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Went for a job – came back with a story

I just can’t believe that my internship in Holland is over now and this will be my last post to the blog. Unbelievable. You have no idea how much I’m going to miss that all, but I’ll try my best to tell you properly about my last week experiences.



When my last week started, I was very sad. I started to realize how my time was running out in there. I got my last week schedule and to be honest, I actually was disappointed. All my shifts were in Sky Lounge. The reason why I felt that way wasn’t the place, it wasn’t Sky Lounge workmates either because I really liked them, but it was just the fact that it was my last week and I didn’t had a chance to work with people I had spent the most of my time in main kitchen. But Sky Lounge was nice, I really liked it. They showed me how to make dishes, most of them were deep-fry foods but also sushi and sandwiches with different fillings. I also saw my main kitchen workmates always in the morning, because we had to brought all the groceries from downstairs to Sky Lounge. And I secretly volunteered every time when something was missing and someone had to go to get it from main kitchen 😀 Clever, huh?

Hasselback potato with chive cream, bacon and cheddar

My friend Roosa came to Amsterdam on Wednesday the 7th. I had a day off on that day so I went to Schiphol Airport to meet her. Then we had to hurry up and catch our train to Alkmaar. In Alkmaar I showed my accommodation to her and she left her luggage to there. And then we had to hurry up again to the train to Amsterdam. Chef was so nice and arranged tickets for us to Anne Frank House. The tour in the House was a nice experience but on the other hand (if you know the story) we were able to feel the unhappy atmosphere in there… Definitely worth visiting.

Zita pasta with roasted winter vegetables, mushrooms and goat cheese

After Anne Frank House we took a lot of pictures and then I showed my favorite shopping street to her, the Kalverstraat of course. In the evening we went to my workplace’s restaurant because Chef had made a reservation for us. I ate halibut and Roosa ordered Zita pasta. We also ordered two Creme caramel vanillas for dessert. Yum!

Pan fried halibut with a lukewarm crab salad and foam of bouillabaisse

Okay, then my last workday. It was Friday the 9th of December and I started at 10:00 in Sky Lounge. Chef Marcel came to see me in Sky Lounge, he did an evaluation and we filled couple forms. Then we discussed about my internship and how did I perform. I won’t tell details here, but he said that I did a very good job and I easily became a part of the team. He also said that I have to let him know if I’m ever planning to go back to Amsterdam because there will be a job for me. And that’s not all! He gave me a goodbye present, which was a completely new Wüsthof kitchen knife. I was so surprised because I didn’t expect anything!  Apparently I did something in a right way 🙂

When the clock was something like 12:30 people told us that they needed help in main kitchen so Daria and I went there. I was super happy. Main kitchen and all my friends, yay! I don’t even remember what tasks I did there, just some ordinary things I think, but I enjoyed every minute of it. I really did. And even though my last day was the saddest one, it was also the best one. I worked with my best friends, Jerry, Ippe, Ernest and Adrian and we had so much fun, we made jokes and laughed like I would stay there forever. And I really loved that.

DoubleTree by Hilton Amsterdam Centraal Station

When the clock came 18:00 it was my time to go. I took a tour in the kitchen, hugged everyone and said the last goodbyes. We added each others on Facebook and changed phone numbers too. I didn’t even notice that it was almost 19:00 when I finally got to my locker. And I started to cry. People had come so close to me during these two months and I couldn’t believe all that was really over. Those were the tears of happiness and sadness at the same time. I’ll miss those guys so much. But I’m trying to comfort myself saying that you never know what happens. Maybe we will see some day, at least I hope we do.

I Amsterdam Letters

So Friday was my last workday and that meant I had 4 full day offs and then our flight would leave on Wednesday morning. Roosa and I traveled to Amsterdam every day, we shopped a lot and went sightseeing. We also decided to buy another (the third) traveling bag which we shared, because our new clothes and presents didn’t fit to our own traveling bags anymore. We even named our new bag! We chose the name ”Kasa” which means a pile or a mound in English (best friend humor haha). Nothing personal, the inspiration for the name was just the appearance of the bag. It looked just like a big black mound :’D Jeroen also visited in my accommodation for the last time on Monday. He asked about my experiences and I told him how I fell in love with Holland. I also returned his knives and the bike he gave me two months ago.


