In Lebanon, I used to pride myself on my excellent sense of direction- you could put me in any car and I would know exactly where I going. And I thought that skill would be transferable once I moved to NL, because I could read a map.
Turns out, I was very wrong.
Although my second day here was rainy and horrible, it was quite active and fulfilling.
The first half was spent with Omer from Turkey and Martin from Bulgaria by opening Dutch bank accounts, going to the university, and looking on while the guys searched for some bikes.
Side note: I cannot ride a bike to save my life, as proven by the fact that when I was brave enough to get on one, I had to use the wall for support. Whether or not I will eventually learn thanks to all my lovely and well-meaning friends is yet to be determined.
We then met with Rohan from India and Laura from Romania for a very good lunch at KFC even though we were soaking wet and I didn’t have a jacket on me. But that was solved by a quick run to the nearest store.
And to this day, the guys are still in disbelief that this trip took exactly 10 minutes.
Then it was time to get home and unpack, before getting ready for the Maastermeeting- an event we have been planing on Facebook for about a month. So I hopped on the bus, holding my brand new shiny bus card, from the point where I had stopped that morning. That should have been my first sign that something was wrong.
The bus kept moving straight ahead, into areas of Maastricht that I had not seen before, and yet I kept saying to myself that he would turn back at the next stop. But he didn’t.
About 20 minutes later, it came to a complete stop and that’s when I realized I was the only one on the bus. The driver started to tell me something in Dutch, but I quickly responded that I don’t know any! So he was very kind and explained that the bus doesn’t turn back, showed me on the map just how far I’d gone, and let me stay on till my stop without charging me. So for further assurance, I took out my trusty map and traced out the road.
It’s safe to say that I now ask every driver if they’re headed my way. Especially if I’m staying out late.
Two hours after that, I had unpacked, ate, and met one of my two roomates, Ruth, from the German-speaking part of Italy who coincidentally is in my same program. Let’s just say, I have a feeling this is going to be a great year. And I completely love where I’m staying.
The next part of the day was the Maastermeeting- no that’s not a typo, as in Maas for Maastricht– so Ruth, Caroline, and Mostafa from Egypt- who also happens to be my neighbor, went to the city center. And because it seems the standard here, we walked, walked, walked till we got the place where we were all meeting.
And to think I was planning on being lazy- no, just kidding.
There, it was lovely finally meeting people I had often spent my evenings talking to, and I realized that even though I had moved to a completely different city where I knew no one, it felt completely welcoming and I did not at all feel homesick like I did on the my first night there.
Also, I discovered was still the girl who took pictures of everyone and uploaded them on Facebook the next day.
And how the Dutch keep their windows open at night .
I guess some things just never change.
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