public service announcement: you should go on exchange

“I miss being a student,” a 27 year old Dutch guy told me at a party a few months ago. “When you’re a student, if you have to go to the dentist, that’s the thing you do that day. You can go to the dentist and when people ask you what you did that day, you can say that you went to the dentist and that’s accepted as an accomplished day! Now that I am not a student, if I have to go to the dentist, I have to fit it in on my break and still work from 9-5. Man, I miss being a student.”

This conversation was early into my exchange to the Netherlands, so I didn’t entirely relate to him. Back home in Calgary, I’m used to volunteering 5-15 hours a week, waitressing 10-20 hours a week, and studying with practically all the time I had in between. When I first got here, I felt a sense of guilt when all I did in a day was read some articles and go to the supermarket.

But now, after 5 months of living in Amsterdam, I can understand what that Dutch guy meant. I think it’s a bit of a cultural thing – Europeans seem much better at chilling out and enjoying life than us North Americans. The Dutch work fewer hours than any other EU country, with an average of 30 hours a week. They are also ranked as some of the most productive in the EU, which suggests something about their mindset about working is, well, working. The Dutch have a pretty good work-life balance, with perhaps more of an emphasis on the life part.

This can be frustrating at times, such as when you’re waiting to be served and end up waiting over half an hour for a coffee. But this doesn’t happen often, and it tends to not bother me when it does, as I am happy to spend hours in a cafe. I have no job, six weeks off from school, and feel no need to really do anything that I don’t want to do.

It’s pretty ridiculous.

Today I went to a cafe and read a book. The day before I went to a museum and watched American Beauty. Tomorrow, I think I’m going to do laundry. And I’d say that it’s been a pretty successful week.

I am learning in all sorts of ways that can come from being able to do whatever I want with almost every day. Today I learned heaps bout the history of Istanbul and read far too much about bike lanes in different cities. On Friday I learned all about Keith Harring’s artwork and that a McDonald’s in Rotterdam has won an architectural award as the “worlds fanciest McDonalds.” I’m also getting pretty good at creating delicious chickpea curries. 

It’s going to be hard to go back to the responsibilities of work and school and all that lame stressful time consuming stuff back home, but luckily I still have 7 months to live like a Dutch student and perfect the beautiful art of doing a little less while enjoying a lot more. 


new years resolutions

I love New Years Eve. Sure, there is too much pressure for the party to be perfect and people tend to overdo it with the glitter, but I love it. We all made it hopefully unscathed from 2015 and who knows what 2016 holds for all of us. I like to think great things. I always like to focus on at least one new years resolution, and the resolution doesn’t necessarily last past January, but I’d say its still worth trying. So here is a list of things I am hoping to maintain/start doing in 2016:

  1. Have no expectations: This having no expectations thing is I think one of the most important mindsets I’ve developed since I’ve arrived in Amsterdam. From the start, I would say yes to any event or get together as the only way to meet more people and see more of the city. I’ve ended up in a lot of random situations that are maybe not the most fun but we always leave thinking it was a good night, because we didn’t expect anything in particular from it. I hope I’ll keep it up for the next semester in Amsterdam and when I’m back in Calgary.
  2. Make every day count: I’ve managed to spend entire days here doing absolutely nothing, which I really don’t like. I only have a limited number of days in Amsterdam, and above that, none of us know how many days we have left on this precious little earth. And anything can happen in one day. So I’ve been trying, and will continue to try, to be productive or do something noteworthy everyday. Days full of nothing are good too, as long as you can find something to be grateful for what happened that day.
  3. Stop wasting your life away on the internet: Yeah so this is a hard one. I really want to unplug. It scares me how many hours can go by staring into the screen of my laptop. Sure, a lot of the time I’m doing pretty productive and useful things, but we weren’t put on this earth to stare into screens and lose our lives in the vortex of the internet. One of the little ways I plan to unplug is by:
  4. Reading more books: It’s pretty pathetic how few books I read. But I want to change that so I plan on going out and buying some books for me to read today! If you have any suggestions of good reads, let me know.
  5. Eat more vegetables: This was my resolution last year, and I figure might as well keep it on the list for 2016. We could all use a little more broccoli and carrots in our lives.
  6. Keep stepping outside your comfort zone: I think I’ve developed a comfort zone here in Amsterdam, but I hope that I can keep expanding past what’s comfortable. I hope in 2016 I’ll continue meeting new people, going to new events, and asking new questions.
  7. Don’t say negative shit: I think it’s good for all of us to check in once in awhile to see if we are spreading negativity. And if we are, we might as well stop and switch it up for something more positive. I know it’s not always that easy, but it’s worth a shot.

