My computer is apparently fried, so I've neglected blogging much more than I would have liked. I'm typing from my IPad from within my hostel while hanging with an Aussie and a Dutchman. I've taken some wonderful photos thus far, but due to the lack of my computer, I cannot import and upload them, so that will come when I get back to the states.
Amsterdam has been just about as much of a culture shock as Paris, but in a completely different way. The people here are extremely kind, and it is no problem meeting new friends. I've mostly been adventuring with a guy from the Canary Islands, an Aussie, and a New Yorker living in Berlin. As far as exploring the city, we've gone out quite a few times to wander the canals and observe the different groups of people. There seems to be a much more widespread acceptance of English in comparison with Paris. When meeting someone new, I always start with English with the assumption they are comfortable with it.
I had a "small world" moment yesterday when I met an American girl working at the hostel. We have a mutual friend of a girl I met like 7 years ago at a camp in Wisconsin. She attended a small Christian university that a few of my friends went to. Of all places - I meet her at a hostel in Amsterdam - small world.
The hostel has both a community guitar, as well as a piano - which has been a blast. Living for a few days without making music can be difficult sometmes, but I found a group of people who love to play and sing, so we had a jam session the past two nights. The girls particularly enjoyed my piano playing, so that was fun.
I just said goodbye to my Aussie friend, Ed. It's actually rather sad watching a new friend depart. In a hostel, there is so much potential for bonding in just the 48 hours after you meet someone. It feels like I've known these guys much longer than I actually have. He's heading to Germany to catch a flight back to Brisbane to continue his life sailing boats for a living.
Overall, Amsterdam has been a wonderful journey, and I haven't even smoked weed. New friends are what makes these adventures worth it, and it only makes me want to travel alone even more in the future.