Delft. Probably not the first city that comes to one’s mind when thinking about the Netherlands. And prior to my decision to come here, it wasn’t on my mind either. As almost any teenager will tell you, post high school graduation is not exactly a bed of roses. I mean just when you thought you could take some time off, burying your face into potato chips and whipped cream while re-watching How I Met Your Mother , the dreaded questions will begin almost immediately. “So, what’s next? Where will you be heading? What are your plans for the future? ” Whoa, I mean hold on! Take a chill pill! But soon it was my turn to answer these questions. That was when Delft came in, the TU Delft in particular. However, where I come from, it is not at all common to pursue your studies in the Netherlands, let alone Delft. This left people rather flabbergasted. Nonetheless, this did not deter my choice. Soon, after 10 226 km I had arrived in Delft, my home to be for the next year. And along with it, an unexpected journey had certainly begun. Let’s have a look.
The Delft Cuisine
“There is no sincerer love, than the love of food”, (George Bernard Shaw). Food. One of the most, if not the most vital component when it comes to connecting different societies of the world. In addition to that, its importance is an absolute paramount when it involves helping one to settle down in a new surrounding, away from home. And although Delft is no Lyon, the cuisine is certainly decent enough to make you feel at home. Some of Delft’s international cuisine includes Greek, Indian, Chinese, Middle Eastern and many more. However, a special mention certainly has to be made for Leo van Vliet and De Kliene Greek. The former serves the best, and I mean the absolute best sandwiches here in Delft (sorry, Subway, better luck next time) and the latter serves up money-well-spent hearty delicacies (it might be called kliene, but there is nothing small about the food portions!). And since most of the inhabitants here are students of the TU, a shout-out also goes to the cuisine of the TU. I am not going to say much on this, Sodexo :). Lastly, a special recognition surely goes towards Doner King. To all those lazy nights, when the fridge was empty, your bike was stolen (welcome to the Netherlands), and you were low on cash, remember Doner King was always there for you (on campus residents of the TU Delft can especially relate to this).
The Delft student life
As mentioned before, students of the TU Delft make up a vital component of the inhabitants in Delft. One of the important aspects about student life is accommodation. I mean students do not expect a waterfront villa and a 24/7 butler service. However, finding a right accommodation can be a real pain in the rear, be it on campus or off campus. Living in a 16sq meters studio is not exactly “the dream” but it certainly it sufficient for a home away from home. Another important aspect of student life is grocery shopping. This will test your organization skills more than you think, as you will have to plan your meals ahead, and not on a day to day basis, since you don’t want to head down to Jumbo every single day looking to get some shopping done. In addition to that, household chores also form a concrete part of the student life. Now is the time mom’s constant nagging will finally come in use, especially if you do not want to end up living in rat hole-like studio as your home. Lastly, there will be no running away from the library during the student life here in Delft. To all those last minute assignments, and exams, and the ever-present procrastination in students, the library is a savior. However, the library could also so easily be the place where friendships are broken, and humanity brings out its dark side. When the WiFi no longer works (which is pretty common), everyone heads for a no-holds-barred battle royale to get the available computers and hand in that assignment right on cue.
Up and about in Delft
Now, as for the million dollar question, “What is there to do in Delft?” Well, I can assure you there is more than meets the eye, all that is needed is the art of looking in the right places. Delft has plenty to offer, with its international community, you can be assured there will always be liveliness around. First and foremost, one of the most important characteristics of a modern town, is to at least have a cinema (Pathe Delft).The entertainment of watching movies in the cinema, along with a hearty serving of popcorn and the possibility of finding gum under your chair, will never die out. Say what you want about Netflix, but seriously, do you really would want to wait months before watching Paul Walker’s last ride? Certainly not! (If you say yes, well you’re heartless, I’m sorry). In addition to that, if you are more of the adventurous, out-going type, Delft has something to offer as well. Less than 10 minutes bike ride from the TU Delft, Paintball Delft will serve up your cravings to get down and dirty. I would personally recommend to try this out during the end of winter. Yes you heard me right. When else will you probably get the chance to soak up the rain, cold and the mud, in a forest while gunning down your nemesis that stole your pencil in fifth grade? After all, revenge is a dish best served cold, right? In relation to that, when else will you put those skills of Call of Duty to good use and tell your mom “I told you so” when she constantly asked “Why do you waste your time playing these games”? Finally, probably the most adrenaline pumping activity here in Delft, “wind surfing”. Yes, wind surfing people. Right here in Delft, not Scheveningen, that’s too mainstream. So, where exactly in Delft? In the TU Delft of course, in the bike pathway between the EWI building and the lake. The wind in this particular region is unbelievable, with speeds more than 50km/h, just get off your bike and carry an umbrella! You will be blown away to your home within a matter of seconds, free of charge!
As a whole, there is loads to be said on Delft. In my view it is one of the best kept secrets of the Netherlands. For most of us Delft was, is and will always remain a home away from home.