Books Set in The Netherlands: So Many Opportunities!!

A while ago Analee wrote a wonderful post about why more books should be set in Canada and came up with great plot bunnies that could be used if a book is set in Canada. This made me think: what kind of plot bunnies could you use if your book is set in The Netherlands? Of course there are books set in The Netherlands, but I’m talking about YA books here, and since I don’t really enjoy reading in Dutch I don’t read any Dutch YA. The only YA book I can think of that’s partially set in The Netherlands is The Fault in Our Stars (you could count Six of Crows since Ketterdam is based on Amsterdam and had a lot of Dutch terms. They talked about eating hutspot?? That was so funny. Hutspot is gross though)

Love confessions with the canals as a setting

At night, by the way, because the canals at night are so magical and romantic. I can definitely picture a dramatic love confession at a bridge, with a canal in the background. Or maybe not a dramatic one, but a planned one (kudos to the character that decides to confess their love at a bridge I mean that takes guts with all the tourists around I’d feel so awkward – no one confess their love to me anywhere in the center of Amsterdam I’ll die of embarrassment and awkwardness and if you love me you clearly don’t want that. I hope??)

Contemporaries about art set in Rotterdam

Rotterdam is such an artsy city guys!! Sure so is Amsterdam, which has a lot of museums and art, but Rotterdam? So much street art, so many museums and art galleries too. Plus it just has this artsy feeling to it. I’m not saying Amsterdam doesn’t, buuuuuut Amsterdam often also feels like a tourist attraction which Rotterdam doesn’t. It’s just a very creative, artsy city and I can definitely see a YA protagonist who’s a budding artist discover themselves through art there.

Oh and they could obviously stop by the Foodhallen, which is this huge indoor food market which is also super pretty (plus food)

Stroopwafels!!

I mean sure you could eat hutspot too, but why would you when stroopwafels exist?? I could live on them. I’m not joking. I could eat so many in a row they’re delicious. You can also eat them warm which is also really good, but if you’re impatient like me you could just eat them cold because they’re delicious that way as well. Wait where was I going with this what was this post about. Food?? Stroopwafels??

Books need food okay. No, I don’t mean you need to feed them (you do need to feed them your love, attention and tears, but no human food they can’t digest that. Don’t poison your books). I mean books become more realistic when your characters eat, because they’re supposedly alive and need to (unless they’re a ghost. I felt so sad for all the ghosts at Nearly Headless Nick’s party), so a book set in The Netherlands obviously needs to feature some Dutch food. Preferably stroopwafels. Because I love stroopwafels

So many fantasy story possibilities!!

Obviously Six of Crows has already done this, but that doesn’t mean there can’t be more fantasy worlds based on The Netherlands. Plus urban fantasies? Or magical realism? So many possibilities!

With the amount of water we easily could have a story about pirates, or about witches and wizards living here having to hide their magic and probably fighting something evil, or superheroes!!! Keeping our cities safe. And so many other fantasy stories that could just be set here, with a Dutch touch to it.

Fort of Sjakoo retelling!!

I found out about Sjakoo when I was a kid and immediately got obsessed. I did read a Dutch book (children? I think it was actually YA since it mentioned sex and lil me was like ‘gross’) back then that was about Sjakoo’s fort (I don’t remember if Sjakoo himself was in it?) but it took place in our time which is fine, but I want a retelling. I want a YA book about Sjakoo, living in 18th century Amsterdam, becoming a criminal, starting a gang and turning numbers 71 to 77 at the Elandsgracht into the Fort of Sjakoo, which had secret passages and the like (I’m not sure how much of this is true, but hey it’s not like this would be non-fiction). Damn now I want to write this *hides from the 21423463458 other ideas I already have and haven’t worked on yet* *I put it in my word document with all my story ideas and stuff help* 

Books set during the Canal Parade!!*

One of the main characters is part of one of the boats, the other isn’t out yet and doesn’t dare to go the Parade but in the end they show up anyway and they share a romantic kiss at the boat surrounded by other people from the LGBTQ+ community cheering and clapping and there’s lots of glitter and it would be really cute damnit I want to write this *adds this one to the list as well while sobbing because I already struggle finding the time, motivation and energy to write and having so many ideas is NOT. HELPING*

* This is the fourth time in a row I’m using ‘!!’ I’m sorry for my lack of originality

There are so many more things I could think of but I’m going to stop before I come up with more things I want to write. Would you like to see more YA books set in The Netherlands? Are you writing one? Let me know in the comments! 

