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Dipesh Majumdar

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Netherlands - Day531

September 4, 2014

It is 531 days Or 1 year, 5 months, 13 days.

It's been long time now here in Netherlands and now the time has come to finally book the return tickets to India. 

The mind is in a confused state and certainly not relishing the state of transition. It's a period of time when we can't concentrate on anything properly and the motivation to do things is simply not there - whether it is going to work or taking Romir to school or buying something. We are in a state of suspension now - when we simply feel like going back and starting all over again. Life has to move on...

The exposure that we got from our stay in Netherlands is something worthwhile. The new experience of living in a nice, clean and advanced European country is something we will cherish for a long time to come. 

That which touched our hearts emotionally is the Dutch Life and the cleanliness we have seen in this country. Cleanliness is an inherent property in each of these people. Adding to that their sense of beauty, politeness and gentleness and of-course, integrity - so much to learn from them. 

There is also a regret, as my tenure here is coming to an end - that is, I didn't take the pain to learn Dutch. If I could start it all over again, I would have surely joined classes for learning Dutch. That didn't happen sadly. 

One of the things that touched me most is the cycle tracks that exist in this country. They are mind-blowing. Fabulous. The first thing that one should do is buy a cycle after coming to this place and simply roam this beautiful country on the beautiful cycle tracks that go through scenic forests and lakes. It's a bliss to cycle in this country. I feel good about the decision of purchasing a cycle as soon as I landed here. From then on cycle has taken me to work and brought me home from work - with the exception of the rainy days. 

Yes, it rains a lot here. Most of the time - drizzling. But I love rain and so no complaints... 

We didn't see the best of the winter seasons... There was no snow during last winter. So we missed the snow! One of our fantasies was to walk on the upper coating of the lake when it turns into ice. But last winter was simply not that cold. 

A few things that I would like to recommend to people who are coming here for short or long term is - don't miss the museums in Netherlands. After all this is the land of Van Gogh. Among good museums are the cobra museums, stedjelijk museum, Van Gogh Museum and Rijk Museum. The last 3 are all situated in Museumplein. Come to museumplein early and visit one of the museums and then lie back lazily in the open huge green space infront of Rijk Museum. This place is lovely. Infact we have loved museumplein a lot and went to this place many times. Okay now a good tip - to visit the museums - it's better to take a museum card - which will cost around 60 euro approx. But definitely worth it - the beauty of this card is you can visit a particular museum as many times as you want within a year. And you can visit all the important museums more than once within a year. Also along with the museums one should also not miss Anne Frank's House. It's worth going to this place. 

Dam Square is another place which you can visit and enjoy the architecture of the buildings around. 

I would also like to advise those who are coming to stay here or who are already staying here to take a membership of bibliothek ( library) . It's only 55 -60 euro approximately for a month and the books and cds, dvds you get to take home are too good. If you have a kid, then you can get to bring childrens books from libraries to your home. Small kids of this generation get bored very easily with anything you buy new - so it's better to take library membership and bring them new books than to keep buying for them. Of course children's books are very expensive. I think membership for small kids is free. 

There are plenty of Moroccan, Indian and Pakistani Shops here - so getting grocery for Indian food is never a problem. Cheap and nice dresses are available in stores of Primark in Hoofdorp. So one needn't get too many clothes from India while coming here. Now this goes to all ladies ... don't bring too much of salwar kameez or sarees - as the only thing you are going to wear here is western formal, genes and  Tshirts. 

I just happened to remember this - I have seen friends of mine very keen to visit new places and new countries in Europe - which of course is very nice and nothing wrong. But I would like to strongly advise all to be very careful with your belongings - bags, purse, money and particularly passport, resident cards - because lurking around tourist places will be agressive beggars and snatchers. My intention is not discourage from travelling but I am just keen to spread the message to be careful in tourist places. 

Also my personal preference is always to go to a place independently ( for example by Eurolines bus service), book a hotel there in advance - and stay there - roam there independently and then again come back to Netherlands. I don't like package tours. Recently I went to Paris and decided to go for Govinda Travels, as it seemed to work out rather cheap, but then very soon I started regretting my decision.  However this is my own personal view and based purely on my personal experience. 

That's all I can remember now. I had a lovely experience staying here in Netherlands and must say to all who are planning to come here for work assignments or study - this is a place which you will love a lot.

Many people I have seen have continued to stay here. Some of my experiences of places here are captured in these blogs. I hope you will like them...

My Blog on visit to Anne Frank's house is here.

This is about my visit to Cobra Museum.

This is my experience of long distance cycling in Netherlands. This also reveals the beautiful countryside of Netherlands.

This is about my visit to Dam Square. 

A Visit to Rotterdam

 

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