New video blog about #FantasyBasel! Watch me speak a lot of German at ~**youtube.com/user/yayacosplay**~! #YayaHan #vlog #cosplay #cons #switzerland We do a #Diablo3 photoshoot, meet a ton of awesome cosplayers and judge the costume contest! (at www.youtube.com/user/yayacosplay)
Okay y’all. As some of you may know I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma about a month ago. I have now undergone two chemotherapy treatments, and obviously as a result of this, my hair started to fall out. In order to regain a little bit of autonomy in the matter (having your hair falling out at such an alarming really makes you feel very helpless) I asked two of the most important to me at this moment in my life Rae (my best friend) and David (my boyfriend) to shave me bald. Watch this video to enjoy our strange and personal journey into shaving my head.
Today was hard because jet lag kicked in. Our flight from Dublin to Amsterdam was at 6 am. The airport and roads were absolutely empty. The attendant at Air Lengus made sure to give us a row to ourselves. So, I ended up sleeping the whole ride.
Once we arrived, a younger Moroccan guy who was very European dressed in Gucci and Louis Vuitton was waiting for us with a sign that said my name. He gestured towards us, took our bags, and said he was in a hurry. He was really nice and gave us an update of what’s going on with the event.
He showed us the World Fashion Centre, the event venue, and our hotel right beside it. I was a bit skeptical because it was a Best Western. But they called it the “hotel couture.” And it definitely looked it. It was super modern and sleek. Black decor contrasted with neon colors and animal print furniture. Tall orchid trees. The room was super tech-y with motion sensors, lots of touch screens, and a Nespresso machine.
We were scheduled to have lunch at the venue at 12:30. But mama and I passed out and slept until the phone rang and the guy was waiting for us downstairs. We were way too tired to go, so he ordered pizza for us in the hotel room. It was the best lunch in bed hah. This designer who reached out to me from Amsterdam wanted to meet at 4, so she came with her daughter, niece, and new daughter–she got remarried two weeks ago. She’s Moroccan and all the girls were so so so lovely. They spoke a little English and the woman, Lubna, was so kind. She’s the first hijabi line to be in department stores in Europe. Her line is amaaaazing!!!! She gifted me a dress, skirt, and three beautiful hijabs.
Her daughter wrote out how we should take the tram to museum square and it was very simple. The last time I took the tram was in Rome. I prefer it to any other means of transportation in these cities.
We took the tram to the Van Gogh museum and the sun started to shine. It was such a lovely area, there were street performers and the famous “I AMsterdam sign.” The museums were closing but we went to this famous garden in front of the Rijksmuseum. There was a fun fountain that spring water from the ground and endless tulips.
We walked around the square and then stopped by a little sandwich and crepe shop for a Nutella crepe. It was undercooked—which is how I like it! There was a tour guide hut and we asked about the canal tours. He gave us directions and surprisingly we got there without any wrong turns. Though we did stop by a few shops and mama got the cutest Amsterdam “work out” shirt that she’s definitely not going to work out in. It’s way too cute.
We got to the booth for the canal tour the guy recommended to us and all the tours for the day were over. It was also really expensive. The lady told us to cross a couple bridges and see if this other canal tour had any left for the day. They call Amsterdam the city of a thousand bridges and it definitely is. We got to the other canal place and there was a few minutes before the last one left so we grabbed tickets that were much better prices than the other one and were for a 75 min tour.
We walked onto the boat and it was covered in windows. Really lovely. There were Lana Del Rey song covers playing and the captain preparing for us to set sail. There were ear buds available for us to listen to his tour but me and mama went out back and sat outside and cuddled under this little blanket and looked at all the amazing buildings and other boats and tunnels and just the city in general. The city was so magical and it was reaching sunset. It was pretty romantic and then mama said she wished baba was there instead -_-
We got back on the tram after the tour and decided to get off at a random stop just to go exploring. It was a small area covered in boutiques and cafes but everything was closed and it was so so so quiet. That’s what I’ve noticed. This city is so quiet and peaceful at times…more than any other place I’ve been. I felt like I was on a movie set with beautiful antique homes and shops and art everywhere but was totally silent. It was beautiful.
After walking around we took the tram back to the hotel and reeeellaxxed. I tried on the clothes the woman got me earlier and then got ready for dinner. When we headed to the car, in the elevator, we bumped into Belal and Faisal, two performers for the event.
We all met in the car and headed to this amazing Turkish restaurant that was absolutely packed. Me, mama, belal, Faisal, themy (Morocan who picked us up,) and Mustafa (head of Islamic relief Nederland) all had dinner together. They ordered these platters of all kinds of grilled foods and freshly baked bread, fries and amazing arugula salad. I think inhaled half of one entire platters.
The coolest part was just meeting belal and Faisal. Belal told us his story of how he converted. Both are from the UK. Belal’s name is really Ashley. He grew up in the ghettos of London. Half Jamaican and half Chinese. He got picked up my a film crew to act in this film about the area and kinda blew up as a big actor. He now acts, writes, produces…but he realized the money wasn’t making him happy and he stumbled upon a person who asked him what he thought would happen when he died.
Anyway a long story of money, people, dreams, spontaneously moving to Egypt, and so many other things, lead him to become Muslim and the stages of his life were really interesting. He was married and has a daughter now because he thought he needed to be married to talk to a woman. He basically explained his growth and it was pretty inspiring. He’ll be doing spoken word at the event. After dinner we headed back to the sleep and PASSED OUT. The end.