Drove to Rotterdam last weekend with some friends for a Christmas festival. It was pretty fun, and Rotterdam is actually a really cool city with some great architecture. We got in super late on Friday so we hit the tail end of the welcome party then went to bed, then on Saturday we had lunch of fried fish and some crazy spicy shrimp that reminded me of Korea at a traditional Dutch market, after which we walked around the city center for a while and bought our cheap secret santa presents for the party later. Then we went to a beer tasting at this great cozy little pub, then we tried to go to the dinner that was being held but there were no spaces left. Instead, we went with some other people who also couldn't get in and we ended up going for pizza because it was the only place both open and able to accommodate a largish group. It was good pizza though, at least! And cheap, too. Rotterdam is way less expensive than Paris. Afterwards we hit the party and did the secret santa exchange; I ended up with some candles shaped like pebbles, which I'll probably use after I remember to buy a lighter because I like candles. The party was super fun, everyone was really friendly and the drinks were cheap! On Sunday we managed to drag ourselves out of bed around 10am despite the coooold so that we could make it to the brunch. There was bread, cheese, soup, crepes, salad, and scrambled eggs, all for only 7 euros. After brunch, we took a boat tour of the harbor. It started off strong, with a great view of all the super cool architecture in the city, but then it deteriorated into a bunch of shipping crates and warehouses and facts about them, at which point I took a little nap. I met a guy on the boat tour originally from America who is working as a teaching assistant in a public school in Lille, and he gave me the information about the program; I think I'm going to apply for next year, because it sounds like a great way to be able to stay in France and the salary is way better than au pairing, for only 12 hours of work per week and five weeks paid vacation. The only problem is I think it might work kind of like the JET program in Japan, where you don't get a choice as to where to live and there's a strong possibility of working in a rural area. No rural areas for me please! It's bad enough living just twenty minutes outside Paris!
Anyway, after the boat tour we hopped back in the car to go back to Paris. We got in around 9pm, and we all went for some Thai food at a restaurant near where the car was parked. It was deliiiiicious, and it wasn't really expensive either. I'll definitely be going back there at some point, yum.