A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
Having returned to Old Blighty for New Year, I noticed there were certain things I missed about Leiden, and living in Holland. Putting aside mushy stuff such as my boyfriend and my friends (whom I did miss, a lot -bleurgh-), there were some things I didn’t even expect to miss. Perhaps it’s the same for you when you leave Leiden?…
I notice that in Britain I am one of very few who is constantly peering over their shoulder, even when on the pavement, in fear of being run over by a tweewieler. I realise I may have looked a bit furtive and shifty, but when I visited Cambridge this uncontrollable tick came in handy as there were a good deal of bicycles ready to mow you down if you took one hesitant step off the pavement.
Independent bars and coffee shops
Sadly Britain (and I have a strong suspicion America) is overrun with chain shops, restaurants and coffee houses, most noticeably the demon overlord Starbucks. I can’t tell you how much I missed the little coffee houses in Leiden, the sophisticated bars and the intimate little restaurants. Chains have no soul!
Having grown used to hearing the ‘melodic’ tones of Dutch, and furthermore, the recent awakening of a vague understanding, hearing English constantly was actually quite jarring. There are many accents in Britain and many of them are not lovely.
Yes, I was able to wear heels, but did I want to anymore? Not really.
Sometimes I hear Dutch people complaining about the transport and I have to stifle a laugh.
It seems obvious but it won’t even cross your mind until you see a river and think it could try a bit harder.
What do you miss when you go home?