Category Archives: Life

I’m addicted

I’ve got a major addiction and the more I get of it, the worse it gets. I just can’t help myself. It’s a beautiful addiction but it’s so freaking expensive! Yeah, I guess you could say I’m addicted to travelling.

I love sitting in trains (I also like just looking at them for some odd reason), busses and even though I don’t like airplanes, they do take you to the most amazing places in the world.

Last Monday I came back from six terrific days in London where I once again, met really nice people and created a lot of happy moments. Four days later I find myself dreaming about my next trip – and to be honest -, I can’t wait to hop on the plane again. Perhaps this day will come sooner than I’d expect it to be.

If only I had an unlimited credit card..

Celebrity Saturday

Hey! A couple of weeks ago in California, I experienced something I wouldn’t even dream of. It all started at a festival in Pasadena called Make Music Pasadena. My friend from New York was playing at the festival and near the end of his bands’ set, someone came on stage to sing with them. I had no idea who this dude was but they seemed to have fun. After the gig I met that dude, his name was Matt.

Matt invited my boyfriend and I to come to his after party in Los Angeles. Of course we joined him, as Pasadena is one of the least exciting cities I’ve ever visited, and because this after party sounded like it could be fun.

When the band wrapped up, my boyfriend and I left. I got a text message with the address and we called a cab. When the cab arrived, it ran me over so naturally we had to order a new cab. About 40 minutes later we finally were on our way to this mysterious place somewhere in Los Angeles, not too far away from the festival we were at. The cab driver stopped the car, we paid him and didn’t have a single penny left.

This after party was in the Los Angeles hills. We couldn’t find it at first, until we heard someone say “Hey! You’re the first to arrive”. This kinda reminds me of Jay Gatsby’s parties in the book called The Great Gatsby. Mysterious, no idea of what’s coming next and no clue of who the host it. Anyway, we walked up to his garden and Matt was still busy preparing for the party. He told us that he likes to organise these kind of garden parties. The year before he threw about 20 parties in the summertime (if I recall this correctly). Still, I had no clue of who this guy was. Maybe I am too young to have recognised him.

He placed a vinyl in his record player and by the time this happened, the first guests arrived. Everyone brought drinks and some even brought snacks. All of them knew each other so of course the boyfriend and I felt a bit left out. His advantage was that he’s in his thirties, which was basically the minimum age at the party. And there I was, 21 years young and at least 13 years younger than the average age. But who cares! I was in Los Angeles at some weird, but fun party having the time of my life.

Matt told us he was born in Thailand and told us some more about his life. He was super hospitable to us even though he didn’t know us and the one person that did know us, arrived a couple of hours later than us.

Then Matt took out two wooden steep boxes. Each of them had a hole in the middle.  The boxes have to be about 15 yards away from each other and the goal is to throw all of the three little bags into the hole. There are two teams consisting of two persons. You throw in turn, so only one person per team per round is able to make points. I’m double jointed so throwing a straight line is pretty difficult for me. Needless to say, I sucked at this game. And it probably didn’t help either that I was drunk from all the vodka. My teammate and I surprisingly won the game (I don’t know how we managed to do so, but – thank God I guess? – the point counting system is incomprehensible and you can just throw them carelessly). This meant we were still in the game. The next round we were out and after this I gave up. Throwing seemed like mission impossible.

I took a nap in Matt’s music studio on a very comfortable couch and by the time I woke up, my friend had arrived. He brought me more vodka, sweet things but at that point completely unnecessary.

Couple of hours later, I believe it was 1 AM, it was time to go home. The party wasn’t over yet but I was worn out and so were my boyfriend and friend. My friend gave us a ride back and we immediately fell asleep in the motel in Pasadena.

Two weeks later, towards the end of our road trip I looked up some reviews of Make Music Pasadena. Apparently that dude called Matt is an actual public figure. Ever heard of the band called Weezer? Yeah, Matt = Matt Sharp. I checked it, he was born in Thailand and the picture looked an awful lot like him. So Matt, a guy who formed that band called Weezer back in 1992. Guess what? They have over 3 MILLION likes on Facebook…

I thought I had a pretty cool story, but my friend whom I’m currently staying with in London overruled me. What did he do? He played with his band at Prince Charles his house.. Their job was to scare every celebrity/person from behind the bushes. Now that’s something you don’t get to do every single day!

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Hey, hey! I’m back and I’m leaving again!

Hello! I’ve been back for over a month now, and – strange as it is – I’m still getting used to something that used to be my life. The study period abroad changed me in so many ways and the life I used to live, and I’m very grateful for that. But I want more, I want it different and I’m desperate to travel.

In a couple of hours I’m leaving for a festival in east Germany. It’s called Melt! Festival and last year was amazing. We were with a group of about 12 friends and even though the weather was terrible (the worst I’ve ever experienced, and hell, I’m from the Netherlands!), my little club of fellow festival lovers made these days unforgettable. Super excited to go again! In less than 24 hours I’ll be dancing on the holy festival ground named Ferropolis.

