STAND OUT IN THE CROWD

Something I read recently, which got me thinking.
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It might not seem like it, but it is worth it.
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VISITING THE ANNE FRANK HOUSE – A DREAM COME TRUE

Five months later and I`ve finally got around to write a post about my visit to the Anne Frank Museum. It was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G and surreal to finally be there, after so many years. I read her diary several years ago, so finally being there was sort of like “when did this happened?” After countless discussions, tears and much frustration, my mum finally had bought tickets for the trip.IMG_1087We were only there for about two days (the plan was to stay there from Friday night till Sunday afternoon, but if you`ve read my posts about my time in Amsterdam, you`ll know we somehow didn`t get on the flight and therefore had to stay one more night, haha), so we didn`t have that much time but I was more than happy to finally visit the Anne Frank House. I had even asked my mum if it was okay for me to catch a flight in the morning, visit the Museum and catch a flight back to Norway the same day, haha. Desperate, I know! BUT I finally went this summer and I still can`t get over it.

IMG_1092.jpgAnne Frank Huis is located at Prinsengracht 263, close to the Westerkerk in central Amsterdam. Take the tram (nr. 14, if I`m not wrong) from the central station and get off at “Westermarkt.” The Museum it very close to the station, it should take you about two minutes to get there.

IMG_1096 (1)IMG_1014.jpgWe didn`t get any tickets online, but I was very ready about standing outside and waiting for at least 3-4 hours. Well, guess what? We arrived the Museum about two o clock and didn`t have to wait for long. We were kind of confused, though, about where the queue started. We joined it where it began, but people immediately reacted and pointed towards the end of the line. It was quite long and I first thought “oh my, how long is this going to take”, but we joined the queue as quickly as possible and waited for the time to pass by. My mum walked around the place and bought a donut for me, which I enjoyed while waiting. In front of me there was this American woman, who was on a business trip but had some time to explore the city. We talked for a while and time passed by very quickly. She was such a nice lady, I wish we had met each other after the exhibition. I “missed her” after going inside the Museum, but I really hope she enjoyed her visit! We had to wait for like two hours, which wasn`t really anything. You could say we waited for about 45 minutes, as the queue for us who didn`t have any online tickets began then. I feel like a quick search online make you believe it`s going to take a long time, but don`t worry! If you`re there 1-2 PM, you should be fine! Also, the Museum has organised it quite well, so they take in visitors as some leave. IMG_0994IMG_0998 (1)IMG_1172IMG_1006IMG_1090.jpgEach ticket costed 9 Euros. We payed for them and walked into the building. The exhibition consisted of photos with information, things inside displays from that time, headphones which told you about each room and walking around the Secret Annexe. Unfortunately the attic was closed, which made me sad but I tried to see as much as possible from the floor below.  We weren`t allowed to take pictures inside, but maybe that was only a rule for those using flash? It would be nice to have a picture from the inside which I`ve taken, but I`m very glad I actually enjoyed my time there and wasn`t busy taking pictures. IMG_1175I knew almost everything, so for me the excitement was pretty much all about being inside there. It was stepping where Anne stepped so many years ago. It was being there, feeling and realizing how little space and privacy there was inside each room. It was seeing everything physically, it was about being able to look at the pictures Anne had put on her wall and touching the walls. The pictures inside my head were finally real. It was seeing everything Anne had described in her diary. The kitchen, the livingroom, the bedrooms, the bathroom. Being a little closer to everything that happened. They`re forever gone, but we`re here. We`re here to remind ourselves so we can remember. We`re here to learn about what happened, so we hopefully can not let it happen again and prevent hate and racism from being normal things in  our lives and in our society. So we can work against destructive ideas and notions. I`ve heard some people say “Anne Frank got famous for only writing a diary”. You can look at it that way, or you can actually read the diary and learn a lot about how a young girl was trying to survive, not only physically but also mentally, when the world around her was fighting. It`s about the war, about rascism, about what hate can do, about war, hope, dreams, the future and love. Let`s not forget what an incredible writer Anne Frank was. I`ve also heard people say “Malala got famous because Taliban tried to kill her”. I won`t say Malala didn`t get more opportunities to raise awareness for human rights, but Malala believed in education for everyone before the event Can`t we all focus on the good things people do, instead of ignoring them and being ignorant?IMG_1182IMG_1093IMG_1174IMG_1104After spending two hours inside, I bought two books, an English version of the diary and a huge book about Anne, her life, the diary and the Museum. I also bought three postcards. I`m very happy I got to visit the Museum after so many years. It inspired me a lot and made me realise what`s important in life. In the end of exhibition they were showing a short video, in which people were explaining what impact Anne and her story have had on their lives and how you can make the world a better place to live in. We can all do little things every single day, to make someone`s live a little better and to make it easier for more people to live in this crazy world. I`m one of millions who`re inspired by Anne Frank and everything she went through and I know I`ll forever be inspired. Thank you for everything you`ve taught me, thank you for inspiring so many people with your writing. You couldn`t know, but your dreams came true and people today are thinking of you. I`m one of them. I really enjoyed my visit and I`m for sure going back one day.IMG_1089