The Book Fangirling Award – Another One From 2015

Some day I might be all caught up on awards and tags, but today is certainly not that day. Thank you Cátia for nominating me and sorry that it took me almost two years

Rules:

  • Create a post to accept your award.
  • Answer the questions below.
  • Nominate between 5-10 book bloggers who you think also deserve this award.
  • Come up with your own 5 questions for your nominees.

I’m lazy so I won’t be nominating anyone but if you want to do it consider yourself nominated!

1. Book series or standalones? Why?

I know I have to choose but… Both? It can be nice knowing that the story will be over after one book and you won’t have to wait for the next one to see how the story will unfold, but series are so much fun too! I love seeing the story unfold over multiple books, see the characters grow etc.

2. Did you watch anime/cartoons when you were younger? Which ones?

YES! Pokemon of course, but also Yu-Gi-Oh, Sailor Moon, Super Pig (please tell me I’m not the only one who remembers that one?), Winx Club, Totally Spies, Martin Mystery, Avatar the Last Airbender of course, Ojamajo Doremi, Digimon, Shaman King, so many Disney cartoons like the 101 Dalmatians one, the Aladdin one, Buzz Lightyear… There were so many I can’t remember all of them haha.

Little me thought this was SO clever and hilarious she cried tears of laughter

3. Tell me a music that reminds you of your childhood/early teens.

Oh good question. I really need to think about that one haha. Umm there’s this Dutch song. I have no idea what it’s called but the part I’m talking about goes like this (translated from Dutch): ‘Coffee! Coffee! Delicious cup of coffee. Guys who’d like a cup?’ I sang this a lot with my grandmother, but I don’t remember how this became a thing

4. Favorite movie growing up?

According to my mom: Beauty and the Beast, The Rescuers and The Little Mermaid. Those were the ones she had to sit through the most haha. I also adored Winnie the Pooh and Lilo and Stitch.

The Rescuers is SO UNDERRATED. Also I need to rewatch it

5. Where do you live? Tell us something about your city (that us tourists can’t read on the books).

Amsterdam, and I’ve been talking about Amsterdam here and there in my supposed to be monthly feature Blogsterdam but of course I’m failing that haha. Hmm what’s something that you can’t read about in a guide book… I’ve never read a guide book about Amsterdam, so maybe you can read this in a guide book, but… I don’t know where I was going with that sentence, because I can’t think of anything?? Haha I suck

Ummm the canal water is supposed to be really clean but I honestly don’t know where I got that from it’s just this random fact filed away in my brain but this could be a really outdated fact?? Don’t quote me and don’t drink the water okay

Like I said, I won’t be tagging anyone but if you want to answer these questions, feel free! What anime/cartoons did you watch when you were younger? And what was your favourite movie as a kid? Let me know in the comments!

Blogsterdam: KITTY EDITION 2.0

Blogsterdam is supposed to be a monthly thing but alas, the blogger behind this blog is very forgetful. Anyway, Blogsterdam is a blogging series in which this forgetful blogger talks about her hometown Amsterdam, as the city is so much more than drugs, cheese and the Red Light District.

Yes it’s true, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. It’s truly time for another Blogsterdam! KITTY EDITION (if your wondering why it’s 2.0, check out my post on the Cat Boat!). I mentioned going to a cat cafe last month, and I finally got around to writing about it.

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The cat cafe is called ‘Kopjes’, which is both the Dutch word for ‘cups’ and a cat rubbing its head against you (I couldn’t find a translation for this word). When you walk in you get to the register where you need to wash your hands and can buy some cat merchandise.

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Behind the register you go through the door to the cafe area where the cats live. The cafe is very cozy and full with cat related stuff. Like the menu has a cat on it of course

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Of course I don’t remember everything that was on the menu, but I’d really recommend the red velvet cake.

