Well, this semester is slowly coming to a close… As of yesterday, I go home in only two weeks. This only recently hit me, along with the fact that there are a bunch of things that I haven’t done yet that I want to do before I leave, like seeing the Changing of the Guard and riding the London Eye. You know, typical touristy things. The worst part, other than the short amount of time that I have to fit these things in, I also have more work now than I had at the beginning of the semester.

It was weird being here for Thanksgiving. Usually, when I’m at Rollins, I have the option of going home to see my family, but this year, that was practically impossible, what with the astronomical rates of plane tickets and the short amount of time I’d actually have at home after accounting for the two 8 hour flights there and back. Instead, some friends from my floor and I went to a very American barbeque restaurant for dinner. It wasn’t turkey and stuffing, but it was something.  That next week, I spent a lot of time with the friends I have made here, knowing that my time with them was limited.

This past weekend, a friend and I went to Amsterdam to meet up with some of her friends who are going to school there. While there wasn’t too much to do there, we did go to a few museums and take some tourist pictures in front of the I Amsterdam sign.

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Other than that, her friends gave us some walking tours of the rest of the city and showed us how the locals lived.

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It also happened to be the weekend before a holiday, Sinterklaas, so everything was decorated with lights.

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I’m not 100% sure what it is exactly or where it came from, but the locals described it as a small, Dutch Christmas, where Sinterklaas (Santa Claus) and his helpers leave little gifts in shoes left outside of children’s doors. Sadly, we left on the holiday so we didn’t get to see much, but I did wake up to a chocolate letter in my shoes, one of the typical gifts Dutch children receive on Sinterklaas.

One thing I want to mention about the difference between London and Florida is the amount of time the sun is up during the day. The sun doesn’t rise until just before 8AM and has set before 4PM every night. As of yet, it hasn’t been too much of a problem, but over the weekend, the power went out in our apartment complex, leaving a lot of the rooms without outlets or, in my case, without working lights. Doing homework with a dim desk lamp dropped off by maintenance yesterday is more difficult than I expected, but hey, what can you do?

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