Till then:


Have you been to the Anne Frank House? If so, pleeeease share your encounterings. I`d love to hear about everything! 🙂 Also, have you read her diary? What do you think of it? If you haven`t, I really really really recommend you to read it. ♥

MY TRIP TO AMSTERDAM – PART 2

This is the second part of my trip (very sorry about the delay!) – we only spent about two days there, which wasn`t enough at all, but my dreams came true and that`s all that mattered to me there and then. I`m SO glad I finally got to visit the city. Amsterdam is a very beautiful city and I`m definetely going back one day! If you haven`t read the first post, you can do it HERE. I hope you`ll enjoy this post. (not as much as I enjoyed the trip itself, though. I don`t think that`s even possible. 😏 )


Now – let`s talk about what we did the second day, which was Sunday the 2nd July. We woke up nine o clock, got ready and went downstairs for breakfast. I wish we were served breakfast like that every day – we had quite a lot of opportunities, and we also managed to pack with us some croissants. I really like them and I want to try and make some at home during my holidays. We also had some more healthy food, like yogurt with granola, nuts and fruit. Quite delicious!IMG_1042.jpgIMG_1051.jpg

After breakfast, we packed our baggage quickly and waited for the next shuttle bus to come. It was time to say goodbye to the hotel. We stayed at “Dorint Airport Hotel”, which had great service. The only negative thing we experienced,  was problems with the WiFi, but for me that was completely okay. I wanted to spend my time feeling and taking it everything around me – not staring at a screen and ignoring the world. IMG_1064A2IMG_1082We took the shuttle bus to the airport and didn`t exactly know what to do with our baggage. Since our flight was 7 o clock in the evening, we didn`t think it was a good idea to leave our suitcases back in the hotel just for us to have to go back and get them. However, after some frustration, we kept them inside a locker at the airport and finally took the train to Amsterdam Station.IMG_1086 (1)We didn`t have proper plans for the day (I first wrote today, I wish that was the case!!)  so first I went to Prinsengracht to take some pictures there. Amsterdam has more beautiful streets – they have this old-fashioned look, which I really like! It looks modern, yet old.

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Let`not forget the canals and the boats – we don`t have anything like that in the centrum of Oslo. They put more harmony into the city. I and my mum decided to do an hour long boat trip. On the boat there was this couple sitting next to the window, so enjoying the atmosphere and the surroundings and taking pictures at the same time wasn`t that easy, haha. We learned about Amsterdam and the canals through some headphones – the voice was so relaxing, I felt sleepy. So did my mum. I recommend you to do a boat trip, they have many options you can choose between and it should be more fun if you`re a bigger group. IMG_1118IMG_1110IMG_1101 (1)IMG_1154IMG_1137

The clock was four when we jumped off the boat, so we didn`t have much time left, which was very sad (especially for me!). I told my mum I want to take some pictures of the museum from the other side of the canal, so she waited near the Anne Frank Statue while I went to the other side and took some pictures of the Anne Frank Museum.

