Amanda's Adventures











{June 14, 2010}   Rotterdam, The Netherlands

I stopped for a few hours in Rotterdam on my way to Antwerp. Oddly, I ended up in what seemed to be the Chinatown of Rotterdam. The strangest part of my visit was sitting in a Chinese food restaurant, with Spanish music playing on the radio, and listening to a guy speak Dutch with a Jamaican accent ALL AT THE SAME TIME. Talk about culture! It was a fine city, not all that thrilling, but I enjoyed my short visit.



{June 7, 2010}   Amsterdam, The Netherlands

So instead of doing day-by-day entries, I’m just going to do posts by city. There are just days that I was super boring and just slept and watched youtube videos all day, so I’ll spare you guys the boredom.

Amsterdam was sooo wonderful. This was the first place where I was Couchsurfing. Honestly, I was a bit nervous just because it was so new to me and I was couchsurfing in a foreign country. My host was Paul:

Paul was an awesome host. He’s an IT guy who has a passion for hula hooping. Not just the traditional ’round-the-hips hooping, but also tons of cool tricks. I went to the park and hooped with him almost every day that I was there. By the end of my stay, I was pretty good. I want to get into it. It’s so much fun and great exercise, too. While I was there, there were two other Couchsurfers as well. There was Carolina from the US:

and Johannes from Gent, Belgium:

.

By the end of the week we were like a family. It was really hard to leave. Here are some cool things we saw while roaming around the city:

Here is some of the food that I ate:

Here are some classic Amsterdam family photos:

Photo credits to my family members: Carolina, Johannes, and Paul. I’ll post more of my pictures later.

Thanks you guys for such a wonderful time! I’m already craving a family reunion.



{June 7, 2010}   Day 7: Pinkpop Day 3

So I woke up on the 7th day of my European journey to HELLA RAIN. Like pouring. It was nice to listen to, but I was not excited to have to deal with mud all day.

So for all my foodies out there, for breakfast I had this:

It’s like one of those Roast Pork buns that you get from a Dim Sum Chinese Food place, but instead of roast pork it’s AWESOME chicken. HA! It’s perfect for breakfast, a little carbs, A LOT of meat. Great way to start the day.

Anyway, I walked over to the festival area, but before I went in I decided to go to the market.

I searched around for a while and nothing really jumped out at me until I got to the Zand Amsterdam booth. Check out their website: http://www.zandamsterdam.com. I love their stuff. Anyway, I really liked their stuff, but 35 euro was a lot for me for a skirt (even though they’re the coolest skirts ever). I had some of my leather with me and I asked if I could trade a piece of my leather for a discount on the skirt. The lady said “Of course!” and she chose a bracelet. I then chose my skirt which has the same structure as this one, but mine has different fabrics.

It’s an adjustable skirt with a matching detachable pouch. So fun to have.

Anyway, I said good-bye to the lady, giving her my card. I finally entered the festival and I caught the last 15 minutes of Dewolff.

I couldn’t get any good pictures of them, but their lighting is great (right?). I enjoyed this band and I wish that I could’ve listened to them longer. They had a great rock sound that had blues and electronica influences.

The next performer I saw was Danko Jones.

His band had a punk/light metal feel to it, but honestly I got bored. He was kinda into himself and I think that it was clear that the audience wasn’t digging what he was about. I left early from his performance. I went over to the other stage to get read for Kate Nash.

She was great! I had never heard of her before but people kept telling me the day before that she would be great. She started at the piano and later went to guitar. The other members of her band were really great too. The only way I could describe it is as piano punk. Like Ingrid Michaelson meets Blondie. I really dug it. I hope they make it out to the US for concerts someday.

The next band I saw was Skunk Anansie.

Honestly, I only watched them for a couple of minutes. I would describe them as metal/rock. They were extremely flashy and just tons of screaming. The audience was into it, but I wasn’t. I decided to go early to the inside concert tent to wait for Yeasayer.

I loved them. I’ve been listening to them for a couple months now, and seeing them live was even better. I would describe them as experimental rock, fusing rock and electronica in a really cool way. I found out at the show that they were from Brooklyn which made them even MORE awesome! HA! I found out later from Jennifer and Ralph that during that show it had started pouring outside so I had wonderful timing in avoiding the rain.

