On Shooting Film

Ah digital camaras, such fun. But do you know whats even more fun? Shooting film.  That’s not to say it’s always easy-peasy, but I’m sure you’ll find that the pros outweigh the cons 😉 

Why Shooting Film is Not The Best: 

  1. Loading the roll of film into your camera is a a tricky process during which you risk exposing the film , rendering it useless – POOH
  2. You can’t see the pictures before you develop them. So while you think you may have a roll of outstanding photos, they may well be quite the opposite 
  3. A roll of film sets a limit on the number of photos you can take. An SD card does too, its just that on a roll of film the number is much lower. This means that you can’t take 15 pictures of the same thing, you have to think carefully about what is actually worth capturing.
  4. Running out of film while out with your camera. Disaster.  
  5. Unloading the film. Similar to the problem of loading the film. Imagine the horror of knowing that you have just ruined an entire roll of photos. 

Why Shooting On Film Is The Best: 

1.It’s a learning process – choosing film, loading film, unloading film. And as with all things, practice makes perfect and when you become a an expert (or even an almost expert) in these things it feels pretty good. 

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2. The need to be more economical with what you shoot trains you to spot better photo-oppurtunities. I feel that it also helps you to focus on what’s important to you, as these are usually the things we photograph – now when I use my film camera I like to take pictures of the people I’m with and focus on the details as opposed to the entire scene.

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3. The thrill of it. The unknown is exciting. How will the photos turn out?! 

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4. Even if the developed photos are not what you imagined them to be, you’re likely to adore them anyway. Trust me, even when they’re bad – film photos just have that special something.

 

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5. Having your film developed is like giving yourself a gift. Because among the developed photos there will always be some surprises – days you’ve forgotten about, places you miss, faces you haven’t seen in a while

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6. NEGETIVES ARE FUN. 

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 Til Next Time

Lau xx

 

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To Paris, With Love

Exactly one year ago I tried I took the RER A into Paris for the first time, intending to visit the Eiffel Tower. I couldn’t figure out the which stop I needed to get out at or when to change to what train, and so instead of the Eiffel Tower I discovered Notre Dame. And fell in love. 

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The 5th arrondissment and especically the Latin Quarter will always be my favorite part of the city.

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The narrow streets, the bouquiniste stalls, le Marché aux fleurs, Shakespeare and co, Gibert Jaune, Hotel de Ville, Place Dauphine, summer evenings spent Seine-side, spring when cherry blossoms bloom outside of Notre Dame, November evenings so dark and cold you can’t feel your fingers.

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I’m not in Paris this year, but as the leaves begin to change and fall, I am experiencing some serious nostalgia. And not just for the 5th, but for the city as a whole. It’s certainly not a perfect city, I’m not sure such a place even exists. In Paris the ideal and the reality exist side-by-side, it is impossible to see one and not the other.

The glamour of Les Grand Magasins and Galeries Lafayette cannot not hide the plight of the city’s homeless.

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Grimy, almost hostile streets lead to the most awe-inspiring views of the skyline.

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From the cold, indifference of the metro, you emerge to a city pulsing with life.

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Seen from Pont Neuf, the Eiffel Tower is simply magnificent – glinting in the sunlight or twinkling in the night sky. Up close the picture is not quite so pretty, the symbol of the city is surrounded by unsightly barriers, long queues and a mass of sellers ready to offer you chargers, selfie-sticks, key-rings, beer…

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But then there’s Place du Trocadero with its hustle and bustle – families on holiday, couples oh-so-in-love and of course the buskers. Champ de Mars and the happy sounds of children in the playground.

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Capturing moments like this…024

 

Little streets in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower

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Knowing you’re never far from a carousel…170

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People just being people in their city.065

 

The feeling that there will always more to see and more to learn about this city.

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Forever wanting more time to get lost because no matter where you go wouldn’t be dissapointed with what you find.

