One of the weirdest things while I was overseas was my ability to sleep early. But then again I guess you could chalk it up to a tiring day of finding directions and going almost everywhere on foot.
I went to sleep after settling in at our new hostel probably at 10 or 11. Sleeping in a foreign land with strangers felt so out of place, I found solace by holding on to my jacket and having my phone on my stomach, tucked underneath the blanket. This was how I realized I don’t move in my sleep AT ALL because my phone was still on my stomach when I woke.
I woke up to day 2 in Amsterdam at 5am, went back to sleep and wokeup at 645am when Charis was already getting ready.
a 10 minute walk later…
The convenience store we would go into every day because it was right below our train station. How cool are the glass doors tho? This was where I would get my regular lemonade. So yummm. Why are all the food and beverages in the EU so awesome and healthy! Well… I guess we have bubble tea. At the train platform. Damn the cold weather was perfect. Maybe because it makes your heart rate slower and everything feels so much more mellow instead of the hot and humid irritability you get in S’pore.
First up, the Artis Royal Zoo. I love animals so I was SO HAPPY that they were included in our IAmsterdam package, because if they weren’t I knew Charis wouldn’t want to go.Just outside the zoo…I think.
And here we are, here are some shots I got at the zoo!I looked up and realized that these were all the bird nests. The funny thing is this tree wasn’t in an enclosure, it was just a regular tree outside the perimeters.This was the first thing you’d see when you enter, I thought the camels were llamas at first HAHAHow adorable are these little critters! Although kinda gross at the same time HAHA. I loved this reptile room because they had to keep it very warm and humid in here and it was so great to ‘defrost’ from the freezing cold. My fingers felt sooooooo uncomfortable and kinda pain during the ‘defrosting’!The goats were pooping so much, SO MUCH, and there was just one guy there sweeping up the poop, although it seemed like an endless job DAMN. The monkeys were really cute and they seem to have this platform that kinda looks like a spaceship turned to stone. Im calling the furry little animals rodents because I can’t remember what they are BUT THEY REMINDED ME SO MUCH OF MY BABY PUDS (who is currently sick atm as I am typing this) HOMESICK STRIKES.Giraffes, baboons, lioness and vultures. Elephants and antler creatures and a wolf possibly? They were terrifying to look at because the wolves were eating carcasses. Porcupine, monkey, vulture and this really unique black bear-monkeyish creature.
The porcupine is sooo cute, they kept scratching at the doors because they wanted to go inside but I guess the staff wanted them to be seen by the visitors so they didn’t let them in. ):Charis’ face is too funny so I had to include this. HAHAHA.The butterfly dome. I don’t like butterflies on the best of days but it was really beautiful and of course the warmth and humidity inside was mmmm.I froze solid while sitting down and Charis thought it would be funny to snap pictures instead of helping me. Ha ha ha. Kidding of course.Seeing these seals up close was definitely the HIGHLIGHT. Their swimming is so mermaid-y and magnificent, they only sad thing was how smaaaall their swimming pool was, the seals were going back and forth constantly and it must be so cramped!selfie in the blue room.Best view ever.
Afterthat we left the place and started finding our way to the pancake bakery but not before landing in THE CHEESE FACTORY/MUSEUM. I managed to get a piece of truffle cheese which is oh so good for 14.99 euros.The people there were so friendly, telling us about the cheeses AND I WAS IN HEAVEN. Just eating all the cheese I could get my hands on AHHHHHHHH. There was beer cheese, goat cheese, pesto cheese, wine cheese. It was such a dream. If they had this in Singapore, I’d go all the time.