What I’m also very excited about, is my coming trip to London. From next weeks’ Wednesday to Monday, I’ll be staying at my friends’ place in North/East London. I haven’t made a lot of plans yet, but I’m definitely meeting a friend I met at FDU last semester, and if I’m lucky, I get to go to a We Are Scientists show on. London is gonna be fantastic, can’t wait.

But what I’m most stoked about is my trip to New York in September!! I realised that the people I met made a really big impact on my life and I miss them a lot. There’s just no way of not seeing them for a long time so I decided to live on bread and water the next few months, but this way I’ll be able to see them again, so yay!

Have a great weekend everyone!

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Us at our basecamp at Melt last year. See the dark clouds in the back? Clouds, rain, wind, thunder and tornados – 5 days straight! This year we’ll be treated with a shit load of sun fortunately!

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Goodbye east coast, hello west coast!

Exactly four months ago I left the Netherlands for the east coast. I didn’t know what to expect but it has exceeded all my expectations, and more. Now, I’m sitting in my dormitory lobby, killing time before – once again – going on a new adventure: California.

This spring semester was better, cooler, crazier and much more than anything else I’ve ever done in the 21 years on this globe. Reality hasn’t hit me yet, I’m still chilling at the university like every other day, but it’s really over. The last words of this chapter have been written. 

In two hours I’m leaving Fairleigh Dickinson University once and for all, and I’m really sad to be leaving but also this amazing chapter has to end. I’m flying from JFK to LAX at 4 pm so in less than 9 hours I’m in the Golden State. Woohoo!!

Sun, sea and beach, here I come! 

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I miss the Netherlands..

I miss the Old Amsterdam cheese, bitterballen, kroketten, hagelslag (chocolate sprinkles) and stamppot (mash with cale or other veggies). I miss the Dutch sing-a-long songs. I miss the black and white cows with yellow tags that are everywhere where you go. I miss the directness of people and their free spirits. I miss the tulips and wind mills. I even miss the clogs even though no one wears them. But most of all, I miss my friends. I love you guys, can’t wait to see you guys again! June 10th, mark it in your agendas.

  

 

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For all the men I know

Hi, I’m a girl and I love meeting new people but there’s something you need to learn about women in general. Have you every heard of the song “Hello” by Martin Solveig? That’s the womens’ national anthem. For all us girls (okay, most of us), giving a compliment to men does not mean “hey, I want to get into your pants!”. If a girl says “I like your beard”, she literally likes your beard or whatever she just complimented you about.

From my experience, men don’t get compliments. They love receiving them, but they always, and I mean ALWAYS believe there’s something behind this little compliment. No. I like giving people compliments, give them a little confidence boost, make them happy for a second. It really is as simple as it gets.

If you ask me for my number, you’ll probably get it because I’m a nice person and I want to be your friend, but just your friend, nothing more nothing less.

The thing with men (I shall be honest, this goes for a lot of women too) though, is they’re desperate for attention. This may or may not be deliberate but there will always be this hope in everyone’s mind that someone will like them in the way of “like like”. Hang on, there’s definitely someone out there for you! I’m sure you’ll find that person but until that time, don’t take every compliment too seriously. Just let it be, say thank you. You don’t have to compliment back, simply smile and thank the other one.

Another thing. Some people are in relationships. Men tend to forget this which leads to awkward situations. Guys and girls will never have a conversation like this in a bar/nightclub/etc:

Girl “Nice shirt!”
Guy “Hey thanks. What’s your name?”
Girl “My name is Elja and I have a boyfriend. What’s your name?”
Guy “..”

Yeah, that’s when we lost you. Can’t guys and girls just be friends? The one thing girls want is a pure platonic relationship with guys other than their love interest. (If you’re our love interest, believe me, you will notice. We will make it very, very obvious. That obvious, there’s no getting around that fact anymore.)

I’m just another girl who seems to like flirting and hanging out with people, and that person could be you.

Okay, now I proof read this post I see it’s kinda weird and awkward.. Well, I guess we just have to give in to the fact that it will always be like that.

Heading towards the end

Only five more weeks left in New Jersey before I fly out to Los Angeles for three, hopefully wonderful weeks in California.

This semester has gone by so quickly. I met wonderful people whom I’ll definitely miss dearly, went tons of times to one of the greatest Metropolitan cities in the world and of course, studied a little.

Fairleigh Dickinson University feels like my home now, and I’m by no meaning ready to leave this place. The last 11 weeks have been marvelous and needless to say, I would love to stay here another semester, was it not that I’ve almost finished my studies in the Netherlands. The only things left to do are doing four exams, find an internship for at least ten weeks and write my final thesis.

