The Amazing Fall Break

For fall break four friends and I headed to Copenhagen and Amsterdam to explore two cities full of blondes, expensive food, and cold weather. Both cities harbor distinct features. Like, Copenhagen has the longest strip of stores in Europe and very delicious smoothies, while Amsterdam has legal marijuana and canals that anyone could fall into. Despite their obvious differences, these two cities had one major thing in common: the ability to get me lost. Throughout the entire trip my friends repeated one thing, “if you are the amazing race, you would be eliminated.”

I would say I am (easily) The Amazing Race’s number one fan.* I’ve watched all 21 seasons. I can predict almost everything from road blocks to non-elimination legs. The show has taught me many valuable life lessons like: taxi drivers are deal breakers, time is almost more valuable than money, and passports should be kept in fanny packs. I enter every situation as if I were on the amazing race, fighting for a chance to win a million dollars and a trip around the world. It is my morning motivation.** Unfortunately, however, I think I left that drive in a box in New York, because judging by these past five days, I would definitely  have been eliminated first. Here’s why:

1) I locked myself  in the bathroom: before we even got the Stuttgart airport I found myself enclosed in a smelly train bathroom unable to get the open button to function. Pounding on the walls and poking every button, I saw my life flash before my eyes. Although I was unsure of when our stop was, I was positive about one thing: my friends would get off without me. To make a long story short,  I eventually got the door to open – and my friends were there. Laughing.

2) Europe has made me directionally challenged:  once we finally got to Copenhagen, we checked in at our fantastic hostel that was located in the center of the city. Copenhagen is a fairly walkable city for those who can speak Danish. I could not tell you how to pronounce the ao letter, much less how to get to our hostel. Thankfully my friends are handy with maps and love to be in charge–without them I would still be on Stroget, buying all the American sweaters they have.

3) I cannot exit a tram: after a great two days in the (not) rotten state of Denmark, we flew to Amsterdam. This time our hostel was a little more sketch and a lot less walkable. But no fear, public transportation is my middle name – or so I thought. In Amsterdam, every time you get on and off the tram you have to swipe your card in front of magnetic pad–but it has no bearing on whether or not the tram doors open. So naturlich, on the way back from dinner I didn’t get my card out on time. The doors shut, leaving four of us inside and one out. My friends did not find this situation as humorous as I and won’t let me live it down. And that ladies and gents, this is how I got us eliminated and ruined friendships.

Despite my few (ok many) mishaps, fall break was a huge success. I saw real Van Gogh artwork, walked where Anne Frank slept, and ate real danishes.  And this goes without saying: the best part of it all was spending 120 hours straight with four people who show their affection through teasing and pestering. So even if that means I would lose the Amazing Race (sorry Gab), I wouldn’t mind–because it’s all about the people you share these mess ups with. After all, happiness is only real when shared.

*for those of who do not watch the amazing race (and you should) see this wiki link:
**my freshman year roommate and I are applying for the race the minute I turn 21 in January. Look for us on season 24. Hopefully I won’t lose our passports.