spenser's life

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European Adventures
I just got back form Europe! Alex, Silas, Zoe, Nick and I spent about a week in Berlin and then a week in Amsterdam. The trip started by us showing up at SFO to be told we couldn't fly because Alex's passport was expiring 90 days from the return (which is a rule we didn't know about). Meanwhile, the others were en route and needed to get into an Airbnb we booked and use a train ticket we had! The next 24 hours were a frantic whirlwind of doing research, printing documents, and standing in line at the SF passport office at 6AM (which was a surprisingly great experience (nothing like the DMV)). We flew out that night and eventually made it in time to meet the others.

Berlin was an amazing place which I can only describe as a strange European wild west. The city is covered in graffiti (some beautiful, some not), people drove like maniacs, you'd hear 4 different languages getting off the subway, and parents were shockingly carefree with their children. It was a really special place (and very unlike most of Germany, I'm told), and of course the history, both new and old, makes it even more interesting.

Amsterdam, in contrast, was VERY different. We trained there through some beautiful countryside. Everything was extremely clean (and expensive) and the parks were absolutely incredible. I've never seen more bikes in my life (and no helmets in sight and mopeds speeding by them in the bike lane). The city seemed to have this pristine and polished side, which was disrupted by a more wild sort when night fell and the red lights turn on. It wouldn't be the full Amsterdam experience without checking out the coffeeshops - it was interesting to compare the cannabis sales/product experience with that in California/Oregon, where everything is meticulously child-protected and documented (which I'm personally on board with).

A small highlight of the trip was watching European MTV on a cable connection with so much static you'd think the signal was coming from the moon. It comforts me to know that MTV provides intellectually bankrupt programming everywhere in the world.

📷Photos from the trip!

Before Europe we went whale watching, which was amazing and we got extremely lucky by being able to observe multiple orca pods right near the boat (did you know they can live up to like 50 years in the wild and have different language dialects between pods!)

📚 Some recent reading recommendations:
Unfuck Yourself for anyone who wants to get motivated
Spelunky for any indie game geek (some of you may know I'm a spelunky fanatic)
Utopia for Realists for those interested in the effects of automation, universal basic income, open borders, etc.
Sapiens for EVERYONE (it's seriously incredible)

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