A few additional things I should probably work on are drinking less cappuccinos (and beer), eating less stroopwaffles, and being more careful with my money. But, I’m on exchange and don’t fancy stopping any of those things, so those personal improvements can wait until 2017.

Happy new year kids! May there be champagne and friends and glitter for you all!

xx j

holiday eats

A couple of weeks ago, over twenty of us crammed ourselves into a (very) small kitchen in a student building to have an early potluck Christmas dinner. There were people from all corners of the world, so the homemade holiday dishes were of a great variety. We had the British mince pies, the Australian mulled wine, the Canadian Kraft Dinner (because, why not??) and the Turkish potato salad, to name only a few.

I brought Lee’s eggnog, a boozy delight that is always on the table over the holidays. I messed up the recipe a bit, as I always do here because of the whole Dutch language thing. Who knew slagroom was the same thing as whipping cream? (Not me).

I also brought Mary’s maple-bacon brussel sprouts, one of her ten plus side dishes to her extravagant Christmas dinners. She out does herself every year, and maybe next year can make two dinners to make up for my lack of presence this year?? Hey Mary? Let me know what you think.

Last but not least, I brought my mom’s sweet-potato carrot casserole that she makes every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas. She thinks that the dish is beyond average and that Lee and Mary just ask her to bring it to keep her busy. But we all know that’s a lie and I don’t know if it’d be a true Christmas without her orange mashed dish.


My friend Dilara and I got to The Hague today to housesit a family friend’s place for a few days. There’s an oven and a couch and the hallways don’t smell like garbage, all of which are major pluses compared to our student rooms. Dilara doesn’t do Christmas much back home so I am channelling my inner Santa and will try to show her the ropes. We’ll watch Jesus Christ Superstar (the movie that taught me most things I know about Christianity), make croissants and hard boiled eggs for breakfast (couldn’t find imperial cheese – major bummer), and, to shake it up a bit, go to the beach. We are going to make some frozen pizza and Dutch pancakes tonight, which might have to be added to the list of traditional food necessary for the holidays.

We might be making Cath’s hot milk cake, a recipe I’ve always loved.  About five years ago, I was having dinner at Cath’s place when she made the cake just like her mom used to. It was to die for and I don’t think I stopped talking about how much I loved that cake until I went back home to Calgary. After that point on, Cath, being one of the most thoughtful women I know, started to send me recipe cards every birthday and Christmas with different desserts and dinners that have been in our family for quite some time.

This Christmas, I am not with any of my family, but their recipes are still around, and I’m finding that pretty comforting. They might say Christmas is about trees and decorations and Jesus and big family gatherings, but I think I’ve decided food (and people to share it with) might be the most important part.

Wherever you guys are all this Christmas, I hope you have some comforting food and friends or family to enjoy it with!

xx. ho ho ho jroe




cinque terre

“Welcome to family,” Francesco said as our small glasses of wine clinked together on our first night in Cinque Terre.

After 24 hours in Milan, where pizza was eaten in excess and even the little kids were more fashionable than I will ever be (yes I’m talking about you, little Italian girl in sparkly Doc Martens), my friend Dilara and I hopped on a train to Cinque Terre and arrived at Francesco’s hostel.

5terrebackpackers is in Corvara, a twenty-minute twisty drive up the mountains from Monterosso, the northernmost village of Cinque Terre. We arrived in Monterosso with enough time for seafood spaghetti, white wine and a seaside view before catching the shuttle up to 5terrebackpackers. After Francesco showed us around, we quickly found ourselves swapping stories with fellow travellers on the deck. I’m not sure if it was intentional, or if it is just a weak Wifi connection, but the Internet only worked in the communal outdoor living room. Forcing all of us, and our iPhones into the same room resulted in some serious interaction, which was pretty cool. It didn’t take long to start reminiscing with a few American girls about hand-clap-songs from our childhood (stella, ella, hola, tap, tap, tap) and playing each other our favourite John Oliver videos.


