Friday Gratitude: 15th Country

Hello! I had a BLAST in Amsterdam last weekend. The Netherlands is the 15th country I have visited (if you count Canada and the Bahamas).

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Amsterdam (though it probably helped that my friend lives there and knew all kinds of great things to show me). Amsterdam was never on my list of desired places to visit, because I unfairly assumed it wouldn’t appeal to a straight-laced person like me. However, it is a city of unusual contradictions … it is liberal (sex! drugs!) but also highly cultured. I visited both the Van Gogh and the Riks Museum in one afternoon and there was so much to see, I know I could return and have a different experience next time. I can’t imagine anyone could be bored in Amsterdam. The city offers something for everyone.

After having lived in Eastern Europe for a year and a half, whenever I visit the west I am 1) shocked by how expensive things are and 2) amazed by how delicious the food is. While in Amsterdam I ate: a burrito, Chinese food, a burger and fries, sushi, pancakes, Dunkin Donuts and waffles. I think my friend was alarmed by how much I ate. (Gotta shore up the fat reserves for the months to come!)


So, this week I have been feeling gratitude for Amsterdam and for the opportunity to visit my friend, whom I hadn’t seen in ten months. On my first afternoon in the city, I was so engrossed in our conversation that hours went by before I realize I hadn’t lifted my head to look at the city. ๐Ÿ™‚ Oops.

On my way to Amsterdam, I saw this ridiculousness at the airport. WHO BUYS PERFUME FOR A BABY?!?


Also, because I was traveling I missed Kosovo’s 10th Independence Day celebration. As soon as I arrived in Pristina, I went right to the Newborn sign to see its new design. Urime, Kosovo!

Media consumption this week …

  • I finally saw The Phantom Thread! I didn’t like it much … it was mediocre, boring, mildly creepy. Based on the trailer, I didn’t think I would like it, but as it is rumored to be Daniel Day-Lewis’ last film, I was determined to see it.
  • I saw Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. It was violent, dark, and funny all at the same time. I’d recommend seeing it if you can handle being disturbed.
  • I’ve been doing bad at reading lately (and this after reading 62 books last year!) I’m in the middle of a long book I don’t know if I’ll finish, and I have since started two others. We’ll see how it all pans out …

My parents sent me an awesome care package that arrived on Thursday. Thanks, Mom and Dad!

care package

My friend in Amsterdam gave me the brilliant idea to publish professional articles on LinkedIn regarding my observations of Kosovo as a social worker. I published my first article the other day. If you would like to read it, click here.

Happy Friday! Stay tuned for next week. Monday and Wednesday’s posts will be all about Amsterdam! ๐Ÿ™‚

2 thoughts on “Friday Gratitude: 15th Country”

  1. “Subtract your age from 100. That is the number of pages you should read in a book before deciding to continue. By the time you reach 100 years of age, you can judge a book by its coverโ€ Nancy Pearl, Librarian, Author and Action Figure Model

    Have you read any of Jon Krakauer’s books?

    Looking forward to hearing more about your trip to Amsterdam!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, I love that formula! (Though by this point, I am far more than 64 pages into the book). I’ve only read Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. I’d like to read his book about Pat Tillman.


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