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Paris is not all sparkling diamonds and movie-scene love. And yet the cramped metros, dark streets and COLD never repulsed me. These imperfections served to make the city more enchanting.

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Paris is not perfect, but it’s the most magical place I know.

Til Next Time

Lau

To Bicycle or Not To Bicycle?

To bicycle or not to bicycle? This is the question. Well, not really. Certainly not for most people here in Groningen, the world’s most bike friendly city. And yet somehow it has taken me two weeks of living here to actually get a bike. While there were always bicycles available they weren’t always within my budget #studentlife. Not having a bike has been the ultimate workout – it’s too bad I don’t have a step counter! The time spent walking also gave me plenty of time to contemplate the pros and cons of bike-life and really get to grips with the great wheels vs feet debate….. 

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To bicycle:

  • Everyone else has a bicycle 
  • People STARE at you wondering how such a peasant came to be when you are walking and not cycling 
  • Groningen University does not have one central campus, and so you will have classes in different parts of the city. A 20-minute walk to 9am lecture followed by a 30-minute walk to an 11am seminar ain’t cute at all. 
  • Who doesn’t want to be part of that innately Dutch cycling-everywhere thing? 
  • Tote bags are fun when holding free t-shirts, pens and leaflets about all the activities you’ll never sign up for. The fun quickly disappears when these are replaced by (deep breath now) a laptop, charger, notebooks, water, pens, folders, a shopping bag, umbrella, spare jacket… You’ll soon be dreaming of a bike with a basket! 
  • Cycling is simply just faster than walking  
  • The wind in your hair, cityscapes flashing by – what’s not to adore? 

 

Not to Bicycle 

  • We had feet before bicycles, right? Relish in the superiority of your own independence and self- sufficiency 
  • Google Maps is very often more of a hindrance than a help. Now imagining trying to navigate it while cycling 
  • At least you know for sure you can walk. You might think you can cycle but think again. Traffic lights, pedestrians, bicycles, more bicycles, hand signal, cobbled streets – it’s a minefield! 
  • The intricate art of maintaining balance while carrying the week’s shopping
  • Finding your bike. No further explanation required. A picture speaks a thousand words, and this one is saying ‘Bike, Bike, Bike, Bike, Bike’… 

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  • Riding on the back (or front) of someone’s bike is a great way to make friends  
  • The hassle of locking your bike, chaining it to something secure just to redo it all later 
  • Losing the keys for the locks and chains. Leaving you with no other option than to carry your bike home. Like a FOOL 
  • The constant paranoia that your bike could become one of the 311 stolen every day 
  • More paranoia – Is this bike you bought through Facebook a stolen bike? What if the original owner steals it back? What if this cheap as chips bike just falls to pieces as I cycle across A-Brug? 
  • Cycling while intoxicated – Is this even legal? If so, why? 

 

For the moment however, I am firmly on the ‘get-a-bike-side’ of the arguement. I’ve had a bike one day and already my quality of life has improved. Walking is great, but in Groningen Cycling is way to go!

 

Til Next Time

Happy Cycles

August in Books

 

Just five books I enjoyed reading last month 🙂

 

Underneath the Lemon Tree, A Memoir of Depression and Recovery – Mark Rice-Oxley

In this book Mark Rice-Oxley, a journalist, recounts his journey into, through and out of depression. A man who seems to have it all suddenly loses everything reflecting the reality that misfortune, depression being one of them, can confront us at any time. His account is harrowing, painfully honest but, at its core, uplifting. I found the paragraph below to be especially striking.

…. Kevin never said, “Why me?” of his hideous illness. He would always say instead, ‘Why not me?’. That’s a crisp example of why the world is poorer without him. The human tendency is to blame, to find fault, to bewail the circumstances beyond our control. In fact, what Kevin articulated was a polar opposite of this: we shouldn’t moan about how unfortunate we are; we should celebrate how well we are.

