Journal: In Rotterdam

I love Rotterdam. I really do.
Maybe if you ask me which was my favorite city among all cities I've visited, Rotterdam will be on the top three of the list.

It's easy to say why because: 1) Rotterdam is relatively a small city from others I've visited and 2) when I was there, the weather was so good. It was sweater-weather which I liked the most. Also 3) because I've spent two days and a half with one of the most inspiring person I've ever met.

When I arrived at Rotterdam Centraal after 11-hour overnight bus journey from Paris, it was freaking cold. It was around 7 am. I decided to stay at the local Starbucks until the temperature got higher because I didn't bring any jacket haha. I called my best friends while I was waiting and what made me excited was I heard a lot of people talking in Bahasa! Haha welcome to Netherland where Indonesians are everywhere !
And when the clock struck 11, Kak Ozu arrived and it really both surprised and warmed my heart was once we met when we started talking, I felt like I have known her for years.

Rotterdam is indeed an architectural city. There are a lot of weird yet cool buildings all over the city which no doubt will excite my Architect's friends.

It was Saturday and the weather got better at the noon, we dropped my luggage at the hostel which was located at the trendiest area in Rotterdam and had our lunch in Bazaar, a Turkish restaurant. It was SO good, and we discussed A LOT of things. It was so weird to say how we could talk literally a lot of things from A to Z when we just met, because it felt like I was just catching up with her after not meeting her after 10 years.
After we were stuffed, she took me to see the city centre and Market Hall where a big local market held every weekend. It was really fun to see a lot of people dragging their carts in every direction, buying fruits and vegetables, meat or cheese, even clothes and scarfs. And I saw a lot of muslims there too!
From Market Hall we walked to the library (and boy I was so fascinated by it I couldn't hide my excitement at all!!!), Cube Houses and walked back around the Market Hall again to eat the authentic Poffertjes (SO GOOD).

 Rotterdam Public Library. I could study here for HOURS.
 Everyone was out, enjoying the breezy weather. 
Tulips. Of course, we were in Netherland afterall. 
The building on our right is the Market Hall.
  The Cubic Houses. I even went inside the museum and really, they didn't make sense. These houses. 
But sometimes things don't have to make senses.

After a lot of walking and talking, we called it a day because I felt so tired and needed some rest (bus journey is tiring, folks). I walked back to the hostel and bathed and washed some of my clothes on the washing room (4 euro lol) and slept. It was a good day, a really good day.

With kak Ozu, one of the most inspiring person I've met.

The next day, it was Sunday and there was this football match between Rotterdam's local football clubs. At first, I didn't get why there were so many people on the street that morning and they were drinking beer and laughing and chanting. Yes, chanting, everywhere. In front of McDonald's, on the trams, on the street, everywhere.
Until I had to board the bus to meet Kak Ozu and I couldn't because the trams were always packed with people. I've experienced football match day in England where everyone would wear their football team's jerseys and paint their face with the flag, but not in this way like I experienced in Rotterdam.

Everyone was chanting, shouting-chanting with cans of beer on their hand, and obviously in Netherland, they smoked weed. And do you know that Dutch people are proved as the tallest nation in the world?
So imagine the tiny Nerissa is waiting for the tram between all those massive blokes, singing anthem and drinking beer and had no idea what to do because she freaking couldn't get on the trams.
But finally after two trams, the third one came and when I thought I couldn't get in, there was this man inside the tram who saw and shouted at me, "Miss, Miss! You, yes, you! Get inside!" to note that the tram was really packed, but this man let me in because I think he felt bad to see a small creature like me couldn't board the freaking tram haha.
Inside the tram, I was literally pressed between all the guys who laughed and chanted and in full spirit of football match and all I could stare was their chests.
Often I get sad about being so small, but in that particular time I felt relieved being small.

After meeting kak Ozu, she took me to to see Hotel New York and she told me about the history behind it and took me to this cool place to have our brunch. It reminded me a lot of Bricklane Market where there are a lot of different kind of food and we had Moroccan food there. It was SO good.

 There was this bookstore inside the market.
 Mini free library where everyone can take a book and put another for an exchange. This is the idea I've been wanting to do it for so long in my country, but I doubt it will work.
 Rotterdam's subway station. It looks so futuristic, doesn't it?

After lunch, we walked around again until our feet sore and decided to go back to the central and we noticed something was off. There were a lot of people on the street and they didn't look so happy.
We came to conclusion that the Rotterdam's team lost. All chant was gone and it was replaced by the sound of firecracker, everywhere.
We thought it was a normal thing, but later in the afternoon when Kak Ozu and I was walking along the river after taking hundred pictures of me with the grass and the daisies, we saw a lot of polices who wore police mask-thingy on their face, a helmet and the police stick-kind of thing and there were all these guys who ran toward any direction to get rid from the police.

So, it was a bad thing. It was funny that it happened again abroad too haha I thought the chaos after a losing football match only happened in Indonesia, but it happened too here lol.
The citizens were running off and the police would run after them with their police sticks, even I saw one of them was beating up one of the citizen with the stick!
It was such an experience for me though.

Because it was getting too scary, we decided to go back to the hostel and guess what, the chaos had already arrived on our hostel street and everyone gathered up along the sidewalk to see what really happened. We past through the crowd until we arrived on the hostel door (which actually a cafe on the front office, so it was hostel-cafe combination) and the door was locked! There were a lot of people hiding inside and there was this guy opened the door for us and let us in.
It was both unbelievable funny and scary. We waited and watched from the cafe's glasses.

One of the scenes I had pictured from the tram. Look at all those polices!

But all in all, my time in Rotterdam was lovely. There were so many reasons I could mention, like the weather, the atmosphere, the buildings, the river, the canal, the bikes, and this is the kind of city I imagine to settle down at when I start my family, but most of all, I could say because I've spent it well with a very very good company. 

During this journey in Europe, I learned that no matter how much I love traveling solo, one place becomes much more memorable because of the people I've spent time with. Thank you so much Kak Ozu, for everything. Let's meet again in Jakarta and please sign my copy of your book! <3

No comments :

Post a Comment