Sunday, February 11, 2007

New Kids on the Block

A new semester has begun! And there is definately a new crew to accompany it. I love how first of all we were all so worried that we wouldn't have any friends, what with everyone leaving. I started Feb. thinking ok, I still have Inga and Emily. Turns out there's a lot more people that I'm friends with here than I remember!! Everywhere we turn, it's like, "oh you are in Leiden for the whole year??" It's just great. On top of that, we have a whole group of fresh exchange students, who we've been giving the ultimate introduction to city. On the pic on the left, you can see Inga, and then Morgan and Jenn - two amazing girls from Queen's! So happy that they are here. Morgan is actually in our building, which is so sweet, she's officially a part of the Smarag girls for sure.
The semester started off with a great pub crawl - if you scroll back on this blog all the way to September you can see a repeat of it! On the way home, at about 2:30am, Inga and I passed a random Dutch nightclub that we have never seen before, and decided to check it out. Turns out to the funnest place ever, with us being the only non-Dutch people in it - so we broke it down on the dance floor and didn't care who was watching. Quality night! Saturday night was In Casa International Party, a night of dancing, reconnecting with old friends, and making new ones. Sunday was our day of rest, preparing us for Monday - Odessa night. We brought the new kids along, pre-drinking at Emily's new apartment in town, an absolutely gorgeous love-pad, complete with red walls and everything. Odessa was insane - I've never seen so many people packed into such a small bar. With two for one pitchers and cute bartenders - I'm not sure that the night could get any better. Turns out I was wrong - the new people made the night the best it could be, with the British boys and the law students all coming together for some serious beer drinking. Tuesday night was another night of rest, taking us into Wednesday - Einstien and Sus Antegoon time. Checked out the live band at Sus, saw the usual crowd there and introduced the new people to one of the best live music bars in Holland. Headed over to Einstiens, the international spot, and were reintroduced to about a million new people - all the while chilling with the full-years.
Again another night of rest, to prepare ourselves for Friday, our friend Wafa's flatwarming fest. She just got a beautiful place in the middle of Leiden, equipped with a jacuzzi, and wanted to celebrate in style. An absolutely wild night, complete with dance parties and a broken radiator - which flooded the place and ended the night - or at least, for some - so we headed to another friend's apartment, Sam, and chilled there to about 5am. Finally, last night brought about our first apartment party, complete with appetizers. A really fun interesting mix showed up, with everyone from Inga's law students, to a group of Belgians, to the Queen's girls, to Sean and Luke, our British friends. Probably got to about 25 people or so, an impressive turnout considering the antics of the night before. Lots of compliments on the party, so we are going to have to plan our next one soon!!
Now I know everyone's thinking, ok Nicola, what about school? Well, I'm actually really excited about the new semester! I'm taking a Dutch culture course, which starts this week, complete with fieldtrips and lots of friends. On the English side of things, I am taking Contemporary Lit, Victorian Lit, and Shakespeare. LOTS of reading, but it all looks really good, so I'm not too worried about it. I'm plowing through the 990 page Bleak House by Dickens for next week right now, and I can't wait to do Beckett's Endgame in my Contemp. class. Last semester's marks have come in, and I got an 8, a 9, and a 9.5 in my English classes so I'm super stoked about that. In other news, we had snow here this week! It was really exciting to see it, even though it was pretty wet and didn't really last long. Apparently, and I heard this somewhere before coming here, snowballs are a HUGE part of Dutch culture. When it snows, everyone throws snowballs, at each other, their teachers, their parents, strangers - even the buses get pelted! And no one seems to mind! It's hilarious, we got into a great fight with some 12 year old boys while in town shopping - who were hiding under one of the bridges in order to attack innocent passerbys. Great time.

Coming up, I have a wine and cheese party, Odessa, Valentine's Day Ladies Night with my girls, a Belgian Beer and Chocolate Party, and who knows what else. Should be fun! And parents come in a month, which is sooo exciting! I'll try to keep you posted, and hope everyone else is doing well! Shoutout to Kelsey in Australia, you can check out her travel blog at: http://kelseybaynham.blogspot.com/
Take Care!

4 Comments:

Blogger marine said...

hello! I am a French student and I am going to Leiden next september! im glad i see your blog because i received a housing offer at Smaragdlaan but im scare of who i will be with! so i would like to know what kind of people go there... and how do you do to study in a appartment with no private room to work? im all scared so i hope you will be able to inform me!!! marine.condette@gmail.com --> for the answer please!!!

3:11 AM  
Blogger Talib said...

hey!
random, but i just moved into 122 smaragdlaan and my buddy is your successor in room 248. awesome view of Den Haag skyline from there!

know any good local spots around smaragdlaan area to drink or even buy stuff??
-talib

4:58 AM  
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