The Colo Euro

The other day a friend of mine asked me if I thought I had changed at all since my stay in Europe. Besides calling myself "aud aud euro trash" on MySpace, I never gave the idea much attention. So last night I sat down with a notepad, pencil and bottle of wine and began to list any sort of contrasts I might between Colo Audrey and Euro Audrey. Here are my top ten:

1. Rarely did I sit with a notepad, pencil and bottle of wine in Colorado. It was usually a bottle of vodka.

Just kidding.

2. Colorado Audrey rocked out on her piano, or on any piano she passed really. Euro Audrey doesn't have a piano nearby, so she bought a harmonica and a kazoo, and now rocks out wherever she goes and whenever she wants – on her bike, outside of class, beside the canals, at the bars, at shows, one the sides of the street with the bums…

3. I threw on snowboard clothes, band shirts and skate shoes when going out. Here I slap on tights, skirts and flats. In short, Colo Audrey would kick my ass and slap a Vans shoe in my face.

4. I was a high-fiver, but I don't even have time to raise my hand anymore, people go right in for the Dutch greet before I can stop them. This involved three cheek kisses, back and forth, and I can never remember which side to start from. Since I can't remember which side to kiss first, things gets awkward, I give up, give them a hug and say "Sorry, I'm American." For some reason they understand...

5. Colorado weekend nights meant going to indie rock, punk rock, really horrible rock, hipster rock, or just some kind of rock show. I'd try to get in for free, either by scoring a spot on the guest list or sneaking in through the back (and front), because shows are just too damn expensive.

In Amsterdam, shows are never expensive (9 Euros for Atmosphere was is the cheapest so far), but never mind if I can't get in because behind me sit about a dozen jazz and blues bars open til four. So now I go to shows where people snap their fingers, twirl their hands in the air and wear gangster hats.

Ok, I still go to punk shows, too.... but I'm not that punk...

6. In Colorado I drunk dialed friends, my grandmother... Here I drunk email... I don't know which one is worse.

7. Transportation: Back home I got stuck in the snow one too many times in a crappy Honda. I cursed at it when I scraped off the ice, kick it when it decided to house a wasp nest, and sometimes just leave it on the side of I70 when it overheated.

Here I get stuck in the rain on an old-school bicycle. I sing it songs when I wipe off the rain on my seat, pet it when its back light shattered to pieces, and sometimes just sit with it in a park.

Back home I would skate or longboard to class, here I bike.

Back home I would drive to the grocery store, bars, friend's houses, shopping areas, eateries.

Here I bike and am ten pounds lighter because I can't carry as much food as a car, and my legs are my bike fuel.

8. On a journalistic note, Colorado Audrey would write leads, inverted pyramid stories, read the New York Times and get down with the Triple S Mag.

Now I write academic essays on how and why journalists write leads and use inverted pyramids, read (a very left) Yahoo news online or (a very right) International Financial Times and get down with the ethical scholar articles. Not nearly as fun, but enlightening!

9. Which leads me to my study habits: I have no more of them. I don't study here because I don't have exams here. Instead, I read and write academic essays. This gives me the freedom to go where I please without ever having to cram. It's a very stress-less lifestyle.

Ok that's a lie. Truth: Instead of pulling "all-nighters" to whip up a 2000-word piece like I did at CSU, I pull "all-weekers" to form an 8000-word argument. This leads me to say that I don’t drink coffee anymore, I drink espresso.

10. And finally, back home my weakness was three things: enchiladas, New Belgium and sushi (Hapa's Orgasm Roll, oh man). Now it's Belgian chocolates, Hoegaarden bier and falafels. Of course, this isn't some sort of replacement, more of a substitution. I’d kill for a Fat Tire, I’d kick for a chocolate.

Hope all is well back home, everyone. I'm in Amsterdam until September; my place is still open to anyone and everyone. Think of you all everyday and miss you like crazy. I want to apologize for not being able to email each one of you individually. I wish I had the time to do so. I hope no one takes these emails as a lousy and impersonal attempt to "KIT", it's just not true.

I have TWO spaces left on my hostel reservation for Oktoberfest in Munich this year. The dates are from September 25 to the 29, I'm pretty sure. PLEASE guys, fill in these two spots!

Much love,

Audrey “time can’t change me” Sykes