Today, from Utrecht, the Netherlands
As I mentioned before, this is my 5th trip to Europe. Most Europeans seem surprised that I’ve traveled to Europe so many times already, and get another surprise when they find out that I can speak French.
But the wide-eyed, 19 year old Nithin who came to Europe seven years ago and the much wiser, far more attractive 😉 and more self-confident Nithin who’s here, today, in Utrecht, a city I’d never even heard of before three years ago. Why? Because, by chance, I met a Utrecht native on the road in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia almost three years ago, and the rest is history.
It’s my third time to the Netherlands, having made two trips to Amsterdam. It took me barely three hours with Stef, my aforementioned Dutch friend, and his friend Ki-Chul, to realize how little I’d really learned about Dutch culture during those previous two trips. For example, did you know…
- Sprinkles are Dutch? And, a typical Dutch breakfast (modern Dutch – traditional Dutch breakfast, now basically extinct, is porridge) is butter, topped with sprinkles, on break. Mmmm!
- Ice Skating on frozen canals is a Dutch pasttime – and, as I learned the hard way, much, much tougher than skating on an indoor rink (which Dutch don’t really get – why would you want to skate indoors?)
From trekking 1 1/2 hours (halfway across the country) for the best pancakes, to ice skating, to a underground, all night party in the harbor of Amsterdam, I’ve gotten an entirely different perspective on a country I thought I’d been to, but now realize, I barely scatched the surface off. A theme of this trip, so far.
Next entry, from Germany, on how we can combine European and Californian ways to create an environmentally aware utopia!