Sunday, 12 September 2010

Erasmus Exchange

Currently residing in my room, sitting on my bed, laptop on my knee, looking out the window, with church bells ringing in the not too far away distance…how different in comparison with my ‘normal’ life.

New surroundings. New chapter in my life.

Location: Mechelen, Belgium.

Researching the area before arrival, I was excited at the prospect of exploring and experiencing city life. Brought up in a quiet village in Scotland I knew this was going to be a great opportunity not only for me to experience a different culture but also surviving in a big city.

First arriving in Mechelen I could not have felt any smaller. Everyone around me moving with the flow of the city and me struggling up cobbled streets with two suitcases…not my idea of glamour! Trying to find my accommodation in the maze of narrow, intersecting cobbled streets was a nightmare (even with the prepared Google map!) and dodging bikes at the same time was a challenge in itself.

Now two days in, I finally have my bearings and have spent most of my time exploring as much as I can – and I have to say so far so good! The city itself is beautiful with lots of little treasures hidden amongst the tall, skinny buildings, the picturesque views and the canals that weave through the houses that hang over the water edge. The locals are friendly and they are even starting to understand the Dutch that I am speaking! Although as soon as they differentiate from the stuff I have learnt from the phrase book ,”Ik versta het niet” is becoming a very familiar reply (I don’t understand)…

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