I have never liked Europe, neither dreamt of visiting it. I preferred Asia and the beautiful beaches around the world. Okay, I know, Greece and Italy have beautiful beaches, and Croatia too. But for me, my bucket list revolved around the beautiful beaches of Asia, Cuba, Bahamas and those in the Latin America.
When one of my planned trips was canceled, I had 21 days to spare. Where to? My friend Janine and Kwin both have traveled to Amsterdam (the capital of Netherlands according to the Dutch constitution) and those girls were still dreamy about the place. Curiosity propelled me to research and plan my travel to The Netherlands.
The Netherlands is a soul mate to me. Its like I have known this country for so long and I have felt a connection to him. (I’d like to give this country a masculine feel as if I am talking about a long-lost love.)
From Schipol Airport, I couldn’t help but be amazed at the order and consistency of airport facilities and services. The transportation to the Amsterdam Central is so efficient that I couldn’t help but feel extremely impressed. Although I have seen this kind of order in some parts of Asia and the UAE, this country still gave me a different vibe that it calls for me to stay longer and visit countless times over.
How did this country capture my heart that has never liked Europe in general?
First, just like any gentleman who would want to win my heart, he presented all his beautiful and not so beautiful qualities. The people were so nice, they would stop whatever they were doing and they are willing to whip out their mobile phone to find your location for you or use Google Map to find your destination. The Dutch people are always willing to return a smile and wave back. I have never encountered an unanswered good morning.
As I have a poor navigational skill and I suffer from short-term memory loss, I have survived my solo travel with these kind Dutch men and women. I was lost in Zaanse Schans, were the famous windmills were located, and there was a kindly old gentleman, who was probably on his way to an anniversary dinner as he was carrying a bouquet of red roses that walked me through a ten minute walk towards the train station because I couldn’t find it and my Google map gave up on me.
There’s this gorgeous Dutch woman who assisted me with my trolley issues inside the tram and there’s another one who got off the tram just to point me to the right lane to get to my hotel. I mean, seriously, who does that? I have never expected such great length of help from strangers apart from the ones I have dealt with in the hotel and hospitality industry in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, or the Philippines.
Second, he flirted with me with his gorgeous, mesmerizing features. The Netherlands, in general, is so hauntingly beautiful place. The old European features of the buildings and its architectural aesthetic beauty are extremely attractive. They were all indeed Instagram worthy! The dams, the windmills, the buildings, and even the quaint cafes, or the museums were all a sight to behold and could be backdropped for photoshoots. Did I mention that I find their country very clean? Yep, so clean that you can drink water from the tap.
The Dutch people were all equally good looking. I’ve met a towering almost 190-centimeter gorgeous Sociologist from Rotterdam whose smile is extraordinarily charming and would ultimately make your heart skip a beat. I have met this producer with soft, beautiful eyes who reminded me of apple pies and cinnamons that I often associate fondly with warmth amidst the cold November air in Holland. From the guy who attended to my lost baggage, to the security man, to the lady who toured me inside one of the churches that she managed, to the random person I meet in the street, I couldn’t stop staring at those beautiful blue, green and dark brown eyes.
Lastly, like a well rounded responsible gentleman that he is, the Netherlands made me fall for him because of his sense of discipline. Everything about the Netherlands for me is self-sustainable and efficient. I have never come across a person who disliked being there, and everybody that I have spoken to talked a great deal about the greatness of such country. Of course, I am not well aware of the general situation of every Dutch person living in Holland, just like not knowing the person fully on the first few days of meeting him, but I can genuinely say that this place made me fell in love with it gradually.
Over time, the Netherlands won me over. And like a lovesick teenager, I couldn’t help but constantly admire the beauty of such country. Like a woman won over by a consistent man, I have fallen in love with Holland. Proof? That is for you to watch out for.