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Basically, if you like foods and cats this is the place for you. Now, time for what I’m sure you’re all waiting for: CAT PICTURES

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Meet the cats (unfortunately you can’t really read their names in the picture sorry about that)

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Look at that cheeky leg

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Story time: I was petting the first cat, but all of a sudden it moved like it was going to bite me. So I took the hint and left it alone. I sat back down in my chair next to my friend and all of a sudden the cat charged me. I thought it was going to attack me (we both did), then it jumped on my lap, jumped to my friend’s lap and sat down. IT WAS SO RUDE. I WAS GIVING YOU LOVE AND ATTENTION EARLIER WHY DID YOU CHOOSE HER.

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Look at her face lmao

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LOOK AT THE TINY AMSTERDAM HOUSE THEY HAVE

I don’t wanna play favourites but… Tiny (the one in the house) is my favourite

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CAN YOU BLAME ME THOUGH I MEAN LOOK AT IT

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Seriously recommend this cafe if you’re a cat lover. I had never been to a cat cafe before this one, so I don’t have anything to compare it with, but I really loved it.

Important information:
Address: Marco Polostraat 211
Opening hours: Wednesday through sunday 10.00 – 19.00
It’s best to make a reservation! You get two hours at the cafe
Also you need to pay three euros entrance (do it for the kitties)
You can only pay with a debit or credit card

Have you ever been to a cat cafe? Or something similar? How was it? Let me know in the comments! Also if you have a cat please share some cat stories with me I love cats

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Blogsterdam: The Answers To Your Questions

I feel like this is really late, but I actually planned to answer these in October so it’s not really late at all! I am annoyed that I just can’t make this a monthly feature, but oh well. Let’s finally answer these questions!

What’s the most unflattering image you think there is about Amsterdam?

Hmm I think you mean reputation wise? I guess that we’re all on drugs or something haha. Also let me introduce you to this wonderful video that was made in response to Fox News it’s hilarious:

Yeah it’s not a mess guys. It really isn’t.

Do you get have any bother by a person using a preference of Holland over the Netherlands?

Not really. I mean a lot of us say ‘Holland’ instead of ‘Nederland’ a lot of the time as well.

Do you cycle?

Okay this is not something I usually talk about because people in The Netherlands will give you a really weird look and usually laugh at you when you tell them but… I’m afraid to cycle. Yep. I don’t know how to ride a bike because it scares me. Especially the thought of riding one in a busy city like Amsterdam, no thank you. But seriously, it’s so normal to be able to ride a bike that people think it’s crazy when you can’t so I always feel uncomfortable when the topic is brought up and I know I might have to explain that I can’t ride a bike.

What is your favourite and least favourite part about Amsterdam? 
I can’t really explain in words why I love Amsterdam and why I love living here. Partly it’s because it’s my home, but it’s also so historical and magical in a way. My least favourite part is probably how easily people will throw trash on the ground and dirty the city.
If I move to Amsterdam, will that encourage me to actually use my bike and cycle more? 
Haha well that depends! A lot of people ride their bike instead of a car because parking is crazy in the center of the city (plus expensive) but if you don’t ride a car maybe not? But maybe it will motivate you to ride yours when you see so many others riding theirs haha.
Are there any underestimated cities/areas of The Netherlands that tend to get overshadowed by Amsterdam that you think are worth visiting?
Oh definitely! Utrecht (okay I’m a bit biased because that’s where my uni is) is also really gorgeous.
(not my picture)

Not my picture

Seriously I love the canals there. Also there’s a nice atmosphere and the people are really friendly. I haven’t explored it that much, but while Amsterdam is my home, I don’t feel like a stranger in Utrecht either.
Maastricht is also really pretty, but the one time I was there I wore my Converse platform sneakers and a lot of people looked at my shoes like I was wearing cats on my feet or something, so that ruined the experience.

