Autumn fog

by Ave

I was expecting the monsoon season to continue and get worse when autumn hits us. Until now I have associated autumn with rain. It seems that in Amsterdam it’s more about fog – not much rain at all. I don’t want to jinx anything, but seriously – the first month and a bit of living here were incredibly rainy. And now I just wake up every morning and see a nice milky fog outside my window. My ‘measuring post’ for fog is two office buildings I can see from my window. When they’re visible, it’s not that foggy, but sometimes I can barely see across my plein. The trees have lost almost leaves and the odd green birds stand out more. Life paces forward, without stopping.

The mid-term break I spent in the UK was wonderful, because I saw so many dear people, but I also managed to pick up a cold, which I’m still getting rid of.. The long tail of colds – just drags on forever. I’ve had a sore throat for about two weeks now. Maybe it’s time to actually do something about it. For some reason I’ve always thought a sore throat is something that will go away on its own. Well, I seem to be wrong. After UK I spent a great weekend with mum. She came to Amsterdam for a conference and stayed a bit longer. I do love my family a lot – they are awesome.

Post-mid term university things are a bit scary though. We started a new module, Digital Methods, which is interesting, but probably won’t give us any time off at all. We’ve got weekly research + research reports to do and an extra lot of readings (in addition to what we already have). This week I’m doing a presentation on Friday as well (that’s when the DM deadline will be too). So yeah, I’m (pardon my French) shitting myself. But hey! Who said doing a MA will be easy. At least I roughly know where I’m heading with my thesis, but it’s way too early to talk about that in public.

On another note, I see a lot of peni (penis – > peni, see what I did there?) on almost a daily basis. I don’t know why I found it surprising at first, but now I realise I do live in the Netherlands, which is supposedly a pretty liberal country. I always thought of nakedness as a taboo in Western Europe, which is true, but perhaps mixed saunas in Dutch gyms are an exception. In Estonia or Finland it would be very natural to go to sauna butt-naked, but here I found it slightly odd, especially as we’re talking about mixed saunas. Well, thankfully I’m comfortable with the whole issue and I appreciate the warmth more than the daily penis count (because men at my gym really enjoy relaxing in their birthday suit, putting everything on the display) – despite not always stripping down myself. I suppose everyone to their own comfort level. Most men at my gym, especially at daytime, are gay though, so basically it doesn’t matter anyway. But yeah, so much for the cultural/societal observations. Oh also – yesterday, at the gym again, there was a man totally just wearing his underpants to the gym’s workout area. Boxer briefs (the sort of tight and short ones) and a wifebeater. I excercised self-control at 9 (out of 10) to not laugh. So mature.

I wanted to embed a dancing raccoon gif here, but I have no idea how to make it work on a WordPress blog – help, anyone? I have a feeling there’s a pressing need for me to become html-literate. Anyway, willing to poke around html too, if someone teaches me some tricks. So, here’s a lemur from Artis Amsterdam zoo instead. Went there with mum.

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