it is December and Christmas is coming closer as each day passes by. Yay, I already cannot wait when I will be in Estonia hugging my dog, yet I still need to finish my semester here by doing the exams which are in 1,5 weeks. Well, at least this time I have only one written exam and the other one is a home assignment.
As you (probably) remember from my last post, I wrote that I was going to Oslo. And yes, I was there! Moreover, the whole trip was a roller coaster of emotions. It all started with me going back to Amsterdam (A) from Maastricht (M). I think I reached a peak of my how many hours it can take from M to A as that time it took me 5 hours. And it was not just the train, but I had to take a taxi and a metro as well! You might ask me why I took a taxi. Well, the answer is quite simple. The train stopped in Weert and from there I had the chance to go back to M or wait for god knows how many hours until they would have solved the issue. It was first announced that we had to wait 30-40 minutes, after 15 minutes they told us it could take up to 1,5 hours. And the only thing that came up to my mind was the last tutorial we had in last semester in Cognitive Psychology about sunk costs and how the facilitator was in a similar situation (at least they organized NS buses during that time – which means that you could take a bus to another station that is close enough) and he stayed and waited for his turn to take the bus but in the end after waiting for almost 2 hours, he could once again take the train. Lucky me, there were another two guys who wanted to go to A and we decided to take a taxi to Eindhoven. However, when the taxi driver told us the price, we got hesitant. Then we decided to search for other people to come with us (we needed another 3). In about 10 minutes we got our group and we were on a taxi to Eindhoven train station.
We finally reached the platform and there were two trains to A: one to Central station and the other one to Schiphol. I first went onto the Central Station with the other two guys as it had to leave in 3 minutes. Yet, then it was announced that it will go in 10 minutes (almost the same time as the other one and I changed my mind and wished the guys a good evening). Just when I stepped out of the train, the doors closed and it went away (which means it went on time…). Nevermind that, I guess it was a sign that I had to take the train to Schiphol…
So, almost at the airport, but then I checked the times for my other train, and it went only after 30 minutes. I had already enough of everything and I just wanted to be in bed (haha, yeah right, I think it was already 22:30 and I went to bed at almost 02:00). I quickly checked the times for the metro from Zuid Station and it came in 8 minutes. Quite risky to take this chance as if I had missed this one, I would once again wait for 20 minutes. Anyway, I got on it and I arrived finally to my destination. Instead of going to bed, I still had to upload something for my university in Copenhagen. Sadly, this took me about an 1 hour as the deadline was always changed to a date that should not have been there and figuring out what went wrong took me a while.
Anyway, on 16th November I had an evening flight to Oslo. No problems with the train to Schiphol this time, however the times were delayed as they were doing some construction works. I did not do much when I arrived in Oslo, I basically just went to sleep as for the next day I needed my energy.
The next day at noon a friend from Estonia arrived as well. We did not have much time to waste so we decided to go quickly through the city center. At 17:00 we had to be at the Rockefeller for the event. All in all, we visited the Christmas market and saw the outside of the palace, and then walked to the harbour where we decided to eat as well. Afterwards, we quickly went through Akershus Fortress and it was already time to slowly get back to the hotel in order to get some things and go to the venue.
The reason why we went to Oslo was the event organised by Conception – a band that has not been active for 20 years and is now reunited and they were hosting a listening party of their new EP. Both of us got into the band thanks to Kamelot – the current singer of Conception (Roy) was with Kamelot for many years until he decided to stop with his music career to spend more time with his family. For 8 years many fans wished for Roy to return to the music scene and finally the day has come. The event itself was very interesting. So, they let us in and then you could basically talk to the band members and other fans (I think we were in total max 60 people), after an hour or so we listened to the EP and then there was an interview with the band and we got to know the story behind the EP, how the comeback happened and many other things 🙂 After that we could once again talk to the band and at 20:00 it was the end of the event.
