We decided to go to the beach again a couple days ago. Which may have been a mistake.

The sun had finally had it’s time here in Holland and the wind also picked up. Picture this, four cold college students digging a trench in hopes of keeping out the cold. Two other college students swimming in the water. And one college student searching for sea shells before destroying the trench that we hoped would shield us from the wind. By destroy, I mean he made a hole to let the water in our safe heaven. Below you will see a picture of how devastated we were when our masterpiece was destroyed. The wind was bad, the company was good, and the sand still haunts us.

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The beach day was Friday, so let me backtrack to Thursday. Originally it was suppose to be a free work day, but our professor got us a tour at the Meermanno Museum, which is a book museum. I know I know, Nikki how much nerd-i-er can you get?

Ya’ll don’t know excitement like being able to see pages from the Gutenberg Bible, inches from your face with nothing in between. What is the Gutenberg Bible, you ask. The first book ever printed on the printed press! It was beautiful! We also got to see one of the original Canterbury Tales by Chaucer, and it was gorgeous! AND a book written and illustrated by M.C. Escher!

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It was interesting seeing those books, and here’s why. The bible was the first book ever printed because of the monopoly the church had. If someone wanted to try out the printing press, the first book printed had to fall under the rule of the Catholic church. There was also a collection of books created by, William Morris who was the founder of the arts and crafts movement. He was a socialist Englishman who strangely enough also thought that there needed to be a return to handmade objects instead of the mass produced books of the day. While he did start the Kelmscott Press and indeed made books in the traditional methods, they were too expensive for the average man to buy. Ironically, as a socialists he created something for the rich man. See, both of these design examples were influenced by the political air of the day. We rarely think about things like that, but that is absolutely fascinating to me.

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Friday was of course the disastrous beach day. However, at night we went for a couple drinks at our Hostel’s bar. I am not a party person. I am, however, a chill drinker. So beer with friends and one rad barman made for a good ending to our crazy day. He asked for our song recommendations, brought out the disco ball for us, and even performed a song for us! My night ended after he played Amor Prohibido by Selena for us. To my surprise we weren’t the only ones dancing and singing. The Latinx influence is everywhere!

Saturday was a more chill day. We experienced typical Dutch weather, clouds and rain, but we were in–my future home–Delft. Somebody had told us that it was like a smaller Amsterdam, and I understand. There are apartments and businesses next to smaller canals with less tourists. As it turns out, there was a little market going on, so we weaved our way through the streets and window shopped a little. We ended up coming home in the late afternoon because the rain got really cold and we were a little on the ill-prepared side.

I think tonight we’re going to try an “authentic” Mexican restaurant for dinner and tomorrow we’re off to Rotterdam! Den Haag has been a mix of good experiences and bad ones, but that’s how traveling goes. You get lost in sketchy neighborhoods some days and find rad book museums on others. Just gotta remember to smile through it all!

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As I was writing this, a friend walked by the cafe where I’m sitting at, and of course we waved at each other. I guess a local saw us, and he also waved at me as he rode his bike by the cafe. We made eye contact and both laughed, it’s the little things that make my day, guys. ❤

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