Hard to say goodbye

I think words can’t describe how happy to be here today in Maastricht, fell in love with not only the city but also with the people I got to meet and live with for the last 5 months.  There is no doubt that I have a family here, and certainly will never forget how they changed my life.I didn’t know it would be so hard to leave, the thought of going back brings mixed feelings that I’ve never imagine before coming here.

The experiences I had here, of living in another country, with people from all over the world, with low budget and enormous will to discover Europe…was the best. The worst part it is actually saying goodbye to the best 5 months of my life.

Some people may say that in your life after you get older your true friends are fewer and you can make new ones but they will never be as true as the old ones. For some time I believed that however life keeps surprising me with greatness. The main reason my exchange was so worth it was because of the friendships I developed here and for sure they are as true as friends can get.

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I live in a guesthouse with other 19 people. So I wake up every day either with one of my flat mates knocking on my door to get breakfast or just people(cleaners or pigeons mostly) making noise…as much as I want to go home it is going to be very lonely compared to having always someone to talk to or hang out. Last week was the final week of all my flat mates together so we had family dinner almost every night. We had a lot of risotto, pasta, pizza and fun!!

I think it is because a live in a big city, we don’t have organized Chritmas lights, is all a mess.There are some housesthat have huge lights and some don’t, it doesn’t look good at all.  Here is so nice, is like you are driven into this whole new atmosphere, which I love. We also don’t have Christmas markets, it blew my mind when I saw that the square was turned in to this wonderful place.

A few malls in São Paulo have indoor ice skating, but for some reason that never appealed to me as a fun thing to do. So for the first time I ice skated, even though it was kind of stressful, it was so much fun!

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My plans for now are London, Italy and Portugal…than back to Maastricht again for one last farewell. After that back to reality, work, uni, see my friends and family (which I’m really excited for) aaand eating a lot of my mom’s food! It was a surprise to me when I figure it out that I enjoy cooking, but now my laziness has become a problem and the only thing I eat is noodles and rice.

Exams are coming so is time to focus and work hard, which makes my hallway even more depressive. Everyone is either studying or gone home. The next few days more people will leave and hopefully new people will come and I get the chance to meet them! Surely whomever comes is going to have the best time of their lives.

Now the only thing I want from Maastricht is snow, many people have told me is not happening but I still have hope! It snowed just a little bit last week and it was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen! Even though the rain seems to be here to stay…really hope to see snow again.

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Flashing lights and bare feet on the sand…

In the exam week my “lovely” sister came to visit me, worst timing ever but what could I do, you’re supposed to receive and welcome your family and so I did.

We walked aroud Maastricht a lot, she went crazy with a shopping spree and I got really fit because I had to carry her in the back of my bike constantly!

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She spent a week here and on the weekend we went to a festival in Hasselt. It was the most fun I’ve had since I arrived in Europe. It was a small fair with a lot of drinking booths and food, also we found a Brazilian restaurant which turned the street into a dance floor. We spent the night eating and dancing to our favorite songs.

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She left to Brazil on Monday after that crazy weekend.

A week later it was time for me head to my next destination: Paris.

Ooow the amazing lights of Paris, the dream actually came true and I finally got to meet this breath taking place that I only knew trought movie shots and adds.

My journy begins on the 31st of october at 15 o’clock, getting the train to brussels and then the megabus to Paris. For only one euro each way, plus wi-fi and really confy seats you can get to places through megabus services.

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The best thing about Paris is that the metro is quite easy to use and you can get anywhere with it. In a couple of minutes you can meet the most fabulous places and monuments, and really get to know the city.

I kind of regret not staying more, it was two intense days of exploring the city, but it left me with the urge to see a bit more of Paris.

On the 14th of this month around 30 people from my guesthouse  went to Barcelona! Barcelona is the best place to party and eat. Seriously spent more money in food than with anything else. There was a awesome market that had literally everything you could think of and it was really cheap!

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The restaurants were really good also, the result of that was three days of eating a lot, drinking sangria and walking through the city looking for the next place to eat.

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My experiance in Barcelona couldn’t have been better. We went to the Guell Park, best view, really nice walking. You could see the city from the top of one of the places from that park. we also went to the beach, which was something I wanted to do since I first arrived here. It was cold but sunny so we could enjoy the beach!

The Gaudi buildings were amazing! They are spread around the town and also the Picasso museum was really interesting. I truly recomend people to go there and explore all the culture that Barcelona has to offer.

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The clubs there were fun also, we went to a salsa club called Mojito Club. I could have stayed there the whole night but we had an early flight to catch in the next morning.

The night before we went to Opium, a club near the beach, danced like there was no tomorrow! It was a huge club with many rooms and dance floors, but the curious thing about it was these ladies dancing in swinging poles all around it.

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Overall my weeks here have been the best I could ever ask for! It is a shame that is almost over, but I believe I still have time to do a lot around here…so be prepared for the next and sadly the last post 😥

Oktoberfest, hiking and more party!

Ooow life in Maastricht could not be better, but coming all the way from Brasil just builds up an obligation to visit and experience Europe. And so begins the adventures of my first trips.

Only took me 10 hours inside a bus to get to my very first destination out of the Netherlands: Munich, or in better words, Oktoberfest. Didn’t get to see much of Munich from the inside of a tent nonetheless it was a deep experience into the German culture. 1 liter beers, local songs, pretzels, dirndls and amusement rides were basically the sum up of this whole weekend.

