From 30 June to 22 August 2014, I stayed in Leidschendam to carry out an internship. For those of you who do not know where the hell Leidschendam is, it’s in the Netherlands. Google it. Get.
When you found where this city is, you’ll see that it is actually perfectly located in the middle of three bigger (and more-likely known) cities: The Hague (or Den Haag), Delft, and Leiden. They are all biking-distance from this little city. One genius thing about this company I was working to is, its location. Most of the people working in this company live in those three other towns, so they drive daily to Leidschendam. But who would go to Leidschendam for daily activities anyway? Yep, only them. So no traffic.
I stayed in a crew house. I love that house. Seriously. I felt like I was home. I see exactly how Indonesians build their houses. They probably imitated how the Dutch built their houses back then. The houses there look so similar to the houses here.
Beside housing, they lent me a bike. A pink bike. Which made my roommate, Sandra, jealous. Oh, yes, it was also the first time that I have ever had roommates. Well, they exchange people in this house of four bedrooms, but I always cherish the two most memorable people I have ever shared housing with. Sandra and Glen.
Sandra is Portuguese-Angolan, Glen is Angolan. Sandra was there for an internship, Glen was there for a training. The house was always on fire as we were always cooking. Sometimes we even went home for lunch and went back to the office afterwards. We had barbecue once, spontaneously, and it-was-delicious.
One day I wanted to go out and buy groceries. Sandra was coming. Just when we were about to bike, Sandra asked “Gabriella, do you bring your key?” I did not. “No. You?” I replied. “Neither,” Sandra said. “Oh, crap.” We called Glen, who was hanging out in Scheveningen, with a girl. So instead of a 10-15 minutes tops biking to the supermarket, we biked 30-45 minutes to The Hague. Why not Scheveningen? It’s too far! And yes, we asked Glen to see us in The Hague’s Train Station.
“Girls, why didn’t you just take the train?” Glen said. “We do not have enough money,” I replied, “You don’t have enough money but you were waiting for me in Starbucks, what the hell?!” Shortly he handed us his key and we got home safely. Stupidly laughing along the way.
There were also times when me and Sandra got really mad to Glen – he told us he was robbed, in the middle of the night, when actually he was not. When me and Glen went to a bar in The Hague and I got uncomfortable when people are dancing everywhere and I ended up leaving him when he told me “Hey Gabriella, that guy’s checking you out!” And the times we just hung out in The Hague’s Square after me and Sandra biked to some dune with Ehab – another colleague we met in the office who has similar age to us – and sang to Glen “It’s a new dawn,” “What?” “It’s a new day,” “Stop it,” “It’s a new life,” “Girls,” “For me,” “Yeah, whatever,” “And I’m feeeeeling. Gooood.”
Glen left the house first. Then Sandra left. Then I left.
I miss Leidschendam somehow.