Oh and Zaandam is also really fun to visit! It’s really close to Amsterdam so if you’re in Amsterdam you can just take the train and you’ll be there in like ten minutes or less (depending on where in the city you’re leaving from of course)

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Not my picture

Just look how cute? It’s not like the entire village looks like this though!
Where am I most likely to find Douwe? 😉
I’M SORRY EM I DON’T KNOW. You will definitely find him at his own concert of course. Maybe you’ll be lucky like me and see him as a guest during a different concert (how cool would that be??? Live tweet me when that happens). He opened his own bar in Amsterdam but I can’t find the address (obviously I’ll let you know when I find it). He does live in Amsterdam so there’s a bigger chance that you’ll run into him than when you’re in the UK so…
Also to most of you who probably have no idea what’s going on, the question is about Douwe Bob a Dutch singer who represented us at Eurovision and the love of Em’s life just kidding ;P. Here’s Douwe’s performance at Eurovision:

If you could live anywhere in The Netherlands, would you want to stay in Amsterdam or live somewhere else? 
I definitely want to stay in Amsterdam! If I’m going to move out of the city, I’m going to move out of the country. That sounds very dramatic; I’m just saying that there’s no other city in The Netherlands that I love as much as Amsterdam and that I feel at home at.
What’s your advice for making friends in Amsterdam? Any tips for making new Dutch friends?
Just be yourself! Don’t be afraid to speak your mind and joke around, as long as you’re not rude. Of course it depends on the person, but ‘Amsterdammers’ are always up for a chat and love wittiness and teasing each other in a fun way.
If I only had ONE day in Amsterdam, what place(s) would you advice for me to see?
Oh my gosh only one day! Well obviously you need to visit The American Book Center ;) Also you have to see the canals of course. I think the best way to spend the one day you have is to explore the center really. That way you can soak up the most of Amsterdam.
What kind of food should we absolutely try while in Amsterdam ?
STROOPWAFELS. OH MY GOD STROOPWAFELS. STROOPWAFELS ARE THE BEST. 10/10 WOULD RECOMMEND. Hot or cold, both is good (definitely try both though). Pepernoten are also good, especially covered in chocolate (ESPECIALLY covered in chocolate), but we don’t sell those all year long (we eat them around Sinterklaas, a holiday in December, but they start appearing in August or something already it’s crazy AND there’s a pepernoten store somewhere, though I don’t remember where). Marie this question is making me hungry omg.
Stroopwafels, a.k.a. the love of my life

Stroopwafels, a.k.a. the love of my life

Pepernoten

BUT SERIOUSLY GET THESE CHOCOLATE COVERED GOODIES INSTEAD

BUT SERIOUSLY GET THESE CHOCOLATE COVERED GOODIES INSTEAD

Favourite place outside of the city ? Could be in the suburbs, or in the Netherlands in general
Ooh I don’t know! This used to be Bakkum, but I haven’t been there in years. It’s a camping site not too far from Amsterdam and my grandparents went there every year, but when my grandmother got sick they sold the caravan and everything so I haven’t been there in over four years. If I went there now I probably wouldn’t love it as much as I did back then since it would make me sad (and I don’t know how much it has changed over the years!) but it was very peaceful and I loved being surrounded by nature. I went for long walks with my grandmother every day and I just sat outside and read.
Do you ever go around the city on bike, and would you recommend it?
Since I can’t ride one, I don’t. I don’t know if I’d recommend it either. I think riding one at one of the parks could be fun, but if you’re not used to riding a bike in a city like Amsterdam it might be a bit stressful!
Did you already go to see the TFIOS bench ? (sorry I HAD to ask that one haha)
Not specifically haha. I mean I might have seen it without realising it’s THE bench? I  thought I could handle The Fault In Our Stars even though cancer is a huge trigger for me, but when I read it I realised I really couldn’t (I haven’t seen the film either) so I haven’t gone out to look for the bench either.
Places to go outside of the obvious touristic ones? BOOKSHOPS? Shopping? GREAT FOOD?
Aaah let me think! I feel like tourists are maybe not that aware of our markets? (except for the Flower Market) But we do have those and they’re nice! Like the Noordermarkt, Waterlooplein Market and Albert Cuyp Market. If you love cats I’d definitely recommend the Cat Boat. There are so many more places I could recommend but I just can’t think of any!
For bookshops of course The American Book Center that I already talked about, but we also have a Waterstones (really close by the ABC!) and while it’s a Dutch bookshop Scheltema is really worth a visit! They also sell English books, but I just really like the store itself (one day I’ll hopefully do a Blogsterdam on it). It has four floors and it’s just really pretty. Oh and every Friday there’s a book market at the Spui, which is the square where the ABC is located!
Usually when I myself go shopping I tend to go Kalverstraat, Nieuwendijk and Dam Square, but really I’d recommend to just explore the center of the city because there are a lot of shops to discover there! Also the area around Waterlooplein has some interesting shops and we have our own Chinatown (make sure to visit YoYo if you love bubble tea! And if you don’t visit it anyway because it’s also a store and they sell some really cute stuff).
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Omg look at my panda sneakers I haven’t worn those since FOREVER. I need to wear them again. But now it’s Autumn and rainy and I don’t want my pandas to get wet that sounds so weird. Also rip that bag it’s been broken for over a year and I need to get it fixed

