I have passed the half way point in my exchange and like the title says I am indescribably happy whether the high I am on after my exams has something to do with it or not I have met some amazing people over the past ten weeks and have managed to create a great life here. (I just realised that since I am on exchange in the Netherlands I really shouldn’t use the phrase “the high I am on” casually as I just did…) I don’t want to brag or talk about myself too much (but what are blogs for?) anyway, I am pretty proud of how I have adapted to a new lifestyle and culture in such a short period of time. This is home for me (at least for now). To say I am not remotely sad about missing out on summer would be a lie and to say I don’t miss my friends and family would also be a lie. At the risk of sounding incredibly corny again there is a certain happiness and comfort within yourself that comes from knowing you can make it alone without your support network, a kind of inner pride.
Ok, now you have read about my psycho evaluation for the week I’ll tell you what I have been up to! So I finished Uni work officially on Wednesday night so Trine, Bjarke and I celebrated our freedom on Thursday by exploring a new Dutch City – Rotterdam. Once again this city was completly different to all the other cities I have been to in the Netherlands. It had more of a busy, modern feel to it and there were many sky scrappers which are pretty uncommon in the Netherlands. There was an obvious lack of cute canals but that was compensated by the massive harbour there! Most of Rotterdam was bombed in WWII which is why the architecture is very modern. I also noticed a lack of bikes compared to other Dutch cities and although the day was beautiful and sunny the air was far more smoggy and polluted than the lovely fresh Utrecht and Zeist air. The three of us had a nice sit down lunch which was a treat because it has been a long time since I have done that! (Saving precious euros!) We made the day fun by theming the day “Strike a pose” meaning that you could not behave normally in any photos i.e. Zoolander-esk, blue steel style!
On Friday Trine and I went shopping for sushi ingredients and on Friday night we made sushi for Sunny, Bjarke and Marik. It is worth mentioning here that it is really hard figuring our how to cook sushi rice when the instructions are only in Dutch, French and German but with my small knowledge of Dutch and French and Trine’s knowledge of German our sushi making adventure was a success! Pretty impressive since neither of us had ever made sushi before! Friday was also the day of Saint Martin so Dutch children got lollies (pretty devastated about not being a Dutch child…)
Yesterday Sinterklaas arrived in Utrecht with the Zwarte Pieten (a strictly Dutch celebration). Sinterklaas arrived on boat with his black helpers (yes, very politically correct) giving children lollies and cookies and it was amazing to watch and a really nice fun, family friendly atmosphere. In the afternoon Trine and I went shopping and I bought a big winter coat so I can survive the winter as it is starting to get pretty cold now! At least I am ready for it now though!
That pretty much brings you all up to date! Once again, thanks for reading!