A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
To be honest, when it gets closer and closer to summer break, everyone becomes desperate and longs for a good relaxation in their holidays. You surely have seen those people walking with their heads down, their faces grumpy, and their steps heavy. I know! I know. That’s why you need to hang out and chill with your friends once in a while. Always remember to reward yourself something nice; you totally deserve if after so much hard work for school.
Some days ago, I suddenly missed the yummy food in Chinatown. Thinking about expanding the influence of Chinese culture at the same time, I messaged another Leidener, Thomas, that maybe we could go to Chinatown together for food and culture adventures. We used to do language exchange together, and he seemed really interested in Asian cultures and societies. My favorite restaurant was too popular that the first time we went there, we couldn’t even get a seat. Therefore, I chose another smaller restaurant for food. We had wuntun and spring rolls, very typical Chinese dishes. (But, to tell you the truth, fame is fame, and my favorite restaurant surely does better in making the food ‘Chinese’ and ‘yummy’!) The second time we went to Chinatown, we were finally able to eat at my favorite place after waiting for half an hour on a weekday evening. Well, it was worthwhile. We ordered fried rice with tja siew (or char siew, sweet Cantonese pork), and fried rice with chicken. They served us such large portions that we only finished one dish. It was really yummy. And they offer free tea! My mom often makes fried rice so every time I have fried rice, I instantly rewind back sweet memories at home. I won’t tell you which restaurant it is, but for sure it’s in Chinatown, for the rest you’ll have to find out yourself. Trust me, you’ll be addicted. I’ve warned you.
As my best friend is going on exchange to East Asia soon, I will not be able to see her for 6 month. Sadness took my heart away for quite some time, until she suggested that we could go and have some Asian bubble tea in town. My heart was lightened up again. Hmm… sweet things will of course build sweet memories and drive away sadness! I’ve heard a bubble tea shop called 8tea5 long before I came here. At first I thought it only exists in East Asia because it originally comes from Taiwan, but surprise surprise! It’s obviously making amazing achievements in their business. I am not a big fan of bubble tea, but this time I was totally in love with it. Decorations of this shop is super cute and hipster-style, certainly my cup of ‘tea’! My friend loves everything original, so she had original bubble tea with original bubbles. I had coconut bubble tea with coffee bits. Heel lekker! Spending afternoon time at a cozy corner and looking at fancy neighborhood, we felt super happy and sweet. Next time I’ll try other categories of bubble tea out when my friend is not here; and write some critical assessments of them. That sounds cool, doesn’t it?
Food, drinks, friendship, happiness – all available in the Hague, as long as you can give yourself a break once in a while… Enjoy the rest of your academic year!
by Xueyan Xing (coming all the way from China; studying at Leiden University College The Hague)