We should marvel constantly, each day, each moment at the bizarre and precarious nature of our existence; at the improbable geometry of the earth’s place in the solar system; at the delicate zoological balance that allows seven billion of us to survive each day; at the serendipity that has allowed all those reading this book to be born in this time and not a thousand or even a hundred years ago; at the continuing run of good luck that spares most of us from deadly illness or murderous villainy or the vicissitudes of nature.

Our lives are a miracle. Our continuing happiness is not a given, but a stroke of outrageous fortune.

We should ask ‘Why me?’ not when we suffer same wretched set back, but every day we wake up and the world is still there, and our lives stretch ahead of us, marvellously improbable.

 

Three Wishes: Palestinian and Israeli Children Speak – Deborah Ellis

This book holds the combined stories of children in war-torn Israel and Palestine. It is undoubtedly a heart-wrenching given the great pain so many of these young children have lived through. It was also very interesting to hear how the children see each other.

If you think something is wrong, it is important to stand up and speak out, or else everyone will think you agree with what is going, the only way things will get better is if people speak out.

 We will make our own peace. Just as we have made our own war.

 Protest does work. It helps to influence the way people think. It is good to let others know what you believe. They might believe the same way, and they might get the courage to say so If they see you doing it.

 But war, like almost everything else humans do, is a choice. Creating weapons is a choice. Allowing a child to go hungry or to drink poisoned water is a choice. Sitting on the side-lines and doing nothing to stop somethings that’s wrong is a choice.

 

The Five Times I Met Myself – Tim Marshall

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An intriguing novel which delves into the world of lucid dreaming – the art of being conscious while you sleep, thus being able to control your dreams. Sounds like fun, right? Maybe but for the protagonist of this story it proves to be very dangerous game. When Brick finds that he can not only control where his dreams take him but also change his past, it seems like the perfect solution to all his problems. Things don’t go exactly to plan – Brock manages to change his past but wakes up to a frightening new reality.

A Time for New Dreams – Ben Okri

A truly beautiful book filled with thought-provoking and inspiring words.

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… its indirect insistence on the magic of listening

The world is a dream

 Difficult times, in retrospect, are more romantic than good times, if they are overcome. Myths and fables are made of them.

 Hospitality is not tolerance or charity, nor is it weakness. Hospitality can only come from the true strength of knowing what one is, and the tranquillity of allowing other people the strength of what they are.

Hospitality is not a habit. It is a genius of self that recognises the genius of other selves.

 We are all guests on this planet, we are all guests in this life.

 Open your hearts and minds to the beauties and possibilities of being human

 We don’t know who or what any human being really is. Believe me, we are each one a great mystery.

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F**ck It: the ultimate spiritual way – John C. Parkin

I really, really, really did not want to return this one to the library. John C. Parkin offers a refreshing, relatable and laugh-out-loud funny look at modern life. It made me think about what I prioritise and why. In short. I think everyone should say f**k it and read this book!

 

One Day of Life – Manlio Arguelta

One Day of Life is an English translation of a novel by Salvadoran author Manlio Arguetta. The novel is set in Chalatenango, El Salvador, just prior to the Salvadoran Civil War and tracks the daily life of Guadalupe ‘Lupe’ Guardado and the women of her family. Theirs is a tough and gruelling life, surviving with very little and living under the harsh rule of the ‘authorities’, the government’s paramilitary intelligence organisation (La Organización Democrática Nacionalista).

Almost all of us are poor, but we don’t consider it a disgrace. Nor something to be proud of.

 …something had happened that we had never imagined. It was a nightmare. We realised that the saints could descend from heaven. After that, nothing shocked us; all that remained was for it to rain fire and for cats to chase dogs.

 From that moment on, any sin was going to seem petty.

 Til Next Time,

Read On!

How To Be THAT Guest

Have you ever wanted to be that guest at a hostel? You know the one. Super annoying, irks everyone, causes staff to tear their hair out and, if they’re really on form, eventually get thrown out. Fear not people I have the answers you’ve been looking for. 