The next morning, Dilara and I had a grand old time exploring Cinque Terre. A set of five coastal fishing villages, Cinque Terre is on the east coast of Italy between Genoa and La Spezia. One of Rick Steve’s favourite spots, the area attracts heaps of Americans and was bustlin’ with tourists even in late October.* There are beautiful hiking trails that link the five towns, so you can hike from one place to the next, working up your appetite for gelato/focaccia/ pasta/more gelato. Which is exactly what we did. We started off in Monterosso, the northernmost town and hiked a couple of hours on the main trail to Vernazza, where focaccia was on our menu. After another two hour hike, we arrived in Corgnilia, where it was time for gelato. In Manarola, we drank white wine in the sun. Back to Monterosso, we swam and (of course) ate pasta. In the evening when we arrived back at Francesco’s hostel, there was more pasta waiting for us, which really isn’t surprising, because Italy is a dream world. After dinner, Francesco popped into the dining room in his red apron to ask us how everything was. The homemade wine, strudel and pasta was all to die for, we told him. It’s pretty evident that Francesco has put his heart and soul into getting 5terrebackpackers up and running. The place closes down in the winter, and he’s looking forward to it. He needs a break, he said, “to sleep, to take care of his body, to travel, to drink a beer with his friend – those kind of normal things like that.”

After working as a lifeguard and bartender for twelve years in Monterosso, Francesco decided it was time to start his own business. He tried to buy property in Monterosso, but at 10, 000 euros per square metre, he decided to look elsewhere. The building that Franscesco did decide to buy is over 300 years old, and renovations took longer than expected. But he salvaged as much as he could, giving the renovated building a contemporary and rustic feel. 5terrebackpackers opened last year, and it looks like things have gone pretty well. Just check out all of the online reviews. Staying somewhere with scheduled shuttle bus rides (two in the morning and two in the evening) may not be ideal for everyone, as it can limit your time in bars and things like that. “This hostel is more for the traveller than the tourist, I think,” Francesco said. I’d have to agree with him, and for Dilara and I, our stay in Cinque Terre was perfetto, as they say.




*I don’t know much about it, but Cinque Terre seems to have suffered quite a bit from the consequences of mass tourism. I could definitely sense that the region was catered almost entirely to tourists and that the locals weren’t necessarily happy about it (for rightful reason). I plan to learn more and write more about the problem with mass tourism in the future, so stay posted.


With a spring in his step, a smile on his face, and his bicycle by his side, Alderman Paul de Rook welcomes us to Groningen. Within moments, you can tell how proud he is of the small and lively student city of 200,000 that he calls home.

de rook and his bike

Groningen is known as the “Cycling City” and de Rook tells us about the public spaces and bike routes that help make the city a wonderful place to be. Parking lots and busy roads have been transformed into fish markets, pedestrian shopping streets, and public parks. The city centre, says de Rook, isn’t a commercial district. People come to the city centre “to be,” and to have fun with their friends and fellow people in the city. While they’re there, if they need to, people shop. But shopping isn’t what brought them there. It makes sense that people come to the city centre of Groningen just to be among the hustle and bustle of the day. People like being around people, after all.

This idea that people actually choose to be around others may seem strange to some, considering the isolating design and way of life in many North American cities. In Calgary, for example, one can go an entire day without even really interacting with a stranger. You leave your house and enter your attached garage, get into your car and turn on the radio. You drive down the freeway into the city centre, and park your car in the parking garage. You enter the Plus 15* and walk to your office where you start your day of work. For lunch, you go grab some food in the office building, where fellow office-workers are having lunch, and then you head back to work. Once work is finished, you go back to the parking garage and get in your car, and drive home.

Here, in a city like Groningen or Amsterdam, it would be near impossible to not interact with people on your daily commute. You hop on your bike and instead of obeying traffic signs you make eye contact with each other to decide who has right of way. You bike past people sitting on their windowsill eating breakfast, and slow down for a mom who is riding her two kids to school in a carriage on the front of the bike (a “Dutch-minivan” as my mom likes to call it). As you bike along the bumpy cobblestone streets, an older woman bikes up next to you and says she really likes your dress! You say thank you, and she bikes ahead. You lock your bike to a canal bridge and head to work, or school, or whatever it is you do. A tourist asks you for directions and after pointing them in the right direction, you go inside to start your workday.

De Rook walks us through the city and tells us stories about different historical buildings, canals and shops. We walk down one of the roads where he hopes to banish buses to create even more public space for pedestrians which will, he tells me, help the city breathe.


