been a wonderful stay in a beautiful apartment overlooking the Maas River. 78 Maaskade quickly became home and I made a few Dutch friends for life.
Berend took off today to live in Madrid for 6 months. He left me with an early birthday present, which I model here: click. Roffa is, in Berend’s own words, “the gangster name for Rotterdam that only gangsters use.” I’m glad to be awarded this token of appreciation and be deemed cool enough to represent Rotterdam as the city’s only American OG. I promised to wear it all over the streets of Amsterdam and do the ‘Ben Bruce’ dance whenever someone indicates their disgust and outrage at my sweatshirt choice. (For the #newbs: the legendary Ben Bruce move is when you put both hands on your head, bite your tongue, and move your hips around with feet still, obviously). The dance move is proven to turn water into wine.
All in all, it has been a brilliant stay and it’s sad to leave my Rotterdam home. But, nothing lasts forever and I’m glad to have great memories to look back on.
I couldn’t have written a better day today. I painted, hit the market (20 kiwis for 4 euros–yes!), skateboarded to get some coffee, and joined Marco with some other Erasmus students for a delicious home cooked meal of Nasi, a peanut-buttery Indonesian rice dish.
Playing in a rugby tournament tomorrow, then I’m crashing for the night at a teammates place. On to the Hague, Amsterdam, and adventures beyond. It’s been a while since I’ve put on my backpack.
Last night, I went out with a whole bunch of students who are doing an International Business Management masters program at Erasmus. We all got together at a house nearby for drinks before going to a club. It was pretty amazing to be in a room with students from Italy, Hungary, Greece, Poland, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Czech Republic, and so on. If you think about it, it’s geographically no different from sitting in a class at Bowdoin with kids from California, Colorado, Arizona, Florida, and so on. But the cultural differences within the small geographic area of Europe are so much more apparent than in the U.S. Very cool to witness.
As for now, going to watch a movie called ‘Mud’ with Marco, pack, then get some sleep before rugby time.
It’s a bummer sharing the only the photos of the paintings rather than the actual artifacts with you. I always get disappointed about how they look as photographs, but hey I’ll mail them to Hanover at some point so if you’re super eager you can drive on up and stay with my parents for a night!