I Didn’t Mean to Be Offensive- The Dutch Edition

A couple of nights ago we went out to celebrate Lily’s birthday. It wasn’t a large gathering and I knew some of the people invited because we always meet for her birthday. Soon enough though, we were joined by a friend of a friend who happened to be from the Netherlands. And I was thrilled!…

First Impressions are Not Everything in Amsterdam

Amsterdam, the Dutch capital, tends to win over a lot of people, of whom I am not among. Because it is an utter and complete shame to be living in a country for several months and still not have visited its capital, and because we had those wonderful day passes, we stopped in Amsterdam for…

Nuit De La Fete and Partying Like It’s 1929

There aren’t many chances to get dressed up and be all fancy when you’re a graduate student in Maastricht, which is sad for me, because I secretly love the whole process. So when Caroline, who was doing her internship at VIA2018, told me she had a spare ticket for Nuit de la Fete, a celebration of 350…

Bike Rides and Sunshine

I’m learning the hard way that my idea of summer doesn’t really exist in the part of the world that I’m currently living in. Normally by this time back in Beirut, the coat would have long been packed and plans of going to the beach would’ve been made. Not here! In fact, after a winter…

It’s Finally Happened: I Have a Bike

I can’t think of a better way to kick off 2012 in the Netherlands than by two things: blogging again and buying a bike. Yes, you read right. After four months of living in the lowlands, and being hell-bent on refusing to even get on one, I finally managed to gather my nerves together and…

Feeling Incompetent and Unsocial- But Very Thankful

I’ve hit my two week mark in the Netherlands this weekend. And in a few short days, the whole being a graduate student phenomenon will begin and being a tourist will disappear. Which makes me sort of sad- even though I really want to delve into articles and do projects on issues that I have been interested…

The Most Effective Way to Learn Dutch

I am thanking my lucky stars that Dutch, unlike Arabic or Greek, is written in the Latin alphabet, so when I need to read signs, labels, or basically anything, I can conjure up some word association skills in hopes that I would get what I want eventually. But since I decided to cook today, for…

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: Getting to Maastricht

After a very long week, and an even longer 24 hours of using almost every common method of transportation, I’m finally at my desk in my new apartment in Maastricht, blasting some music and enjoying a cup of coffee on my first full day here. And it’s been raining and cloudy all morning long even though…

Companies I Never Knew Were Dutch

I have to admit this: before I had this very crazy idea of going to the Netherlands to do my master’s degree, I had absolutely zero interest in Dutch culture and quirks. Which should make you wonder what exactly drew me to going there.  Sure, I always knew that the Netherlands is the land of…