1. SHARE

Sharing is caring. In order to become that guest you need to embrace this wee gem. You also need to accept without fail that absolutely everybody wants to care, i.e.  share. You need not therefore, bother people by asking to “borrow” their towel/toothbrush/flip-flops/pizza/etc – just go ahead, take what you need and make the world a more caring place.

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NOT MY JAFFA CAKES

2. MAKE FRIENDS

What time is it? It really doesn’t matter, because in the hostel it’s always time to socialise. So, yes by all means you should strike up a conversation in the hallway at 3am. The louder you chat the better, laughing like a hyena is a nice touch too. Extra points if you take the conversation into your 23-bed dorm room. But don’t worry if you have not yet reached this level – you can just keep opening and closing the door to the room. This way you still succeed in keeping everyone engaged with your no doubt riveting conversation, without actually entering the room – smooth.

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How could we not make friends?!

 

3. BE FLEXIBLE

A wise someone once said, ‘Rules were made to be broken’. They were most likely one of those hostel guests and knew very well that above all other rules, hostel rules are the ones to break. In fact they’re not really rules at all. All those ‘no-eating-or-drinking-in-dorms’, ‘keep-quiet-between-11pm-and-7am’ signs? Guidelines babe, just guidelines. So don’t stress it, it’s very possible that your roommates will join you in eating their snacks on the floor anyway.

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Double Denim IS Cool

4. EVERY MOMENT COUNTS

This one is key to getting on the right (wrong) side of staff members. Many hostels operate a 24hr reception, with some poor sod left sitting there to welcome you to at whatever hour you arrive. Beyond this quite a few hostels require a staff memeber to stay up as long as there are guests in the common room. This is where you, that guest, come in. I’m sure you know what I’m about to say, it really couldn’t be easier. Just hang around in the common area or kitchen for as long as you like. It’s important to note that when a staff memeber says they have to close up the kitchen/common area in ‘5 minutes’ they really mean 15. And even when you do eventually leave, you can continue to try sneak back for a good 20 – 55 minutes. I can gaurantee that moments like this with guests like you is the kind of banter hostel staff LIVE for, infact this is the very reason they work in hostels. So go on, pat yourself on the back, you deserve it!

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Living My Best Life

5. HOME SWEET HOME

Ahhh the humble hostel, the home of the backpacker, vagabond, wanderer and/or cheap-skate. Kick-back, relax and make yourself at home. Scatter your clothes all over the floor – now it looks just like your bedroom! Leave the dishes for someone else to do – just as you would at home. Set 77 alarms and sleep through them all, use the same knife for the jam and the butter, turn on all the lights when you stumble into the dorm room at 4:44am, take your own sweet, sweet time in the shower, assume everyone wants to hear your TUNES ( they probably do to be fair)….. Its simple really.  If you would do it in the freedom of your own home them itself definitely acceptable in the hostel. And, in the interest of being that guest its a MUST!

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At home in the hostel, At home in the world

Til Next Time

Lau

Rowboats and Abanicos

If I can recommend you do two things in Madrid, they would be:

  1. Buy an Abanico

  2. Give the boats at El Parqure del Buen Retiro a go

An abanico is a fan by the way. Not just a gimmick, these things are very useful. Madrid is a bustling city, in the centre of Spain and therefore it is HOT. And at times, very HOT, as in ‘three-days-and-we-haven’t-felt-a-breeze’ HOT. So, believe me, an abanico will prove very handy indeed.

Then of course there’s the novelty of having a fan.

Outfit feeling a bit bland? Create some drama with an eye-catching fan.

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Hit a sudden lull in conversation? Whip out that fan and gaze mysteriously into the distance. By time you zone back in somebody’s bound to have found something to say.

The abanico is a great distractor, making eavesdropping, gawking and all kinds of being a nosy goose become muuuccch easier.

Enjoy the feeling of superiority as you watch others fail to yield the fan with the same flourish you do.

