Amsterdam, Netherlands

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November 6, 2011

We stayed at Durty Nelly’s in the red light district. The name says it all.

We spent three days biking around the #1 bikeable city in the world. Eric spent three days complaining about how sucky the bikes were.

The rest of the time was spent getting inspired by how Van Gogh, an amateur painter, still became famous (and wondering how he became crazy at the end), getting emotional at Anne Frank Huis, spending an inane amount of time on personality tests (especially Angela’s), eating fries, drinking beer, clogging around, and drinking coffee.

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Wroclaw, Poland

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November 3-4, 2011

From a cold and expensive Oslo, we made our way to a cold and cheap Wroclaw.

       “Oh, so you guys are going to Warsaw in Poland.”

       “No, Wroclaw.”

       “Where’s that?”

       “I dunno. Somewhere in Poland. Ryanair flies there.”

Aileen, Eric, and I finally got to quit our McDonald’s diet (Oslo was too expensive for anything else, and even McDonald’s wasn’t cheap) and feasted like kings in Wroclaw.

       “So, do you have any recommendations for good dining?” We asked the hostel receptionist.

       “Here’s a place that’s cheap and has classic Polish food.”

I never knew that you could get so much food for $12. I didn’t know that a restaurant where the median prices were $15 could be so fancy. I didn’t know that you could do so many things with potatoes.

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Oslo, Norway

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November 1, 2011

From a sunny and colorful Belgium, we made our way over to a dark and cold Norway.

Highlights from this trip:

    • Walking around clean, empty streets
    • Eating McDonald’s for three days b/c Oslo is just too damn expensive (Chicken nuggets, fries, and a med coke? $12.)
    • The park with the weird statues that could only be described as campy
    • Glowing at the Olso Opera House
    • Eating tons of the addictive Norwegian chocolate (It wasn’t overly sweet, so you could finish a whole huge bar of it in one sitting.) MELKESJOKOLADE, anyone?! HELNOTT??
    • How the city incorporated all the beautiful surrounding nature into its wonderful architecture
    • Resting. We were all exhausted from all the fast-paced traveling.
    • Re-wearing things in creative ways (the glamorous part of traveling)
    • Most of my Oslo photos went missing. From then on I’m resolved to tripe check to make sure everything transferred over to my hard drive. (I borrowed a lot of Aileen‘s photos for the post)

Final consensus: Olso is beautiful but fudging expensive. Everyone is gorgeous and blonde. Not sure I would ever want to live here, but would definitely want to revisit to see all the mountains and lakes properly.

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Brugge, Belgium

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October 30, 2011

Brugge is a breathtaking, perfect fairytale town. Aileen, Eric and I were lucky to arrive for the prime autumn foliage time, and as Aileen put it, “Every moment is a perfect photo opportunity.”

Belgian beer average around 9% proof, with some at 11-12%. On our hour-long train ride back to our Brussels hotel, Eric drank 6 bottles of Belgian craft beer, all a different variety. He was not only drunk while we golfed down one-euro waffles before bed, but also when we woke up at dawn 6 hours later to catch our flight.

Aileen: What’s that noise?

Me: I think that’s Eric in the shower–bumping around and dropping stuff.

Eric’s a very happy drunk. Fitting, because Belgium’s a very happy place.

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Brussels, Belgium

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October 29, 2011

Wheeeeeee what a fun three days of a diet consisting solely of chocolate, waffles, mussels, frites, and beer. Two nights of sleeping on #swanky furniture. One day of heavy Brussels exploring. Note: the Manneken Pis might be the most underwhelming landmark ever, but you definitely have got to see it because you can’t go to Brussels and say that you did NOT see it.

A Brussels native also enthusiastically suggested that we visit the Atomium, supposedly “a Brussels treasure, nothing else is like it”. After a bit of googling and finding out that it’s 30 minutes from the city center, we wisely decided against it.

I think Brussels was the only place I’ve been to where someone came up to us studying a map and offered help.

Random, Nice Stranger: Do you need help finding something?

Me: Nope, you just go over there and it’ll show up right?

Random, Now Slightly Put-off, Nice Stranger: Oh. Okay. (shuffles away quickly)

Eric & Aileen: What’s wrong with you? He was just trying to help.

Oops. Open letter to Random, Nice Stranger: If you tried to help three Asian American college kids in Brussels next to the Saint Catherine‘s church, but immediately got shot down, I am sorry for the unintended rudeness because I really did appreciate your kindness and your reaching out to help us. You’re a rare breed of helpful humans out there.

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