Oh boy there’s so much great food where do I start. Okay so my favourite restaurant has to be A-Fusion, also located in Chinatown. It’s a bit expensive BUT SO WORTH IT. They also have great bubble tea and oh my God just everything is so good I’m practically drooling as I’m typing this. Really, if you love Asian food, eat here. If you want to try stroopwafels I recommend to just buy them at Albert Heijn (our biggest supermarket chain) from the Albert Heijn brand itself. Oh and Van der Linde in my opinion has the best ice cream, but that depends on your taste. It’s very creamy and made with the best whipped cream, but not everyone likes it of course (there’s always a really long line in the Summer but really, it’s worth it and it won’t take that long!) They also sell other desserts. I’d definitely recommend their chocolate truffels and mergpijpjes. Also there are a lot of stores that will try to lure you in with the delicious smell of Belgian waffles so good luck. Again Marie you’re making me so hungry with this question oh my God. I want all of the stuff I just mentioned.
Why do you think more films aren’t filmed in Amsterdam?
Hmm I don’t know! I’m guessing you mean international films? Since Dutch tv shows and movies are filmed here. I think Amsterdam would make a great setting for movies, though I hope they wouldn’t go with the ‘Amsterdam is so dangerous it’s full of drugs!!’ narrative.
What do you think the most romantic part of the city is?
Hmm I think the canals at night, when it’s bathed in all the lights.
Ever met anyone famous?

When I was little my mom and I ran into this Dutch girl group at the McDonalds and I got their autograph #score

How would you describe each season, in terms of weather and how people respond (by actions/attitude/clothing choices) to the weather?

Spring: lots of rain and if it doesn’t rain people will complain about their hay fever (like me aaay). At the sign of the smallest ray of sunshine people will take out their T-Shirts and shorts and wear them like it’s Summer already even though I’m still wearing jumpers and I don’t know how many layers because it’s not Summer

Summer: people tend to complain that ‘we haven’t had a good Summer in years!!’ but honestly do we ever get a good Summer?? I don’t remember ever experiencing a ‘good Summer’. It still rains a lot. If we do get warm weather, the day will usually end in rain and thunder and misery. And usually when it gets warm it’s suffocatingly hot and just not pleasant. Also more hay fever yay.

Autumn: Most Rain™ along with Winter, crazy twelve year olds who think it’s cool to not wear a coat when it’s almost freezing and to get pneumonia, more Rain™, you won’t know what to wear like it’s too hot for Winter clothes so it’s a very confusing time

Winter: sometimes we get snow (we used to get a lot more snow and it used to freeze a lot (actual freezing, when I say ‘freezing’ I’m usually exaggerating) but then climate change happened) but it’s usually not a lot and it melts quickly. Usually we’re just stuck with gross muddy snow (I’m speaking for Amsterdam, it’s different in other parts of the country).
I hope I made you guys a bit wiser about Amsterdam. If I made you hungry, I’m sorry. I really am, because I made myself hungry and I have none of the foods I’m craving right now at home (seriously tempted to message my mom and ask her if she can bring stroopwafels…) What are some fun facts about your country? Let me know in the comments!
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Blogsterdam: The Amsterdam Book Tag

YOU CAN STILL SEND IN QUESTIONS FOR THE BLOGSTERDAM Q&A

This month’s Blogsterdam will combine Amsterdam and books (actually just like last month’s since then I talked about my favourite bookstore) in a tag I created!

