Your 21 Year Old’s Typical Amsterdam Post

I went to Amsterdam.

Originally, I was planning to go by myself. But my three guy friends, who are also studying in Ireland (from Canada), decided to go at the same time and I wound up meeting them there.

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I have too many goddamn pictures of this goddamn sign.

The first night was a blur of a pub crawl, featuring unlimited vodka shots and feeling like Jane Goodall observing the guys strategizing and picking up girls.

The pubs all had smoking sections where people would just get high in these half outdoor/half indoor areas. Blurry memories of some guys from LA sharing their spliff with me. (Because world travel as a Canadian means you literally just meet Americans and no one else). Red lights and half-naked prostitutes gave the streets a nice atmosphere as we walked from one bar to the next.

I vaguely remember buying a waffle covered in chocolate and glazed strawberries and bananas. I kept thinking “Michelle if you leave this waffle in the cab I will never forgive you(me?)” as I was taking it home to eat in bed, because that’s what I do when I’m drunk and I’m disgusting.

I, however, forgot I was staying at a hostel and wound up silently giggling and eating this waffle in the top bunk trying not to wake anyone up or smack my head off the ceiling.

My friends apparently got home okay and they don’t remember how, but they do remember the “French girls”, whatever that means.

I also bought myself a little surprise for the morning because when I checked my purse there was a mysterious brownie in it.

Ah, what they hell, I ate it.

Amsterdam: 1, Me:0

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The only photo I have of that night says more than words really can.

Bloody hell, I just miss home.

I’ve been in Ireland for a month for university.

It’s been grand. It’s been so grand.

There have been great ups and downs, but for the love of god, it’s thanksgiving at home and I’m fecking sick of explaining to Americans that yes, we have ours in October.

Join me while I wallow in self-pity and wade through corny Canadiana while I further ignore my uni work.

 

The original Wayne’s World:

 

And the voices that were a constant in my childhood home many winter evenings:

I just want some goddamn poutine and no one in this country knows what cheese curds are.

Public Service Announcement of the Day

Ahem.

I would like to warn you all about the dangers of accepting weird guys you’ve just met on SnapChat*.

No, it’s not the random dick pics. That’s almost expected with the way my luck has been going lately (where do I meet these people?). It’s not the possibility of randomly clicking his name when sending some ugly face to your friend. It’s not even the awkwardness that comes with a dead SnapChat connection.

It’s that some guys are really really really freaking weird and will send you videos and photos multiple times a day of their friends doing exercises, drinking beer, or even–cringe–MySpace-style selfies (and some guys are nearing 30)…even if you don’t respond.

Just a warning.

It may be hilarious, though. So it’s up to you.

File this one under “things I learned in Saskatoon”.

It may look nice, but this city is harbouring a hoard of awkward SnapChatters.

It may look nice, but this city is harbouring a hoard of awkward SnapChatters.

*for all of you very confused people: SnapChat is simply an app (that’s like a…program…on a smartphone) that allows you to send others photos or videos for only a few seconds until it deletes itself. It sounds more boring than it is.

 

Saskatoon is a city, too.

I’m currently in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan at the university for a little over a month. As I’m…3000km away from Toronto, things are slightly different here.

– There are a lot of mosquitos…and they come out in the early afternoon. They’re also mutants and leave bigger-than-average marks on you.

– Everything is so dry. The air is dry. The ground is dry. There is dust everywhere. Wearing contact lenses has become a dangerous game.

– Street sweepers do not seem to exist in this magical city. Nor does the notion of “sidewalk repair.”

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“Meh, good enough.”

– The sun rises at about 4:30am. I forget what sleep feels like.

– Lots of bikes here. Great. Lots of bikes on sidewalks and I have only seen one person use a bell. Not so great.

– There are so few bars in this city, everyone knows them all. This is convenient, unless you’re trying to avoid some guy you saw last week and accidentally tell him some vague description of where you’re going.

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Plenty of places to watch the Leafs lose during game 7 when they’re up 4-1 with just minutes to go. Let’s just not talk about that.

– The Ukrainian residence we’re living in has lovely meals that remind me of what my grandmother would have cooked if she wasn’t too emotionally unstable to leave the house and go grocery shopping. The cafeteria ladies will also make you a plate and put your name on it if you plan to miss dinner. Awww.

