Monthly Archives: September 2013

Busy Week – Pt.2 – Punks in Finland look so much cuter!

Suite and end of this week.

Thursday school started at 11, with a presentation about the Dutch education system and how
students are supposed to work at InHolland. Iris the international coordinator wanted to have an “interactive” talk and I found this hour pleasant. Then the ESN buddies officially introduced themselves before taking us to a tour of the school, two buddies were missing but Nino, Bart and Ziye did a great job!!!
After lunch the whole group gathered on the field in front of school and played another get-to-know game. We then went for a walk at the national park. That park and the ‘t Wed lake are such a MUST SEE for who comes to Haarlem. If feels like a whole other country and the sudden change from the cute streets of Bloemendaal to the Kennemerduinen’s savannah is funny to experience. I can’t believe we missed this place with my mom and brother, we were staying at a camping a bit further down that very same road.
Whatever, the beach was pretty and we played some more games there before heading back to school.

I got home, made myself some dinner and rested a bit. That night I was to meet Marcel, my contact person at the local concert venue Patronaat where I applied to be a volunteer light engineer. Patronaat is a huge, superb place, and I nearly cried out of joy when I saw the gear they have there and felt so excited about learning how to use all that stuff. I don’t want to talk any more about it yet. I should only mention this one band which was playing there and totally blew my mind:

After my meeting at Patronaat I joined the ESN Pub Crawl which had already started. I found my fellow students at their fourth pub, an awesome jazz bar where a band was totally rockin’ the place!!!
We visited 3 other bars after that, having a lot of fun in all of them, dancing, drinking and socializing a lot!!! It was great! BUT of course shit always happens to me, and at some point after ordering what would be my last drink in that last bar I turned around realizing every one had left. EVERY ONE! but Bart who told me the others had gone to some club. As I said I didn’t want to go there, Bart offered me a ride home which was very welcome and I thought: best buddy ever!

Friday morning was time for me to do some paperwork and chill. And it’s only from 13.00 that I joined the ESN Hangover Brunch at DUWO. I had to laugh at those tired faces; I was just fine, but of course I hadn’t drink that much the night before. After the brunch the whole group went for a city visit. I was in Nino’s group and even before we started our tour we got stopped by some Dutch students asking our help to do some kind of Freshmen task for their study association, we had to pretend we were rowing a boat, which reminded me of this really awful Schlager video Bella had sent me once, and I felt really odd:

After this really unexpected yet entertaining little parenthesis we went on on our tour where Nino showed us some awesome places I definitely will have to visit again sometime! When we came back to Grote Markt we were divided into other groups for a picture game; the purpose being to picture things that were on a list, we had an hour to gather those. We had the picture presentations and results at the sports’ bar, the team I was in won, so that made it even greater! The whole of us were pretty tired after that though and people just split into small groups to other bars, or just home. I went home!

That evening I cooked some gourmet food and left to some punk gig at the Patronaats Café. I met some really nice people there also the whole evening was pretty cool and I felt at ease. The bands were… okay; very generic punk I’d say, nothing like I had seen the night before. Only the audience surprised me, weird people!!! And I caught myself thinking; punkers in Finland look so much cuter 😀

Now this was it as brief as I could make it. Also I won’t be writing this much in the future, there is just no need for it, and also I like to keep some experiences for myself, but I’ll be back at it soon. In fact there are some big things coming up for me now and those would be worth to share. So thanks for reading and ’til next time!

Busy Week – Pt.1 – A bike called Gary!

It’s Saturday and looking back to the past few days I can hardly believe how rich they have been. I’m sitting in my living room sipping coffee and simply enjoying it! Since Monday things have been just great, I thought I should really share this week with you. I split the whole thing in two as I got carried away and wrote a lot..

As some of you may know I was able to move in my flat earlier than planned, so I was busy from Monday with it. Because my flatmate Murielle is in Austria at the moment, it was her best buddy Denny passing me the keys to my new “home”. We met at the flat sometime around 12, we went through the flat again and had a chat. When an hour later I was going back to Nienke’s place I was proudly shaking my booty to make the keys at my belt ring, I had a home again! Later in the afternoon, Nienke drove me to Ikea and then to the flat where we dropped all my stuff before having dinner at her parents’ place. I slept at Nienke’s that night again as my room was not ready to receive me yet… I woke up on time the next day and dropped by the flat to arrange things, clean a bit and fill my fridge with goodies. I could totally picture myself living here for the 10 next months and the feeling I had when closing the door behind me was great. I was going to spend one more night at Nienke’s for that we had a movie night planned with Miranda, and staying over night was probably the safest option for me as riding my bike at night is still quite of an adventure.

Wednesday was the first introduction day to InHolland. I was really nervous when I thanked and left Nienke and biked to school. I also got lost in the building!
It was about 9.50 when I arrived in front of the class G1.24 where a little group of students was already waiting, chatting. Students came in small groups and soon the corridor was packed with internationals. Meta and Iris; our international coordinators, welcomed us warmly and there are no words to describe how cute and caring they are!!! Before entering the class, we played a little get-to-know game; a nice twist to those really awful name games students are forced into. Anyways it already gave me an idea of how diverse our group is: Finnish, German, Korean, Italian, Moroccan, Turkish, Bulgarian, English, Welsh, American, a lot of French and Spanish (for a change) and I have probably forgotten some…

The Erasmus group at Mango's the beach bar!

The day went on with a couple of lectures or intro thingies, a lot shorter, faster and condensed then JAMK’s introduction lectures; for the best I must admit. And soon we were all off to the beach with Meta and ESN buddies Nino and Bart to have a BBQ at Mango’s; a cuban-feel beach bar with expensive beer but savory food. After dinner many students went to join another party further on the beach, I didn’t go. I was feeling really tired and wanted to be on my own again. I took the train back to InHolland and let myself sink into my thoughts while a bike called Gary was taking me home.

Read about Thursday and Friday here.

Look! Even baby pigeons Mikko and Antti don't have a home in Haarlem and have to live on my balcony, this is tragic!I should now briefly mention the housing situation here. Finding a flat or room to rent for an affordable price is nearly impossible in Haarlem. I have heard many other students or young people, international or Dutch struggling with flat searching. I rent a lovely room, in a big flat with balcony and living room, about 20 minutes from the center. Now from not living at the student’s residence DUWO, I might be missing on some of the Erasmus parties; in fact most of my Erasmus fellows are living there but when I heard them talk about their rent, I could only feel lucky for getting in touch with Murielle! DUWO tenants pay from 318 euros for a shared room up to 516 if they want their own room, however they still have to share their kitchen and other common spaces with up to 8 people…. How can a student housing company expect students to have so much money ? I don’t get it!  Look, even baby pigeons Mikko and Antti didn’t find a home in Haarlem and have to live on my balcony. This is tragic!