It’s been almost one month since my last blog and I finally have some inspiration to write again. I’ve been in this country and city for 1 month now and I have learned more things about the country and the people living here. It’s been a unique experience so far but I realized that this isn’t really the country for me. I’m still not used to the way of living here and especially to behavior of Latvians. I have felt like this already since the first days I was here. Latvians are very closed, more so towards people they don’t know. Now, if you are a foreigner that would be even more difficult. Latvians are really shy when it comes to making mistakes, so they don’t open up to you in English because they are afraid of the level of their English. However, they are very loyal friends once you get so far, though getting so far is the hard part. Furthermore, in school, they also follow the courses we follow in English but they always talk in Latvian together and the rest of us exchange students are left on the side of every conversation. It got annoying after 3 weeks of this. In addition, they are very much used to working long hours for their salary and I admire their dedication and commitment. However, it sucks to have these long hours integrated in school as well. I don’t know about you guys but I’m not used to sitting in a class for one subject from 9.45am until 5pm. Also, the scheduling of classes suck total balls! At the beginning they told us that not all courses start from the 1st of September. Now we found out that one of them is on Saturday, and it’s also from 9.45am until 5pm, including another course that also starts during that week. The worst part of it is, they plan excursion for exchange students during these times as well as during exam periods. Who does that??!! Some days you also have classes until 7pm and then they expect you to do homework after that. It is, in my opinion, a bit ridiculous. Or maybe I’m not used to this way of education. In any case, I don’t think I will ever get used to this type of living. Call me spoiled, I don’t care, I’m happy that I live in a country that give us a lot. I appreciate everything I have even more now.
The Latvians do have one amazing thing that I’m still to experience in other countries. They are very much in touch with nature. Even their last names are mostly taken from nature. Latvians don’t live close to each other or near the roads but they live in the middle of their territory so as to be surrounded by trees, plants and grass. They love their nature and after walking a trail in the forest today, I can imagine why. It’s beautiful and peaceful, and you can’t help but feel connected to nature as well.
The food here is great, not the healthiest choice but really delicious, and cheap. You can eat a full dinner for only 3 or 4 euros and have dessert for less than 1 euro. The gastronomy section is the highlight of my stay here and I am going to miss eating so much for so less when I’m back in the Netherlands. Beer is also good here and you can get 0.5 liter for about 1 euro. I love this part a lot.
I do have to admit however, that I miss Breda a lot. I’ve been living in the Netherlands for 6 years, moved to different cities 7 times and never felt at home anywhere, except when I moved to Breda. I found my home there this year but now I had to leave it already. I love everything about the city. The centre, the walking or biking to the university, the park, the places to sit and eat or drink. It’s my home and I miss it. Also, the people there are so much more open which makes the vibe fun to be in. There is a huge difference in people from Latvia and the Netherlands and it’s amazing to see that. Furthermore, I have a girlfriend waiting for me in Breda. She’s also a part of the reason why I miss Breda. I miss my friends there and some who live in other cities. You know who you are! But now that I’m here, I really appreciate more what I had over there.
So in a way, I’m glad I’m only here for 3 more months and not longer. I am grateful for the experiences I had and will have during my stay here but I am already looking forward to going back home even though I have to go somewhere else again after 1 month of being home, but that’s another story.
I guess this was the not so positive part of living abroad. Wow, that sounds weird! I stopped considering living in the Netherlands as living abroad. Anyways, this is my story so far and it had to be told because it’s part of my entire experience here. Good and bad. See you!!!!