Just about 24 hours’ travelling, 6 hours’ screaming babies, 3.5 hours’ transit time and 2 painfully average airplane meals were endured for this: waking up in the Netherlands. My boyfriend and I arrived at Schiphol International Airport just about 1 day ago, and now we’re set for three months of Dutch adventure.
The Strangeness of it All
There’s much to be said about the strangeness of arriving in a foreign country. South Africans, and especially Afrikaners, like to flatter themselves that they have a kinship with the Netherlands that makes it more familiar than, say, Bora Bora, but the truth is that it’s every bit as strange. Yes, you obviously have your human commonalities and there are some similarities between the languages, but those types of things tend to melt rather quickly when you’re staring at a special soldier who expects you to speak Dutch just because you have a Dutch passport. After all of those hours travelling and a rather imposing looking special uniform, the strangeness of it all really hits home. And then you get out of the airport and repeatedly try to get into the wrong side of the car.
Luckily, I have some experience with the Netherlands. Thanks to family ties and very generous parents, I’ve been a couple of times before. However, this is the first time that I’ll be here for a full three months. I am envisioning a range of discoveries I could previously only dream about – finding my favourite coffee spot in Amsterdam, choosing a favourite museum to visit again and again, going to exhibits and markets and providing a running commentary on the quality of each and every helping of patat – traditional Dutch frittes, or chips – that I encounter, etc.
For the next three months, thus, this blog will be concerned with travelling, eating, drinking and how on earth I’m going to fund this extravagant adventure now that my thesis is done and I don’t have a fixed income. I hope to share the most entertaining of my experiences, some tips and envy-inspiring pictures of food, drink and merriment.
So, here starts my 90 Days in Neverland. Get it?
Day 1 thus far
Biked to the Albert Heijn.
Bought the essential, non-negotiable item we need: a coffee plunger. Also, coffee.
Made proposals on Upwork.
Blogged, and stuff.
Acclimatisation in progress.
P.S. It’s cold. Really, really cold. I thought Bloemfontein in winter was cold. I did not know the meaning of the word then. I do now.