These following five weeks will be hectic as opposed to the previous weeks. Six projects due for my Advertising Design class (love this class so much even though I didn’t like it too much in the beginning), plenty of papers due for several classes but thank God for my Wine Wednesdays where I get to learn about wine, smell, taste and review it, and all of that in class (for 3 credits, ha!).

The weather is nice outside, so I’m off to sit on the grass with my amazing friend Ruby and watch the last home match of our tennis team. Enjoy your day beautiful people!

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NYC. Wow.. Just wow

I’m sitting on a bench by the pier in Greenpoint. My view is astonishing, I can’t describe how I’m feeling.

It’s 76 degrees, I’m in Brooklyn and looking at the big island called Manhattan. From every place I’ve been in the city so far, this is absolutely my favourite place.

While I’m looking at the o-so polished Manhattan midtown, I feel such a big gap between these two boroughs. Manhattan is clean, fast, extremely touristic and all about money (just to name a few). Brooklyn is tainted in a positive way, full of meaningful graffiti and being different is the most normal thing in the world.

I like this place. I feel inspired, relaxed and nothing’s on my mind except for how amazing this part of town is. I’ve the earbuds of my iPod in and I don’t mind that the album I was listening to ended 10, 20 or maybe even 30 minutes ago.

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Circus in Central Park

Last Sunday was a sunny day so I decided to go to New York City’s Central Park. The bus came on time, no traffic jam on the way and I didn’t have to wait long for the subway to bring me to 5 Av/59 St.

I stepped out of the subway station and as soon as I saw the natural light, the sunshine blinded me. It was beautiful. I haven’t had this exact feeling ever since summer ended. I put on my beloved sunglasses, had a quick look at the Diesel window, picked up a cup of coffee and walked to the Upper East Side entrance of Central Park. This was my very first Central Park experience and it already began so dreamy and perfect.

It was still too cold to sit on the grass so instead I chose a nice looking bench to sit on when all of a sudden a crowd of approximately 30 people were lining up in front of me, in rows of four. What the hell were they going to do?

There was a person sat next to me reading a paper. I couldn’t see his or her face but I was kind of intrigued because this person also covered his head with a baseball cap. Kind of like how you see it in movies when someone spies on someone else.

Then someone with a boom box came from behind a tree and pressed on the play button. Thrift shop blasting out of the speakers, wicked! Check the track below if you don’t know it yet.

So imagine you sitting in the park in Manhattan on a sunny day, right next to an unknown person and a bunch of people standing in front of you. Got it?

Then something like this happened (I didn’t tape it myself because I was totally overwhelmed by all of this energy and weirdness):

Then, out of the blue Sir William Vanderbilt walks by. I know who this is and I should, because I’m a big circus fanatic. Sir William Vanderbilt is one of the most famous lion tamers in the world. Lions are my favourite animals and I love going to the circus, it makes me feel like a little kid again. Of course, he didn’t bring a lion (would’ve been epic though), but he did bring a couple of his fellow circus co-workers. The first one was a juggler. He was so impressive! This guy was huge, I think I could easily fit in his body twice. But yeah, he’s very talented and I think the Big Apple Circus will definitely bring out the best in him and also the other way around. If you have the chance to see this circus, please do, you’re gonna be surprised by their acts for sure.

And then came the clowns. I don’t like clowns so I ran away to the subway, utterly scared they would follow me. I went to have coffee with the person who was sat next to me, you know, the one with the newspaper. He’s also afraid of clowns so he ran away with me simultaneously and his name is Andy Samberg, you may have heard this name before. If you don’t know him yet, meet Andy, a dapper fella known for this:

Alright wonderful people. I think I’ve written enough. Peace out!

This is a message to all gullible people: there’s only one true element in this story, the rest is plastic, people..

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Happiness

What a beautiful day! I’m looking out of my window, the sun is shining and I’m feeling good. At this moment my life is in perfect harmony. I’m having a blast here in America and nothing can bring me down. Happiness is something we create ourselves. A wise man once said “folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be”. I really believe that’s true. There were times I wasn’t as happy as I am now and of course everyone has their down days, but being stuck in that moment won’t help anyone and definitely not yourself. Take matters in your own hands, be as inspiring as you want yourself to be because no one can be happy for you, it comes from within.

Last week a friend of mine let me watch video, called “The 3 A’s of Awesome”. It’s quite a long video but if you have some time to kill, please watch this video. You’ll certainly feel revived and more appreciative after seeing it.

People become less and less appreciative of small things. The other day I was walking with a fellow international student to the cafe and the sun broke through. I took a moment to enjoy the sun and she didn’t even notice the sunshine. Ever since I got here there’s been snow. It’s been so cold and the only thing everyone could think about was summer. Unfortunately we can’t make time pass faster so instead just enjoy little moments like these. Today it’s quite warm outside and everyone seems so much happier. It’s the small things that make life worthwhile.

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