Everytime I’d find a cheese I felt was really good, I’d call Charis to try it and she’d always hate everything I reccommended and vice versa. She prefers blender cheeses while the stronger the better for me so we were just opposites here.I saw this picture and I immediately was like WTF. I had my phone in my back pocket!? I’m such a paranoid f, I had my bag zipped in my jacket and yet… Clearly under the hazy and enigmatic spell of cheese.We explored the cheese museum detailing the history of cheese and got a few shots taken in their ‘high quality’ photobooth. And afterall that eating and walking, we are here!The international pancakes are discounted for IAmsterdam card holders. This was the canadian pancake with bacon and onions i think. SO FREAKING DELICIOUS. Charis and I decided to share in case we couldn’t finish! The restaurant is so cozy although dark and very vintage tavern like. The staff was extremely friendly. But wow, in an enclosed space like this, the dutchies are HUGE especially since I’m a tiny asian girl. HAHAH.What beautiful architecture. Most of the pictures I have look so dull and grey due to the NEVER PRESENT SUN. The irony is Amsterdam is just filled with beauty, color and life. We also stopped by the Anne Frank House just to take a look although we did not buy tickets to go in. And on the left is the monument for the victims. Sighhh.Getting lost. Okay this is going to sound creepy but I’m genuinely so curious about how people live here in Amsterdam like what is the normal kinda life? What do people do after work? What do people talk about when they hang out? What do the teenagers prefer to hang out at? I’m just so intrigued by the intricacies of everyday life, which is why I enjoy watching vlogs that don’t focus everything on cinematic but rather capturing the personality of the person in front.
So, I would peek into the houses through the windows just to get a sense of the kind of house they have. And I kid you not, its like their houses are from IKEA catalogs, its so cozy, so clean and sleek. In S’pore our houses are, I’m sorry but awful.
If you’re not from Singapore, the majority of us live in high rise cookie cutter flats built by the government for its citizens and even the rich ones who live in their own plot of land, somehow still have very blend homes. Maybe because Singapore has always been so academically focused and creativity has always been frowned upon so people just stop using that part of their brain?
I don’t have any friends who live in well designed or decorated houses so pretty much its all just a dump of things in everyone’s houses. AND ITS NOT LIKE their houses are super sophisticated but its very minimalist and nice. I WOULD LOVE TO LIVE LIKE THAT. ): And even the doorways, with big wooden doors with moss, vines and flowers surrounding the arch. Dream.
Alright moving on…
Later Ris and I headed to Museumplein and visited the Rijksmuseum while waiting for our Van Gogh Museum appointment (yes you have to book a timing to go in and its free for Iamsterdam holders) and appreciated some good ol art!Sculptures. I love the left one because every side of it adds to the women’s story. And the right of this girl resting her head is my mood all day every day. HAHA.Gorgeous paintings. I remember this painting of the girl and the little card mentioned how the brother painted her dress with very angry furious strokes.One of them is not like the others…Gorgeous stained glasses. Holy moly I was in absolute awe. Heading to the Van Gogh Museum!It was extremely crowded and you are not supposed to take pictures (I got scolded) but I managed to sneak a few.A postcard version of the painting.
This was the last or one of the last paintings Van Gogh made and it mentioned how it foreshadowed his suicide because he would go on to kill himself in a wheat field. His life was immensely depressing due the mental illnesses he suffered. I do find hope in his brother always supporting him throughout his fervent desire to paint with no sense of return and dealing with his manic breakdowns. If only Van Gogh had access to modern medicine then maybe the sadness wouldn’t have lasted forever. The crowded museumWe entered another museum after Van Gogh and I cannot really remember what its name was but this was one of the pieces.
Later on, we went to search for the Corner Bakery but we ended up getting lost and it was reaching 5pm already so it would have been closed. Charis insisted I either had the wrong address because we were on the right road but the cafe nowhere to be seen or it had closed down already. So we gave up and started heading for home.But not before the best thing ever…. HOLLANDS NUMBER 1 FRIES HAHA. They are somewhere near Centraal…I think. We got the medium with garlic sauce and WOW, these fries were fucking amazing, They were thick cut, crispy outside, soft potato inside with the sauce and cajun seasoning on top, I mean DAMN they were absolutely fantastic. Mmmm. Best I ever had.Just this random path between two buildings, great photo op.
Anyways, we made our way back to the hostelle, bathed and ate our dinner of convenience store food. Even when cold and kinda soggy those fries were still awesome. We bought some quinoa and couscous shit that was SO BLEND. I’m sorry but its just too healthy man. HAHA. We kinda forgot to eat dinner which is why we ended up with these. In S’pore we are so used to eating at 8 or 9pm but stores close so early here (5pm)! I ate probably half or less and just gave up. Mmmm loved the coziness of the living room.
Later we went up, chatted a bit, watched a few youtube videos and TTFO.
That’s it for day 2!