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The quaint streets and canals make the city look very photogenic. There are bikes everywhere, shops and cafes everywhere and if you`re from a small town it can get quite noisy, especially during the day and in specific streets. The city`s got history, culture, nightlife, international restaurants, famous museums, excellent public transport (especially compared to Norway…), the traffic is light and there`s a silent harmony. It`s not stressful, people are simply doing their own thing. I really wanted to hire a bike, but that`d mean leaving my mum alone as she doesn`t know how to drive a bike, unfortunately. Next time, though!

IMG_1193IMG_1191IMG_1197.jpgThe last thing we had the time to do, was to find the big shopping mall called “Manga” and visit one shop inside. It looked like many of the shops were fancy and maybe a little to expensive, but if it wasn`t for me trying to save my mum`s money, I definetely would`ve bought something inside there. We also visited this little suveniour shop, trying to find a sweater for my brother which didn`t yell “I love Amsterdam”. We didn`t find any, and we also had to find our way back to the airport, so we hurried a little and caught the tram.

At the airport we got our baggage and while booking it, the lady said there might not be any available seats on the plane for us. I was confused, but chilled and thought “how can that be possible? We`ve bought tickets and that should be enough.” But when it was time for boarding, it turned out we weren`t really assured any seats. My mum was more stressed and worried than me because she was supposed to work the next day, but if I had been her I`d have chilled, haha. They had one seat available, and since my mum didn`t want me to travel on my own, we asked about the next flights. We were asked if we were okay with travelling to Sandefjord, but we said no to the offer because that meant waiting for the train for 5-6 hours at the airport there. So, the only option we had, was to stay another night and catch a flight next morning, almost 9 o clock. We were also given either a refound or a voucher each, and we ended up with refounds. Guess who was very happy? Haha, ah, I was thrilled since we got to stay one more night in Amsterdam and that too for free! Free dinner, free breakfast and free hotel stay. We had to wait for a while at the airport, so they could fix everything, and then a car took us to a hotel called “Clarion Hotel”. It felt like it was a little outside the city, as it wasn`t that central and we barely saw any people outside. The hotel was very cute, though. Little, but cute.IMG_1231We had a great dinner, till we went up to our room and tried to fall asleep. Since I didn`t have my baggage, I had to sleep in the same clothes that I had wore all day. I was very excited, very thankful and it was hard to fall asleep. IMG_1203 (1)IMG_1207IMG_1211

At the airport, this woman explained properly to me the flight details and all the information I needed. I thought she had strictly recommended me to arrive the airport three hours before departure, but apparently I hadn`t been listening that well, haha. Blame my excitement. We told the hotel receptionist to wake us up 4.30 AM, which they did. It was an annoying alarm, haha. What alarms are not annoying, you may ask? We thought they`d knock on our door and tell us to wake up (that sounds so hilarious, it reminds me of how my mum wakes me up), but instead the phone in the room started ringing and both of us were too sleepy and lazy to get up and turn the alarm off. I told my mum to get up, but in the end I had to give in and turn it off. We got ready, didn`t really have any breakfast (the breakfast they gave us, wasn`t really anything, but still I`m thankful) as we thought we`d have something at the airport. We`d been given a voucher which we wanted to use.

That Monday morning was very beautiful. You could hear the silence, you could hear how the world wasn`t awake yet, you could hear the birds singing some of their own songs. The sun was already up, the air wasn`t that cold and I? I was enjoying my last hours in a beautiful city called Amsterdam.IMG_1227The shuttle bus was a little late, but that was okay. We had plenty of time for the booking and boarding, so at the airport we enjoyed a long breakfast and I also managed to buy some postcards. Postcards have become a must for me, I started collecting them back in 2012 when I went to Poland, Germany and Czech Republic. I like to find them and look at them sometimes – it takes me back to good, old times. 🙂

IMG_1266IMG_1268Our flight was a little late, but that was okay too. The flight was almost two hours long, and I was very sad, but also very hopeful. Sad because another journey, another trip had come to an end, but hopeful because dreams do come true and the journey I had just been on, was proof enough. Back in Norway everything was normal and life went on, but as I unpacked everything I realised I actually had been there. I had seen what I had been dreaming of for so long, I had visited the Anne Frank Museum, a dream had come true. All of a sudden it all had come true and it was already over. I guess that`s what you call life. It was odd and beautiful, just like life. IMG_1286.JPGIMG_1289.JPGThank you so much, Amsterdam. You know what I`m talking about. See you soon. 💖 💖

