UFV Student reflects on her first month in the Netherlands

DSC05417 - Copy“I arrived in Rotterdam one month ago. Stepping off the plane I was unsure of what to expect, knowing only that it was going to be good! Indeed, this last month has been absolutely vibrant, and the colourful shoes of a traveler seem to fit very well! This past month has been mostly settling into surroundings, exploring Rotterdam and the surrounding area. Tiny grass-roofed brick houses line every street, often leaning over canals on the other side.

Neighbours lean out their windows to call a cheery “Goed morgen!” across the street. Narrow streets that carry two lanes of traffic, horses, bikers and walkers add to the chaos, a chaos that is somehow hushed by the laid back people. One moment, an old man will shake a fist at the horse plodding slowly in the road. Upon seeing a neighbour, he will quickly roll down his window and exclaim about the slowness of traffic this morning, then call out loudly about the mooi (beautiful) sunshine! But nee, his neighbour will say. An ominous shaking finger will tell the old man to just wait until the afternoon. Sure enough, by afternoon it is usually raining and windy. But on the plus side, there are no horses in the streets most afternoons!

The food here is beyond description. Simply luscious. Croquetten, Frikandel (which I learned later is partly composed of cow brain), olliebollen, stroepwaffles… the list goes on. So fat. So good!

A Dutch bike parked on a sidewalkSince I arrived, my first bike was stolen and the spare bike was made unusable while parked at the university. Alas, a real Dutch experience.

The people here are exceptionally friendly. In fact, I have had more compliments about my eyes in these past four weeks than I have received in my life! (often from people who come from behind and stop me before even seeing my face). Yes, a VERY friendly people indeed. But when an exploration trip of the city finds me lost, they are equally willing and eager to give directions with a cheerful smile.

All things considered, it has been a wonderful experience so far and I eagerly anticipate the next four months!”
Written by Kim Devries
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