This year was my first time welcoming Christmas without family presence. It doesn't help that there would be no church service in Maastricht since people normally spend Christmas Eve having dinner with their family or closed ones.
"We traditionally go to church on Christmas day," David Mackelburg --a classmate-- told me.
To avoid feeling lonely and miserable during Christmas Eve, I emailed Agnes, a friend from Junior High who is getting her Master degree in Utrecht, to check if she already has a plan for Christmas. Luckily she agreed to spend Christmas in Amsterdam and she even has a friend that could sublet his apartment to us!
So on 24th morning, I took the 2,5 hours train ride to Amsterdam. Her friend's place, Tri, is about 10 minutes by bus from Amsterdam Centraal. Located in a quiet neighborhood with little shops and a supermarket --Albert Heijn-- near.
Tri's place is a studio apartement and it reminded me of Anne Frank's hiding place with steep stairs and (what I called) super effective arrangements. Since his apartment doesn't even have a bathroom sink, I either wash my hands in the shower or in the kitchen's sink. However, it's quite a nice place filled with unique fireplace and modern (read: practical) furnitures mix several second-hand antiques.
I enjoyed strolling around Amsterdam Museum Quarter. But then she refused to buy --admittedly-- an expensive museum card Agnes, so I went visiting Van Gogh Museum alone. I promised to meet Agnes near IAMSTERDAM giants in one hour, so as impressed as I was with Van Gogh paintings and early sketches I must did the tour very quickly. Both Van Gogh and Rijk Museum have extensive collections but Van Gogh has this nice shop selling beautiful stuffs. Including cute leather bags with 'cuter' price tags....*youknowwhatImean*.
Apart from exploring Amsterdam, we did two kinds of simple yet delicious cookings during Holiday. The first one was Mashed Potatoes with mushroom sauce for Christmas Eve dinner. The second one was spaghetti Aglio Olio that looks more like a fried noodle for our Boxing Day lunch.
"So far I only do simple figuring-my-own-recipe kinda cooking. I still not a good cook like most Indonesian girls in Maastricht..."
"Not yet, we're on our way...," Agnes replied.
Overall, I had a nice time celebrating my first Christmas without family in Amsterdam. I also grateful to be able to attend a Christmas Day service in a church. The service was in Dutch and although we didn't understand most of it...still it's a church.
Because (for me) it won't be a proper Christmas without a church service.