Back from... Amsterdam!

A three-day trip to Amsterdam with a busy schedule was ahead of me. The second study trip of my Master. During this trip we were able to meet some of the people of the institutions that we were assigned to do research for. The case studies for the Marketing and Management course are: The Van Gogh Museum, the National Ballet, The Appel Arts Centre, and the Holland Festival. I had a wonderful but exhausting time. Finally was able to see more of the "touristy" and arts and cultural places or institutions. The days went as follows...

Wednesday - Day 1
Doubting whether I should go earlier and therefore on my own to Amsterdam to be able to shop and explore - but decided the day before I might as well just tag along with the rest. Our train left at 14:28 from Maastricht to Amsterdam Amstel, where we resided the next couple of days at Stayokay Zeeburgerdijk. As bare and practical as the rooms in the hostel in Berlin, I was with four others in a room for six. In contrast to the time I spend at the facilities of the hostel in Berlin, here there was barely time to see what things one could do. First stop: Theater Frascati where we had a nice meeting with two people of marketing, one of which was the head of marketing/communications, which was followed by the performance Love Songs by Fabuleus as part of the Breaking Walls festival. Although I really liked the concept - a group of youngsters who made 25 new love songs after having done research in everything related to love - it was too experimental for me.

Thursday - Day 2:
First stop: The Van Gogh Museum. I have always wanted to go to this museum and now I actually have. It was amazing to see works of art by Vincent van Gogh. We also had a meeting with the head of marketing/visitor research and someone from the education department of the museum. The visitor research they showed was very interesting to see and useful for the people who have this museum as case study.

The next stop was made up of three options: a meeting with the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands; a meeting with the marketeer of Amsterdam Heritage Museums and a tour along World Heritage Site Canal Ring; a visit to the Anne Frank house. I chose for the last option as I always wanted to go to the Anne Frank house. We had some time in between so I walked through the city. However, when it was time to go to the Anne Frank House I was almost late. I had it all figured out - which line to take, where to walk to etc. - but there were some diversions. On arrival we went to a room where we had a meeting with an alumna of the Master who was now working in the international department of the Anne Frank House. After this it was time to take the tour. It has left such an impact of me. There were some instances where my emotions got the better of me and my eyes started to water. The small, thin, steep stairs, the videos with Otto Frank... it really made an impact.

Hereafter we had some free time. Being as exhausted as we were, two friends and I, went to a nice little restaurant where we ate some delicious pancakes and just relaxed there until it was time to go to the last item of that day: the Stedelijk Museum. Here we also had a talk with an alumnus and I thought it was nice to actually really see where some people who have done the study have ended up. Next to his talk, there were also two others who gave a talk - an introduction to the Malevich exhibition and the Alzheimer programme - and entrance to the museum. Although the art on display is not really the art I like, it was still interesting to see.

Friday - Day three: The final day was made up of a visit to the Muziektheater and an optional visit to the Appel Arts Centre. The Muziektheater was really cool to see. We got behind the scenes, were on stage, at the custome department and so on. It was great. We even got to see some of the performers practice which was just amazing. The talk was by the head of marketing of the National Ballet and the Nederlandse Opera as well as an alumna who was part of the online marketing department. The talks were not that newly informative which was a pity. After a nice lunch at the artists foyer, some of us had a meeting with someone of the Holland Festival. I did this as well since this was my case study for the Marketing and Management course. The meeting was... not really successful. I don't know if it was because of the language barrier (mix of international and Dutch students thus he was speaking in English) but there was some tension between most of the students and the things he said. It all sounded very elite and in the end the assignment we had in mind turned out to not be the right one. Being done with this meeting and extremely tired I just wanted to relax and did not go to the Appel Arts Centre. It also was not the kind of art I like to see so I did not go and instead did some old fashioned shopping. I know... I can't visit and not shop.

the stage being torn down at the Muziektheater
Some of the costumes we saw - the wooden details
were handmade upon the fabric - insane!

I grabbed dinner from several places - which you will see in a minute - including some delicious tuna sandwiches from Marks & Spencer. I wish we had one of those shops here, because well Marks and Spencer haha. Forgetting that it was Friday I was really surprised of how busy it was. However, I was fortunate enough to have a seat the entire way home.

The things I bought apart from my dinner:
- Sour Patch watermelon (for the Sour Patch Kids weren't there) and Pop Tarts
- An old fashioned diary I always wanted to have from the Van Gogh Museum
- Maybelline Baby Lips in Cherry Me and Intense Care and Maybelline Color Show nail polishes in Burgundy Kiss and Midnight Taupe from a DA discount shop
- A pair of earrings and a ring of Brandy and Melville

My dinner: durum, sandwiches, fruit, starbucks chai tea latte
Although I was really really tired I had a wonderful time. My evening was not over as I went home and was off again to meet with some of my best friends which included a lot of chocolate and the film This is the End. Can't wait for the next study trip which will be a one-day trip to Brussels!





My official graduation photo xD

Woohoooo officially graduated! On the 24th of October I finally had my BA Arts and Culture graduation ceremony. All the hard work paid off. It was a fairly short ceremony - about one hour, an hour and a half tops - but then again I do not have any experience with this so it might be normal.

The outline of the graduation ceremony

My mom, being mom, took photos the entire day which was very useful since now I have more to show you. Thanks mom! Also, the official photos weren't made available until a few days ago, hence this delayed post.

Waiting for the ceremony to start

 The ceremony was interrupted with a music intermezzo by two Spanish musicians. Their performance was amazing and I was really captivated and moved by their music.

I wish I had recorded it

 After the ceremonial part we went outside to make, you guessed it, the group photo. It took some time but eventually everyone was out and after the photographer had positioned himself as well as addressed where we should stand the photos were taken. Leaving Maastricht,  my mom, stepdad, brother and sister went out for dinner at Salvatore's, and Italian restaurant in Hoensbroek.

To be honest I have not had the time to reflect or actually let it sink in that I succeeded that part of my life. I have the folder with my degree in a drawer... instead of hanging it somewhere or whatever is normal. This is definitely due to the fact that I was in the middle of writing a paper as the exam of one of my master courses. And after that... I don't know... I just didn't have the time, as lame as it sounds. Life passes by so quickly - in my case especially now - and I should take the time to think about the successful things, the good things. We all should. Went really melodramatic there but you get my point. There are so many times in one's life that are tearing you apart. Heck, there might be even more bad than good. Which is exactly why we need to cherish the moments that are good.



Off to...


Here I am being terrible at keeping my blog updated. I haven't even finished or continued my intended blogposts about Berlin and I am already off to visit a new city: Amsterdam. Yes, one of the reasons I choose the MA Arts and Heritage was for its study trips - I am not going to lie. Guilty as charged. So, the next stop is a three day study trip to the capital of the Netherlands. Of course I have been here before. Like any other girl I visited Amsterdam to shop. Whilst I have always wanted to see more of the city I never managed to do it. Visiting Amsterdam has always been a one-day trip and with a group of people with the intention to shop. I did however, visited different parts of Amsterdam with my bachelor study. This was also a one-day trip and included a tour in the Beurs van Berlage and some of the Amstedamse School [Amsterdam School] buildings. Thinking about it, I also saw the Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest [Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra] in high school. How writing my blog helps me remember, who would have thought of that!

Anyways I am off... See you soon