While talking to de Rook, I couldn’t help but think of Enrique Penolosa, a past Colombian mayor that revolutionized the crime induced and automobile oriented city of Bogota. Although I haven’t met Penolosa, I have read a lot about him and have seen some films,** and both of these municipal politicians possess an inspiring amount of enthusiasm for their city. They emphasize the importance of designing a city that is happy, and is built for people as opposed to cars. De Rook didn’t focus on the economic strengths of Groningen, but instead spent the entire night talking about public spaces, bike routes, and the overall happiness of Groningeners. During his election campaign, Penalosa’s assurance to the people of Bogota wasn’t to make them richer, but was to make them happier. He did this by adjusting the infrastructure of the city so that everybody could use it. Concentrating on the development of bus routes and bike lanes as opposed to freeways and parkades can do wonders for a city’s overall well being.

I could go on all day about why cities that focus on pedestrian use versus automobile use enhance the public life, safety, energy, and overall happiness of cities, but I have to head out on my bike now. There are things to do and places to be. Maybe someone will even tell me they like my outfit on my way.



*The Plus 15 network in Calgary is an extensive pedestrian skyway system, connecting over sixty buildings downtown with bridges that are about fifteen feet above ground. Although the system is usually praised, the quasi-public space has resulted in a number of unintended consequences, such as a lack of vibrant street life.

**If any of this urban studies stuff interests you, I suggest watching Urbanized (it’s on Netflix) and reading Happy City, if you haven’t already.


Last weekend, a few of us decided to embark on a midnight bike trek to a squat festival an hour west of the city. The festival was put on by ADM, one of the last large squat communities in Amsterdam. They were celebrating their 18th year of existence with a weekend long birthday party that was open to all.

here are some blurry iphone photos
“there is no culture without subculture”

We biked for an hour out west past the Amsterdam suburbs, graffiti-ed train stations and putrid biodiesel industrial plants to the west harbour wharf where the party was taking place. It was late and very dark by the time we arrived, and I imagine the darkness hid many of the quirky gems that would be found at a squatting community. Not to say that there wasn’t enough eccentricity to captivate our interests. On our way to find something to eat (we worked up an appetite on the bike journey), we went past a number of giant art installations made out of various materials that lit up the pathway through the area. Past the ‘eco-friendly television’ (people in costumes performing enthusiastically to their audience behind a cardboard TV cutout), people were sitting atop a giant ship enjoying the music playing from below. We found the Guerilla Kitchen stand, an Amsterdam based group that takes food from supermarkets that would otherwise be thrown out and cooks up somethin’ good for whoever is hungry. I’m not entirely sure what we ate, but there was cilantro and pumpkin and bread involved. While snacking away, the Violent Femmes were echoing through the speakers and two older men danced to their own beat in front of us.

another blurry iPhone photo!
another blurry iPhone photo!

(When I’m out walking / I strut my stuff / And I’m so strung out.) Right beyond the men a woman was dancing with a fire hula-hoop. I think I could have watched people dance with fire the entire night. When we finished our food, we wandered farther and found a DJ playing inside a scrap-metal giant piranha sculpture. We climbed onto a ship and sat in plastic chairs while we people watched and talked about our thoughts on the whole squat community concept.

Amsterdam experienced a squatting boom in the 80s, when the economy was in a slump and the city was experiencing a huge housing shortage. A number of renewal plans threatened many aspects of the urban fabric of the city. There were plans to tear through the centre of the city to build large roads and to replace a number of old historic buildings with modern urban developments. For many, squatting became a strong political movement – people were fighting for the right to decent and affordable housing. Many historic buildings, and some say even the neighbourhood I live in right now, the Jordaan district, have been saved from demolition due to squatters occupying these once abandoned places. Squatters can bring life and creativity to forgotten areas in the city. For quite some time, squatting was legal in The Netherlands. Beginning in 1994, if a building had been vacant for at least one year, a squatter could legally establish residence, as long as they had a table, bed and chair set up.

Squatting in Amsterdam has declined rapidly since its peak in the 80s, but some communities, like ADM, still exist. Over one hundred people of all ages live in the ADM live-work community. This “cultural free-haven” focuses on alternative ways of living and find ways to shift their daily focus away from time and money. Since 1987, when the first squat community was established in the ADM area, a number of court cases to remove the squat have taken place. The act of squatting is technically banned now in The Netherlands, but there are still ways around the laws (people seem to find loopholes around authority very well in this country).

Breaking and entering has always been illegal, so squatters tend to enter abandoned spaces in groups with tools that make breaking the door open a quick process. -- Photo by Hans Bouton
Breaking and entering has always been illegal, so squatters tend to enter abandoned spaces in groups with tools that make breaking the door open a quick process.

