Of Course

Could Kill Me, Apparently

Could Kill Me, Apparently

I had an allergic reaction. It was…bad, terrifying, and at the end funny.

I tried to type this a few days ago so I could write: ‘My eyes are swollen shut, and the reason is stupid.’ I couldn’t do that, though, because my eyes were, in fact, swollen shut, so I couldn’t see. Right now my eyes are no longer swollen shut; they are still pretty puffy, and the reason behind that is still stupid.

As a kid I had allergies that manifested in the most annoying ways. No itchy eyes or runny nose for me. I’d get blisters on my eyelid and under my eye about the size of dimes. Normally I’d take allergy medication, put a cold compress on my eyes, and a couple of hours later I’d be good. That happened much less often once I became an adult, and completely stopped about two years ago, until last weekend.

I was doing yard work. I got fancy and helped mow some grass. I felt like a real cool kid when I got my hands on the weed whacker and I didn’t lose any toes or kill the dog. It was because of all that excitement that I didn’t notice my eyes were very itchy. I touched my face and felt two little blisters under each eye, so I ran in to the house, washed my face, popped an antihistamine, and avoided scratching. Ten minutes later, the itchiness wasn’t subsiding, so I walk into the bathroom and looked in the mirror. It looked like I had been punched in both eyes.

I realized that whatever gave me the allergic reaction was probably still all over my clothes and hair, so I quickly jump into the shower. The whole time I’m trying my best to keep cool, but that was difficult to do after realizing that I was having to widen my eyes as much as possible so that I could see at all. As I was showering I noticed an extremely swollen lymph node under my right arm surrounded with blisters…sexy right?

I don’t generally panic until it’s absolutely necessary, so I stood there in the shower barely able to see squinting at my arm, trying to decide if that was going to be the moment I’d panic. I’ve never gone into anaphylactic shock, but I figured since I didn’t think my throat was closing I was probably fine?

Turns out I was sort of fine, but leaving the house was not an option for three days. That’s how long it took to start looking normal-ish.

I’ve been working hard to be stronger and faster, but apparently I can be taken out by a few blades of grass and a dusting of pollen— of course.

 

About Dam Time

I’ve been busy. Busier than I thought I would be considering my life has heavily revolved around Crossfit, freelancing, and resume sending. I’ve started to write this post like eight times over the last two months. Ridiculous. Many things have changed in my life since I went to Amsterdam, but this post is going to be about Amsterdam anyway.

You know what’s difficult? Trying to work and vacation at the same time, but when have I ever been cool with simple? I went to Amsterdam as a tourist and a freelancer. I wish my time there had lasted longer, but who doesn’t wish beautiful things lasted longer.

N and I drove to Amsterdam. You know, for someone who was really excited to travel to different cities by train– I drive a lot. The drive was 2.5 hours from Koeln.

Hotel costs are steep in Amsterdam, especially if you want a decent place. That’s why I decided it was a good time to roll the dice, and try Airbnb. Basically, I joined the social network, and looked up people who live in Amsterdam, that would lend out their Apartment to travelers. I know, sounds a little sketch, but I chose the option where the apartment owner would leave their home, so guest could be alone in the apartment. My experience was great. For half the price of a hotel I stayed in a luxury one bedroom, two level condo, outside of the touristy craziness.

Marco, the owner, met us at his home, did a walk through, gave us a list of local restaurants he was really into, and advice on the metro system. Then, he left.

Marco was really confused as to why we would drive from Koeln to Amsterdam just to hang out for a couple of days, but once he realized we were American, it made sense. I guess, a 2.5 hour drive is a big deal in Europe.

It was strange being in some other person’s home. I was very concerned about cleaning up after myself and not breaking anything, but I wasn’t in the apartment all that much.

Dutch sounds really funny to me. Not like, “Listen to those Dutch people with their Dutch talk,” but in how much it sounds like English. I understood a surprising amount, but only after thinking about it for several minutes, so it wasn’t useful or anything.

Walking around Amsterdam was so lovely. The Museum District made me happy. Art, relaxation, and that sweet I Am Amsterdam sign. I tried to take a coolkid picture with it, but I’m not as fearless as the people that were willing to muscle their way to the top.

I Am Amsterdam

Vondel Park was great to walk through. There were sculptures in the space, including a Picasso. The tulips were all over the place, and I sure liked that.

The bike thing is no joke either. They are everywhere. That’s why I thought it would be a great idea to spend 30 euro on renting bikes. I promptly remembered I don’t know how to ride a bike, but decided to try anyway. As you probably expected, I almost got hit by cars– twice. Strangers gasped, and then laughed. We returned the bikes 1 hour after renting them.

Bad At Easy Things

The Red Light District, was– something. It was interesting in a morbid way, and mostly wildly depressing. Then, I felt like a jerk for thinking someone’s life is depressing because they chose to make a legal act their career. The problem is that I know that for some of those women, it’s not always a choice. Though interesting, that walk was just weird.

Visiting the historic buildings, walking along the canals, and checking out great restaurants was more my speed. My favorite restaurant was called Cau. It was near the Red Light District. It was an Argentinean steakhouse. The women servers wore shirts that said ‘caugirl,’ and the men’s said ‘cauboy.’ I got a real kick out of that for some reason. I also ate two giant milkshakes, and didn’t feel even a little bad.

I never made it to the Keukenhof Gardens, and I’m still sad about that. I guess, I’ll just have to go back. I’m always wanting to go back.

Anne Frank Haus