I really like Saskatoon. It’s beautiful here. I was picturing some flat, GTA-like wasteland (yeah, Ajax/Pickering, looking at you), but there is this picturesque river that runs straight through the city and a quaint downtown area.

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LOOK, NON-DEAD TREES GROWING BY SIDEWALKS. HOW DO THEY DO IT?

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From the first day of an accidental 5am wake-up. That was painful.

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and churches, because pourquoi pas?

 

No one is debating for the millionth time about subways vs. LRTs, and I don’t even know who the mayor is but I’m pretty sure he’s not on crack. (and yes that is a link to the google search because this story gets worse by the hour).

There are also unlimited cookies in the cafeteria for us. CAN’T STOP ME.

What a nice city, and a well-needed break from various frustrating Toronto things.

I apologize in advance

This post is going to get bad.

There is nothing worse than reading someone’s “woe is me” BS, complaining that the world is out the get them. Confirmation bias. No one lives their lives without anything mildly coincidental and bad happening to them, so get over it.

That being said, after years of struggling with the concept of long-distance running (yet still being a pretty good athlete throughout school), I finally found something that works. No shame, it’s Couch to 5k. The app that I downloaded tells me I’ve done a good job when I’m running…and damn, I pretend not to care but THANKS, APP WOMAN. I appreciate the support.

So I went out last week, ready to start this program. I ran all the way around the neighbourhood, discovering streets I didn’t know existed.

Look at me! I’m awesome! I’m running like someone who is 21 and thin and strong should be able to! My lungs aren’t burning and I don’t feel like my head is going to implode!

And then I fell.

…pretty badly

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Featuring another mark on my knee from that time I wiped out on the Civic Centre stairs…last month.

And on top of that, my body was completely confused and decided to give me low blood sugar-like symptoms, so I had to sit on the sidewalk and call someone to come get me.

Welp.

The good news is that it didn’t stop me. I sewed up my pants (yes, that bad) and went back out a few days later.

Go me.

Late resolutions

I have a big mouth.

I can’t help myself.

I say stupid things that are risky. I enjoy ranting and sometimes people enjoy hearing me. (But really, most of them probably want to punch me in the face. I would, too)

My new resolution: Shut up. Just shut up.

You know how every time you go out drinking you spend the next day re-living all the stupid shit you said as it slowly creeps back into your memory? Oh my god how are people still friends with me?

This is a static state for me now [which may or may not have to do with how often I go out drinking. Shh.]

We need a support group, some sort of Big Mouths Anonymous where we chat about how addicted we are to the attention that delivering a mildly-amusing rant brings. But no, we can’t stop. We keep going. We want to be heard, dammit! I assume we’d all hate each other, because who likes people with big mouths?

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I should print this out.

Heres to a new, quiet, spring. And no, I will not complain about the weather or the people who won’t shut the fuck up about the fact that it’s snowing in April. Yes, we know, it happens every year.

Oops.

The Highs and Lows of the Gym

With Old Navy’s recent sale on spandex capris, I thought I’d finally hit the gym after buying my pass in January. I know. Shut up.

The gym at my school is an odd one, because it’s tiny and it’s a solid half an half of students and old, rich people who live in the surrounding old, rich community.

There are even a section of treadmills labelled with imperial measurements.
(For those of you who don’t know, Canada switched to metric in the 70s, so those who went to elementary school a long time ago still usually use imperial. Including my parents. Yes, mom, there are 100cm in a metre. I wrote it down for you. It’s on the fridge.)

I’ve made some slight observations.

Good: Old people don’t check you out while you work out.
Bad: I think.

Good: I’ve realized that the elliptical is a magical machine that doesn’t make my knees want to crumble into dust when I use it.
Bad: Have you ever tried looking coordinated on an elliptical?

Good: I climbed the lovingly called “stairs of death” back up to campus without losing my breath after the gym.
Bad: The stairs of death exist.

Good: The new spandex capris and a cute t-shirt aren’t too shabby.
Bad: They are now covered in sweat forever.

So there you are. My adventures at this weird thing that humans go to as a supplement for our lazy-ass lives of leisure so we don’t die of cardiac arrest at 28 while reaching for that last slice of cheesecake.

Necessary disclaimer: Not me.

Necessary disclaimer: Not me.