Unleash your fan, bat your eyelashes and seduce anyone with in a 5-mile radius. *Note: this one only works if you can release the fan properly. Fail to do so and you might just end up looking like a clown! On the bright side, should that happen you can always use the abanico to fan away your embarrassment. Proving once again, the wonder of the abanico.

There also cheap as chips, so why wait? Beat the heat, release your inner cooooooool and get yourself a fan today!!

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A boat is, well, a boat. El Parque del Buen Retiro, ‘Park of the Pleasant Retreat’,  is one of the biggest and one of the most popular in Madrid. There’s plenty to see here – The Crystal Palace, the Rosaleda rose garden as well as The Fountain of the Fallen Angel and El Angel Caido, claimed to be the only known public statue of Satan. Many of the parks walkways are named after south American countries such as Avenida de Mexico and El Paseo del Argentina, and there’s no shortage of bars, cafes and restaurants inside the park – perfect for a quick pick me up.

Right in the centre of the park lies El Estanque del Retiro, a large man-made pond. The best way to enjoy the lake, and the view of the monument to King Alfonso XII, is in one of its many rowboats. 2pm might not be the most advisable time to give the boats a whirl – direct overhead sunshine and all that. But lash on the SPF, grab a hat and it’ll be grand. (I accept no responsibility if it’s not ‘grand’ 😉)

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At 6£ per boat for 45 minutes on the lake, it’s a fun way to chill out without burning up all your moolah (that’s what the shops on Gran Vía are for!!)

However, the actual rowing of the rowboat can prove a little tricky. Picture a boat going around and around in circles – that kind of tricky. With that in mind, here is my no.1 boat rowing tip:

  • Possibly two very capable, very in-sync people could row the boat as a team, but it seems to be a lot easier to let one person take both oars!
  • If you really want to win at the whole rowing thing I recommend not rowing at all, sit back and relax while someone else propels the boat 😉

 

 

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An altogether more important rowboat tip is; bring the abanico with you! In a practical sense it’s going to be HOT and because of a very simple equation: Abanico + Rowboat = Excellent Photo-Shoot Conditions. (Look at me putting all those years of maths class to good use!)

Until Next Time,

Happy Posing

#postureo

 

Shakespeare and Co : Somewhere You Need To Go

Shakespeare and Company is an independent bookstore nestled in the 5th Arrondissment, 37 Rue de la Bucherie to be exact. The store is open 7 days a week, 10am to 10pm. Here you can find new and used (english) books of all kinds as well as a café. The store also hosts several events each month, inviting the public to meet authors to discuss their works and writing.

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I first discovered this gem while day-dreaming about Paris one winter’s evening in 2015. I read everything the website had to offer as well as many reviews, blog posts and visitor guides. I book-marked the web-page and vowed to one day see the place for myself. On Tuesday 19th December 2017, I finally did.  Shakespeare & Co is truly a treasure in the heart of the Latin Quarter. It’s a place steeped in history with unforgettable charm and character that has been years in the making.

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The bookstore has been meeting place for Anglophone writers and readers since its opening in 1951. The building itself was constructed in the 17th Century and was originally a monastery, La Maison du Mustier. In 1951 it came into the hands of George Whitman and became a bookstore called Le Mistral. In 1964, the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth, the store was re-christened with the name so loved today.

Whitman’s philosophy “Be not inhospitable to strangers lest they be angels in disguise.”, was inspired by the kindness of strangers he experienced while travelling across America. This journey had a profound effect not only on Whitman himself, but also on the bookstore which would come to serve as a resting place for some 30,000 writers and artists. Of these guests, known as Tumbleweeds, three things were asked; read a book a day, help at the shop for a few hours each day, and produce a one-page autobiography. Thousands of autobiographies have been collected, capturing the many stories, dreams and adventures of all those welcomed to Shakespeare and Co. Now the store is run by Whitman’s daughter Sylvia. The sense of community can still be felt today, indeed it is still possible to become a Tumbleweed!

