The GoGlobal Blog

Home Is Where Your Hat Is

Home Is Where Your Hat Is

Hold on to your underpants folks, this is gonna be a long one.


This is where trains go to rest their legs.

I have been told that there is a set of phases one goes through when studying abroad. I am expected to feel like I’m on a sort of honeymoon at first, falling in love with the city and culture around me. I can vouch for this feeling being accurate. I have fallen deeply and madly in love with this culture. It’s so relaxing, so breathtaking, I could not help myself when I stumbled into maddening attachment with this wonderful place.

As per Netherlands procedure, I bought a bike. I have named him Mr. Thundercleese, and hopefully he likes the name because I am unable to extract any input from him as of this time. Biking is the norm here in The Hague. There are more people on bikes then driving or walking combined. They are the gods of the streets as they ride through like a swarm of locusts, ringing bells is the equivalent of honking the horn here.

My first day being united with Mr. Thundercleese was a humorous one looking back on it. In short, I got lost. With more detail, I got lost for an hour and a half in the pouring rain at night. Most would find this a miserable experience and blame their trusty bike for leading them astray, but I do not fall to anger so quickly. The adrenaline was pumping through me as my survival instincts kicked in and I prowled the wet night looking for home. Taking mysterious twists and turns through the strange streets of the Hague left me more and more lost. I was not so shameful as to ask for directions, this was a test. I kept riding, and riding, and riding, hoping I might spot some landmark in which to locate myself, and to locate my home.

Just when I thought my wandering was to come to a fruitless end, I saw hope. Hope was in the form of a gigantic tower, lit up in blue lights. Oh Captain, my Captain. My lighthouse, my savior. Walking into my apartment, my roommates stared at me as I dripped profusely onto the floor. “Take off your shoes” they said, and continued whatever it was they were busy with.

It’s funny looking back on it. It’s not surprising for tourists to get lost, it’s even less surprising for me to get lost. My sense of direction might be compared to that of Columbus. I always find something interesting, but lord knows I’ve missed my destination.

Please excuse my photography in the future. The Chicago Sun Times has resorted to giving their staff iPhones as a replacement for a photography staff, so why should my standards be any different?

Comments are closed.