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Seriously guys it’s not funny how many cheese stores there are in the same street. DEFY THE STEREOTYPES AMSTERDAM. Anyway, my choice for this category is The Selection series, which can be quite cheesy but still ‘delicious’. Well the first three anyway, since I still haven’t read the rest.

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I’m torn between Carry On and Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda.

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Since I’m very emotional, a lot of books make me cry, so let’s just go with the most recent one, which was my reread of The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Yep, that book does make me very emotional so a good choice for this one.

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

That awkward moment you realise THEY SHOULD’VE BEEN HORIZONTAL BECAUSE THIS IS THE FRENCH FLAG And the idiot of the year award goes to…

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For this category you can go with fiction or non-fiction, I’m going with non-fiction since I want to choose De Kunst van Het Woord: Zijn Mooiste Brieven (literal translation: The Art of the Word: His Most Beautiful Letters), which is a book about Van Gogh and contains, like the title says, his most beautiful letters. I haven’t finished this yet since I haven’t been in the mood to read non-fiction lately, but I love Van Gogh so I’ll continue soon. It hasn’t been translated into English I believe (at least I can’t find an English edition on Goodreads), but it might be in the works.

PIGEONS

I have a love-hate relationship with pigeons. On one hand I find them cute, on the other I find them annoying, especially at Dam Square where they tend to accidentally almost fly at your face. I found pretty much every main character in The Crown’s Game annoying to be honest (Pasha was bearable until the end). Review to come soon!

I TAG

Marie | Em | Anne | Kat | Cristina | Cátia | Alex | Whoever wants to do this!

Don’t feel obligated to do this!

Have you ever been to Amsterdam? I hope you had a good time! Also: do you like cheese? Let me know in the comments!

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Blogsterdam: My Favourite Bookstore

Blogsterdam is supposed to be a monthly thing but alas, the blogger behind this blog is very forgetful. Proof: the last one was posted in April, it is now July. Anyway, Blogsterdam is a blogging series in which this forgetful blogger talks about her hometown Amsterdam, as the city is so much more than drugs, cheese and the Red Light District.

Today I’m going to talk to you guys about my favourite bookstore in Amsterdam: The American Book Center. There are quite a few others that also solely sell English books (like Waterstones, which is my second favourite), but when I go out to buy books I’ll always automatically go to ABC first.

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They often have really nice displays and I’ve seen drawings like these on the windows before. I had to take a picture of this one though, because it’s just so cute.

The other photos used in the post are from ABC’s blog because whenever I’m there I feel too awkward to take pictures haha.

In the middle of the store there’s a tree, which makes the store so unique and adds to the atmosphere.

   

How cool is this? Fun fact: it took me a while to notice the tree, because I was too distracted by the books the first times I went there

The books are cheaper than at Waterstones (price difference between paperbacks at both stores really isn’t funny) and as a student I get a discount when I show my ID. I’m not 100% sure but I think that if you’re not from The Netherlands and show your student ID you’ll get a discount as well.

And of course, very important: the staff is lovely and helpful. I’ve never felt uncomfortable and I always feel welcome. There’s another bookstore that solely sells English books (and is often cheap) but the atmosphere there is so bad. The staff isn’t really friendly and make me feel like they want me to leave as soon as possible. I don’t want to bash another store while praising another one so I won’t call them by name, but thankfully this isn’t the case AT ALL at ABC.

Waterstones does have a bigger YA collection, but it’s still a pretty good one that ABC has. Also note: some books aren’t necessarily in the YA collection, but among the other fantasy books (like Marissa Meyer). So don’t immediately give up if you can’t find what you’re looking for! They also have a big manga and graphic novels collection.

They don’t just sell books, but I also got a lunchbox that looks like a Gameboy there and other fun stuff like that and Pop Funkos for example. They also have some stuff from Blossom Books (a Dutch YA publisher) like Shut Up I’m Writing or Reading mugs, bookmarks etc. And of course cute tote bags.

Important information:
Address: Spui 12 (really easily to reach by tram)
Opening hours: Monday 12:00 – 20:00 | Tuesday to Saturday 10:00 – 20:00 | Sunday 11:00 – 18:30
Don’t forget your student ID!

