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Wednesday, December 26, 2018
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Our lazy days at Yanchep typically involve waking up early and running down along the beach before beginning our touristy activities. Since I am far from being an expert runner, heck, even an intermediate one, I dabble more in the slow jog territory, while Kate, our resident track star, will sprint ahead and then double back, bouncing up and down...
Having picked up our third and final member of the pack at the airport, we drive back to Yanchep, a small fishermen’s village about an hour north of Perth where we will be spending the next week. Donning our bathing suits as soon as we arrive at the house, we frolic down to the beach to give our pasty,...
After rendezvousing with my friend Valerie at her hotel and sprucing up a bit, we headed out into the hot streets of Perth to locate food and rental cars, practicing our left-hand side sidewalk walking against a sea of pedestrians and trying not to get run over as we crossed double-lane streets with traffic coming from the (relatively) wrong direction. We meandered...
After a 15-hour flight from Chicago to Hong Kong, one where I had a bad case of Restless Leg Syndrome and had forgotten to download to my iPad all the books and TV shows I had purchased in advance, I entered Hong Kong airport, a bit smelly and disheveled, with a face that had all its makeup evaporated and...
Every year, Harvard gives its students the full month of January off, so after all the hubbub of final exams, Christmas, and New Year’s has died down, we find ourselves with a whole month of downtime, with no exams to study for and no projects to complete. Many students take this time to simply laze and veg out; others...
Today, I've been backing up all the files on my computer in preparation for exams and stumbled upon my high school folder of college applications, so I've been reading old essays I wrote. Below is the 1-pager I wrote for UPenn's prompt: You have just completed your 300-page autobiography. Please submit page 217. Looks like I haven't changed much, minus the vegetarianism: ---  My...
It's hard to understand why terrible things happen. Why they happen to other people and not you. And why sometimes, that annoying inconvenience of your day is what ends up being your biggest blessing. I was supposed to go to the Boston Marathon today. I was supposed to go watch my roommate run across the finish line, alongside all my other roommates,...
Stand up if you have ever said any of these words OUT LOUD:           "I am going to be #1 in my field."           "I am going to be the CEO of a company."           "I am going to be the president of an organization." This is how Sheryl Sandberg, current...
The Absinth Depot is a funky little shop in Berlin that offers over 100 different types of absinth.  Stepping into the store felt like being transported into a different time and day, surrounded by old floral wall paper, antique furniture, and dusty, old glass bottles covering every inch of wall space. Although wormwood, the ingredient in absinth that causes the...

On to Berlin!

After a few days in Amsterdam, it was time to head off to Berlin for the next leg of our journey. This involved the typical Caroline strategy of simply hopping on a train and winging it. It all worked out-- we took a train, took a subway, butchered some German, dragged our too-large suitcases through piles of snow and crowded...
Rijsttafel is a popular Indonesian dish in the Netherlands, adopted during the Dutch colonial era in Indonesia. The word simply means "rice table". Basically, you get rice and a variety of delicious dishes, all somehow fitting on your table. Anni ordered a vegetarian single-serving rijsttafel and even after confirming that it was just enough food for one person, she received over15...
The House of Bols. I'll be honest, we had never heard of the Bols brand and didn't really know what to expect from an "interactive tour of cocktails", but when you are chilly from your canal tour and the entrance price (less than $15 USD) includes a cocktail and 2 Genever shots, well then, it's definitely a good idea. The...
For our last day in Amsterdam, we decided to knock off all the touristy things on our to-do list. This meant taking a cruise of the canals in one of the brightly colored, silly boats, going and getting a tour of one of the many breweries, and eating Indonesian food--- after all, Indonesia was a Dutch colony for over...
Yesterday, we went to the Bloemenmarkt, which is the world's only floating flower market. Founded in 1862, it includes 15 florists and garden shops, as well as a range of souvenir gifts, and is one of the main suppliers of flowers to central Amsterdam. The stores themselves are half onland, half on floating barges. We then walked over to Albert Cuyp Market, the largest street market in Amsterdam. The market,...
After a quick layover in Iceland, and a new stamp for my passport, we are now in Amsterdam! I've now got stamps in my new passport for Hong Kong, Rwanda, London, and Iceland-- already so diverse! As soon as we landed,  we wandered down to a nearby pub for our first European beer. Enjoyed some Duvel and La Chouffe, while planning our...

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