Personal Story by Daniel Zahariev

Personal Story by Daniel Zahariev

An experience to share

The moment I came to the Netherlands I was blown away. I come from Bulgaria, a country that has not yet been accommodated to the 21st century as much as the rest of Europe.

The thing that caught my eye immediately was the modernist urban design. There are all these special crossing lights, sections, streets and signals everywhere for walkers, bikers and drivers alike. As a sort of unwritten rule, the people who bike seem to have more authority on the street than the drivers with cars. 

There are various pieces of nature all over the cities! Small park areas and patches of grass with trees are to be seen from basically any part of the city. There are rivers, lakes and dikes absolutely everywhere. The rivers are accompanied by boats (both parked and passing), whereas the lakes and ponds are filled with wildlife such as ducks and geese! 

The architecture is somehow identical yet different everywhere. A lot of houses have kept their old exteriors, whilst on the inside they are very modern and upkept. A weird thing about the Dutch is that those who live on the ground floors often don’t have curtains and such. You just walk and see the everyday goings on of little families and the don’t seem to mind. 

Last but not least, the people continue to amaze me even in my third year of education. Overall, the Dutch are a pretty open-minded folk. I don’t think I have yet seen anyone be biased against race or sexuality. People like and respect people as long as they don’t give them a strong reason not to in the first place.

When in need of guidance on any subject I simply walk up to anyone and ask them. They are usually with a smile and give me a well-structured response, be it for directions or anything more complex (e.g. government queries). Pretty much everyone speaks very good or at least decent English

I am a third-year student from Bulgaria. I continue to learn new things about the Dutch all the time and keep falling in love with this country more and more. The people are very nice and open-minded. Help has never been refused to anyone who asked for it. It helped me evolve as a person and I am forever grateful. I recommend you come and experience it yourself!