15th January 2013 was the time to say my first hello to Rotterdam in which I will be staying for the next three months. Even though this is not my first time in the Netherlands, it still needs a lot of adjustment. The weather is always the most difficult one I deal with, as in Jakarta we only have summer season all the time. I and other friends were welcomed by snowfall and freezing weather, but I did enjoy that winter wonderland anyway!
It was a really exhausting day, really! After spending around 15 hours on the way from Jakarta, I arrived safely at Schipol Airport and met with other 6 participants from other countries, we then together caught the train to get to the Rotterdam Train Station. From there, I had to drag my luggage alone separated from the other 6 because I would be living in the different dormitory. This part is the most memorable one, I tell you. I dragged my big size luggage on thick snow-covered roads with frozen hands and fingers! Several times I stopped just to blow on my gloves-covered frozen fingers to get them a bit warmer and then continued the walk. The next day, I got stiffness in my hands.
After around 20 minutes walking, thanks God, I finally reached the IHS dorm and my unit. It takes 10 minutes for Dutch people to walk from the station to my dorm, but 20 minutes for Asian people, as Asian people, like me, have shorter legs! I am staying in a unit with 2 others. The view from my room’s window is Rotterdam Train Station. I can watch and count the trains coming in and going out of the station.
Using card distributed by an IHS guide picking us up in the airport, I got into my room. It was far warmer inside. However, the room is too big for a person to be honest as I prefer a smaller room in which I can get things more easily. But, yea with that big room, maybe I can play football if I get bored with the academic activities! Finished doing small orientation in the unit (observing the kitchen, bathroom, garbage area, reading the information and rules of the dormitory, etc), I started unpacking and cleaning the room. Fortunately, there was a cup noodle placed nicely on my desk as a welcoming snack. I stopped my unpacking thing and poured boiling water into the cup and instantly enjoyed the noodle😀
Done with unpacking and cleaning, still got energy for doing things, I continued with shopping in the nearest supermarket. As the class would start the next day with the strict schedule, I wouldn’t get any chance to buy things. So, that day was the time to get really prepared for couple of days to come till weekend.
Coming back from buying things, I met with my 2 unitmates and had lot of conversation. They gave me so much information about the IHS, how to get to campus, how to enjoy the time, where to buy things, etc etc. They two are nice and friendly Bangladeshis. Knowing that there were quite a lot of Indonesian students in the dormitory made me feel like home. Two of Indonesia friends, who were undergrad friends, came visiting me and we had a long chat.
Having done all these tiring activities, I had a very deep sleep at night till morning. I was completely exhausted and suffered from jet lag, as it is 6 hour different between Jakarta and the Netherlands.