October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween from Amsterdam!

It's pretty safe to say my melancholy mood has lifted over the past few days. A few days without any rain, some quality time with good friends, and my daily bicycle-riding fix was pretty much all I needed to start feeling like all was right in the world. Since daylight savings time hit and it's now always dark when I leave work, my bike ride home or to the climbing gym looks completely different, but one thing remains the same - Amsterdam is a beautiful city, night or day. I love this place.

It's also safe to say that I am 100% in the Halloween spirit. My company is hosting a big pumpkin-carving party today (the 31st), which really makes me appreciate my job - walking in and seeing pumpkins and Halloween decorations was the best way to start this day! Since I waited until the last minute, I figured I would throw together a costume that didn't take too much effort, and just assumed I wouldn't have that many options about what to buy. Turns out I was completely wrong, and the costume store on the Raadhuisstraat is stocked with anything you could want for Halloween. Everything is significantly more expensive than what I'm used to paying, but they have all the right stuff. As I walked around in a happy little Halloween daze, I listened to the people talk around me in Dutch, Australian-accented English, Italian, French, and Spanish. All there to shop for Halloween. It was quite a world-coming-together moment for me.

Today my plans include pumpkin carving and party hopping (and rock climbing - which isn't particularly Halloween-themed but luckily my climbing partner is very patient with my enthusiasm for this holiday). I'm going to start at Batavia, a bar close to Centraal Station that is hosting a free-to-get-in, costume-mandatory party. The backup plan to that is Getto, a bar on the Warmoestraat. I also really like the sound of the event taking place at de Nieuwe Anita - a Texas Chainsaw Massacre "Scream a Long" screening and after party. I love having options!

Other than getting ready for Halloween, there's other things I'm ticking off my list. I finally bought myself a pair of water-resistant rain pants, which means my day-to-day life has just gotten one thousand times more comfortable. I'm also working on getting my roommate officially registered at my apartment. My landlord agreed to write a letter stating that he could stay in the apartment as my guest - according to the guy I talked to at the DPG, this would be sufficient enough to get my roommate in the system (of course, he'll also need all his paperwork and a copy of my housing contract). Once he's registered he can apply for his BSN/SOFI number, and once he has that he's able to get a bank account. I'll update more about that next week once everything is done, because it might be helpful information for someone looking to do the same type of thing.

And now, back to work/obsessing about Halloween. Thanks to everyone who has commented and emailed lately - it always makes my day to hear from a random stranger who found something I said helpful, or to just know that my friends are reading. One of these days I'm going to move this blog over to wordpress and update the design a bit. I never meant to leave this blog looking so generic - anyway, that's another thing on my list of things to do.


holly said...

a very happy halloween from south carolina!! so glad to hear you are no longer blue. you have such a great attitude and spirit. when i read your blog i feel like moving back to holland can be done!! keep inspiring us with the good and the bad. it all helps!!

Mr. Glenn said...

Hey, cool to find another Amsterdam ex-pat blogger... can't remember how i came to your page, but i like! Happy Hallowen :) x

Breigh (Canadutch) said...

I'm convinced that the expat experience is better in Amsterdam. Here in Rotterdam everyone is all like .. "Halloween? Meh."

We carved pumpkins and watched a dumb movie.. but at least it felt a little like halloween!

Oh and HOORAY for the move to Wordpress, you won't regret it!

Another American Expat said...

Thanks Holly, it's always nice to hear from you. :)

Happy you found me, Mr Glenn! I'll take a look at yours, see if I can learn a thing or two.

Breigh - I just looked at a bunch of pictures my friends showed me from a great halloween party they went to last night in Rotterdam - sorry you couldn't have met them. :) but still, carving pumpkins and dumb movies isn't so bad. however, yes, even though I've only been to Rotterdam once, I'm inclined to agree that the expat experience is better here in Amsterdam.

Nomadic Matt said...

halloween was a lot of fun here in bangkok. Mostly expats were in the spirit but it was fun nonetheless. No pumpkins though...