Dutch stories in English – Part I

It’s too long since I don’t write something. And I like writing. Some nights ago I started writing some postcards at 2 am, just because. It was a cool moment. The only problem was the next morning… like Spanish people say (literal translation); “at the next morning I was no person”. Which means that I was destroyed, of course.

I had prepared a post about how catalan and spanish people celebrate Christmas, but I think it is too late to post something about that. Anyway, I prefer to write about something different now. I still don’t know the title, so let’s see how it ends.

It’s three weeks and a half since I came back to the Netherlands, with my international friends. I still can’t believe how close we are being from so different countries. And I can’t believe either how diverse a continent like Europe is (the second smallest of all). They are like part of my family, not only the ones that are living and enjoying these days here with me again, but also the ones that are back to their countries. We are all now connected somehow, in a way that is too difficult to explain with simple and short words.

Having said that, I think that I already know what I want to talk about, I will explain my first days in the Netherlands (very broadly). It was a 24th of August of 2015. Very warm day in Barcelona and very rainy and cold day in the Netherlands. Thank you for the welcome by the way, dear Mother Nature. I didn’t know it at that moment, I was so nervous, but I was about to start something that will completely change me, in everything. Luckily I was not alone, the person that was going to become my travel mate, the friend with whom I will share everything (and she with me) was sitting next to me in a Vueling plane (see the photo below!). This crazy little girl… I don’t know who is crazier in this friendship, she or me. Some days ago, surprisingly, I found some photos of that first days (and others of the first months), I hope I won’t get any complain about that because the photos are a bit old and now we are way more beautiful and mature, of course.

I finally found a good title for this post. After 1 hour writing. That’s me, I improvise a lot. This way everything is a bit more unpredictable but way cooler, in my opinion.

When we arrived to Schiphol Airport we asked how to get to the University of Twente (UT). But “apparently” nobody in the fu**ing terminal knew what we were talking about (our English was not as good as it is now, but it was understandable I think). Luckily Aina knew some Dutch (I don’t, it is very difficult to learn), so one guy from an information desk helped us when we said that we were going to Enschede. Well, actually we had to say the name of the city like 35 times. For them the sound -ch is like a strong -g or -j sound in Latin languages. Crazy duchies. Everything sound like they are all time spitting (just kidding, they are lovely).

Once we got to the campus of the UT we were lost. Okay no, we were absolutely lost. I felt a bit retarded. But I have to say that we laughed a lot. We didn’t have time to leave our luggage anywhere because there was a formality market for the new people somewhere in the campus. In this market they help you with all the administration documents that you need to fill as a new student and person that lives in the Netherlands. So we just HAD to go there, it was kind of compulsory. After walking around all campus with our luggage we finally found the fu**ing building where this market was taking place. Someone there kept our bags for a while (thank you!). After it we walked again, that time to the housing agency (at the other side of the campus, yes it is gigantic) to get the keys of our new houses in campus. The problem was that this building was already closed, so we had to came back to another place where they normally leave the keys when the agency is closed. What is more, our phones were running out of battery, and we needed them not to get even more lost (Google Maps is a good friend). As you see, it was a chaotic day. I guess it was the same for the other people (or I want to think so).

After all the formal documentation was arranged and our new houses were found we went to a “central tent” where some activities were scheduled for new people (the Kick-In). But we were so tired and we had no idea with which group we had to go (of course we arrived too late for the group registration) that we just laid there for some minutes and then we went to sleep.

Let me tell you about that “Kick-in” thingy. It is, like its name says, the starting point for the new people that arrive to the university to do a master, a bachelor, an internship or any type of exchange (for example Erasmus). The university organizes it to introduce them to their new life and to make them meet with their new fellow students (and friends). These days are crucial to start knowing people from all over the world. My actual friends are not exactly from the group of the Kick-in that I joined, but I met them during these days.

Some activities were very boring, my friend and I were in different groups, we were late in the registration. I think we felt a bit out of place for a while. That is why at the end she came with my group all the time. I don’t think it is a good idea at the beginning, it is harder to meet people if you are not alone. But at that moment we needed to feel a bit like “home”, somehow. After all, we ended meeting a lot of people from anywhere you can imagine. So I think it is only about time that you go to the place where you feel better with the people that you enjoy more or that you feel closer to.

And that is enough to write for today. I need to go back to work on my master thesis. Now we are at 2017 and the times are a bit different than these days of August 2015. But we will get here, don’t worry.

To be continued…

Dutch stories in English – Part II

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