What’s your favourite bookstore where you live? Let me know in the comments!

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Blogsterdam: The Cat Boat

Blogsterdam is supposed to be a monthly thing but alas, the blogger behind this blog is very forgetful. The fact that the last Blogsterdam was in January and it’s now the end of April is proof of this. But hey, it’s the end of April, which means she almost missed April as well, but she didn’t! Anyway, Blogsterdam is a blogging series in which this forgetful blogger talks about her hometown Amsterdam, as the city is so much more than drugs, cheese and the Red Light District.

Last month I went to visit the ‘Poezenboot’, which translates to the Cats Boat. I had never heard of it, but it’s been in Amsterdam for many years now, so I find it weird that I only found out about it last month! I went to make a radio item and since I was focused on that I forgot to take a picture of the outside. This picture is from their website:

I first worried that the cats may not have a lot of space, but when I got inside that thankfully wasn’t the case. The cats have plenty of space and can walk outside as well (I don’t know if you can see it in the picture, but there’s gauze so the cats can’t fall off the boat). There are also plenty of toys and scratching posts inside.

While it’s an animal shelter, you can walk inside to take a look and play with the cats as well. When I went there the cats weren’t really in the mood to be petted or played with though. I only petted one cat. Speaking of which, there are certain cats you’re not allowed to pet because they can attack you, but there are pictures of those cats on the walls. Entrance is free, but if you can do donate! Or buy buttons or a hoodie (I’m not being paid to say all this I just love cats)

Now time for some adorableness!

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Important information
Opening hours: 13:00 – 15:00, closed on Wednesdays and Sundays
Address: Singel 38
Entrance fee: free

So if you love cats and you’re in Amsterdam, definitely go there!

Have you ever been to the Cats Boat? More importantly, do you love cats? (it’s okay if you don’t I won’t chase you with pitchforks no worries)

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Blogsterdam: Van Gogh Museum

Blogsterdam is supposed to be a monthly thing but alas, the blogger behind this blog is very forgetful. She does try to get one up every month though. She may have missed December, but not January! Anyway, Blogsterdam is a blogging series in which this forgetful blogger talks about her hometown Amsterdam, as the city is so much more than drugs, cheese and the Red Light District.


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I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it on here, but I’m a huge fan of Van Gogh. He’s my favourite artist, he inspires me and I get emotional seeing every piece of his work in real life. It doesn’t matter what it depicts. I can’t even explain it, I just do. So of course the Van Gogh Museum is my favourite museum in the city (closely followed by Rijksmuseum). It’s been a while since I visited, since I’ve been busy with school, but last weekend was the last chance to see the exposition Munch: Van Gogh. Of course it’s a bit too late for you to go see it, but I just took this opportunity to take some pictures for a Blogsterdam post. Because obviously the museum is worth it without the exposition.

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The exposition was amazing though! It was really interesting to see all the parallels between Van Gogh and Munch and of course it was amazing to see some of Munch’s work in real life and not just in a book. I wish I could’ve gone earlier so that I could’ve told you guys about it in advance, but sadly I just didn’t have the time/energy before that! (okay technically I didn’t have time last weekend either because of my exams, but it was my last chance, plus I don’t study that well during the evening anyway, so I had to go). It was a successful exhibition though, so who knows, maybe it will return one day!

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On this screen they showed different paintings, as you can see in the picture it was just about to change! My mom and I tried to take a selfie with it as our background but…

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As you can see I got a good one when my mom was out of the picture haha.

At the end of the evening of course we did some shopping! My mom bought the pencil case and a small painting from Munch (a replica, obviously haha) and the book is mine (surprise surprise). The title is ‘The Art of the Word: His Most Beautiful Letters’. It contains 265 of Van Gogh’s letters and I can’t wait to delve into it!