Wednesday, the day of departure. Schiphol Airport was pretty easy, even though we had to ask some help from information desk. We found the right gate and the plane and so began the journey to cold Finland. When we landed to Helsinki Vantaa Airport I immediately felt the coldness. It was kind of a difference, because when we left Amsterdam it was 10 degrees and in Helsinki it was -4 degrees. I already think if I should book flights back to the Netherlands…

So that was all! I hope you enjoyed my posts and got a good impression about internship abroad because I really did. If someone asked me to describe my trip with 5 words I would simply say ”pure love for two months.”



I’m so happy and life is good. I don’t want to go back home yet!

Hello people!

About 2,5 weeks, 16 days and less than 384 hours left. I’m going to cry.

What have I learned?

  1. I’m so brave. I’m actually braver than I thought I would be. And that is because I have had to figure things out by myself. I got a very good start from my school (thank you Sari L) and from Jeroen, but sometimes there are no trains going to Amsterdam when I have to go to work or I have to go to the City Hall to get my BSN letter and stuff like this. I know that these things are normal in Finland too but it’s more difficult to be a foreigner when everything, like the announcements, are in Dutch. But that is life and I have survived pretty well. (And by the way the BSN letter was a piece of cake and now I’m getting my salary normally.)
  2. I’m not lonely when I’m alone. I always thought that I’d be such a social butterfly – and maybe I still am – but being alone is not a problem to me. I enjoy the silence and the feeling when I can just relax and do just what I want to do. (I already crocheted two kettle holders for example :D)
  3. I’m so much better in English. Yeah of course because I have to speak it all the time. I’m glad that my workplace is so international, there are people from Poland, Spain, Italy and Estonia for example so they speak English too. And sometimes I just notice that I’m also thinking and writing a grocery list in English accidentally…

What would I do differently in my workplace?

  1. I have to say this again – garbage sorting. Everything goes to the same garbage bin. Plastic, tin cans, organic waste… Everything, except glass. And that is still a shock to me.
  2. Hand towels = kettle holders. In Finland I’m used to use kettle holders when I take something out of the oven, but in here we use hand towels. That’s why I always take one or two hand towels to the kitchen with me. (I still think that kettle holders would be so much easier to use…)

What do I love?

  1. My workmates. They are the biggest reason why my trip has been that awesome. I’m really going to miss them and all those inside jokes when I go back to home.
  2. Amsterdam. Such a beautiful city.
  3. Weather. Sun is shining and there’s 10 degrees almost every day. Couple weeks ago it was very cold, only 2 to 0 degrees plus a cold wind but mostly the weather has been very nice.
  4. People. They are so kind and friendly. I sat in the train once and we heard an announcement, but of course it was only in Dutch and I didn’t understand anything. All the people left the train and I was just thinking that what was going on. But then one girl turned around and told me that I had to change the train if I wanted to go further than Alkmaar. That was so nice from her and I thanked that girl a lot. So that is what I mean when I always praise Dutch people.
  5. Xenos. It’s a shop with everything – candles, bowls, jars, baking stuff, Christmas decorations, tea, spices and herbs etc. If you know the shop called Tiger, Xenos is kind of the same but bigger and even more versatile.

And then some pictures that Sari T took when she was here.

This lady and this gentleman warmly welcomed us to Heerhugowaard’s Horizon College and to the students restaurant.
That’s me working in the hotel’s kitchen!
And back to the Madame Tussauds – Fangirl moment with Afrojack!

I have planned to go to Haarlem and Rotterdam this week. My workmates told me that Haarlem is the most beautiful city in the Netherlands and Rotterdam is on my to-do list too. Maybe on Tuesday when I have a day off but I’m not sure yet. Will see.