Photo by Hans Bouton
Photo by Hans Bouton
Squatters moving in tables, beds, and chairs. — Photo by Hans Bouton

I still don’t know much about the whole squat culture here in Amsterdam (or anywhere else for that matter), but from what I’ve seen and read it appears to be a pretty important aspect to the cultural fabric of this city. In its heyday, the squatters’ movement attracted a lot of radical protesting and anarchist violence – there were over ten thousand squatters in Amsterdam in the 80s. These days, the political action seems to have simmered down and squatters’ main goal isn’t necessarily radical change – they just want to have a roof over their head while being a part of creative communities that enrich their society. Heaps of squat communities put on events in Amsterdam that are open to the public; such as the ADM festival we went to last weekend. These events are affordable and vibrant and allow exposure to groups that don’t particularly agree with mainstream capitalist lifestyles.

piranha dj!

After more wandering and dancing at the festival, we decided to begin our journey back home. Even though the food we had that night gave us all mild food poisoning and my scarf still smells like burnt biodiesel from biking past the industrial plants, I think I’ll be checking out similar events while I’m here – these alternative communities are an essential part of the multi-layered amazing complexity of this city.


cool light up structure that I am pretty sure is a green house?

smiles in the city

I’m amazed by this city. It’s a beautiful, stimulating and fantastic place. Every day, I see something in the streets that makes me laugh.

Yesterday, it was a woman who set up her easel in the middle of the sidewalk to paint a picture of the autumn afternoon. The day before, I couldn’t help but smile at the group of elderly people who set up a table on the street next to a canal to eat their supper. There was a white tablecloth, candlesticks, wine and everything else you need for a proper dinner party. A week ago, my laughter was sparked by an American tourist sitting on a patio wearing a shirt, that barely fit over his protruding stomach, and read “POWERED BY PIZZA”. On my way to class the other day, the loud sound of someone in a houseboat banging away on their drum set caught my attention, and once again, I couldn’t help but laugh. Speaking of houseboats, there is one on my street and on hot summer days, the people who live there fill up a kiddy pool on top of the boat, and lounge in the pool. Another one of our neighbours is an old skinny man who, on a hot day, is guaranteed to be contently sitting shirtless on the sidewalk reading his book. Every time I see a puppy in the basket of a bike (which is more often than you might think), my heart melts a little bit more.

This city is pulsing with eccentric energy, and it makes my days a little bit brighter every time I walk out my front door.

impressions about canada, from around the world.

I haven’t met any fellow Canadians since I’ve arrived in Amsterdam. I have, however, met heaps** of people from all other corners of the world. As a result, the weather is no longer the go-to topic of small talk when you first meet someone, and instead, conversation seems to concentrate on where we are all from. The most common responses when I tell them I am from Canada seem to be: “Are you from Vancouver?” or “Do you speak French?” To these people’s disappointment, neither are the cases for me. The second most popular questions are if I ski or “ice” skate, and I tell them I am a poor representative of my country, because I am not particularly talented at either.

Two different people asked me in one night if we are like the head-bobbing animated Canadians in South Park. I’ve also been told at least three times that I am like Robin Sparks from How I Met Your Mother. I’m tall and Canadian, and so is she, so, I can understand the connection, I guessml5ocjttfoabsivkjs2n.

A few Brits were really excited when I said I was from Calgary, because they knew all about the Jamaican bobsled team in the ’88 Olympics. A couple of people have seemed to recognize the name of my home city, thanks to Bon Iver and his track Calgary, or from Death Cab’s I Will Follow You Into the Dark.

My Swedish friend asked if we actually eat peanut butter and jam sandwiches in North America (hell yes!). An American immediately asked if I was a Belieber (hell no!). A girl from LA got fed up with the terms toque and tobogganing and told me that she refers to Canada as “America’s Hat”. I had never heard that one before.

At an Oktoberfest party with a Calgarian friend who was visiting from London where she’s on exchange, we sat on the ground and started eating hummus and melba toast from my backpack. We had been a lot of places that day and had figured we’d save money by bringing a bunch of snacks. Two Dutch boys in lederhosen turned around and joined in on the late night picnic in the bar. We had talked about bears and beers and other random things and as I took out my 1 litre Nalgene bottle, the lederhosen boys said, “Wow, you Canadians are really resourceful.” Sam and I liked that one, and decided to roll with it. The conversation then led to us talking about how Canadians have got to always be prepared, because we’re so often out in forests and on top of mountains and other outdoorsy things like that.

