Adventures in Amsterdam

Another week down here in Dublin, Ireland, and unfortunately that means being one week closer to my time abroad coming to a close. Reflecting on the week, just as the past weeks have been, I have had a wonderful time in and out of work. And just as the other blogs show, I also have some new stories and adventures to tell you all about! To keep things consistent with my past posts, I will talk about my time outside of the workplace, and then we’ll bring the post to a close with a review of my week at work. Let us begin…

This past weekend I was lucky enough to make another trip outside of Ireland..this time to Amsterdam! I went with a friend from Ireland and met a couple other friends there as well. We chose to stay at a hostel for the weekend, and even though we were nervous about it because of how bad our hostel was last weekend, it actually ended up being a pretty good setup. There were only 6 beds in this room instead of 12, so needless to say it was just a tad bit less packed!

We flew in Friday night and touched down in Amsterdam around 9pm, and by the time we were all settled and unpacked in the hostel it was about 11pm. With our accomodation being located not far from the center city, we decided to take a walk around and see what Amsterdam had to offer! We grabbed a bite to eat at a restaurant down the street and walked for a couple hours around the town to get a feel for the area. When were done there, we came back to the hostel and called it a night.

The next morning, we went to a famous pancake eatery for breakfast that goes by the name of Moak. All four of our dishes looked absolutely delicious. My dish was a pancake stack with strawberries, blueberries and bananas, and I also got a dish on the side of avocado slices topped with smoked salmon over a layer of whipped cream cheese. It was absolutely amazing. After the fantastic breakfast, we took a walk to the canals and decided to do a one hour canal tour around Amsterdam. It was raining at the time, and we were lucky enough to get a boat with a cover! The tour had some amazing sites and history stories as well. It was a great experience and I’m glad we all had a chance to do it.

After the boat ride, we started walking towards our next destination, but first we grabbed a bite at a bagel shop. I haven’t had a bagel since I’ve left for Ireland, so it was great to be able to have one again. We ate our bagels on the way to the MoCo museum, which was our “next destination” aforementioned. The MoCo museum is a modern art museum, with a lot of the art being made by the England-based street artist Banksy. Though I’m not much of an art fan myself, this museum was really fascinating. It definitely has me more interested in art – especially street art.

When we were finished here, we went back to the hostel for a quick nap, and then went out to dinner. Based on recommendations from friends, we chose to go to a Chinese restaurant by the name of Happyhappyjoyjoy. The dishes at the restaurant were generally small, so the table would tend to buy a bunch of different plates and then share them all – and that’s exactly what we did! The meal consisted of baos (a bun with various fillings), pad thai, and vegetable tempura. It was absolutely delicious. Amsterdam definitely has its food figured out!

After the delectable meal, we made our way to the Ice Bar where we had reservations at 9:40. The Ice Bar is quite literally a bar entirely made out of ice with a temperature of about -14 degrees Fahrenheit. Even though the cold didn’t let us stay for too long, we had an absolutely great time. For the rest of the night we spent some time at a bar and explored a lot more around Amsterdam. The weekend trip flew by way too fast, and Amsterdam is a place I hope to visit again in the future but for a longer period of time.

And now we’ll hop over to my overview of work for the week. I had another solid and productive week at Wallace Myers International. I was able to keep up with my colleagues sourcing for her jobs while she is gone on break while handling the other various tasks assigned to me from my other co-workers as well. I believe my co-worker is getting back from her holiday trip today, so I should be done with sourcing for her jobs. This means I will have a lot more time to assist my other colleagues with sourcing for their jobs.

Working in a different country than I am used to of course has it’s differences. There are two differences in particular that stick out to me. The first one is the informality in the office. This doesn’t mean we are dressed down or fooling around, but instead we are able to balance working and chatting in the office well. Everyone is exceptional at the work they do and they are all able to handle all phone calls with the utmost professionalism, but when they aren’t on the phone, we know how to have fun while still getting work done. This makes the workplace very welcoming and enjoyable. I feel that my ability to be comfortable and personable in the workplace can integrate into work back home very well, depending on the type of job, of course. I would really like to work in the music industry, and these kinds of jobs generally are less informal than the typical office job so my personability that I have developed here will be very  beneficial in the future.

The other difference that stuck out to me is how much I have to work on my own initiative, with little guidelines or deadlines being given. While I am welcomed to ask questions for clarification or guidance on the tasks I am assigned, I always like to work through them by myself first and if I can’t get through it, then I ask a coworker for some help. My ability to work on my own initiative and get things done even if I don’t fully understand how to get it done has improved quite a bit, and this will prove to be very handy in my professional life back at home – no matter what kind of job I end up in.

Overall, I had a great time learning new things and contributing at work during the week, and had an amazing time visiting Amsterdam this weekend. With only two weeks left on my trip, it’s hard to believe my time here is coming to an end. Regardless, I’ll try my best to not sound sad in these last two blog posts…

Until next time!