Friday, September 19, 2008


So after leaving Brussels which wasn't nearly as charming as Brooge (sp?) we have come to Amsterdam. Amsterdam is full of crime and our professors were constantly telling us to keep our purses and valuables under or coats and close to us. The main square was huge, and it had a variety of strange people and sights in it. There were people dressed up in weird costumes just standing around. For example 2 people were dressed up in Grim Reeper costumes, and another in a bright green suit and creepy mask. Later, there was a lady who was in a wedding dress white pasty makeup all up and down her body and face doing some slow creepy dance with another woman.

It was also interesting because the huge red-light district in Amsterdam is right across the street from the huge town hall. Prostituion is legal in Amsterdam except you have to "get a permit."How ironic is that?

Amsterdam, didn't particularly impress me. It was mostly huge, dirty, and loud. There were people EVERYWHERE, but luckily on one in the group got pick-pocketed, although some girls in my group where harassed by some men on the train earlier, and later again in the city. Yuck, yuck, yuck. It's times like this, when I'm actually thank ful for my not overly attractive appearance, so I'm not a target for these leud men.

For the next 5 days were staying in an airport close to the hotel in Amsterdam and then making day trips out to various cities. After this we'll be off to Paris, which I'm very excited for.

Today I got up and went on a 5 mile run with my professor and another classmate. It was really fun, and the scenery was nice. Other than almost taking out a few bikers, the run felt great, and cleared my super congested sinuses for a bit. Then we went to a museum, and now we're going back to Amsterdam for more museums and some fine arts show tonigth. I'm amazed at how incredibly tired I am each night, and I'm glad that they don't give us a lot of extra homework, because I don't think I would be able to do it! :)

I forgot to mention that yesterday we went to the Anne Franck house. It was very sobering and interesting at the same time. It's hard to believe that horrors like those commited there happened so recently. How humans can treat one another in such a fashion is beyond my comprehension.

Yesterday I also got to try my first Swedish Pancake. It's a bit of a mix between a crepe and a pancake and was decent, but not out of this world good. Perhaps that's due somewhat to my lack of smelling/tasting ability. Who knows.

Well, it's been a marvelous journey for the last two weeks, and I'll write more soon. Hope everything is going well at home. I heard that the stock market had a terrible day on Wednesday? I hope that that didn't affect life to drastically?



Kyle Andrew said...

Julie, I'm a little disappointed that you didn't really like Brussels. What did you see there? But I can understand being more impressed by Bruges. And as far as the Netherlands goes, I've never been.
Are you going to be visiting any of Southern Belgium? The French-speaking part? I figure since you are a french student it would be good for you to see if you can hear the difference in the way they speak. Belgian-french is a lot grittier and definitely not as pretty, but I proudly admit that I have a Belge accent.
I want pictures!
Have you run into any missionaries while in Belgium/Netherlands? I probably know them. . .

Chelsea said...

That's funny about prostitution. Canada does it like that too - it's legal but you have to have a permit. Have you seen any "coffee shops"? Actually, I bet the BYU profs wouldn't approve of you going to one. As always, I appreciate the update. Keep them coming.

Leigh said...

"... my not overly attractive appearance..." WhatEVER, Jules :). I don't think it has anything to do with appearance; rather, the way you act and carry yourself in public probably attracts or repels people of that nature.
You know, every time I think of Amsterdam/the Red Light District, I think of Dan in Denali :)