A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
Now that I’m looking out of the window watching the morning rain slowly go away, I can’t help thinking how surprisingly comforting Leiden is, especially when you’re back from a long trip. Beautiful small town, calm and tranquil but not deadly quiet, groceries are relatively not expensive and plentiful, can walk pretty much everywhere. Leiden is certainly a nice place to live, but sometimes when I’m too comfortable I may be start to be a bit greedy 😛 Here are some of the things that I really, really wish Leiden had to offer.
For students, drugstore are our friends. But, even though Etos and Kruidvat are both good ones with sufficient selection, you know in life you will need a best friend, someone who suits you the most, someone who makes you a better person. And I’m so sad I can’t treat those 2 chains of Dutch drugstores like one 😦 I mean, hygiene products are ok, moisturizing creams are good, but you know how desperate I am when I have to order suncare porducts from Amazon UK. Like seriously, it’s so hard to find a decent, inexpensive sunscreen here. Maybe because I have Asian skin, but my life (and my purse) would absolutely be saved if they imported more skincare products from abroad, American ones are very good too. BUT, maybe Dutch people are perfectly happy with their local supplies. If you have good experiences with the things in Etos and Kruidvat, please do share with us!
As a matcha lover/addict, I want to cry. It’s not just the Netherlands, it’s the whole Europe. I’ve been to Italy and ate gelato almost every day but matcha flavor is nonexistent. Even Starbucks doesn’t have that super popular matcha latte and matcha frappucino. Maybe it’s just me in my small pond, but how can people not love matcha? 😦 They may have it in places where the Japanese communities in the Netherlands live, but all seem very far away. I only managed to find matcha soy latte in Beans and Bagel (haven’t tried) and matcha icecream in a dimsum restaurant in The Hague (weird place to be, but really delicious!). Please help me satisfy my matcha craze!
Ok this sounds very random, but one of my guilty pleasure is to savor those crispy, juicy chicken pieces while watching a movie, or simply at night when I suddenly crave some kind of “junk” food 😛 When in Korea there are like 10 eateries that sell super delicious fried chicken across my door, so I guess I was spoiled. Now where in Leiden can I find good fried chicken? When googling “kfc leiden” (they don’t even have KFC here… you have to go to The Hague), I even saw a petition for opening KFC in Leiden, which is quite amusing. Of course you would say I should just cook, but mind you, things like fried chicken always taste better when bought. 😛
Another strange thing I notice in the Netherlands and Leiden. Korean food is supposed to be cheap and easy to make, especially Korean BBQ, but I really don’t see any Korean restaurants here and my Korean friend had a horrible experience in Amsterdam (insanely expensive). Instead there are a lot of Indonesian restaurants (surprising to me but given the history it’s totally understandable) and Chinese and Japanese ones like every where in Europe. I really miss Korean food, yet I don’t want to pay a fortune to eat inauthentic one.
How about you? What are your “complaints” for Leiden?