Editor’s Note: This is a guest blog post by B-Section senior Lisa Mitchell, who is majoring in Mechanical Engineering and works as a co-op at UTC Aero Systems LK in Connecticut, and will occasionally post her thoughts about her Kettering student experiences on Life at Kettering. If you’d like to write a guest blog post, e-mail jmurphy(at)kettering(dot)edu. Lisa’s other posts: Post 1 | Post 2 | Post 3 | Post 4 | Post 5 | Post 6
This weekend we ventured to Belgium and Holland (also known as the Netherlands)! It was certainly an experience! We left Friday morning and arrived in Brussels, Belgium Friday afternoon. We found our way to our hostel, dropped our bags off, then explored the city! (and ate chocolate, of course). The city was interesting. We were able to spend the day exploring and discovering what makes Brussels great. Perhaps I’m ignorant, but it struck me as a bit odd that virtually all tourist paraphernalia revolved entirely around the Manneken Pis (a statute of a little boy peeing). It was a beautiful city, nonetheless. On a different, and more delightful note, I enjoyed the most delicious (and messy) waffle I have ever eaten in my entire life. I’ve also come to the conclusion that I should never order a waffle to go if I plan on looking graceful and poised while eating it. After a day of wandering, we went back to the hostel and prepared for the next day’s adventure to Amsterdam.
I wasn’t sure what to expect in Amsterdam to be honest, but I can tell you that what we stumbled upon was different than our entire group anticipated. We had absolutely no idea that the day we planned to visit was also a national holiday/festival/party in the Netherlands called King’s Day (it used to be called Queen’s Day but was recently changed to King’s Day). The moment we realized we stumbled across something out of the ordinary was the moment we got sardined onto a train surround by a mass of people all incorporating serious amounts of orange into their appearance. We were shocked. It was sincerely overwhelming (and hilarious) and within ten minutes on the streets you better believe I was wearing an orange crown headband and complimented the headband with an obnoxiously loud (and I mean seriously obnoxious) horn around my neck. The city was mad! Everyone and their mother was parading through the streets, meanwhile, the casual American tourists (us) were so flustered by the whole event, we didn’t know quite what to do with the whole thing. We were expecting a nice quiet day in Amsterdam, little did we know we would come across a massive national party! After a few hours, we decided to go to a smaller town in Holland, hoping to find a more peaceful location. We had no such luck. This party was unlike anything we had ever experienced before! It was grand, crazy, and loud all throughout Holland! Young and old were wearing full suits of orange, music was blasting, and so many people were holding what looked like garage sales all over the streets. Certainly not the day we were expecting!
The next day, we intended to go see a field of tulips, but our train was late causing us to miss the train (by seconds!!) that would get us to the tulip fields before we went home, so we decided to go back to Amsterdam in hopes that maybe today we might actually be able to see the city. It was pouring rain, but we made it work! the city was surprisingly clean from Saturday’s festivities and the city was much quieter than it had been the previous day! I think my favorite part of the day was stumbling across a cheese museum that had cheese tasting! We also got to dress up in cheese costumes, which, let’s be honest, was probably the highlight of the entire day.