It’s been a while since l left for the Netherlands for studying at Wageningen University. And it’s been too long since the last time I posted an article in my blog. 2016 seems to pass by too fast. In the beginning of this year I was busy to manage my time between work and scholarship. And voila now I’m even ready to embark for my first Xmas break.
This is not my first time to live away from my family and friends. Still I found that moving to a new place is always challenging. Let’s check 5 things that pop up in my minds when speaking about what I do/have in the Netherlands which I never do back home in Indonesia.
1. Checking weather Forecast
I never check weather forecast back at home in Indonesia. The temperature will never go too high or too low during the day. It does not matter either if it will be sunny or raining during the whole day. We can always manage. But the case is very different here in the Netherlands.
Checking the weather forecast has now become my new morning routine. The temperature can vary on a daily basis, moreover it can change quickly. The weather is the thing most foreigners complain about living in the Netherlands. It can rain for 15 minutes, then sunny again as if nothing happened just now.
Last Sunday, I experienced the most harsh wind ever. The weather forecast has warned that the wind might be strong that day. But I had to go to the store to do grocery shopping. I decided to walk, otherwise it might be hard to bike on that kind of weather. But when I walked home, the wind was ever crazier that I was literally almost blown by the wind. After this, I would never make any joke of my skinny friend being blown away by the wind. Lol.
2. Family name
Most Indonesian people do not have family name, me neither. While, maybe any arrangements in the Netherlands always use family name. It was funny that I could not log in to my university’s sport right, said that I entered the wrong last/ family name. I usually used Safitri (my literally last name from Rosa Amalia Safitri) as my family name. But, it did not work. Then I just tried any combination and found out that Rosa, which I usually have as first name, is considered as my family name in the system. Haha.
3. Daily Cooking
I barely cooked on a daily basis. If I cook, I would prefer to cook simple recipes such as sautéed vegetables with deep-fried tofu or tempe or chicken. The fact that I can always rely on the food hawker in the alley of my house, or the cheap restaurants scattered along the way made me too lazy to cook. Just name all those mouth-watering dishes from bakso, nasi goreng, nasi padang, nasi uduk, nasi kuning, soto ayam, mie ayam, gado- gado, pecel, ayam geprek (Oh I miss this one so much), bebek goreng, opor, rawon, sate ayam, sate padang, gudeg, coto, kapurung, sop sodara, pempek, siomay, klepon, bakwan, arem2, risoles, lemper, martabak,…ok, I should stop here. I have to stop here, otherwise I will make a very long list.
As proverb says, every cloud has a silver lining. I’m happy that now I have the chance to explore all those Indonesian recipes which I would never cook if I don’t live abroad. Luckily, it is also not so difficult to find Indonesian or tropical ingredients in the Netherlands.
Since my first day at Wageningen, I did not have time for jet lag. We (me and some Indonesian friends) were too excited to get around the town. We arrived at 1 pm, and at 4pm we were already at a bike store to get our bikes. Haha, crazy. It was a bit hard at first that we have to ride at the right side as in Indonesia we do it the other way. But, in three days we’re already get used to it. Thanks to the clear bicycle path and traffic rules. Luckily, I live in a bicycle-distance town that I can reach almost every corner of the place with my lovely bike. I really enjoy biking in Wageningen. This is something that I never do in my hometown due to the heavy traffic and less supportive infrastructures.
5. Checking Sholat/ Prayer Schedule
Normally in Indonesia we can hear adzan from the mosque as a reminder of the commencement of sholat period. Thus we never checked sholat schedule. No big deal.
However, since no adzan here I need to check (or at least memorize) the sholat schedule. Moreover, as the time also depends on the sunrise and sunset time, the case is very different when the sunrise and sunset change quite dramatically over the seasons. I still remember in my first days here during summer, the sun set at around 10pm, maghrib then would be around that time and isya’ was around 10.30pm. However, since the season began to change, so do sunrise and sunset time. Now during autumn, Subuh begins around 7am (I can wake up a bit late yeay) as the sun rises around 8.30am and Maghrib is around 4.45, much earlier than during summer time.
I will stay in the Netherlands for two upcoming years to complete my master degree ( I hope to post some articles related to my study soon :)). It is very nice to live in such an international atmosphere that I can learn something new and interesting almost everyday. Anyway, do you also experiences something that you never do/ have back at your hometown when moving to a new place?
PS: I’m trying to write in English so that more people can read it and to improve my writing as well..