Let’s talk about Delft!
Delft is a charming little town less than an hour away from Amsterdam by train. I’ve been here for about 2 months now and I still can’t believe I’m here! Delft is such a beautiful place to live and I’m genuinely surprised at how comfortable I’ve become here. I came here mid-August and the weather was still very warm and the sun didn’t set completely until about 10pm! It’s getting colder but I hear from the locals that it’s unusually warm for this time of the year. It is true that rain is frequent in Holland but it’s not as bad as you think. The Dutch don’t seem to be bothered about cycling in the rain so I choose not to be either! There was a storm that ripped across Europe recently and the winds were so strong that trees and signposts were knocked over around my apartment. I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s so bizarre!
The first thing you notice about the Netherlands has got to be the bicycles. You need to buy a bike if you want the full Dutch experience. It’s absolutely exhilarating; I can’t even describe how fun and liberating it is to be riding a bike wherever you go. There are more bikes than people in the Netherlands. I sort of began to understand that when I saw this on my first day of university. And this is the Industrial Design Faculty building alone.
Participating in the optional Introduction Programme at TuDelft made it easy to settle in here. Just do it if you’re contemplating about taking it. You meet so many people from all over the world that are pretty much in the same boat as you are in and you learn where everything is in Delft. They also teach you handy things to know like how to fix your bike etc.
Language was my biggest worry about coming here but you really don’t need to know any Dutch. Everyone here can speak English and are so good at it. I’ve only bumped into maybe four people during the whole time I’ve been here that couldn’t understand English so you won’t have any problems communicating. Reading labels are a different story though. Have a translating app or something ready. I once stood in front of the meat section at the grocery store for a good 20 minutes looking at 50 bacon-looking meats that all had different names.
Delft is incredibly beautiful. There are canals everywhere and where there are canals, there are ducks! Nice. There are markets on Saturdays and you can buy anything from fresh fruit and veggies to antique watches. The flowers are my favourite. It blows my mind if I think about how the cobbled stones that I’m walking on existed before Australia was even colonised!
I have discovered a strange obsession for hot chips with mayonnaise.
Everything’s beautiful and I’m still airy-fairy about this place but besides that, I’m learning a lot. Living with two other girls from two countries that I knew nothing about, cleaning up after myself, cooking for the first time in my life and doing laundry. I’ve learnt that nothing happens automatically. There’s no magic fairy cleaning up my mess or folding my clothes. You begin to appreciate people back at home and see how blessed you really are.