Intro Week 1: Five days in

Tuesday we had the formal dinner and some talks. The International Talk was a bit pointless as all I needed to know, as an EU student, was to turn up to the Municipality on this day at this time. I didn’t need to know about getting injections and housing permits. Bureaucracy!

The formal dinner was really long. We got to go first for starter (yay!), but last for the main, so we had to wait 2 hours in between. However everyone looked really nice and it was very tasty. The fish starter was especially good, “haring” (herring) is definitely tastier if it has fewer bones (compared to “haring” I had before coming to Utrecht). Traditionally the Dutch  take the fish by the tail, hold it over the mouth, tilt their head back, and eat it. I had mine off a plate!

Equites (one of the fraternities – the one who speak only Dutch) villa party was fun, held afterwards. It was tennis themed, I stayed till 3.15am which was pretty good going when you are used to Arena, Exeter closing at 2am.

I also had my tutor meeting and I had chosen to do:

  • Social psychology;
  • Lifetime developmental psychology;
  • Introduction to Dutch studies; and
  • Introduction to anthropology.

Unfortunately, due to timetable clashes, I learnt I would have to swap Dutch for mathematical modelling, so I will only do ‘level 000’ (which is lower than starting modules, level 100 would be first year, level 200 second year level, and 300 third year level). Luckily I have plenty of experience of class and timetable clashes thanks to my Flexible Combined Honours course at Exeter where every term so far I have had to deal with missing a maths lecture because I have had a psychology one.

This ruins my plans a bit as I wanted to do level 000 in the first term and 100 in the second and now I can’t, and makes the learning of Dutch a bit pointless as I will only learn basic conversation and nothing really practical. Although this is the case I would still like to learn as it will be fun and the Dutch like it if you try to speak Dutch to them. They actually see Dutch as stupid language and they see no reason why anyone would learn to speak it -they think it sounds horrible, which I can see why as sound of coughing up phlegm constantly isn’t that attractive.

I’m also trying to swap anthropology for linguistics, which would be fun, but I don’t mind either way. Anthropology wasn’t my choice but it was one of my backup courses when choosing university and its a bit like psychology so would be interesting. Linguistics, I think, would be good as last year in cognitive psychology we learnt how children learn to talk -which is really fascinating. Plus I’m quite interested in language differences anyway, even though I only know the one!

Yesterday we had sports day, where we won everything bar two events (one we accidentally missed, Frisbee). I had a really good time as they were fun sports including an inflatable assault course. The hill in the middle was very hard to get up but I managed to jump it first time. I also had my first introduction of how to carry beer on your bike. The crates here are especially made for it, heavy-duty plastic (not cardboard) with a handle in the middle. You bike with one hand on the handlebars and the other behind you holding the beer on the rack over the back wheel. Unfortunately I didn’t get a go as the other team didn’t show up. However I highly doubt my biking skills are up to the task.

The pub crawl, in the evening, wasn’t what it was supposed to be. The beer was free, but we only went to 3 bars in a long slow time. Plus there was no Dean present who I was told, and was hoping, would be there. Strangely, though, people thought it was great and I agree it was nice but it was NOT a bar crawl. A bar crawl should involve at least 5 different venues, preferably with a pint in each (not 20 cl). Maximum time there should be an hour (and really the hour is only for the starting pub while you wait for everyone to arrive). Pub golf I think should be introduced as it has structure and so is easier to undertake.

I left the Primus (the other Fraternity) party in town, which happened after the pub crawl, at about 01.15 as I didn’t want to get lost or learn how to ride a bike drunk just yet!

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4 thoughts on “Intro Week 1: Five days in

  1. Not sure that the Dutch will see their language as “stupid” – more a little eccentric, perhaps, but something they will have a (perverse?) pride in – especially its weirder noises. To me their attitude seems stunningly similar to the Welsh (well, Welsh-speaking Welsh) who are also very proud of their language, and especially its stranger sounds – the “ll” and the “ch” (in fact the Celtic “ch” is very, very similar to the Dutch… noise), but also speak English.

    The only difference is that the Welsh make a more noisy and overt thing about defending their language because it very nearly died – Dutch, as a language, has probably never been threatened so has never needed to be defended.

    • Nicholaaaa! So good to read this! Nice to read that you’re having to much fun! Try to keep thinking positively about the Dutchies, they are really really nice. I hope you already made some friends? (not mentioned)
      See ya soon! xxxx

      • Yeah Ive made some lovely friends, I will get round to mentioning it I’m catching this up with my hand written diary so at the moment it’s only freshers week up to the end of freshers week! But the Sinterklaas one and my hitchhike are more recent, and for those I have to have had friends to drag along with me 😛

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