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Shakespeare & Co will forever be one of my favourite places in Paris. The store is warm and welcoming, always filled with interesting people and a very chilled-out cat. While its layout could be described as organised chaos, I think it’s just perfect – there’s a place for everything and everything is in its place. I cannot tell you how many times the store saved me from the freeeeezing cold that is Paris, nor can I tell you how many hours I whittled away sitting upstairs in the poetry section, or how many versions of ‘Oh My Goodness I love this place’ I’ve heard from other visitors. I can’t tell you what exactly it is that makes Shakespeare & Co so magical, but I assure that it is just that – Magical.  So, if you find yourself in Paris, a) don’t miss your chance to visit a most beautiful bookstore, and b) know that I am oh-so jealous!

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Top-Tip: The store is very popular, especially on Sundays. I recommend visiting on a weekday, (evenings are ideal!) to have the best experience possible.

Til Next Time,

Lau

Dear Disney Guests…

A rather ranting piece containing all the things I wanted to say on a daily basis while working in Disneyland Paris. But couldn’t because ‘Blunt Honesty’ is not one of Disney’s Four Keys, and didn’t because I am a master of patience and self -control…

 

Parade starts at 5 on Main Street. This is the absolute base level of park info; does anyone even look at the programmes?

 

Does this look like the entrance to Walt Disney Studios Park? I mean, really, there are no signs, no Cast Members in costume, it’s not pretty or welcoming and most importantly there’s no other Guests queuing up. Put all those things together and what do you get? A Cast Member Only entrance, not very magical at all. So for your own sake, just get outta here!

 

I will happily give you directions, but if you expect me to take your hand and bring you to Small World you’re gonna be disappointed!

 

I know I’m wearing a name badge right now, but it’s still kind of strange for you address me by name. Especially when my name is not actually Delphine…

 

How have you got to this stage of life without learning how to use a bin?

*And I’m not talking about the people who refused to use bins here. I mean grown adults who struggled to find the opening of the bins! *

 

You’ve queued for 45 minutes and you still don’t know what you want to order. Bruhhhhhhh – I have no sympathy.

 

Allow me to repeat myself here. This voucher entitles you to a meal costing 65. And you want to use it for a €15 burger and fries? Are you sure??

 

I get that the whole – ‘I’ll pay for this’, ‘No you won’t, it’s my treat!’, ‘Stop that I’m paying!’ – is a thing that happens. But please don’t both of you stand in front of me waving money. If you do, I’ll accept both payments and call the extra a tip for dealing with your indecisiveness.

 

I know I’m being picky here, but hear me out. A pain au chocolat is not a chocolate croissant. Thank you

 

It’s Disneyland mate, there are quite literally tens of thousands of people here. Meaning there are going to be queues – for attractions, for shows, for restaurants, for toilets, the lot! Let me blunt – you’re going to have to wait. Even if wanted to, I couldn’t change the situation. Deal with it.

 

Yes, this is the kid’s chocolate cake. Oh, the white stuff on the top? That’s called icing.

 

No, there are no shows here today. And no, I don’t accept responsibility for your disappointment. Now, be gone and leave me in peace!

 

Yes, it’s true, there’s no Wi-Fi in the Disneyland Park. Guess your trip is ruined now, huh?

 

If you get your kids yoghurt or *God forbid* apple compote for dessert, instead of cake or ice-cream, I just want you to know that I will judge you. Harshly.

 

Why are there so many different words for sparkling water and hot chocolate in French? Let’s not even mention the whole calling a pain au chocolat a chocolatine fiasco.

 

See those people wearing red? They are Guest Flow and it’s their job to answer your many questions. So please, go bother them and let me walk to lunch.

 

If it’s 9:50pm and you’re not on Main Street waiting for Illuminations (the nightly firework show), I think you need to a) reassess your life and b) RUN.

