Visiting Flatducks (5) – Ashna & Amsterdam (and around)

It’s been a while since I last wrote a Visiting Flatducks post (such a shame on me … it says a lot about how I treat my friends, which is not well), so let me refresh you a bit. Ashna is, in my opinion, the real cool kid. She always has a bottle of original coca cola in her hands/ room/ fridge, her dressing style values comfort and practicality over everything else unnecessary, she works hard in her studies and her job and she has a great sense of humour (like mine … hehe). We have done something very stupid together in Sheffield and I am still very sorry, but she probably already forgot, which just tells you how open her arms are for people and humanity in general … Lol, humanity. Yeah, she was also the one in our group who bought the Cards Against Humanity.

I am sorry it took so long for me to visit Ashna and it took even longer to write this post. But everything we did together in Amsterdam and Zaandam was very cool. It was very funny that the first meal we had was Burger King and we fought over who should pay only to know that foreign credit cards like Visa/ Master don’t really work in the Netherlands. Of course I didn’t stop trying but I ended up having her pay many things at the end … But rest assured Ashna, I am a good investment. If you ever come to Hong Kong, I will … I will see if I am still there, and then buy you meals and stuff (+ interest).

Since the very beginning I knew that Ashna’s humour is really dry, but living her life in Amsterdam and Zaandam for three days only made me value this precious character more. I was too lazy to plan my stay (i.e. research on museums and sightseeing activities) so I just said to her, take me to your uni, to your work, to your friends and wherever your daily life happens. Sure enough, we went to one of her classes (which by the way was a tiny class with only 20 people or so, making my presence especially as an Asian sooooooo apparent). I learnt absolutely nothing from the books (it was an econometrics class) but I learnt that the driest thing about humour is no humour. The Dutch students were so serious in class that we were the only two getting and secretly laughing at the tutor’s one and only joke. We looked at each other at that moment and probably were dying from laughter inside.

Setting that aside, Ashna’s university is actually pretty cool, like Ashna. First of all most people bike or walk to school if they can. Secondly the cafeteria has pretty good food and the interior design was very chill and friendly. Thirdly the computer lab could be accessed by foreigners like me and I could connect to their wifi with my HKU credentials, so I could write my essays even when I am abroad … that did not sound so cool. But the University of Amsterdam is very cool, the top level of cool. Like Ashna.

What else do cool kids do, when in Amsterdam ? I know what you are thinking, but that was not the coolest. It was actually, meeting with other cool kids ! By “kids”, I mean friends, family, and animals and organisms. I met Ergün, long time friend of Ashna with a very generic Amsterdam hobby, and had very sophisticated conversations when he was at his best state. Ergün is also a very chill person with just a very open heart that could take as many playground insults in a day, even when I have just met him. I of course, also met with Ashna’s family (by staying in their house .. ?), who are all very kind, loving, and open minded. It was a solid house because Ashna’s father is actually doing many work when he has time, something that my dad doesn’t quite do. So it was interesting to stay with them, and of course, take a sneak-stare at all of Ashna’s baby/ toddler/ teen photos 😉

Did I say by “kids”, I also mean animals and organisms ? Yes, we went to the zoo which is next to Micropia, the microbes museum of Amsterdam. I never thought I’d say this but I am amazed by the modern architecture of the Amsterdam zoo. It’s like animals deserve cool homes too ! Below, for example, is the area for monkeys, which looks like an abandoned space ship molded by cement :

Zoo Monkey

Here comes more photos (because I am lazy to write) : Zoo LlamasZoo

Zoo tree
You thought it’s a tree in the middle ? Wrong. It’s a giraffe !

Zoo Giraffes

Zoo Bird
Find the beak
Zoo Penguins
And here I finally connect back to my lost heritage – penguins … Not exactly the same type but close enough, we are cousins 

And the coolest among all :

Giraffe front bottom
A giraffe that refuses to bent down to look at the camera with its eyes 

And afterwards we went to a nice cafe nearby, which was great because it accepts foreign credit cards and I can finally pay for once …

ashna and i cafe

In the final day of my short stay, we decided to go around Zandaam, which is just as beautiful in my opinion. It was a great day and the buildings were super colourful, and I just loved walking along the small river to window-shop. It’s always fun to look at local shops and see what brands are popular. Surprisingly, there was also a Japanese style all-you-can-eat restaurant (with Chinese looking staffs who only speaks Dutch …) where we enjoyed a huge lunch.

Zaandam Bridge

Zaandam Canel
Look at the tiny little boat
Zaandam hotel 2
Holy Primark

Zaandam hotel

Zaandam Swan
Are they swans ? Or whales ? … 
Zaandam sea
Just as beautiful as the canal in central Amsterdam … 

It was a cool time we spent together, Ashna, although I was like an annoying kid following you around without making solid sightseeing plans and had you paid for most of my expenses because of my stupid credit card … I am so grateful we still hung out like we did in Sheffield and I got to know you even better, even though some time has passed. You are always my most loyal reader of mine and you probably wondered a few times when the heck will I write about this which happened in September last year. I also know that you are reading, and you deserve to know that you are always the cool kid in my life ! Even when you turn 99… if you live that long. Hope you and your family are happy, and I will see you next time 😉

From the other cool kid (hehe)

P.S. Could you remind me if it was joint or cake ? “I don’t really remember …” (hehe)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s