For us, it was really fascinating as most of the time, during the VIP Meet and Greet you only have about 2 minutes (or even less) to talk to a band member and then it is goodbye again, see you on stage… Now, as my friend had to leave the next day in the early afternoon, we went for a short tour again. This time to the Opera House (I mean, it is one of the most important sights in Oslo!). Then we walked through the main streets in the city center but there was not a lot going on so we just called it a day and went back to the hotel.
We left the hotel at around 10:30 am as she needed to go to the airport whereas I had another event with Conception, namely the Oslo tour and lunch. We gathered at 10:45 and then we waited for a taxi-bus to arrive. In total, we were 11 people + the band (Roy, Tore, Ingar and Arve). 6 people came from the US, 2 from England, 1 from Italy and then there is me from who knows where already… The tour started with the Opera House and the Barcode, then we made a short stop next to the Noisebleed shop (it had another name before and the band told us the history about it and the black metal scene), then we visited the old house of Roy and Tore – we even saw their landlord who actually prepared coffee and tea for us but as we were under time pressure so we could not stay (really sad…) and then we went uphill to see some nice views of Oslo. It was my second time in Oslo, so I was really happy that they showed us important sights for them and not only the touristy things. Almost every location had some story behind it and it was really interesting to hear it from the band itself.
Then we went back to the city center in order to have a lunch. The food was delicious, the company was great and we shared lots of stories together – both funny and sad ones. This was clearly an experience of a lifetime… Furthermore, the idea was to stay until 15:00 but somehow there was no end, so we stayed longer. Unfortunately I had to leave at 16:00 as I had a plane to catch and this really made me sad because that was the end of the event.
As the hotel receptionist told me: It seems you had a nice weekend, now time to go back to reality… Yeah, back it was and it went immediately downhill. The flight was okay, in my opinion we had a rough landing but whatever, my train did not go (due to construction works) so I had to take a bus and then a metro. I do not know how and I got lucky that I sent the photos to my mother at the Oslo Airport but while I was waiting for the metro, my phone got stolen. The only thing that I remember was that while checking in I still had in my hands and then I put in my jacket bag but it seems that was enough for it to be gone while waiting for the metro… Anyhow, as in our Consumer Psychology article, a small bad event and a good event have to be in close proximity as it mitigates the amount of loss. I was sad but not much, my main concern was to block my SIM card. That out of the way, the next day I got a new SIM card and I got an old broken phone from a friend. I only need to survive with it until Estonia where I will buy a new one.
Well, back in Maastricht. Yes, lots of things going on in my student life as well. It is not just about having fun all the time, haha. For Consumer Psychology I had 2 facilitations and now they are both done. The rules for the facilitations these time were really demanding and we had some troubles with ideas for the second one but it went well. For Organizational Learning I am doing a group work and then two home assignments. In my opinion, I find this semester at the end much more stressful because all the assignments have to be handed in in the next two weeks and I would have liked it more if some of them were already this week or last week. Otherwise, when you want to focus on one thing, you still have the other things in mind as well… At least in Service Management the group work assignment was handed in 2 weeks before the exam and not during the week of the exam where no one really has the time for it.
Other then that, I’ve been to the cinema with my fellow flatmates and we watched Fantastic Beasts Part 2. Nice movie, but I expected a little bit more action. And I was once again in Amsterdam for one weekend to celebrate my very first Thanksgiving with another exchange student from the U.S. She had also some other friends in Amsterdam, so it was a company of 8 people. We had some live music and later we played some games.
Well, it was a nice experience! Being at a different university whilst I just got adapted to CBS, was quite a challenge but I think I managed well. Now, however, I need to focus on finishing all the assignments and prepare for the Consumer Psychology exam.
To anyone who wants to be an exchange student at Maastricht University – I highly recommend it! Yet, really manage your time quite well because the last two weeks will usually be very stressful with all the assignments and exam preparations! Oh, and probably visit more of the city – I was usually somewhere in between Maastricht and Amsterdam and most of the time when I was here I focused on studying 😉
Good luck and best wishes,