Cheerio My ‘Dutch’ Family
It is now the final week of Erasmus before SSH kicks us all out ready for our summer take over students. Many have already returned home and tears are being shared among those who remain. What follows are some suggestions towards your Erasmus memories!
In England, and perhaps other countries also, on the last days of school the students get their school shirt signed by their fellow students… and arms and face, but that doesn’t matter. You can carry on this little tradition and get a shirt signed, or perhaps grab a Dutch Flag and have that signed instead! It will take up little room for your many future travels and moving and you can always look back at all the beautiful comments people will write about you.
Throughout the year you may had accumulated a few things, such as tickets from travelling around Europe and in the Netherlands. You shouldn’t throw those cute memory triggers away! Buy a book with decent paper, Hema photo albums are cheap and good quality, and stick all those treasures in a quirky or organized way to flick through in the future. Get people to sign that book, write messages, or/and sign their photographs!
The Polaroid/ Disposable
If you do not own one of these delightful gadgets then Hema is selling them for under 70 Euro! Or opt for a classic disposable camera for 5 Euro! You can take a photo series of the beautiful faces of your friends, take group photographs, selfies, you name it! This collection can be added to your scrapbook or in a cute memory box for your future self to browse through.
Some students have got matching tattoos with their housemates, or went for a less permanent option and bought matching bracelets or made them. Jewelry is a typical and simple way to look back and reflect on the people who share the same bracelet or necklace. Perhaps matching Utrecht shirts, Miffy key rings, anything inspirational and useful you can think of – try and get the same for all.
The Final Dinner/aroma
One last meal together. Everyone chips in with their traditional dish. A dish or recipe that will remind you of that person forever. For me, it is Olive oil. Never had I seen so much oil used in my life. On bread especially. All these strange and wonderful things will be nostalgic when you return back home and see something in the supermarket that reminds you of your flatmates. I will never see oil the same again.
Jumbo. What an icon. Jumbo, for some, is what they class as their first Dutch word as they shout it on their daily cycle from Uithof towards the trusted store. Hema, the savior for our empty rooms. AH with the hamster shopping bags. Bags, you say? If you will never see a Jumbo/Hema/ AH again, perhaps take the reusable bags back home with you and confuse your home residents with the bright yellow bag with black JUMBO letters. “What does that mean”, people will ask. “It means LOVE in Dutch”. Oh Jumbo… Farewell.
Waffles. Little key rings with clogs. Delft blue designs. Dom Tower merchandise. Miffy something. Utrecht key ring/badge. Anything ‘typical Dutch’ will do to remind you of all your crazy, exciting and interesting experiences here in the Netherlands.
Of course, nothing can beat the real experience. These things are there to help trigger your unconscious to remember those fun and crazy experiences. I hope, like me, you go home full of happiness and had learnt many new things. I certainly will return and I have my collection of forever memories ready for departure.
Thank you Netherlands for having me here, I enjoyed every moment of it and I will never forget!