It’s almost time to say goodbye to Maastricht, and I feel that there’re so much left to see… This last month has quickly gone under fantastic moments, and close to the final act, time seems to run in fast paces.
Episode 1: Amsterdam journey never ends
April 27th was King’s Day here. I’ve never seen streets decorated in orange ornaments and people in vibrant colored clothes celebrating a birthday so loudly and happy before. I went to Amsterdam with ISN as a day-trip to enjoy the city. It was really fun since there’re a lot of parties in the streets and it’s easy to find music spots all around.
I had to go one more time to Amsterdam to visit two museums I was really excited about: Anne Frank Museum and Moco Museum. Both are worth of time and money. The former was the place where Anne Frank and her family hid for 2 years during the Second World War. For those who read her diary like me, it is very touching to see this vivid their reality and learn more about their journey. The tickets for this museum are very difficult to get. They sold out very fast and it took me almost 1,5 hours refreshing their webpage to finally find one ticket available.
Moco Museum is a museum of contemporary art, exhibiting mostly Banksy’s and Roy Lichtenstein’s works, but you can also find other artists pieces in the yard. It’s a museum which establish a simple and strict line of conversation with the audience: easy to analyze and understand, since the majority part of the works are related to present themes and others can also be defined as timeless. Van Gogh and Rijksmuseum must definitely be in your list too, but if you have enough time, I really recommend Moco, and it’s located also in the Musenplein!
Episode 2: Three Country Board
Who said that it is impossible to be in two places at once? That’s so WRONG! You can actually be in 3!
Near Maastricht there’s this small city called Vaals. From there it’s possible to reach the Three Country Board. After a good hiking to the highest point in the Netherlands, you encounter yourself in a park full of people taking so many pictures of the three-country point, where you can stand between Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany! After that, we went to Aachen, the closest German city to Maastricht, where you can find beautiful churches and visit a big Lindt chocolate store to get fine deals.
Episode 3: Keukenhof
I couldn’t leave the Netherlands before seeing one of its most iconic symbols: the tulips! That’s why we went to Keukenhof, a famous park filled with the most beautiful flowers. The park is in Lisse, almost 3 hours from Maastricht (using the train and bus). It’s a great day-trip and, obviously, it is THE place to full the storage space of your phone with infinite instagrammable photos!
Episode 4: Last month
It doesn’t seem like it has already passed 4 months since I started to write this blog. It’s now close to the finals and the deadlines to projects handouts. During my time studying at SBE, I could definitely learn a lot of things. After many tutorial meetings and facilitations done, I can tell that I will miss PBL and its challenges, but there are things that will stay for life, such as learning how to be more independent in studying and more engaged in class. I’ll never forget the butterflies in my stomach during my first facilitation session, the number of articles to prepare in advance, and at last but not least, the incredible experience that is to have people from all over the world in the same class discussing distinct views of the same topic. Studying at SBE and living in a completely different country for a whole semester made a huge change in my life.
The main learning that I will take from all of this is definitely that the world is so much more that I could possibly imagine. That we can sometimes have a self-centered view or a one-sided view of the world. Once you start to face another reality or talk to different people you begin to overcome this liability.
Sometimes we think that everything is about “us”. But not. Indeed the “us” part is very important, but we are part of a bigger community. The world is more than our neighborhood, our city, our country. The world is people, people are different, and we have to respect that. We have to respect the differences and embrace them.
Maastricht was that for me: a piece of every country in the world reunited in a calm, warm and receptive place that I once called: home (mi casa).
P.S.1: After all the traveling, I still haven’t visit all of the city which named the characters of La Casa de Papel, but at least I visited Berlin (and once I had been to Rio). So, there’s 6 cities left.
P.S.2: I think I can now finally pronounce Maastricht correctly (or at least almost correctly haha).
Aline Ayumi Takara