I walked past De Clieu on Gertrude Street in Fitzroy and it took me approximately 2 seconds to fall in love with this place. It smelled like strong coffee and fresh croissants and pastries, and I knew if there was any place to get all my friends together for a massive brunch it would be here (active wear included, obviously, because that’s how we brunch in Melbourne…).Â
A few weeks ago Hannah and I took the train to the coast and spent the day walking up and down the beaches around Torquay. It was one of the best days I have had here in Australia so far, it was warm and sunny (for once…), we brought food (a lot) and it just did not feel like winter at all. We spent all day watching the tiny surfers waiting for the perfect waves, soaking up the sun and reapplying sunscreen every half an hour â€“ winter in Australia at its best.Â
In Melbourne they say that “if you don’t like the weather, wait ten minutes” â€“ and I swear, it’s true. It’s so true it’s not even funny anymore. Obviously, it started pouring rain while I was waiting outside to meet a friend somewhere Collingwood, literally just a moment after I had thought how beautiful the sunset would look like that night. I ran around a bit, trying to find a roof to take cover from the rain while waiting, and then I suddenly found Rupert.
Last Saturday I went to Prahran, a neighbourhood south of the Yarra river, where black gym pants, tiny dogs and expensive sunglasses are clearly an unwritten rule. The average young Prahran couple seems to be spending their Saturday mornings buying fresh cheese, overpriced granola and organic avocados at Prahran market, having their (probably fifth) coffee at a cute little cafĂ© stall before getting take-away sushiÂ for lunch. Or anything else, as long as it is all-natural, handmade, organic â€“ and clearly falls under gourmet. But then again, who am I to judge, dreaming of exactly that as my own Saturday morning routine. I’d probably even wear matching gym shoes.Â
It’s been almost four weeks since arriving in Melbourne. Feels more like 4 days and if someone would tell me it’s been four months I wouldn’t doubt it either. Time is a strange concept. The last weeks were amazing and exhausting, ups and down (luckily less of the latter), meeting new people, trying to find nice cafĂ©s (easy) and hidden lecture halls (not so easy) and a seat in the library (preferably one with a power plug, but chances aren’t high…). Filling out forms and enrolling in classes, going for pizza with my new housemates, and on hikes in the mud with a bunch of overly excited exchange students.
I left Dubai only a week ago but it feels like I have been in Melbourne for much longer already. The past week was super busy, I ran from one room viewing to the next, from administrative appointments to introductory events at uni, to drinks with new friends and all that back and forth and back and forth. But still, sunset at 5PM means a lot – a LOT – of time spent sitting in cafĂ©s, and in between enrolling for classes and looking for a new home and furniture I found some time to edit some more photos I took in Dubai.
I’m writing this sitting in a cafĂ© somewhere Melbourne, wearing two woolen jumpers, it’s 6PM and dark outside. Looking at the photos I took during the two days I spent in Dubai seems – slightly – surreal. Having friends from all over the world is probably the best thing about studying at an international uni and being able to visit them at their houses is even better. I saw as much as I think was possible during the few days I had in the city and to be honest, although some of the stereotypes that were stuck in my head proofed to be right I had an amazing time, especially in Deira, the old town of Dubai and during our trip to the desert. I loved the colours, everything was somewhere between sand and pastel, and the dust and sand on everything seemed like nature’s own filter. I did take my camera once so a proper post will follow but here are some first impressions of Dubai.Â
A while ago I went to the Filmtheater Kriterion to take photos for a photo series for my internship. The place is probably one of my favourites in Amsterdam Oost, a cinema / bar / cafĂ© / exhibition and event space run entirely by students. I spent an afternoon at the place taking photos, talking to the students working there and getting a super cool insight into the cinema. If not for indie art house movies or cool documentaries it is probably one of the best spots to study when the library on the other side of the street is simply not an option anymore.
Scouting locations for a blog article I am currently working on for my internship I came across the Bijlmerbajes, expecting to find the doors closed and hoping for a nice photo taken of the complex from the outside. Turned out to be wrong, I actually got access to the building and spend some time exploring the former prison, which over the past years had been converted into a refugee center, including a cafĂ©, workshops, and a museum about the old prison. With student housings nearby the venue is also being used for festivals during summer, and the former laundry room has been transformed into a restaurant. Definitely one of the most unconventional but coolest places to explore in Amsterdam, and I will for sure come back another day.
Not the first time I utterly regret not taking my camera and having to rely on my phone. But oh well, on the bright side I didn’t have to worry a second about where I left it, what I do with it while dancing or how to prevent my shoulder from falling off under its weight. And then again, with a new phone on my hands I really cannot complain about the camera quality of it, so I went a bit crazy and took photos all afternoon long, while having the best time at a music festival organised by the Dormsessions committee of my uni, at CafĂ© De Ceuvel in North, arguably the most beautiful place so close to the center of Amsterdam.Â