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Reasons to visit the Van Gogh Museum:

  • It has the biggest Van Gogh collection
  • Not just his art work, but also letters
  • It may not have all of his famous work (I’m forever pissed that Starry Night is at New York), but it does have most of his famous work
  • It doesn’t only have Van Gogh’s work; it also has paintings of Van Gogh’s friends, artists he looked up too and French artists that lived during the same time period like Gauguin, Monet, Manet, Delacroix and Millet (and more!)
  • The staff is friendly
  • The general atmosphere is nice
  • At Fridays they’re open until 10 PM – they play nice music and on some Fridays (once every month I believe?) there’s an event
  • The shop has a lot of great stuff
  • It’s Van Gogh
  • If you love Van Gogh, do you really need a list of reasons?

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Some advice:

  • Order your tickets online through the website. You might still have to stand in line to show your ticket, but you won’t have to stand in line at the register!
  • Friday evenings are a really nice time to visit the museum. It’s not that busy as usual. According to the website anytime after 3 PM is less busy though. But on Friday night they also play music, you can get something to drink and there’s sometimes an event like I said above!
  • Grab a map. We got a bit lost since we hadn’t visited since the new entrance had been built (they now have two buildings instead of one)
  • You are not allowed to take pictures. Usually the staff is really nice and kindly points it out to you, but obviously I don’t know the entire staff. I have some bad experience with museum guards in Rome though, so here’s a warning to you guys haha (seriously they basically attack you in Rome like oh my god I’m sorry don’t kill me I just wanted a picture I didn’t want to destroy it)

So if you’re going to Amsterdam and love art, I definitely recommend the Van Gogh Museum! Especially if you love Van Gogh of course ;) If you have any more questions, feel free to ask! Obviously I’m not an expert, but I’m happy to try and help!

Have you been to the Van Gogh Museum? Do you want to go? Are you a fan of Van Gogh’s? Or maybe of Munch’s? Let me know in the comments!

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Blogsterdam: POPCULT

Blogsterdam is supposed to be a monthly thing but alas, the blogger behind this blog is very forgetful. She does try to get one up every month though. Look, one is posted on the very last day of November! Two months after the last one! Anyway, Blogsterdam is a blogging series in which this forgetful blogger talks about her hometown Amsterdam, as the city is so much more than drugs, cheese and the Red Light District. 

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I had been to the POPCULT stores a few times before, but while I liked the idea of the stores, I never bought something. Until this month.

When the first store appeared they mostly sold Super Mario, Adventure Time and DC comics stuff. While I have played Mario games in the past and love Yoshi, I’m not that much of a fan (do I have to hide now?). I’ve never seen Adventure Time (I only know about it from Tumblr) and at that point I had never seen a DC film (*hides for real this time especially since I still haven’t seen that many. I’M REALLY SLOW*). I could tell though that they had the potential to become a great store. AND THEY HAVE BECOME A GREAT STORE.

They slowly started to get more and more different franchises. Like there’s this Playstation 1 bag I’ve had my eye on since the first day I saw it (it’s rather expensive though and I already have so many bags… though one day!), not to mention this Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles backpack in the shape of a shell… I REALLY WANT IT OKAY. BUT MONEY. PLUS MY MOM KEEPS STOPPING ME. Again, one day.

Last time I was in one of their stores though, they had truly become a pop culture store. Their name really does them justice. I should never visit this store without my mom, so she can stop me from making irrational decisions (I DON’T CARE THAT I’M 18 I WANT TO BE A NINJA TURTLE MOM).

They have so many brands now (THEY’RE GOING TO ADD MARVEL SOON- SPIDERMAN YES), that I’m not going to list them for you. It’s really worth a visit though! I got Pikachu sweat pants that aren’t just cute (I mean, it’s Pikachu), but they’re also really warm, soft and thus comfy. I also got a Pikachu hat and my mom bought me a Jigglypuff one (which I’ll receive at Sinterklaas or Christmas. I’m note sure) because I couldn’t choose.

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Note: The hoodie is not from PopCult. It was made by my mom

I believe (wow it sounds like I’m about to quote Avatar. I’m not) that POPCULT can be the Dutch Hot Topic (I definitely hope so!). If you’re not sure if they have brands that you like, check out their website. I’d also like to point out that their ‘our stores’ page isn’t up to date, as they have more stores! I don’t know all the addresses by heart, but they’re all relatively close together and I’m sure that if you ask in one store they can tell you where the others are (I recommend visiting different stores, as certain products can be sold out at one store but still in stock at the other).

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