Leiden, Netherlands: Conference, Stroop Waffles, and the Red Light District

What’s up buds?

At the beginning of January I traveled to Europe for a conference in Leiden, Netherlands. Like all of the other places I’ve been to in Europe so far (except Milan), it was lit. Cold AF, but lit nonetheless. My trip lasted exactly 6 days and 5 nights, and although it was mainly for work. I still managed to have a little fun.

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Airbnb right by the train station and city center!
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Presentation at the BHL (Bilingualism in the Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics)

Before going to Leiden, I knew nothing about the Netherlands except that they spoke Dutch (which I do not), so I was quite worried about being able to communicate. But to my surprise, everyone spoke English. I mean EVERYONE (from the cafe owners to the Sudanese men I randomly met on the street).

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My brothas, my brothas

It was like a linguistic paradise that low key confused the F**k out of me. I’d be walking down the street and I’d hear Arabic, mixed with Dutch, English, Spanish, and then throw a little Brazilian Portuguese in there, and BAM, you have Leiden. The people were all so nice and tourist friendly too, which is not always the case in Europe (Milan, cough, cough!).

When I travel, I always love to learn about (and eat, of course) the cuisine of the place I’m traveling to (Mexico, I’m coming for that ass and those tacos). To my surprise, people consider Indonesian food the national cuisine of the Netherlands… I know, I don’t get it either. Unfortunately though, I never got to try it! But besides Indonesian food (which I’d like to try in Indonesia), Leiden was full of clean, organic, vegetarian food. It was weirdly delicious, especially coming from someone who’s a hardcore meat lover.

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Not vegan, but clean + organic!

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They also have, what I like to refer to as “the introvert’s fast food dream.” They are these little shops where you insert your coins for the item you want, and out comes the french fries, or the Dutch croquetas. It’s like, Mcdonald’s meets vending machine, meets Cuba, meets Europe, meets introvert… and I was so there for it!

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Just put your money in, no human interaction required!

Besides the interesting food scene, and the linguistically diverse people, the architecture was super interesting (and familiar b/c the Dutch settled in Albany, NY, which is where I’m from). The windmills were just like something out of House Hunters International, lol.

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I’ve never been to a place with so many nice doors… It’s the new wave

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So many night time pics because I was working during the day!

On my last day in the Netherlands, I took a trip to Amsterdam. It’s a city bigger than Leiden, but I’m personally a small-but still a city- type of girl. In Amsterdam, as marijuana and prostitution are legal, we got to see some interesting things… One thing to know is that coffee shops are not cafes… they are marijuana houses  hahah. So if you were looking for a nice expresso, think again my friend. Also, you can pay like 2 euros to see a live sex show (yes I did it. No I would not do it again lmfao). Basically you go in this little box room and and there’s a glass in front of you that goes from opaque to clear. BOOM, right in the middle of this spinning circle, are two people doing their thang. I felt slightly traumatized after, but slightly not haha. If that’s not your thing, don’t visit the red light district lol.

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Lastly, to end this post I just have two words. STROOP. WAFFLES.

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The end.

 

Thanks for reading, and don’t forget

Sharing is Caring! ❤

-S

One Reply to “Leiden, Netherlands: Conference, Stroop Waffles, and the Red Light District”

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