Time really does fly by when you’re on vacation for two months. After my final exams were over with in December, my boyfriend and I traveled through the east coast of the U.S. and visited my family in Los Angeles before my departure to the Netherlands.
On Jan. 12 I flew to Amsterdam with my step dad where we began our mini “Euro Tour.” We went to Zagreb, Split, Venice, Rome, Vienna, Salzburg, Zurich, Bern, Berlin and Frankfurt. In Frankfurt, I met up with my boyfriend where my travels continued throughout southwest Germany.
Since my classes don’t officially begin until tomorrow, I’ve been extremely lucky to be able to travel and really learn a lot about other cultures.
Just this past Tuesday I arrived in my new dorm room in Utrecht. It’s really different from the states, of course that goes without being said.
So getting accustomed to my dorm hasn’t really been difficult, although it’s only been a couple days so it’s hard to say. However, there are some things I feel will take me longer to accustom to. People here love bikes. Dutch culture basically revolves around bikes- I even saw a group of children biking behind their teacher in a single file line. It will be a new experience to not have the option to go downstairs and get into my car and drive to CVS on 13th street when I need something.
Today, I had an interesting experience at the super market. So I get to Jumbo, the local supermarket and I get a cart. Oops, I have no coins so I guess no cart for me. So I continue with my basket filling it with enough groceries for over a week. I think mothers feeding 5 children had less food in their cart than I did- but whatever, supersize me I’m American. So after walking through every lane making good use of my translator app, I was ready to pay. I was given enough tips to know that I was expected to bring my own grocery bags and bag my groceries so I was prepared- or so I thought. This was complete chaos! I felt like I was the chubby kid in an elementary school P.E. class. I just couldn’t keep up with the cashier, and people behind me were quick to tap their feet and look at me with eyes of sheer disappointment. I’m pretty sure I was shaking when I was bagging the last couple items. If I have to choose between starving and going through that again; I think I may be dropping my freshman 15 here.
Since classes are beginning soon, I had to attend two orientation sessions this week. The first one was a general information meeting where we were given some freebees with the university logo on them, which was awesome. I’ve been lucky enough to meet international students from across the world.
I’m extremely excited to finally begin classes this week. It’s all happening so quickly!