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The McDermott Scholars Award covers all expenses of a superb four-year academic education at The University of Texas at Dallas, in concert with a diverse array of intensive extracurricular experiences, including internships, travel, and cultural enrichment.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Wacky Amsterdam adventures

[Chris Affolter ('03) and Hannah Frank ('04) are both spending their fall 2006 semester abroad. While Chris has been studying microbiology and arms control in the Lake Geneva region of Switzerland, Hannah has been ... slightly more adventurous -- taking on Siberia in the winter. Instead of waiting for fate to make their paths cross, Chris and Hannah decided to both take the weekend off from their respective adventures and meet up in Amsterdam for a long weekend of great art, good food, and fun.]

Chris: Where is our hostel?

Hannah: You mean you don't have the directions? I don't either!

(An hour or two of searching later, we were in our dorm room at the Witte Tulp – in the Red Light District)

Chris: Holy ****, when they advertised a view, I didn't know that was what they meant. (Really deep in the Red Light District, the views can be...interesting).

(A little later, and still hungry)

Chris: I'm hungry -- let’s get lunch -- the evil Swiss people in the airport were taunting me with fresh croissants, but wouldn't sell them because it was too early in the morning.

Hannah: How about this cute little bakery ("De Bakkerswinkle")?

Chris: If only they had broodje harring!!!

Hannah: You can get some later. These are pretty good! (Little did we know that we would end up eating breakfast here every morning – it was really that good)

(After lunch and a run to the French fry stand...)

Chris: Where should we go now?

Hannah: How about the Rembrandt museum.

Chris: Grumble. I'm not such a fan of Rembrandt. And it’s not a museum, it's his house. It's a tourist trap.

Hannah: Neat, we get a discount. And this Rembrandt print exhibit is…extensive.

Chris: Yeah, that was really nice. I really like Rembrandt.

Hannah: Snap. Snap. Picture. Picture

Chris: Let’s go shopping at the flea market.

Hannah: These wallets look nice.

Chris: These wallets look used.

Hannah: These wallets look stolen.

Hannah and Chris: ***checking pockets***

Chris: I can’t believe how cheap everything is here compared to Switzerland.

Hannah: I can’t believe how expensive everything is here compared to Russia.

Chris: Of course, the French fries are definitely worth their weight in gold. Let's get some more.

(A few thousand calories later...)

Chris: How about some coffee?

Hannah: The coffee is wonderful here.

Chris: So are the baked goods! This is an amazing brownie.

Hannah: Now it's time for some van Gogh.

Chris: This coll…

Hannah: This collection is fantastic.

Chris: Go-Van-Gogh (DMA reference)

Hannah: I think van Gogh went.

Chris: Did he go get a bike?

Hannah: No, but we should.

Chris: I haven't been on a bike in a long time.

Hannah: That's OK – they'll rent them to anybody. (speeding off through the pedestrian crowd)

Chris: This is fun!

(Once we'd worked off all the French fry fat by riding all over Amsterdam...)

Hannah: Aafke (Hannah's Dutch friend) said to hang out in Vondelpark.

(pedal, pedal, pedal)

Chris: I'm tired, how about a nap in Vondelpark?

Hannah: ***snore***

Chris: ***watches crazy old woman drink a whole bottle of wine and have a conversation (in Dutch) with herself***

Hannah: (Suddenly awake and ravenous) Lunch?

Chris: I want a broodjie harring!

Hannah: You're obsessed with that stupid herring.

(Post-broodjie harring...)

Chris: That broodjie harring wasn't so tasty. I don't feel so well.

Hannah: Your fault. You should have just had more vlaames frites (French fries with mayonnaise).

Chris: I think we need some more coffee.

Hannah: Indeed. Coffee rocks!

Chris: And more vlaames frites.

Hannah: This is the best. Postcard. Ever.

Chris: We have got to send it to the McDermott Office.

Chris: And these fries are fantastic.


Chris: Reijksmuseum?

Hannah: Of course!

Chris: Our Lord in the Attic?

Hannah: What?

Chris: The 17th century Dutch Protestant government wasn't so keen on public Catholicism…so they built a fabulous Roman Catholic church in the attic.

Hannah: Fabulous. Snap Snap. Picture Picture.

Chris: I wonder how often people fall into the canals?

Hannah: I don't know, but they smell like the Trinity "River."

(later that night)

Chris: This place reminds me of New Orleans.

Hannah: Only it’s more chill -- not so many drunk frat boys.

Chris: And there's no Lelia. (Gowland, '04)

(on the last day)

Hannah: One last cone of Vlammese Frites?

Chris: Of course! They're FANTASTIC!

Hannah: Did you remember to mail the postcard?

Chris: Crap, I left it on the train...maybe that's for the best.

Hannah: It was so good to see you! Have fun in Switzerland.

Chris: It was so good to see you too! Don't freeze in Siberia! If you die, I'll never forgive you -- wear that long underwear.

Hannah: (Only a good friend would bring Swiss chocolates and REI underwear when you're truly in need of both).

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