Each tent had an exceptional and unique decoration, once you were inside one, which was a difficult task in the first day (too many people, once you were inside one tent it was advised not to leave), you would be astonished. I actually didn’t know where to look, overwhelming beauty!

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The first day there which was a Saturday, we stayed in line for 3 hours to get inside the tent, totally worth it I might say!  As we sat down and the first liter of the coldest beer came the tradition of standing up on the bench and chugging began. It was one of the coolest experiences of my life, all those random people cheering and my friends screaming my name…it was awesome!

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After that crazy weekend in Munich I headed to Luxemburg. It is funny how in a few hours you are in a completely different country, in Brasil after a few hours you’re still near your house, probably stuck in traffic. The history about Lux is this: me and some friends rented a car and blindly went there, of course we had a lot of bumps in the way but after 3 hours we got there safe and sound.

We stayed at this guy’s apartment that we’ve rented for the night. Nicest place ever! And I know it is a weird statement but he had an OVEN!!! I almost cried when I saw it! First thing we did was running into a shop and buying oven pizza…and some happy beverage.

The morning after we arrived we went on a quick walk through the city,ate some sandwiches and at one we went in this really hidden hiking track and for the next 4 hours this was our view:

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A-M-A-Z-I-N-G, no other word could describe that place.

Staying home always means two things either studying or partying, and that was exactly what happened in the following week. Presentations and exams were coming, so a lot of preparation was necessary even though that does not mean the parties have stopped. On the contrary, if you are up for the challenge you can go out every day.

Tuesdays are the best days because there is an international event hosted by the ESN down at Cliniq. Not that the party is always good but the pres are really fun and usually they have a theme, which makes people quite creative with their outfit. This week was Mexican night.

Going to Cliniq is an adventure that leads you to two destinations chips shop and Alla. Reasons for that? The chip shop across the street from it has the best chips with mayo ever! If you are there try the garlic mayo…one of the best things invented by men. If there was an award for drunk food that one would totally win! Why Alla? No idea, is near and it’s better than Cliniq, but for some weird reason you can only go there for the after party.

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Free mustaches for everyoneee and 1 euro tequilas! Great time but it got real crowded real fast…but that is what usually happens Tuesdays nights!

Finally Maastricht!

Months of planning, chasing signatures and documents, 12 hours on a plane, economic class, huge guy by my side that could only fit in two seats, worst meal ever, 2:30 on a train, actually a little more than that( took the wrong one), carrying my life in a bag….but finally Maastricht. And it was all worth it, the minute I stepped out of the train station, this was all I could think of.

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I arrived on the 18th so right when INKOM was starting, great parties but the people I got to meet during this week were even better!

Already on my first day I decided to cook, even though I don’t know how, so I went shopping.

Only when it took me 3 hours to do groceries, I realized that I had no idea whatsoever of the Dutch language. As a result I got some surprise packages. Bought ham that was actually chicken and tuna that until this day I don’t know what it was.

It is my first time abroad and also the first time living alone, meaning not having the comfort of food and clean clothes , so it was also the first I entered a laundry room… I felt an overwhelming sensation of astonishment and confusedness. On top of it all, everything was written in Dutch. Once I overcame those feelings I managed to get help and continue with the profound discoveries of living without my parents.

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By the way, just had to randomly say this: These were the best chips I ever had in my entire life!!! If you haven’t tasted it yet pleeeease do!!

Got lost every single day in the first week, never walked so much, however the view was awesome, couldn’t be lost in a better place. Such a beautiful city, really don’t mind being lost here. But eventually got tired of walking and got a bike! Blue and old…nonetheless mine.

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Her name was Potranca , yes, I said was because after 2 weeks I lost her. Let’s just say, don’t go to Cantus riding your bike, you may not return with it. Talking about Cantus, what an event, seriously, had the best time. I think it was the second best event because the first one was definitely Pub crawl. Didn’t even know what it was when I bought the ticket, went totally crazy, but made it to the 7 pubs. If you have the chance to attend the ESN events, DO IT!!

Of course it wasn’t all parties…meaning: Introduction day, my first lecture and first PBL tutorial.

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Introduction day was great, tasted for the first time stroopwafels (delicious!!!) and “met” the Mayor of Maastricht. On top of that had the strangest lecture: “Dealing with the Dutch” which turned out to be quite interesting.

After the introduction, my mentor showed how PBL works, and to be perfectly honest, I thought it was the most difficult and horrifying thing in the word but think God the next day we had some sort of simulation for it and all my fears went down the drain. It is actually a cool system that demands more of the student than from the teacher.

The most amazing day, and I still can’t believe I can say this: Went to Belgium in 15 minutes!(Had my bike at that time).

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Ow the weather here, omg, the rain can be pretty annoying sometimes! When the sun started to show up my life got much, much, much better and the city, under the sunlight, I don’t even have words to describe…amazing!!

Only the thought that I can simply get on my bike and go to SBE or Belgium every day is a bless, because in Brasil is highly dangerous to ride bikes, at least in São Paulo, the city I come from. It takes me 1 hour and a half to get to my home university from my house and almost 3 hours to get to work, taking train, metro and bus…anyway cutting the long story short this is the life!! And I am enjoying every bit of it.

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