Last year I found myself on a gruelling 5 day academic travel trip to Sweden which included only 3 nights in Sweden and two nights spent on aeroplanes. It takes about 22 hours to fly from Penang to Scandinavia. Aaaaack. I also had a couple of hours to kill at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam and decided to make a mad dash out of the airport and into the city. I simply love Europe and want to throw a hissy fit every time we explore working opportunities further East, further away from Europe but as a friend mentioned, we are merely working our way right around the world and the time will come where further East will bring me closer to Europe albeit approaching it from a different side as intended.
To all the great Dutch hookers, knitters, crafters and bloggers out there, you are lucky, very lucky to be living in such a nice country. Jullie zijn gelukkige mensen!
My family left the Netherlands about 110 years ago and it was great to finally explore my roots, I felt so at ease in Amsterdam, understanding Dutch provided a lovely experience, recognising so many of our family's facial expressions and body language among the Dutch actually gave me an immense sense of belonging. Exploring the city early morning when the shops were still closed meant I enjoyed a great breakfast, checked out the windows and cruised the canals - which was probably a good thing for the wallet or else I would have been tempted to empty out the shops, stocking up on all sorts of nice to haves . . . Mind you, I took the opportunity in Sweden to fill the suitcase with new pieces for my wardrobe. Penang offers a poor selection of clothes, shoes, bags and accessories for the fashion forward. Cutting edge, on trend, vintage, modern classic or even refreshing cottony wearables suited to tropical island living - none of those are available here. Penang fashion is downright 'meh'.