And I almost forgot! I searched from the internet if there’s any Finnish cafés or restaurants and I found one called A Piece Of Finland. It’s a beautiful Finnish design shop and a coffee corner in Amsterdam and I visited there on Thursday. It was so cozy! The owner is Finnish too so I spoke a lot with her and she made me a cup of hot chocolate and I ate a freshly baked bun. And thereby I started to miss Finland a little. But just a little!

Until next time,







This is what it feels like after 5 amazing weeks


Oops… It’s been a while again. I know I should have been written earlier, but I have pretty good excuses.

A break room for employees.
Lunch! Chicken, rice, sushi, omelette, cucumber and pasty.

My  teacher Sari was here last Friday with her husband. They arrived 11th of November and came to my workplace almost directly. I had a morning shift at the time, so Jennifer Seib (Human Resources Trainee) and Sari picked me up from the kitchen to the hotel tour with them. I had had the tour twice already, but it was still nice to get that tour for the third time. And especially because this time I got to speak Finnish after a long time! Sari, her husband and I arranged the meeting to Sky Lounge after my shift and then we met there.

After the tour I went back to the kitchen to finish my tasks.

In the evening we met at Sky Lounge and discussed what to do next. The decision was (of course): food. So we ended up to some restaurant and ate pizza.

On Saturday Sari came to work to the hotel’s kitchen with me. To be honest: it was really nice but at the same time very strange 😀 But that’s only because I’ve used to be the only Finnish in the hotel and speak English continuously, and suddenly I got a chance to speak my language again and someone still understood what I said. It was so funny when my workmates asked if I really speak Finnish because it reputedly sounded so weird and they also wondered how we pronounce all the words and especially the consonants. But I’ve also questioned Dutch, because there are a lot of rough ”throat sounds” that I just simply can’t pronounce. And yes, I’ve tried to do that!

Fangirl moment with Tiësto! (I’m super happy here even though my face looks that sour :D)

On Sunday we had a day off so that meant only one thing. A tourist day! First we went to Madame Tussauds Wax Museum – and that was really worth visiting. Those wax figures took us to their world and we took so many selfies and pictures with them.

After Madame Tussauds we got several options. Maybe Canal Cruise, maybe Anne Frank’s House? First, however, we decided to go eat.

A huge floating Christmas tree in Magna Plaza.

We passed Anne Frank’s House but there was 200-300 meters long queue so we decided not to go there. Instead of that we walked to Magna Plaza which is a big shopping mall. There was a complete Christmas inside the building. After Magna Plaza we went to Kalverstraat, where I had shopped before.

A demonstration lesson. Chef is showing how to make sausages!

On Monday we went to Heerhugowaard’s Horizon College. We met Jeroen after a long time and he showed the school to us.

We had a freedom to go in the school how we liked and also participate to the classes.

We ate lunch in the school’s student restaurant, where cook students did our dishes and waiter/waitress students served them. The food was very good.

Our main course in Horizon College. Now I have to admit that I don’t remember if it was pike perch of white fish… But not too much garnish on the plate huh?

The plan was that after visiting Horizon College we would go to Alkmaar, because I live there and I’d have shown the center and all the cool places but the pouring rain surprised us, so we said our goodbyes already in the train.

So Sari and her husband left on Tuesday afternoon 15th of November. Those five days were really amazing and I’m glad that they came here. Sometimes during their visit I noticed that I spoke English to Sari and Finnish to my workmates by accident 😀

And the second excuse! I’ve got only one day off (Wednesday) after Sari left and all the other days I’ve just worked in the kitchen.  So on Wednesday I went to the Alkmaar City Hall to get a BSN letter to my workplace. It’s kind of the same thing as in Finland we have an income-tax card. Otherwise if I don’t have the BSN letter, I have to pay 50% taxes from my payment. But of course no one told me that I have to make an appointment to the City Hall… So I’m going to take a new try on the next Wednesday with an appointment! Let’s see what happens.

