Thursday, July 28, 2011

Her name is Buttons?

After a brief discussion about how actually no, Sarajevo is not in Google Maps, my supervisor hand-drew me a map of the town center, noting all the best places to eat and drink. (He lived there for about three years.) Even more ridiculous was that I offered to buy him a coffee in exchange for this knowledge, we got to the cafeteria and he insisted on buying both. Did I mention he's from Texas? ;)

So now I have the inside scoop on the yum places and the places with atmosphere. And we tend to like the same things, so I'm not worried.

And that's officially the end of the work week for me! :D

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ally, ethics have no place in a law firm!

So I still haven't been so hot at updating this, no idea why. To be fair, not much has really been going on. I have two more weeks after this weekend, and this weekend shall be spent in Sarajevo!

Obviously I didn't take this photo and obviously it won't be snowing. Or at least I hope not. I really wanted to fly into Dubrovnik (Croatian beaches are supposed to be gaw-geous) and take the bus up through Mostar to Sarajevo but alas, the money gods were not having it.

So I'm definitely excited about the next few days. My flight leaves at 7am out of Amsterdam, however, so I'm just going to rough it for one night at a hostel in Amsterdam rather than risk bunging up trains from Den Haag at some ungodly hour. I'm pretty sure popular Amsterdam hostels are going to be a very special shitshow. I sort of envision catching rabies or something, but I'll make it work.

Work has been good, though it has slowed up a bit since we broke for summer recess. Most of my team seems to be on vacation, though there's still plenty to do--motions to file or respond to, witness prep to work up. My office mates are a good bunch of people--there are 7 of us and 3 are part of another team, a girl K and I are on the same team, and the last person is an independent reseracher, but we're all interns.

I just love K. She and her boyfriend are both working here, but the boyfriend works with the judges (and a different case from ours) while we work for the prosecution. They are from Pennsylvania, though quite a lot of people here are from Boston, surprisingly. Lots of Harvard.

But out little suite somehow got into the habit of having Wine & Cheese Wednesday, meaning we stop working a little early and break out various bottles of wines and cheese with crackers, gets a little more involved each week. So that was yesterday late afternoon, complete with dramatic readings of a truly horrible book someone stumbled across...

Apparently an attorney who used to work here published a book. A courtroom thriller, natch. Unfortunately he himself is apparently a really nice guy and I think also a solid attorney. A solid dramatic writer, however, he is not. And as a matter of fact, not only is the writing some of the most abysmal I have seen in years, there is also--FTW--an awkwardly apparent but surely unintentional sexual undertone between two characters that would basically involve incest. I wish I could quote favorite passages for you here, but I think we can all agree what a terrible idea that might be. But in any case, everyone was in near-tears from reading passages aloud.

Sadly, K leaves the week before I do, then the week after, I leave with one of the Harvard guys. I get to come straight back home for criminal defense training, yay.

On the big plus side, I have a Sara Bareilles concert a couple weeks after getting home, and one of my guy friends from law school asked me if I'd be interested in seeing Tori Amos the first week of December. I'm not a HUGE fan, but I certainly enjoy her stuff for the most part, and especially her concerts. I saw her live once back in 1999, I think, with two college girlfriends (whom I accidentally learned that night were both lesbians and I had had ZERO clue but I think I played it off nicely without giving my ignorance away) and really had a great time. So two concerts flanking either end of the semester, good to go.

Everyone is in the middle of the bar exam right now. I cannot imagine that that will be me in a year. The TX bar is two days in, most other states only have two days, so in a few hours, people will wake up and start their last day of the bar. My Texas attorneys here (there seem to be a surprising number, I think I mentioned) all have had encouraging things to say, though I'm pretty sure it does little for me. Not to mention the fact they all took it about 10 years ago. :/ And talk about a cherry on a shit cake--after you take the July bar in Texas, you get your results in November. :O Happy holidays, loser!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

My resolution was to learn a new word every day! And I have to say, it is going immensely!

Wow, it's been nearly a month since I got on here, but I'm still alive!

Den Haag is still hellishly expensive but I'm making an effort (mild though it may be) to be more diligent about spending less money. And it's all just food and drink, like always!