The same night, a German post-grad asked me if it was true that Canada’s government is as scandalous and dishonest as he had heard it was. He said he was surprised to hear such a thing, and had always assumed that the USA would take the cake on our continent for being the politically messed up ones. After all, to some, we are just “America’s Hat.”  Who knew a hat could be so shameful and anti-democratic!  I told him about the upcoming election and that people are so incredibly fed up*** with our current leader, that things ought to change for the better after October 19.

I certainly hope they do, so we Canadians can go back to wearing our toques with pride wherever we go in the world.



**I’ve been spending a lot of time with Australians, who use the term ‘heaps’ so often that it has naturally entered my vocabulary.

I like this one better than “America’s Hat”

***One of my favourite stories regarding the whole “anything but Harper” movement was when a woman passed away and her obituary read: “In lieu of donations, Catherine would want you to do everything you can to drive Stephen Harper from office, right out of the country, and into the deep blue sea if possible. Also, she would like you to fix the CBC.” You go, girl.

~what a time to be alive~

Currently sitting in my room in Amsterdam talking to Dan, back in Calgary, who travelled around Europe a year or so ago and was going to let me know a good place to stay if I go to Rome. Also talking to Janelle, who ate a cow heart and fried guinea pig in Peru the other day on her and Maxim’s six week adventure in South America. Been talking on and off a lot with Chrissy, who took the semester off school to go on wild ass adventures and surf a lot in Southeast Asia. There’s been a number of snapchats from Blaine (and Jared and Brett and Kyle), who also took the semester off and is currently livin’ la vida loca in an all inclusive in Mexico, and is then heading off to Thailand. Before I left, a bunch of folks gave me suggestions about their favourite places in Europe that they’ve travelled to. Lots of people are of course back home, who say that they’re really jealous of the ones like me who are on an international adventure. But of course most can’t constantly be on the move, and sometimes you’ve gotta be in the regular old routine of home livin’. Adventures can still happen at home though, and your fun in different continents will happen, if you want it to. Ya just gotta not throw money away on stuff (and pints of beer), and save it for plane rides and cultural exchange and new scenery (which can be hard – especially the beer part).  It’s really cool though, how so many people (our age? every age?) find a way to travel around the world and see some new things. Whether it’s by means of studying, volunteering, backpacking, family vacationing, or whatever else, we find ways to get places. And with this whole “Internet” thing, we can all share our experiences with each other and stay connected in all corners of the world.

These aren’t original thoughts, I know, but, I thought I’d write a quick note about it anyway.


i’ve had better days than today.

today i:

got lost on my way to a store where i could buy a router (because our internet is so incredibly broken).

spent 20 minutes trying to choose the proper router.

after choosing one, realized i forgot my wallet, so i had to head back home.

got home, turned back around, bought the router. learned that if i open the box i can’t return the router (which is so stupid).

managed to break my bike on the way home, so i walked it back with me. (i think i can fix it though, so that’s good).

realized that my computer charger is definitely 100% broken (it’s been on the fritz for awhile), so i then had no internet or battery.

didn’t fix our internet, because it’s a lost freakin’ cause.

finally, the last straw, i put on my favourite pair of jeans and then viola, they ffffffffccccccckkkinnnnng ripped.   fsadfkajsldfjasldfkj.a;lfj209348/.

it was a very sunny day and i went on a run in a beautiful park that i had never been to and am about to go eat pizza and drink wine with some lovely people, so it’s not all awful. but man, i feel like today my life is an episode in a bad sitcom.

(shoutout to the friendly austrian boy across the hall who let me use both his computer charger and his wifi.)


It’s funny, the day that all of these thing broke, I started to miss home quite a lot. I was walking in a hurry to get to my Apple Store appointment (because my computer charger broke), and I stopped into a Starbucks (for wifi, because my data ran out and I was lost) and ordered a coffee and caramel brownie. I found an overwhelming sense of comfort in the familiar decor and overall vibe of that Starbucks, and was briefly transported back home to the Brentwood Starbucks that I went to far too often during lunch breaks to order Caramel Frappuccinos back when I was fourteen.

Anyway, I started to miss home because I was frustrated with my day, and then I realized if I were at home and got frustrated with my day, I’d instinctually dream of places that are far, far away. The power of both nostalgia and wanderlust, they can get to ya.