Ik ga naar Amsterdam part 2

” You woke up this morning, you got yourself… an egg!”

To my surprise, I actually had a good-night-sleep in the egg. What was so surprising about it, was the fact that the sleep-egg-thingy felt more like a fake leather couch and also the excitement of tomorrow’s departure should have affected my sleep. Maybe the sleeping egg was better than I thought…

Well, honestly it exceeded my expectations, but still I think it was slightly overpriced (still cheaper than most hostels and hotels) and comparable to sleeping on a couch. I didn’t get a bed sheet, the cushions felt quite hard and so did the pillow. Also the blanket wasn’t very thick, and although I didn’t feel too cold, I’m sure some people would. Furthermore, if you are very tall person, I doubt you can fit in the egg. However, I must admit that the overall experience was pleasant.

The staff of the GoSleep -lounge was very friendly, and the guy who was at the desk when I arrived had probably the calmest, and most relaxing voice I’ve ever heard (ASMR-people would definitely love him). With the lid closed, I got enough privacy and thanks to the design, the lid didn’t interruppt the airflow. Free ear plugs were a welcome addition and helped sleeping, since airports often aren’t the most quiet places you can find. There was also a wake-up service included in the price, but I did set-up an alarm just in case. The current eggs didn’t have any light inside for reading books etc, but when I gave feedback about it, I was told there will be a light in the next generation eggs. The concept was only 3 months old, so the eggs should improve in the future. In a nutshell I got what I paid for – a good night sleep and an easy access to my morning flight. I can also see a lot of potential for the future eggs and liked the concept. Also, I’m pretty claustrophobic person, but I didn’t have any problems even with the lid closed.

The Arrival

Getting cleaned!

Flight was delayed about 30mins thanks to the snow and cold weather. I hadn’t been on flight during winter time, so I was surprised to hear that the flight would be delayed because of the required clensing of the plane. Apparently the crucial parts can easily freeze in snowy and cold weather and to prevent this a hot shower before the departure is required. With the water they also sprayed some red chemical on the plane, which oddly after a while, turned into a greenish color.

The university of Amsterdam and the Amsterdam University of Applied sciences organizes arrival days every semester, were student can easily get many tasks done at once. For example you can pick up your student card, register the municipality, book an appointment for opening a bank account and get goodie-bags with candies and very useful info. Also free rides from the aiport to the campus and from the campus to apartments is available on the arrival day.

This semester, the 30th of January was the day in question. That is why I, among most exchange students, selected it for the day of arriving to Amsterdam. At the airport there was a desk for arriving exchange students, where friendly people guided us to the right bus that would take us to the campus. At the campus everything was very well organized as well and in about an hour everything was done on my part. During the arrival day I also made my first new contacts – two Finns and two of my future neigbours at Maassluisstraat: a Swede and a Spaniard.

Lost and Confused

My apartment

The apartment was better than I expected and it also had almost everything I will need for the semester (even 2 wine glasses!). Pretty much the only think I’ll need to get is cleaning equipment and maybe some ear plugs, because there’s a construction site next door. Apparently there was a warning about it on the website of the housing company, but of course I totally missed it. Also the apartment lacks oven, which is a bummer.

So far everything had went well and I still didn’t really feel like being in a different country. However, when I went to the grocery store the reality finally hit me and I realised how difficult it’s actually to do the grocery shopping without understanding anything. I managed to find everything I needed, but still it was a slight shock and I felt quite stupid and confused and just wanted get out of the store as soon as possible.

God damn stupid machine why don’t you work?!

Later the day, there was more confusion with the OV-card, which is used in Nethlerlands for public transportation. To use it, you need to load credit on it and that was a little bit more difficult than expected. I couldn’t do it at local store without a local bank card and it wasn’t possible to do it on bus or tram either. Only way to load credit was at loading devices found on most metro station, so I went to closest station, but apparently the device didn’t work or I didn’t know how to use it… So again I felt stupid.

Luckily I was finally able to get to the city centre thanks to help of my Dutch friends, who I was going to meet there. They told me it’s possible to use the OV-card even without credit up to -4€, so I took the tram to central station of Amsterdam where we loaded credit on my card and this time the loading device co-operated nicely.

Gift from my friends.

We visited a cozy little pub in the centre and had a good time. I also got a tasty housewarming gift from my friends. So the ending of the day was great, and by now all the hassle with groceries, OV-card etc just made me laugh It also got me thinking that travelling with a friend would probably be much easier, but on the other hand getting through the obstacles by yourself is so much more rewarding.