I am trying especially to be frugal so I can justify one last trip! I bought a ticket to Sarajevo at the end of July, which I am really excited about. I have a 4-hour layover in Vienna and I am VERY tempted to run outside and do ANYTHING so I can at least pretend I've been to Vienna. (You have to eat outside the airport, at the very least, for it to count.) And I'm sure my parents wish that's just where I was going, fullstop.

But I did the research and it's a perfectly safe place these days. It is also quite relevant to my work, so I thought it was a good idea. Surely I will go to Austria, Italy, Spain, etc. SOME DAY, but I can't say I would make some huge effort to hit Bosnia... Ideally I wanted to fly into Dubrovnik (Croatia), take a bus through Mostar and end up in Sarajevo. It was just too damn pricey and I only have four days. So oh well. The beaches and coast in Dubrovnik are supposedly gorgeous, but I guess my skin makes me a bit of an indoor girl, anyway.

I was also mildly curious to head up to Srebrenica while in Bosnia, but apparently it's a four-hour bus drive and there's only one bus to and fro each day. So you basically have to spend the whole day. What I read did not motivate me to do this. It sounded depressing on so many levels (aside from the obvious horrors that place has seen, there's very little to do/eat there as well). So I may give that a miss.

On the total flip side, the weather here has been lovely lately. And I mean sunny and a little on the warm side. In truth, I like how rainy and cool it has been on so many days, though I seem to be in the minority there. LOVE. And besides, how else do you think all the trees get all that moss all over the bark?

I think I may see Bridesmaids today--it FINALLY came out this weekend. And the final Harry Potter, I think, comes out this following week. It's ON. I've never been a terribly big fan of the movies but I'm also inexplicably drawn to them on opening day. (No doubt due to their unending list of Who's Who in English actors and the fact that the Weasley twins aren't so hard on the eyes...)

And back to being random--two other things I have been meaning to bitch about that I dislike about den Haag: the way they pour beer and the mountains of dogshit on every sidewalk. I am not joking--there is a TON of dogshit here. I do not think a day goes by that I do not get Mojo Nixon's Amsterdam Dogshit Blues in my head. Even though this is the Hague rather than Amsterdam, for the most part, it is a fairly clean city. IF ONLY IT WEREN'T FOR THE DOGSHIT. And ohhhhhhhhhhhhh dogs are E V E R Y W H E R E. I get and appreciate they are more accepting of bringing your pet everywhere, but I just also always found it a little ridiculous. Seriously, someone brought their goddamn dog on the brewery tour in Bruges. Really?

I know, I'm obviously a cat person and this is just not my crowd, but jesus.

And the beer. So, you learn from an early age (in America, anyway), not to pour your Coke in by just dumping it. I watch people do it all the time here. It makes me feel very OCD just how much it bothers me. Well, they do it with the beers, too. This is more frustrating because it's MY beer and they just dump it right in. Each bar has a flat stick they keep in a cup of water. They let the enormous head spill over, then they use the stick to level it off and they serve it to you with about 1-2 inches of head on it. What the FUCK the stick's purpose is (I mean, really, IT SERVES NO PURPOSE) is beyond me. AND EVERY SINGLE BAR DOES IT. The meaty beers (like Guinness) do get their due attention at least.

But seriously. The beer is pricey enough for being fairly un-special, can you at least fill it the fuck up?

Ok, /rantoff.

I will make more of an effort to update this! I have pictures from Bruges and even still many from here. I enjoy my work, but it has actually been fairly slow the past week and a half. I still have a month left and I can't help but feel fairly done with this place. It really hit me when I was in a bar the other night and they started playing Shakira's Waka Waka (This Time For Africa). If I start missing Cape Town, whoa, I'm probably set to go home now!

Don't misunderstand--I loved Cape Town and I loved working there, but I wouldn't really go so far as to say I MISS it, you know? When going out alone becomes that high maintenance, it gets old fairly fast. But in any case, I hadn't heard that song much since last year--and oh holy jesus I heard it 2-3 times a DAY while I was over there (World Cup theme song and all) so suddenly I was all, awwwwwww, I wish I were there now...(And no, I hadn't started drinking yet.) I think it's mostly because of the fun friends I met over there. There are some good people here (most especially my flatmate B), but it's not quite the same.

And I know, I know, "the grass is always greener..."

But overall, just not impressed with Holland. Sorry. (Belgium was great but that was vacation. Also, I seem to have polished off all my Belgium chocolate. You don't need to know how much I started off with!!)