Monthly Archives: August 2013


The introduction days are over; but it is now that I want to introduce myself. For those of you who already know me, skip this post, for those of you who don’t know me that well, maybe this can help you discover who I am. Please keep in mind I kept this short so that we still have something left to talk about 🙂

“In brief!”
I am Alanna, a 20 year old, quiet but out-going young woman and even though it doesn’t seem like it; I am extremely shy. I used to do a lot of outdoor sports but haven’t done much these 2 past years so consider me out of shape. I am a literature freak, I read, write and “know” a lot, but sadly my cinematograhic culture sucks big time! Anyhow it is while cooking I feel the most at peace, and it’s in the kitchen I can gather my thoughts the best. But above all, if my friends and rocambolesque adventures are my fuel for life, music is the spark that takes it all off to a whole other level of awesomeness and makes me feel really lucky to be!

“Where are you from?”
Is probably the question that I hear the most, and dispise the most too, for that the answer is pretty long and complicated. Usually I would answer I am French, because that’s what my passport says, but I then feel like I’m leaving a huge part of me out. Basically I was born to a French father and a Dutch mother, on a French Island somewhere close to the Carribeans. After some travelling around, my parents have settled in France where I have lived 7 years of my life only… At the age of 18 I left home and flew to Finland where I spent the last 2 years enjoying every second of it! And if you believe in the say “home is where the heart is” then Scandinavia is the place for I have lost mine somewhere between Copenhagen and Jyväskylä, if it wasn’t Southern Sweden already….

“What am I doing in Haarlem ?”
I am a student in Music and Media Management from the JAMK University of Applied Sciences, Jyväskylä, Finland and I’m trying to figure out what I want to do with my life. I am spending my 3rd year of study as an exchange student in InHolland University of Applied Sciences in Haarlem in the Netherlands. I chose InHolland for that I was accepted as a full-time student here 2 years ago, but then flew to Finland instead, so I am curious to experience what being a student in InHolland feels like. I also wanted to come to the Netherlands to practice my Dutch and eventually broaden my network a bit..

“What else?”
I could tell you my favorite colors are deep purple and raspberry pink, that I’m a really bad bass player and suck at singing even worse, that I have unsuccessfully tried to be a vegetarian for 2 years, that my name was inspired by country/rock singer Alannah Myles and that I’m madly in love with my cat Reepicheep which is the one and only incarnation of the Devil… I could also say I don’t like bananas even though Alanna-Banana has been my nickname for quite a long time (but thanks Ninon; A-la-noix is so much better!), that I miss my 2 little brothers a lot every day, and that I don’t have a driving license because I’ve been lazy with it, I knit, and truly adore my new hobby of light engineering what I will write a full post about soon… Yeah I could talk about all that but now I’m really craving for a cup of coffee and a walk outside so I’ll drop the computer and wish you all a good weekend!

Rock on!

(Post about the introduction days should be posted sometime tonight!)

Good Morning Haarlem!

The smile on Dasha’s face this morning, when I handed her a to-go breakfast of raisin buns, croissant and a sadly lukewarm Starbucks latté was priceless! And totally worth the early trip to Schipol Airport. I am now back at Nienke’s flat and got myself to start writing this first blog entry; it was about time!

I arrived in Haarlem last Sunday and after a little holiday with my mom and brother, my mom dropped me at Nienke’s the next Saturday; I’ll be staying here until I can move to my own flat in the beginning of September. If things seem now to be quite easy, they haven’t always been.

When last May, paperwork and school related arrangements were about to be done I couldn’t feel otherwise than excited. Of course it is exciting to start over in a new city and I was finally going to reunite with a too often forgotten part of my culture (or blood to make it sound dramatic; my mom is 100% Dutch) and practice a language I have been mumbling since my early childhood. As it was already decided my mom, brother and I would get some holiday in North-Holland before I settle here, I had my transportation all covered; we would drive from France to Haarlem, so all I had left to do was find a place to stay.

I had decided to stay away from the organized Duwo flats (where all the exchange students usually live), for the simple reason I find them really expensive. Also I came to Holland to practice my Dutch so going local was a better option than sticking to the international places; school would already be in English. Well I would have never expected finding a flat in Haarlem would be so complicated, expensive and Dutch people so picky. To make a very long story short, after 2 months of unsuccessful flat searching my attitude towards the exchange changed from “Yeah, Holland, Holland, Holland!” to “I don’t want to go there anymore!”. Especially that I was having such a good time in Finland that the perspective of leaving my friends, band, flatmate, habits and very cherished room and flat behind felt terrible. No need to say that when I arrived in Haarlem a week ago without having a place to stay; I was feeling a bit down. Witnessing my despair my mother added some flat searching to the holiday program and surprisingly after 3 days of flat visiting along with camping and sight-seeing we managed to find really a cute place for me to spend my year here. So I can say it all turned out good in the end, as we even had some time left for family activities! 🙂

I woke at 7 this morning and without taking time for breakfast sneaked out Nienke’s flat (where I am temporarily staying). I hopped on my new-second hand purple “echte omafiets” and cycled to the center of Haarlem where I caught a bus to Schipol. My dear friend and classmate Dasha was landing this morning and I wanted to welcome her in Holland. After a short talk and redirecting her to the right train to Breda, I made my way back to Haarlem where I waited for the shops to open in a café on Grote Markt. I had a coffee, filled in a couple of postcards (it’s a fact I have been in Holland for a week but haven’t given much news to my friends.) and had another coffee. It was Monday morning, after the rain came the sun and Haarlem seemed to slowly wake…


As I failed to picture my coffee this morning, here’s a picture of my “omafiets” / granny bike taken just after I bought it, jeee!