YOU THOUGHT YOU COULDN`T ANYMORE

Image result for every time you were convincedAnd sometimes you think you won`t be able to go on anymore. You tell yourself you`re way too exhausted, you need to sleep, you can`t take one more step. Suddenly you`re ten steps ahead, without even realising it. You thought you were broken and therefore couldn`t walk anymore, but maybe the broken pieces inside you made you even more desperate to walk. Or maybe you know deep inside know it`s not the end of everything, it`s just a voice inside your head. You`re not as lost as you think you are, friend. You`re not that hopeless. Maybe you`re tired, maybe you do need to rest, but don`t you ever think you can`t go on anymore because maybe it`s when you`ve almost convinced yourself you can`t, that you actually can.

 

WHAT WAS HER FAULT?

The 30th of September, almost a month ago, “Kya Qusoor Hai Amla Ka?” stopped airing. It was Star Plus` decision, and I must say I was very disappointed about that. They decided to pull off a very relevant and important show way too early, which could`ve inspired more people out there. It aired for almost six months, and was about a rape victim and her road to justice, in the Indian society. Veeeeery interesting – if you`re from Pakistan/India, or for some reason understand Hindi/Urdu, I absolutely recommend you to watch the show.

Amla gained justice in the very last episode, and I was (and am) so touched by what she said, that I have to share it here. I hope you gain inspiration from it and I hope more and more people realise that it`s never a rape-victim`s fault, they shouldn`t be ashamed for something awful someone else did! Do like & share this, the more people that read this, the better. 


I, Amla, am like many other girls in this country (India) an ordinary girl who had her dreams. Dreams that meant getting married to the person she loves, establishing a family and living a peaceful life. But none of my dreams came true. One night a storm occured and destroyed everything. It ruined my dreams. And I couldn`t do anything. Everything got destroyed, but the world pointed fingers towards me. Rape. Perhaps it`s the only criminal act in the world, in which the victim is to be blamed.

What was my fault? Was it going out late in the evening, to meet the person I loved? Or am I at fault, because I`m a girl? “You`re a woman, you can`t go out on your own! How can you go outside on your own? And why? You`re a woman, behave yourself. You`ll be punished, if you as a woman don`t live according to the norms the society has made for you!” Who have made these rules and these norms? And why do they apply only for girls and woman? Why don`t they apply to men? They start thinking they own a girl, that they can use her, if they see a girl outside, walking on her own. Yet, the girls are being stopped. Why don`t we explain to them that using girls isn`t right, they`re not objects.

After a rape, when a girl needs love from her own, they`re the ones who end up turning their backs toward her, they`re the ones who say darn things to her and leave her near death. They humilate her.

Rape isn`t only about the body, it`s about the soul too, aswell. Rape doesn`t only make your body dirty, it tears the soul up into pieces. It ruins the confidence. And at the same time, the world tries to make the girl believe there`s no point anymore with she living. It doesn`t matter if she lives or dies. I wonder why a person, who`s been raped, can`t live again? Why can`t she be happy again? Why can`t she once again be respected?

Those of you, who`re sitting here today, most likely know quite some things about me, Some have even talked to me in a rude way, but many of you have prayed for me too. I`m not alone, there are many girls out there, who`re hiding in the darkness. Neither do they live or die, they don`t say anything, they don`t hear anything. And nobody sees them. I was lucky to find Abeer (husband), who taught me how to live, who gave me courage, hope and love, who respected me. But not everyone`s as lucky as me and not all men are like Abeer. 

My wish is that girls who fit my shoe, raise their voices and fight for justice. Help them, please. Give them hope and courage, so that they`re able to raise their voices. Other men might start thinking a houndred times before taking a step like that, if one culprit gets his punishment. And if the court starts treating girls on a fair basis, more girls will gain the strength to use their voice and fight for themselves!