Today was a day full of learning and patience. I knew I was going to have to be patient in learning a new language, the layout of a new city, and those every day tasks that one would normally not bash an eyelash at. I have now learned that I can be even more patient than I ever thought I could be, and even more grateful for the kindness of strangers.
For example, when I took the train in from Amsterdam to Breda, I had purchased the wrong kind of ticket. Instead of asking me to leave the train, the ticket checker guided me through the steps to get a new ticket at the next stop. When I was rushing to catch a train with two bags of luggage and a coffee in hand, a stranger helped me take a bag down three flights of stairs. The escalator was broken at the time and my bags kept falling down everywhere in frustration. I figured out how to use the city bus service in Breda, only because a kind bus driver pointed out the stops and let me know which stop is closest to my apartment. I found my way into the city with the guidance of a generous new friend who walked with me to my destination. I also was given a lift by a family from Luxembourg to my new apartment after picking up my keys. Without this random act of kindness, it would have been an hour and a half walk with my luggage.
If there is one thing I learned today, it is to remain calm and when opportunities present themselves, to say thank you! It was very rainy here in Breda. I achieved some big accomplishments, including grocery shopping, unpacking my room, signing my apartment lease, visiting the student service desk at my school (yay, money!) and finding my way into the city centre for the first time. Tomorrow will consist of trying to find the nearest Ikea for household supplies and purchasing a bicycle… and exploring this new, wonderful city.
Every moment so far, I have found amazement by how big and beautiful our world is. And the Netherlands is so small… even smaller than I imagined. Today, every second was an adventure – no matter how little the task.