I’ve just been given a complimentary cocktail by the waiter of the top floor hotel bar. It’s apple-ish, and reminds me of Christmas. If I drank, life would be amazing right now. I’m pretty sure I can see half of Amsterdam from the window; very sparkly.

It would be nice to say that we are all flawless ambassadors for the university, but though we’re trying so hard (we really are) somehow some of us look like less-than seasoned travellers. After haphazardly making our way across the city on the metro system, we managed to find our hotel (it’s fairly hard to miss, i.e. tall and ugly) somebody accidentally got us two extra twin hotel rooms. Fools. After ten hours in the foyer it was sorted out.

The hotel is great when you have the right number of rooms. The room plays seductive music as you enter for the first time and the TV addresses you by name. Stellar. We’re less fans of the public transport system, which has thrown up a few hurdles. Our beloved supervisor, Tom, rocked up a day after everyone else (he’s a busy man) and got stuck in the metro barriers. Did we rescue him? Yes we did.

The trains run like clockwork, from the engines to the doors, and even more enjoyable than rescuing Tom was watching as the whole team piled off the train apart from Becca, whom Raf attempted in vain to rescue. I wish I had photographed her expression as she left us staring on the station, but I did not.

I could tell other stories of our social inadequacy, about failing to get food from a restaurant or about butchering the Dutch language in public places, but to be frank it’s been a crazy day and I’m knackered. Time for bed: we’ve got some sort of presentation tomorrow morning apparently. Wonder if that’s important.

Mary B.


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