As I came out of the tent, the rain faded away and the sun came out to play once more. The next act I saw was Triggerfinger.

Again, I only listened for a little bit. They had a classic rock feel but a little harder. What I found entertaining was that the front man looked as if he were Michael McDonald’s European cousin. 🙂

I went over to the other outside stage and saw MIKA.

I LOVED THIS BAND. Apparently they are gaining popularity in the US, but I had never heard of them. They had a Rusted Root sort of feel, silly and fun, sweet and child-like. I highly recommend them.

The next band was The Pixies.

They were definitely a classic rock band, but they had some chill stuff and some metal inspired stuff. They were easy to listen to.

The next act I saw was P!nk.

I like P!nk anyway, but she put on an amazing show. Not only did she do some of her hits, but she did some stuff that she never performed before, including Tom Petty’s “Free Falling.” During an instrumental break in this song, this happened:

That’s right! P!nk got into a giant hampster ball and rolled on top of the audience. It was incredible! I was too far back to be a part of that, but it was great to watch. This next activity was a part of her encore:

Right, again! She went Peter Pan on my ass! There she was singing and flying at the same time. It was so fun! I was really impressed with what she did in her hour-long concert.

The next band was Prodigy.

They were really good and the audience was nuts about them. They are really popular here in Europe. I would describe them as techno/rave music. Imagine being in a rave, outside, in the rain with 60,000 other people. It was a truly incredible experience. After the band ended, the founder of the festival came out and made a speech (in Dutch so I didn’t understand a word of it). As he finished, “All You Need Is Love” by The Beatles came on and fireworks started going. It was a great moment.

So that’s the end of Pinkpop 2010. It was a wild time! I enjoyed the atmosphere, the people, and (most of) the music. I was so happy to have met Jennifer and Ralph as they were so helpful in guiding me in my first festival experience.



{June 3, 2010}   Day 5: Pinkpop Day 2

So on this day I decided that I was going to take some pictures of the campground site.

and here is my little tent:

So once I got to the festival site, the first band I saw was Moke.

It was really fantastic to hear an alternative rock band with a legitimate orchestra. It was a beautiful blend of sounds, not to mention amazing cello solos.

The next band I saw was Everything, Everything.

Honestly, I didn’t think that they were memorable, but I was SOOOO happy to be out of the sun in the Converse Stage tent.

The next band was C-Mon + Kypski.

I really liked this band. They had a great fusion of a lot of genres. I heard some rock influence, world music influence, and hip-hop, too! I highly recommend them.

Then I fell asleep on the grass. The sun was so warm and it was really nice falling asleep to good live music. A couple hours and one mild sunburn later, I got hungry so I decided to go eat. Because of all of my tray and cup collecting I was able to get this:

Goat cheese fondue with fresh bread. SOOOOO amazing and such a nice break from fries with mayo. I then walked over to the smaller outside stage. I sat down to have a little picnic by myself. The next act I saw was John Mayer.

I’m not his biggest fan or anything, but I feel that he played a nice variety of music, things I’ve never heard along with music that is played on the radio too often.

As the sky was getting darker, it began to rain. I decided to break down and actually buy a poncho even though I’d been resisting. I just didn’t want to stand in the long lines. The headliner that night was Green Day.

They put on an amazing show, filled with audience participation

and throwing stuff at the audience (the second picture is fuzzy but it’s a t-shirt gun).

Overall, it was a fun show and the audience was really into it. Even though it was raining, every face that I saw had a smile on it (if it wasn’t drinking a beer). Green Day did a pretty light set, not getting into the hardcore punk stuff, but my favorite part was that they ended with “Time of Your Life.” I ran into Jennifer and Ralph on my way out of the festival site and we talked about our days. I was really pumped after the show that I decided to go to the dance club at the Camp B site. I stayed for a little while, hearing some American music as well as music I couldn’t understand. I didn’t stay for long because my feet were hurting and I was tired, but it was fun for a little while.