Alkmaar – my beautiful home city.

I’ve been working couple days in Sky Lounge this week and I really liked it, because I got to assemble and also make all those new dishes. Chef taught almost everything to me and that was really great. Next week – and actually tomorrow – I have new tasks and new things to learn again.

I have now six workdays in a row (4 of them behind, 2 of them left), but that’s okay. I’m not tired at all (yet :D) because that work is just so nice and the people are really kind.

Many times I’ve been asked to speak some Finnish and I’ve also learned some Dutch words. My friend Jerry also taught me some Dutch swear words and my workmates have asked Finnish swear words from me too :’D


I’m so happy here because I can be myself and I don’t have to pretend anything. I can laugh and make jokes with others. I’m part of the team and I love that. This really is the best time of my life so far.  Five weeks behind, three weeks left and the sixth week starts tomorrow!

Until next time,


How I’ve been doing + 4 fun facts about life in the Netherlands

Hey y’all!

Almost three weeks behind. Are there something strange in all clocks or why time flies here?

Even so I’m doing very well. I’ve been shopping in Kalverstraat in Amsterdam and in Alkmaar center too. I haven’t been in museums or Anne Frank’s House yet, but I think that’s about to change next week. My teacher, Sari, will come here to my workplace to check this place out.

I’ve been doing really great at work too. I’ve become more acquainted with my workmates and I’m much braver than I was at my first weeks. I’ve also got to do different tasks, like peeling big prawns, assembling dishes and helping pastry team. Talking about the pastry team I got a chance to took couple pictures.

Creme Caramel
Crème Caramel Vanilla (with passion fruit sorbet)
Eastwood Bucket (home-made exotic sorbet or vanilla ice cream served with a variety of toppings)

There’s two dishes from the menu. (I was helping to do them!)

Crème Caramel Vanilla: (as far as I remember) crème brûlée, caramel sauce, hazelnuts, chocolate mousse, chocolate chips, passion fruit sorbet, passion fruit seeds and fruit purée.




Eastwood Bucket’s topping selection has caramel sauce, brownie, crème brûlée, tapioca, chocolate pearls, fudge, meringue and cheese cake. There’s vanilla ice cream bucket in the middle of the plate. I think that the best thing so far is working with the pastry team!






First two weeks I used to work 5 days in a week, but from now I’ll work 4 days in a week. Workdays are long, night shifts especially. I easily do 8-9 hours per day. I also have those 40 minutes long train trips in the morning and in the evening too (who ever said that the train journey from Alkmaar to Amsterdam would take only 20 minutes, was so wrong). But I don’t want to complain because I really like to be and work here. And there’s only limited time to do and see all.



There were so many beautiful clothing stores and coffee houses on my shopping tour in Kalverstraat. I took a lot of pictures from there, but of course I didn’t notice to look the name of the café. However the selection was very versatile and the presentation was good-looking.


I'm feeling hungry and I just have to look at these pictures!
I’m feeling hungry and I just have to look at these pictures!
It was October when I took this picture and there were all the Christmas lights below streets already.
It was October when I took this picture and there were all the Christmas lights below streets already.

Well, I think that pictures tell more than words do. Dutch people have gone crazy about Christmas. All these in October! And my workmates told me that I should go to Haarlem. They said that Haarlem is the best (or the worst) with Christmas decorations :’D







And last but not least: those 4 fun facts that hit me very hard and I’ve been ”going through”. So there you go:

  1. The sorting of garbage – Seriously. People here don’t sort their litter. All organic waste, plastic… All goes to the same bin. It was quite a shock to me, because in Finland we do sorting very carefully (at least I’ve been used to do that).
  2. Special dietary requirements – The second ‘seriously’ from me. I have a lactose intolerance and there’s a very little amount of lactose free products in grocery stores. I’ve luckily found lactose free milk and cream. But how about the others? You’re telling me that Dutch people and other tourists don’t have allergies? I don’t think so… It’s a same thing at my workplace, I’m pretty sure that those dishes in menu aren’t lactose free or gluten free.
  3.  Finnish debit card doesn’t work in grocery stores – Yes. I have to raise cash from the cash machine every time I need to buy food because Dutch payment terminal doesn’t understand Visa. Luckily Visa works in most clothing stores.
  4. Clothing stores are taking a payment from plastic bags – Another yes. 10 cents for a plastic bag when in Finland it comes along.

