amercian expat in the netherlands

You Kiss Your Mother With That Mouth?

I am furious! At first, I wasn't sure if I should talk about this on here, because I try to be really positive in both life and on my blog. I am a big believer that we are as happy as we want to be. However, after much thought, I think that I will feel better if I talk about it. 

Yesterday, a complete stranger called me a stupid American c*nt. Seriously! I don't really want to go into specifics, but this was a middle aged British man who knew full well what that word means and how awful it is. Why on Earth would anyone every call someone this? Especially over a small, non-issue. It's just hurtful. 

I acted very classy and got myself away from the situation, but what I wish I would have said was:

Words are hurtful, and they say much more about the person who says things like this than the person they are said to or about. After I left, and calmed down because I was so pissed I was visibly shaking, I couldn't help but be really thankful that I only have to listen to the filth that this man spews once. However, this man had to have had a mother, a grandmother, perhaps a sister, maybe a wife, and the worst thought of all a daughter, who might have to deal with his mood swings and misogyny on a daily basis.

What motivates people to be so nasty? Why on Earth do people think that it is okay to say degrading things to another human being? I think I am still in shock because no one has ever called me this before. People don't generally call me names. I guess I'm lucky.

Ladies, if you are with someone who says degrading things like this about other people, remember that they are probably saying the same things about you when you are not there. Fellas, there is not a word that anyone can call you that can even compare to how awful being called the c word is, don't use it.

Okay, off my soapbox now. I feel better. Thanks for sticking around why I vented. What do you think? Is it okay to call someone a c*nt? 

The First Year's Over!

I can't believe it, I have now lived in The Netherlands and with Loek for a year today! Soo much has changed in what could be classified by some in a brief amount of time. As, I reflect on the last year, I can't help but feel that although things did not go exactly they way I thought they would when I first moved, I am still incredibly glad I got on the plane with my cat and decided to make a life here with Loek. 

When I first moved, I had no idea what I was really in store for. I did not realize how hard it would be to find a job. I also didn't realize that I would feel like I was in everyone's way whenever I walked out of my house. I have since -found a job, re-enrolled in school fulltime, and I am a speed walker. Here are a few other things that are different now then when I first landed.

I am really good at ease-dropping on conversations in Nederlands, I can read all menus without translation. I know what almost everything is in the grocery store. I can also order and hold a small conversation. I am still really uncomfortable speaking it, but I am sure that will come.

I know how to cook stampot, hutspot, and hachee. I know when oliebollen season is and which fish monger to go to at my local market. This year, I am going to try my hand a homemade speculaas. 

I have almost survived my first period  in an International higher education. It is not harder than the American system, just more work then I remember.

I can help both international and dutch tourists find their way or train in Utrecht and Amsterdam. 

I also learned that no matter where you live, you are the combination of your experiences and where you grew up. 

It is incredibly important to find friends that you can share your experiences with.

Lastly, I would like to thank everyone who stumbles across this blog. No matter when you started reading, your kind words and questions have made this journey a lot easier than it could have been. Sincerely, thank you! 

The New (Not Really) Blog Title Plus This Week in Instagram Vol 8

So, you may have noticed a little redesign including a title change here at the blog. Instead of being A Georgia Peach in Utrecht, it is now A Georgia Peach Abroad. The change happened for two reasons, the first is that everything else was already branded A Georgia Peach Abroad, and the other is that while I love living in Utrecht, for the next four years I will be enrolled in an International Tourism Management program at a Hogeschool that requires me to go to Amsterdam at least 4 days a week. During this program, I will also be required to spend one quarter studying abroad outside of The Netherlands. Plus a bunch of travel, so the name change felt appropriate.

But, now on to the photos! I can't believe how many I took this week!

Up first we have the houseboats or woonboten that I pass when walking home from inburgering. I think that woonboten are really fascinating. Maybe it is because I have a huge phobia of boats. Which I know is ridiculous when you live in The Netherlands. Trust me, I am doing my best to slowly get over it.

I feel like I have been seeing a ton of flowering vines over doorways lately. I love these pink roses at this art studio. The studio also offers classes which I will take, one day...

I'm obsessed with birds, but especially baby ducks! So, here are 3 pictures!

And here is a picture of a heron, you just have to look really close!

During the longest day of the year, The Netherlands was experiencing a mega storm. I know surprise, surprise. But there were some pretty awesome clouds!

My two main guys love to cuddle. Yep, they are pretty cute!

Here are my good friends just before and while they went for a nighttime canoe ride in Utrecht, I didn't join them, because again this fear of boats. But I did play photographer. If only I remembered that my iPhone has a flash! What makes me uber sad is that Amanda is moving back to the States tomorrow! Her husband is joining her at the end of July after he wraps some stuff up here. I'm going to miss her so much! 

Last but not least, I passed this sign in a window on the Oudegracht. For me it has two meanings, sometimes it has hard to believe that I'm not just visiting here, this is now my real life. On the other hand, since I have been here for 3/4 of a year, it is frustrating to be thought of as a tourist, when I ask a question in Nederlands and I am answered in English.

