storage shmorage

ImageIt only makes sense. It’s such a hassle to bike/walk home with toilet paper, especially when it only allows you to buy a week’s worth at a time. So yay, let’s get a huge American-sized pack. Negative! This is what happens when you buy anything in bulk in the Netherlands. Zero storage = tower o’ toilet paper.


driving woes

The traffic circle is a staple here, but four-way intersections don’t have stop signs. It’s so bizarre to me. People definitely don’t stop. Apparently driving laws dictate who goes when.

One of many reasons I can’t believe Americans are allowed to just show up and drive with a US license… The Dutch pay an outrageous fee and take mandatory classes to get a license in the country they’ve grown up in, while we get off the plane and figure it out (hopefully). Between the bus lanes, tram lines, car lanes, and bike lanes, I’m not sure you could pay me to drive in the city. (Both of these pictures are from Ijburg, which is a much more residential area. These aren’t typical.)



 ImageThese shower “mitts” are super Dutch. I personally prefer exfoliating gloves because I never can get a good lather out of these, but everyone else seems to think they’re tops.


when you live in amsterdam…

i can’t relate to the coffee shop one, but the rest are undeniably true true true.  my favorite are the leidseplein, bijenkorf, breakfast, and beer in a rinsed glass. ENJOY!


Buttered popcorn doesn’t exist here. In the store you can buy with or without salt, and at the movies you can choose salty or sweet.

No. Butter. Anywhere. 😦


Water faucets here don’t seem to have regulators for the hot water. I’ve burned my hands and body more than once.

Also, public bathrooms always seem to have only cold water. And 90% of girls I come across either don’t wash their hands or only rinse them quickly. (pet peeve…don’t get me sick during finals.)

And Dutch people (students) fill up their water bottles from bathroom sinks. I’ve never tasted the water. I’m sure it’s fine. But from a public bathroom is a bit much for me.


I’ve had one week of classes since winter break, and I’m already insanely busy with thesis research. So this blog is about to “transform” into my initial vision for it: 1-2 random sentences per post when I recognize something about the Dutch way of life that is different than the U.S. (I may go back and upload pictures sometime.)

“Stick” deodorant is not available here. It’s all liquid roll-on or aerosol spray.

first snow day!

no, classes weren’t cancelled. but the snow was just pretty enough to make up for inconveniencing me. this was on Friday, December 7. also, Amstel Station is getting festive!

view from class

photo (1)

on my way to get a latte
photo (2)

Amstel Station wishes you “happy holidays”photo (3)

(i’m backdating this post, so it counts for yesterday!)

new post tonight or tomorrow!

it’s finals week, and i am SLAMMED! (not to mention i have an unhealthy addiction to The Simpsons: Tapped Out for iPhone/iPad. do you play? add me! -> kbarual)

in happier news, i’ll be home this time next week until early January. 🙂

puppies, puppies everywhere!

dogs are more than welcome all over the city. people bring them to parks, lunch, grocery shopping, etc. like they’re children, and that is perfectly fine by me. i can’t help but smile every time i see one. i’d say i’m one step beyond an animal lover.

this one came in and sat beside us in a cafe.


these are “Albert pups,” which are commonly seen outside (or inside) Albert Heijn grocery stores. notice the wall has hooks for leashes. just inside the front doors you’ll find something similar for when the weather is cold.


in Sarphatipark and quite good at retrieving a stick


and this little guy was at Noordwijk


this is  a very small sampling, but i can’t very well walk around photographing puppies all day (though i’d love to).