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Suddenly Holland (Part I)

Now where is my strength to write another post on this blog? It’s a question I keep asking to myself. Writing tidbits in a blog seems so yesterday, as I always found something better doing when I was in the net.

Anyway, here I am again. And guess what? I’m in the Netherlands!

Excited? Sure. Really excited? Errr.. sure.

Well, to be honest, there is a piece of my heart that feels I shouldn’t be here for a number of reasons. Thankfully, the whole excitement just ousts that feeling. I always like to venture a new kind of life, especially in a place that are totally different from what I used to experience. And although I’ve been to this country before, I haven’t visited this part of Holland. Also, I’ve never encountered a real student life because when I was here in 2011, I was doing a tailor-made course.

Okay, let me start this series of posts by explaining why I’m here. I was -luckily- selected as one of NFP fellows last year and got a grant to attend a three month short course in ITC, Universiteit Twente. The topic of the course is Earth Observation and Quantification of Water Cycle Components, under Department of Water (Hydrology). I should skip the whole process of application as I’ve told it before (just go to a posting under this one).

After all the process of preparation, I flew to the Netherlands on Jan 1, 2015. There was a little drama concerning my flights. I was travelling from my hometown in Kalimantan on the New Year’s day because I wanted to avoid a long wait in Jakarta. So I arranged my arrival hour in Jakarta at 4 pm, while my flight to Amsterdam was scheduled at 7.30 pm. I thought three and a half hours will be enough for baggage transfer and immigration. And my arrangement didn’t involve bad weather. Well, it happened! My domestic flight was cancelled for a while. Okay, it was actually about 90 minutes but it seemed like four hours. It was one of terrifying waiting moments in my life because I could just lose an important flight. Thank goodness, I still managed to get to Jakarta Airport at 5.30 pm and successfully found the Gate at 6.30 pm.

There was a little bit of delay before my plane to Amsterdam took off (bad weather). In total, it was around 16-hour flight from Jakarta to Amsterdam (the plane had to a make a one stopover in Kuala Lumpur Airport for picking up new staff and passengers there). Not much to tell about the flight, just one long flight with a lot of sleeping and watching in-flight movies.

I arrived at Schipol Airport (Amsterdam) at 6 am (mind you a six hour difference between Jakarta and Amsterdam), and made a smooth entrance thru immigration (the officers were kinda nice, telling me how to get to Enschede). After collecting my luggage, I went to the train station which is located within the airport building. I bought a ticket (€23.50) and had to wait until 7.37 am for my train to take me to Enschede.

The train took about two hours. I stepped my foot in Enschede intercity at  9.45 am. From there, I had to walk for 15 minutes to reach the ITC International Hotel. Actually, it shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes to walk from the station; I spent some time tried to understand a map that have been sent to my before. Just around 10 am, I arrived at the hotel lobby (it looks rather more like an apartment to be honest), met a guy at the receptionist desk and asked for my reservation because I believe my room has already been booked. He found my name, gave me a form to fill and handed me a welcome package, with some hotel and campus details.

So there you go. My short life in Enschede has officially begun. Next post, the study life.

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