This is my first time in Europe, I have landed here in The Netherlands, a country associated with unlimited freedoms and well established infrastructure. I must say that the latter is definitely true, the Dutch do have great infrastructure.. As for the notorious laws associated with Holland and it being legal to consume drugs as an individual, I have come to realise that this is something that many Dutch people are hesitant to associate with. For a country that has made it admissible to sell and consume Marijuana, it is still seen as a socially unacceptable practice by the majority of the population. It is even considered low class or anti-social to do what the Dutch government has instated laws to allow.
The first thing I noticed when I arrived in Amsterdam en route to my University here in Delft, was just how filled with tourists the city is. Numerous times people from a vast array of nationalities would come and ask me the way to central station or where they could buy weed from, as if I was some sort of local authority. This was definitely not yet the case and I felt a little uneasy after my first exposure to Amsterdam culture. It is however nice to see a city alive and even nicer to be somewhere where people are allowed to stay out and do as they please till whatever time suits them. When I inform Dutch people of the lock-out laws that have recently been impose in Sydney the general reaction is shock and confusion, they may not particularly exploit their freedoms to indulge in drugs but they do hold their freedom to party.
As for Delft, well it is a quite University town with a strong student culture. Being relatively isolated from any major cities, there is a strong fraternity and sorority contingency here, which I initially found a little difficult to assimilate with. This is apparently something that TU Delft is notorious for throughout the rest of the country, a fact that I was unaware of before arriving here. I have been enjoying getting away during weekends as it is super cheap to fly basically anywhere in Europe from here in The Netherlands. So far London, Berlin and Budapest have provided me with insights in to just how much variety Europe has to offer without travelling even half the distance from Sydney to Melbourne.. I am looking forward to visiting Milan next in early April for the International Design festival and having the chance to catch up with some UTS alumni there. For now back to the windy shores of Holland to hit the books and make the most of this A grade Dutch university and it’s facilities.