A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
“Water in abundance, water above, water below and water everywhere”, the very conspicuous fact you realize the moment you start decending down thick gray clouds hovering over Schipol airport. Even shocking and frightening is when some dutch informs you that in fact a majority of Netherlands is below sea level and the runway is one of the lowest points. Nevertheless, with decades of Dutch expertise in water management you can be rest assured of your safety. The fact sinks into you even more once you are in a typical dutch city like Amsterdam or Leiden. They seem to rival Venice with miles of interconnecting canals flanked between quaint little cobbled stoned alleys and numerous bridges. Wait, enough I told about the water surplus in Holland, but what does all this mean to me? I hail from a semi arid geographical region of India. In our quest to be an environmentally conscious household and to save water, bathing back home has always been a calculated affair. Bathing but for me means much more than simply washing my body, it is an experience. Warm water trickling down every inch of my body and aromas of soap and fragrant oils transcend me into a meditative mode. Though it is one of my best times in a typical day, I allot a mere 7 or 8 minutes for it. Time is luxury you see! I however enjoy an hour long bathing ritual on a Sunday, but it is always followed by spurts of intense guilt for having wasted so much water. However it was quite unlike in Netherlands. My hour long bathing rituals were guilt free and an amazing kick start for my wonderful and much awaited leisurely Sundays followed by koffee, news paper, large lunches, afternoon nap, tv, dinner together with housemates and after drinks at local bars……..it was a gezellig time!