Got up early to get on the train to Landgraaf. Once we got to Landgraaf we got on buses to the campsites. I took the bus to Camp B, which I heard was a little calmer than Camp A. I immediately realized that I needed to buy a tent. I met a Dutch couple on the bus, Jennifer and Ralph. They were so nice. I left my backpack with them while I went to the camp store to buy the tent. I got myself set up and Jennifer and Ralph showed me around. They told me everything I needed to know about the festival.

The first band I saw was Kasabian.

They were pretty good, sounding like a a mix of Led Zeppelin and the synthesized pop machine sound.

Jennifer and Ralph informed me of a way to eat at the festival for free. If you collect 50 cups or 15 drink trays, you get a free meal coupon. So guess what I did:

So yeah. FREE FOOD, essentially!! The easiest thing for me to eat was french fries with mayo.

Now before you say, “WTF? Mayo? EWWWW!” hear me out. Mayo here in the Netherlands is different. It’s sweeter and absolutely PERFECT for fries. Jennifer and Ralph told me that it’s a staple that they grew up with in the Netherlands, like the American’s peanut butter and jelly.

The next band I saw was The Temper Trap.

They were AMAZING! Such a wonderful alternative sound. They had a great mix of rock and electronica.

They were very loud. HA! I’d describe them as rock/metal. Though it isn’t normally what I listen to, it was fun to dance like crazy to.

As the concert went on, more and more people started gathering on the nearby mountain.

There was also a Pinkpop sign made out of Chalupa Chupa lolipops.

The next act I saw was Paolo Nutini.

He had a great band with a American 1950’s swing band feel mixed with a Spanish influence and an alternative rock feel. While we were sitting, this German woman gave Jennifer, Ralph, and I some free beer. NICE!

So next was the headliner of the day: Rammstein. For those of you who are unaware of this band, let me just say that they’re intense. Like German Goth Metal intense. Here are a few pictures from their insane show:

Basically this band is insanely loud. I’m not really into heavy metal, but I enjoyed the theatrical aspect of it all.

After Rammstein, everyone headed for the much-too-small exit and went back to their respective campsite. Jennifer, Ralph, and I stopped at the gas station and got some food for breakfast the next day. As I got comfy in my little home, I fell asleep to the sounds of crazy partying all around me. It was strangely comforting to listen to.

Later this week: Pinkpop Day 2 (including Moke, John Mayer, and Green Day)



Sorry I haven’t posted in a few days. Too many pictures to go through from Pinkpop. So I’m a little behind, but I’ll be better of keeping you guys posted.

ANYWAY

May 27th.

Woke up early, 6 a.m. I had to get all my stuff together which was not easy after only a few hours of sleep. I got to the train station an hour early just to be sure I knew where I was going, but I found myself with a crazy amount of extra time so I decided to have breakfast.

YUM YUM!!!

So the train ride to Amsterdam was very pleasant. I dosed off a couple of times, waking up at each stop. We slowed down as we approached Koln. As we approached the station there, I saw the most beautiful and most detailed cathedral I’d ever seen. I wish I could have gotten off the train so that I could take better pictures of it, but here’s what I got:

As we were pulling out of the station, a pilot that was sitting across from me pointed at the bridge and told me to look at the gates.

There were locks all over the bridge, with the types ranging from hardcore padlocks to cheap plastic locks from girly diaries. The pilot said that couples meet on the bridge and put a lock on the bridge to represent their everlasting love. Super cute! I mean I thought the locks on the bridge were supposed to be some deep art instillation. It is an art instillation, but I guess one that is about love, deeper and more meaningful than I thought.

I finally got to Amsterdam and found my hostel. I stayed at the Hotel Damrak Inn. Narrow stairs, comfy beds, and great location. So I dropped off my stuff and decided to go exploring. I found a lot of cool architecture,

, some beautiful canals, the Anne Frank House (which I wasn’t allowed to take pictures in), my first coffee shop, and bicycles everwhere.

I’ve decided that my blog is just going to be an overview. I’ll do a more detailed account when I get back. I’d rather just experience everything, then talk about it later. Love you!

Later this week: post on PINKPOP!!!



et cetera