This Week In Instagram Vol.5

It had been unbelievably gorgeous here in the Netherlands this week. In fact, it might have even been a little too hot. This is coming from a girl who was born in Florida and grew up in Georgia. But in the Deep South, we believe in air conditioning! Which is something I've discovered Europeans do not take much faith in.  I've met some great new people, traveled a bit, hid from the world because I was sick of traveling. And, I took some great pictures.

On Monday, I helped out a new batch of journalism students with the same project I helped out with back in March. And, I took some time to hang out in my favorite building in Utrecht. The Centraal Branch of the Library. There is some lovely stained glass in there, including this window.

I like to call these flowers which are actually weeds, Dutch Morning Glories, because they disappear as the day goes on.

I had my second Inburgering meeting this week. The office was about a 25 minute walk from my house. It would have been faster by bike, but as a novice, I make it a point to not bike when I don't know where I am going. Walking also allowed me to take in the scenery more. I discovered this park on my way. It has the mounds that make it interesting because, The Netherlands is flat. This is De Hoge Weide Park.

I feel really bad for my really fluffy cat Atticus, I am sure he is hot. This week, he has been using his paw to open the door to my wardrobe. He then gets stuck in there, but he seems to be happy about it. I think the material it is made of stays cool, so he likes it. Or he is just a freak!

Like I said, it was gorgeous here this week!

We don't have a balcony because we live on the bottom. We also don't have a garden, so we have no outdoor entertaining space to speak of. We do however have garden walls which are just wide enough for my butt. This week, I have taken to sitting outside on the stone with a glass of wine and a book. I'm reading The Discovery of Heaven for my Utrecht Book Club. It is a very popular Dutch novel, but we are reading it in English. Also, notice my awesome foot tan line.

Yes, I live here! Utrecht's Dom Tower looks magnificent in the sunshine!

How was your week? 

 

10 Books for 8 Euros

I have a well documented love affair with books. Just check out this post and this one! While I love the Utrecht Library System and my kindle, sometimes you just want to own books. They are great for decorating and as conversational starters. But, books printed in English are counted as imports here which can be very expensive, especially for an expat with no job and about to go back to school. 

Which is why I was so excited when in Amsterdam for an interview this week, I had time to meet up with my bud Lily. We ended up meeting at the Waterlooplein Markt, where she had already found a great deal on used English books. We shopped around, I ended up getting 10 books for 8 Euros. Pretty good deal if I say so myself. The Waterlooplein Markt is one of my favorite markets here in The Netherlands, you never know what you will find there. 

Another cool market in Amsterdam is the Boeken Markt (Book Market) which takes place every Friday at Beguinage, about a15 minute walk from the Amsterdam Centraal Station. I have only been there once, but I hope to go more often when I start attending school in September.

Are you an expat? If so, where do you get your books?

My First Queen's Day!

Monday was my first Queen's Day! For those of you who haven't experienced it, think of it like a giant block party, only every block in the entire country is having a party and a garage sale at the same time. Now combine that with boats, and the color orange, and epic levels of intoxication. Then you'll get the general idea. 

Since this year was my first Queen's Day experience, we decided to go up to Amsterdam to really experience it! My friend Amanda and her husband came with us, and we met up with my girl Lily, some of her friends, and our new blogging bud Sherisa

We mostly hung out in the grassy knoll of the weteringcircuit-

Then an entire parade of Hare Krishna's passed. Their outfits were so beautiful to go along with the orange theme-

Eventually, the newbies decided to go explore the city.-

Then we found this, we didn't eat there, but it is on my to do list-

And at the Museumplein-

I thought it was nice that they had some volunteers to pick up trash-

Eventually, The Verlo and I had enough of walking around, so we went back and found Lily, who I totally jacked this photo from- 

As you can see, it was an awesome day! Start planning your visit now kids! 

5 Things I'm Looking Forward To!

Alright, yesterday's post left me in a bad mood. To make up for it, here's another one of my famous list's of happiness! This is what I am looking forward to in the near future:

1. Queen's Day: In celebration of the Queen's Birthday, although it is actually the date the current queen's mother's birthday, people take to the street in Orange, the national color and my favorite! To drink beer, buy random crap, and dance. I haven't been before, but in my mind I imagine it to look like the scene in Chasing Liberty when Mandy Moore finally makes it to the Love Parade. The Verlo and I are heading up to Amsterdam to hangout with one of my favorite's!

2. I look forward to hopefully finding out when and where I will start my Inburgering Classes. I have a feeling this will happen in May.

3. Book Clubs in May! Which means I will meet some new peeps!

4. The trial study day for a school I am in the middle of the application process for is in May. I got  the good news yesterday that I passed a major step of the admissions process, I've got a few more to go, but I have confidence. 

5. I have made some awesome friends here, I can't wait to see what we will get up to next month!

What's happening in your life that makes you sunny side up?

flickr image by: jerrroen