Monday, March 15, 2010

Netherlands: First night in Den Haag

24 August 2008

We arrived at the Den Haag Centraal Station with the other Pinoys waiting for us. Even with each of us new arrivals carrying around 30 kilos of our lives in 3-4 bags, Myk made us take the bus so we can save our transportation allowance.

The bus stop was quite organized compared to the "stop wherever, whenever" bus stop system in the Philippines. We were to wait for Bus 24 or 22. The wait wasn't that long but we might have made the bus driver a bit impatient, with seven people trying to lift an entire year's worth of luggage onto the vehicle. Myk bought one stripeenkart (transportation card) for all of us to use.

I don't remember much during the ride but I do vaguely remember the crazy unloading rush of our bags to the bus. We had to walk a bit to get to the ISS. I was getting excited to see what my school for 15 months would look like. Would it be like the UK universities of sprawling fields? Would it be a modern building of glass and steel? These were my thoughts as I lugged around my bags, hands in pain from the weight but heart excited with the prospect of a new adventure.

Then Myk pointed us to the ISS. Uh. It was a building. A small one. No campus grounds but there were benches by the canal. Uh. Yey?

We got our keys from the guard. I was praying for one near the school and I got it! There were three of us in Dorus Rijkersplein, two were in Oude Molenstraat which was the way to the Centrum and the other two were thrown far away to Gondelstraat, but strategically located near the beach.

Before we proceeded to our rooms, the old Pinoy batch greeted us with Filipino home cooked meal at the headquarters in Dorus 110. We introduced ourselves and so did they. We thought Chris was an old batch, only to discover that he just arrived the day before.

After dinner, we were brought to our rooms. I was at Dorus 166 on the fifth floor. I love it! How can I not with my beautiful view of the Peace Palace?

In our rooms, there was a lunch bag and card to welcome us to the school and the dorm.

Spot, my zebra, took a peek at the loot inside the lunch bag. It was to be my breakfast the next day.

Spot did an inspection of the closet. Nice and empty. But it won't stay that way for long.

And my zebra beat me to the bed.

Strangely, despite the 14 hours flight and lack of sleep before departure, I was not that tired. But I did welcome the chance to lie down and stretch. I thought to myself, this was going to be my home for the year.

I knew it was going to be exciting.


Thess said...

Oh wow, I should come back and read more of your NLD experience!

Hi Anj!

dustysneakers said...

My memory of the first day is also still as vivid. You know what Anj, you should write about the Prins! It's the epitome of the student life here, no? :p

anj said...

@thess: i'm still reliving the netherlands memories. i did not have the chance to write them down yet. keep posted. i plan to do more.

@dusty: oh yeah! i should. especially from the perspective of a non-drinker. Aula C forever! will work on that. :)