Let’s catch up//The Erasmus Diaries #5

Hello, how are we doing?

I’ve been a bit AWOL from the blog over the last four weeks, so here’s me taking a deep breathe and flinging myself head first back into it.

The reason for my absence is because April was crazy busy, so to fill you in, lets have a look back on the month!

A lot of my time was taken up with travelling, but that’s something that I want to focus an entirely different post on.

So, other than travelling, what happened in April?

At the start of the month, a few of my friends from college came to visit. We spent our time together between Amsterdam (where they were staying) and Utrecht (where I live).

It was so lovely to see some familiar faces. Sitting together drinking coffee in a cafe in Amsterdam, felt like I was back in Dublin taking a break in between our next class. It was comforting to feel that though some things in your life change, other things stay the exact same.

In April I also turned twenty-one. I went home for my birthday and I brought three of my friends from Erasmus with me. Back in February when we first met, we all became close so quickly that within the first few weeks I had invited them to Ireland.

I have a serious love affair with showing off where I’m from to other people and everything about the weekend felt so special. My friends adored my little part of the world and we spent hours walking through fields with my dog and sitting by the sea.

On my actual birthday, the little acts of kindness people showed me made me feel so loved. I walked into my local coffee shop and was told a friend had put a coffee on a tab for me as a birthday treat. My aunt bought twenty one roses for me all the way from America, and my friends surprised me with presents and cards while we ate breakfast out in the sun.

Finally, at the end of the month I got to experience Kingsday (or Koningsdag), the Dutch national holiday. The day falls on the 27th of April and is a celebration of the King’s birthday. The dress code is strictly the countries national colour… which happens to be orange! So everyone is wearing some variation of the colour. Basically think of St Patrick’s Day but instead of green it’s orange.

Back in March my friends booked tickets to the festival Kingsland, which plays mostly electronic dance music. I’ll be honest and say this isn’t really my genre of music, but since lots of people I knew were going, I thought why not?

On the day itself, we went in to Amsterdam early so we could enjoy a bit of the festivities in the city. On recommendation we went to Vondelpark because we were told there was a family fun day going on and it certainly didn’t disappoint!

Oh man, I loved it. All through the park there was various activities going on, some kids with the help of their parents, had set up little stalls selling their old toys and clothes. Others were playing music or performing ballet (it would put you to shame how talented they were). My favourite was the imaginative games that some had set up. One group of kids had a pipe, a hammer and a bunch of tomatoes. The game was that they would put a tomatoes down the pipe and you would have to smash the tomato when it came out the other end, if you missed than you lost. It cost two euro to play and if you won, you’d win a tenner!

The atmosphere was so joyful and I could have spent hours there. But after grabbing a hot dog from one of the food carts and enjoying our beers in the grass, we had to leave for Kingsland.

The festival was good and even though I didn’t really know any of the songs playing! But it was fun to just dance and especially to see how happy some of my EDM loving friends were to be there.

So that was April!

In a few days I’ll be posting about my recent trips to Berlin, Krakow and Prague, so keep an eye out for those!

You can look at my other posts in The Erasmus Diaries here

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