2 Sep 2016

Greetings from Amsterdam

Hail readers—and hello from Amsterdam!

You may be wondering why I am in this famous Dutch city. Is it for the cheese? The canals? The wonderful waffles?

Nope. I am here for university. As I have mentioned previously, the Amsterdam University College has offered me a place to study here; and I have accepted it. There are of course many complex personal reasons for my decision—but to give only a few good, non-personal ones: the flexibility of the course; the costs of living and tuition; and the opportunities that are present here.

Chiefly among these is of course the opportunity to learn some Dutch; but I will also receive French language classes, and have native speakers on hand to practise with. Aside from that, there is everything from journalism (the university has had interns in newspapers), sports (swimming, gym, Krav Maga), and of course the impressive pedigree of the student body.

Amsterdam itself appears to be a nice city, although sadly I have not as yet had the opportunity to visit it. This is because I have been extremely busy cleaning my rooms (it was in quite a state), buying IKEA furniture (which I still have to assemble), procuring a bike—a most necessary form of transport here—and of course there have been the Introduction Week activities to attend.

The weekend does however provide an opportunity to rectify this. Although I still need to finalise my rent contract and procure a Dutch bank account, I believe the following two days will provide some free time in order to visit. The canals and Oude Amsterdam are the chief attractions—although I may steal a visit to the infamous Red Light district.

Writing

Although the move has been time-consuming and rather stressful, I have managed to work on the Ark. In fact I have reached a milestone; details of which I will release soon in another post.

As for my previous novel, the Necromancer, that has garnered quite some attention. My classmates were quite amazed; likewise my roommates. I hope to capture more attention and convince some people to buy it. A writer’s work is never done, as they say.

Friendships

I have met many interesting people here, and I hope to form friendships over the course of the year and the rest of my studies.

But for now, it is my friends from the UK that occupy my attentions. I have talked to two of my friends extensively over Facebook. One is my writer friend, Oli Woolley, and the other is a recent acquaintance; he is a professional choir singer. Suffice to say that they are interesting people.

That said, there has been one unfortunate consequence of leaving to study here. After leaving sixth form, I have formed a considerably stronger relationship with two friends from school. It seems that interacting with people outside of a school environment brings to light a much larger aspect of people’s personalities. And, to my sadness, I have left them just when they were beginning to be so much more interesting.

But that said, let us not exaggerate. Amsterdam is, after all, a well-connected city with many (affordable) flights from Schiphol. And of course the wonders of Facebook, the telephone and Skype means a friendly conversation is never far away.

Finishing Thoughts

My post has been somewhat rambling; apologies, but as you are able to see, I am going through many changes in my life presently.

What I will say is that the Magical Realm will see two main themes being expounded on over the coming weeks and months. Firstly, the Ark; work is progressing well, and I am in search of beta readers. And secondly—I will share my thoughts on Amsterdam and the Netherlands, in matters tourism, political, and economic.

Until then, keep following. An important update on the Ark will arrive soon!

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