+5. No sauna and no rye bread – I already knew that but still. 🙁

Now I have to hurry and go to sleep. Morning shift, I’m coming for you!

Until next time,


There’s an endless road to re-discover…

Hey guys!

Many things have happened and I’ve been in the Netherlands almost two weeks. So maybe it would be better if I start from the beginning of my trip.

Saturday, the 15th of October was the day I left Finland behind. My flight was at 8:10 in the morning and I was super nervous. Luckily my mom and my siblings were there with me.


My flight landed to Schiphol Airport and Jeroen had come to meet me. He is a teacher in Heerhugowaard’s Horizon College. Jeroen picked me up from the airport and we drove to the city center of Amsterdam and past my internship place, the DoubleTree by Hilton Amsterdam Centraal Station. After that we went to the Alkmaar railway station and bought the OV-chipkaart, wich is the local travel card. The card works in the train, in the subway and in the buss. Then Jeroen took me to my accommodation and we met my renter Hailu. He was the kindest old man who showed me the apartment and then he made some tea to us. I left my baggage in the house and Jeroen offered that he could go to the grocery store with me. When I got back to my accommodation, I unpacked, made some food and went straight to my bed. I was very tired. Phew! That was my first day.

My accommodation is one of those red houses.
My accommodation is one of those red houses.

Luckily Hailu gave me a bike which I can borrow during my visit. On Sunday I cycled to Alkmaar center and De Mare with him. De Mare is a shopping area within a few kilometres away from my house. When we got back to the house I was so messed up because of all those routes we cycled. So I opened Google Maps and searched the shortest way back to De Mare, because I had to buy some food again. I found it very easily, but the way back wasn’t that easy for some reason. I got lost. And because I’m Finnish, I absolutely couldn’t ask help from anyone. I cycled around and around like forever (at least it felt like that) until I finally found the familiar road. I’ve remembered the right way to the store and back very well since that 😀

Monday the 17th was my first day at the hotel. Jeroen picked me up from my accommodation again and took me to the hotel. Then it was time to say goodbye to him.

The first day was only computer works and orientation. I met the head chef, Marcel, and he warmly welcomed me to the team. We also did a tour in the hotel.


It was the first ”real” workday on Tuesday. Chef took me to the tour again and we visited in all the three kitchens (the main kitchen, a little smaller kitchen and the Sky Lounge kitchen with an amazing view to Amsterdam and Oosterdok, which is a great water area in front of the hotel). The day was supposedly quite confusing but it went pretty well. Dutch people have a wonderful way to handshake and greet everyone when they come and leave the work so they know which people are in the kitchen at the moment. I loved that!

When the workday ended, I went to the Amsterdam Central Station and to the platform where the train should leave back to Alkmaar Noord, which is my station. However there was a different train on the platform and I didn’t understand the announcements because they were all in Dutch. People started to gather to the platform and everybody seemed to be a little confused. I finally asked help from some girl (I guess she was my age) and she told me that she is going to Alkmaar too and I could be with her. We tried to figure the situation out and she translated all the Dutch announcements in English to me. So it turned out that someone had hit to the train and that’s why all the schedules had messed up. We had to change the train many times and that took hours. Finally we both made it to the right stations. That’s one example how helpful and friendly the Dutch people are. Without that girl I probably wouldn’t made it at all. So if you ever in any way read this, I want to thank you again for saving my day!

