Hoi, alleman and welcome to this week’s edition of “finding friends in The Netherlands”.
Despite this week being filled with the never-ending demands of group projects, I have managed to find time to get to the market and work on my friendship skills.
Which, while that may sound like a fairly simple procedure for most, it has always been a bit of a chore for me– Especially since I still feel like I am trying to get my footing in even the most basic of tasks in my new country (although I was quite pleased to finally hunt down the store that sells hand soap and clothes hangers this week). But despite that, I am still feeling a little empty of meaningful social interactions. Yes, I see many people during class and have many neat conversations, but I am really struggling to find mutual companionship– A couple people to do errands with, to go out to eat with, and to just generally spend some of my immense free time with. While doing all of these things solo allows me time to think and become more independent, I find myself often reminiscing about my days at ONU and hanging out with my friends and family back home.
I think that missing piece really came around to hit me yesterday when I met an 8 year old Dutch kid who was engaged with a ballgame with some of my classmates at the park when I showed up. After a few brief words and questions about his interests, he was more interested in “talking English” to me than playing ball. So, we had a lovely conversation about the wonders of learning languages, playing videogames, and his favorite part of school: Recess.
Ahh. To be 8 again.
But the profundity of this conversation comes not from the topics discussed or the skill of his English, but from the fascination and enthusiasm with which he interacted with me. As the day went on, I sort of realized that no one has really been that happy to see me or affected by my presence or immersed in a dialogue with me since I have left home. And while I have met plenty of people here, I still feel like a falling leaf–though distinct in my descent, I make the same sound as any other.
Aside from that, I have taken pictures, as promised. Enjoy a few shots of my transportation, my back yard, and my new city.
Tot de volgende keer.