 

Disclaimer: I’m only sometimes a ball of rage and there are plenty of nice things to be said about Disney Guests. But that’s a story for another post 😉

Til Next Time,

Boil on the Inside, Smile on the Outside

 

On Losing A Passport…

No #weekendwithbae is complete without chaos, panic and a little drama. In Paris it was falling phones and métro fines. Amsterdam did not disappoint, the highlight of all mishaps being the losing of a passport…

Not my passport, but bae’s. It was our first night in the city, we were in our hostel getting ready to head back out. All was going well. Until bae went to grab her ID, which was in her passport, which was nowhere to be seen.

Dun, Dunnn, Dunnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn !!

Queue turning our cases upside down, stripping the bed sheets, clearing the lockers, interrogating roommates, running to reception, ‘What am I going to tell my parents?!’, ‘There goes our night out!’ panic.

Along with some more practical ‘what-to-do-when-you-lose-your-(Irish)-passport-while-abroad?’ google searches. Which is why I can now say that, at least in theory, I know what to do in such a situation.

And I’m sure you all want to know too, so without further delay:

 

What to do When Your Passport Goes Missing While Abroad:

  1. Report the loss to the local police within 24 hours – the sooner the better!

  2. Make sure to obtain a written report of the loss at the police station. Maybe make a few extra copies, just in case.

  3. If you have travel insurance, now is the time to contact your provider. (I never have insurance so I can’t give much advice on this point!)

  4. Head to the Irish Embassy/Consulate of the country you are in. You’ll need to have the police report with you in order to obtain a replacement travel document. (The Netherlands’ Irish Embassy is in The Hague, btw)

  5. Depending on how soon you need to get home/continue travelling, the Irish Embassy will provide you with either a replacement passport or an emergency travel document.

This next tip is my very own – check everywhere. And I mean everywhere. We thought we had searched everywhere. Then I checked the pockets of my trusty denim jacket, and what did I find? You guessed it – the missing passport.

Queue tears of joy, ‘Thank goodness we don’t have to go to the embassy’, ‘Why are we so foolish?’ absolute relief.

So I can’t comment on what it’s really like to lose your passport abroad (and hopefully I never will be able!).  Coincidentally though, on our flight home there was a girl with one of those emergency travel documents whose passport had been stolen. She got home and she seemed to have had a fun weekend, so I guess a lost/stolen passport doesn’t have to ruin your trip!

Til Next Time,

Always Check Your Pockets 😉

Snapshots : Amsterdam

First thoughts, final thoughts, in-between thoughts on a beautiful and surprising city….

 

WOW – they were serious about the bike thing. No exaggeration at all.

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Church bells are ringing again. This is the 7th time and I’ve only been here 4 hours!? Are they the same bells? Are they actually church bells? Are they even bells?

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Are the fries really worth the out-the-door, round-the-corner queue? (yes!)

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Public Street Urinals. Odd but effective.

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I wonder how deep the canals are.

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It would have been a cool idea to keep track of how many bridges I’ve crossed this weekend.

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*Standing on any street in the Red Light District at 11pm* This place sure looked different 12 hours ago…

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How many travellers here are somewhere along their ‘Europe Tour’? MANY. How many are American? Ouite a few.  (Shout out To New York gals!)

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Can I bring home real tulips?

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I’ve seen that dude before. At the airport. At Central Station. I saw him go into his hostel. Saw him at the bar last night. And now he’s in that Coffee Shop.

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Who knew there was more than one of those Iamsterdam signs? Not me. There are 3, each as crowded as the last ;p One behind the Rijksmuseum, one at Schilpol Airport and another travelling set currently found at the EYE Film museum.

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I’ve never felt so safe in a city before. (This was still true at 4am on strangely misty streets!)

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I expected a lot less from this city. With all the tourists I thought it would be somewhat tacky and overrated.  I was wrong. Amsterdam, you have impressed me – you are welcoming, exciting, uplifting and relaxing all at once.  And I hope to see you again soon!

 

Til Next Time

Lau