I had my first night shift on Wednesday. My jobs were a lot like cutting, peeling, cleaning and other different kind of assistance things. Thursday and Friday were my first day offs.

A picture from Sky Lounge kitchen's window to the rails
A picture from Sky Lounge kitchen’s window to the rails

On Saturday I worked in Sky Lounge. There was a birthday party for one of the richest Indian boy organized by his family. He turned 25 years so the catering and the settings were in line with that. I had an opportunity to assemble different dishes and also the dessert ones, and I really liked that. The Sky Lounge kitchen is very small, so I was able to speak to my work mates more while working. I’d love to show you pictures from the servings but photographing isn’t permitted there.

Sunday, Monday and Tuesday were kind of ordinary days including cleaning, cutting, helping the pastry team and everything general little things. Now I have Wednesday and Thursday off. On Wed I was in home and I went to the grocery store to get fillings to my fridge. I thought that I’d go to Amsterdam on Thursday. Magna Plaza and De Bijenkorf are waiting for me! (Those are two big shopping malls.)

Egbert Broers in Alkmaar Centrum
Egbert Broers in Alkmaar Center.

I think these were the highlights of my two weeks in the Netherlands. 6 weeks left. I know already that I don’t want to go home that soon :’D This country is just so beautiful and the people and everything. I’m in love.

I’ll (try to) write soon again! Until next time,


Two days until the Netherlands!

Goedendag allen!

My name is Sirpa, I’m 20-year-old and I’m studying in Jämsä College to become a cook. My intention is to graduate during this winter. I have two internships left and the next one is going to be in Amsterdam! I’m very excited, because I’m leaving Finland in two days.

The job-learning place is DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Amsterdam Centraal Station. As the name suggests it’s located to the Amsterdam’s central station. My exchange period is going to take two months. I’m not sure what my internship includes yet, but I’ll be working in the hotel’s kitchen.


Even though my workplace is in Amsterdam, my accommodation will be in Alkmaar. Alkmaar is 20 minutes away by train from Amsterdam, so I suppose that these train journeys will become very familiar to me!


Maybe the most nervous thing is ”the airport behavior”, because I’ve flown only once and it was years ago. Luckily Jeroen from the dutch Horizon College will come to the airport to meet me.

I think I’ll be fine.

I’ll write to you next time when I’m in the Netherlands. This is crazy!

Best regards,


Last days!

Hello! This will be my last blog update. Today was my last workday and tomorrow i will go to the bank for my salary. Then tomorrow i’ll pack my stuffs so it will be ready for saturday when i come back Finland!

well. About this final week. SO BUSY, we have like 1000 people eating so lot of work.

This week we had special decorations because days 21.6, 23,6 and 24,6 we have Sant Juan Ciutadella festivals! I have some photos about these.

IMG_3814 IMG_3815 IMG_3816IMG_3820




I was watching this festival one day. There was like 300 people or more in the streets and following horsemans. The idea of the festival: First horseman takes the Sant juan flag from the balcony and like 50 more horsemans follow this first one. Then people follow these horsemans.

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And this is the flag of Sant Juan:


I have to say thanks everybody for making this trip possible for me! This has been so amazing and teaching.


Hello! Two weeks anymore before i go back Finland.

About last week. It has been normal but more busier because 2 days ago the hotel got 100 new tourists. So more and more work coming 🙂

My roommate Lukas went work other place than me so i had to do all the things on my own again. He said me that next week i go to work in another place than salad place, maybe.

Here is some photos about this week:
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And this is the beach where I always go after work or day offs.

Cala en Forcat:

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Hello again!

Hello there. Time is like flying here in Menorca. This week has been so busy because there is all the time more and more people coming to eat. Now we have like 600 people coming to eat for day. Next 2 weeks we will have like 1000 people eating for day. So even busier weeks coming!

This week has been normal except one special day we had 1 extra buffet for 100 people.

Here is some photos about the extra buffet:

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