Blogs | The Gouda Life

OMG it’s November already. To be honest I don’t like how the number 2013 sounds anyway so I’m fine with letting it go. I’ve been here just under 3 month and the novelty of being on my year abroad is semi waring off. I still have to write essays, deal with the cold/rain/wind, stop myself from eating too much crappy food, fix punctured bike tires, etc.; the mundane aspects of life that follow you wherever you go. Some juicy updates however:

  1. I have not yet mastered the biking with no hands on the handle bar. I tried once and nearly gave myself a heart attack as the bike began to steer itself towards a car parked on the side of the road. That would have been beyond embarrassing. I haven’t given it another try yet because there are too many judgmental Dutch people around waiting for me to fail miserably at it. I know this because I have a fifth sense about these things.
  2. The boy I went on a date with kind of became the guy I was seeing and then kind of not. Err am I not making sense? I’m a pretty laid back person but this guy was playing hot and cold and I didn’t feel like singing the Katy Perry song so I just got bored. Many of the boys here know very well how good looking they are and are definitely making the most of being young, selfish and free. Good on them but I yawned and moved on.
  3. Last night I saw the John Lewis Christmas advert for the first time and that bunny rabbit has a strange power over me. It’s ears going up and down depending on its emotion makes me swoon every time. I am starting to miss England because there’s really no better place to be around Christmas time (except maybe in the Caribbean getting drunk on the beach but that’s by the by). However, the Netherlands does succeed at creating a festive atmosphere and my next post will be about its weird and wonderful traditions. Brace yourself, so so weird.
  4. My Dutch language skills have come a long way since I’ve been here. Sometimes I go to the supermarket just so I can showcase my new talent at the checkout (ha that’s not entirely true I also go for chocolate). Most times I triumph in them thinking I am a true Dutch gal but other times if they say anything unexpected I am forced to admit that I am just a lousy English girl trying to be Dutch. Oh the pain!
  5. Ronald Plasterk, the old Dutch Minister of Education, once called this school “nothing but a day-care centre for rich kids”. Bit harsh Ronald. Students here are noticeably wealthier though and going to the cinema isn’t the treat of the month like it is for some students in Leeds. This makes my world a happier place because people will join me on random escapades (that I plan regularly all in the name of my year abroad) without having to check their online balance first. I mean they’re not exactly spreading caviar on toast and popping Moët bottles here but they do like to treat themselves to some of the fancier things in life like going to restaurants and movies (and purchasing drugs).


Actually I have changed my mind throughout the writing of this article, it is still a novelty to be living and studying in the Netherlands – must remember not to become blasé.





Daniella Weduwer 

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