I remember it as if it were just yesterday. The colour of the sky, the strong wind, the cold air, the smell of rain, the wet sidewalks. I didn't realize that the things that annoyed me the most in all of my 5 years there, were the things that I would miss the most.
I woke up missing Holland. I miss touching down on Schiphol airport to be greeted by the clean open space. I miss seeing a few daklozen napping on the benches. I miss the cold air that brushes against my face as I head out.
I remember Rotterdam, the town where I lived in for 3 years. I think I grew up in that city. I found who I was there. It's Rotterdam who made me who and what I am today. I love the city. Modern with a classical feel. Quiet with a wild side. Friendly and just plain fun, filled with friends who have in time became my heart and soul.
I miss walking to and from Rotterdam Centraal. I miss hopping in and out the NS Trains and Metros. I miss buying strippenkaarten, which I keep losing. I miss standing in the packed filled bus with coffee verkeerd.
Rotterdam Beurs Station
I miss sleeping in on Saturday morning, and getting ready for lunch in the city. I miss that little Unox Soep place in de stad. I miss erwtensoep in the cold weather. I miss cruising down the Koopgoot. I miss stopping in each and every store, feeling excited as if I've never been in any of them before. I miss Expo and the unique gifts they carry. I miss H&M esp. its accessories section. I miss Hema and their yummy rookworst. I miss de Bijenkorf and its elegance. I miss brunch at V&D. I miss seeing familiar faces and hearing familiar Indonesian voices amongst the crowd. I miss Rotterdam Beurs.
Rotterdam Beurs, Koopgoot
I miss Rotterdam by night. I miss the sweet smell of the evening wind. I miss Pathe Schowburg, de Doelen, and that place across of it which name I suddenly can't recall. I miss Grand Palace and their bamie met gemengde vlees. I miss going there knowing that they will always give an unlimited supply of drinks for students on a budget. I miss being taken to Prachtig to see the beautiful bridge, where I always end up being amazed by their three-layer coffee-verkeerd rather than the bridge itself. I miss the snow and the hagel that rips straight through my really cheap flip umbrella. I miss patat speciaal, broodje mexicano, stampot met zuurkool, appelbollen, and amandelkoekjes.
Rotterdam Centraal Station
I don't know if I'm really missing Nederland, or even Rotterdam, but I think it's more about missing what I had when I was in it - a carefree life. The beauty of it all is just a bonus.
But I believe that I will be there again someday, even if just to feel the cold air and walk on the wet sidewalks. Just to reminisce, briefly.
Not today, though. Now I have to get my head out of the clouds and get back to work.
Dank je, Nederland, voor alles wat ik had toen ik daar was. Ik ben zeker dat ik je nog zou ontmoeten. Tot ziens.