Holland: Life in Leiden #4

After being in the Netherlands for about 6 months or so, I haven’t also talked about my experience of living by my own. Because of past experiences, I thought it would be a good idea to share an apartment with another person: it would keep me occupied and I wouldn’t have crazy ideas. However, I quickly realised I never actually needed something like this, and I should have just opted for an individual bedroom (with shared facilities). That was not the only reason why I chose the residence where I am now, though. This is the cheapest one that the university offers and that was the major reason why I chose it. And fortunately, it ended up by being the closest residence to the faculty building, which is something quite awesome.

I seriously love when the northern countries of Europe complain about how bad the southern countries are. Oh well honeys, you seriously need to look at your own belly buttons, and especially at your little precious Netherlands because consumer service here is a JOKE! Honestly, the next time someone says something bad about us southerners, I will punch that person in the face really hard. This being said, I will let you know already that there’s gonna be a lot of complaining in this post…

But beginning with the positive side of all of this: I am saving money. Yeah that’s it. Well, actually is not the only good thing about this residence. One of my friends also lives in this building which means plenty of get-togethers with our group of friends, dinners and movie nights. As I said, the building is only 5-minutes away from the faculty by bike (not so close if we go by feet though). It is located in a residential neighbourhood, which makes it a very quiet place (thank god), close to shops and several parks (but then again, where isn’t a park in this country?). However, it appears that Dutch people consider this as a bad neighbourhood, which made me realise two things about them: first, they really have NO idea of what a true bad neighbourhood is; and second, for such a liberal country, they are FAR more racists than what we could ever thought.

And now for the bad things. I’m going to keep this as short as possible. First, this building has no common area whatsoever, so there’s no chance of getting to know your neighbours or something like that, unless you end up meeting someone at the laundry room – which is another big fat JOKE. So second, we have the worst laundry room ever. It’s not only dirty (which is something that the company that owns the building should take care of), but the machines are also most of the time broken. Are they fixed immediately? Oh hell no. Have a few days passed? Then maybe they are fixed by now. Are we accused of lying when they’re broken? Yes we are. Third, we were left out of hot water three times in just one month. Plus, we’ve had countless problems with our internet connections Fourth, were the apartments clean when we moved in? No, of course not. Did we pay for them to be clean? Yes we did. Did it actually happen? No it did not. Fifth, the shower in the bathroom is the most annoying thing ever. We cannot control the temperature of the water. One minute is warm enough, then it gets super hot, you add a bit of cold water, and BAM, it’s freezing now. And then you have to use as little water pressure as possible or otherwise you will flood the entire bathroom.

DUWO, which is the company that owns this building (and several other residences in the city), has the worst costumer service, EVER. I’m not even exaggerating here. When we have any complaints to do, or any repair requests, we have to do them online. Do we receive answers? No. There’s no kind of reply from them. When we call them, are they nice, helpful? No, hell NO. The worst part of all of this is that everyone complains about their services, and this has been happening for years. I just don’t get how does this company still exist if they have such a bad service. They actually had a review column in their website, but because people were giving their service bad ratings, what did they do to it? They took it down, obviously.

And finally, as for the experience of sharing an apartment… I’m living in a studio, which means that everything is shared. There’s a bathroom separated from the rest, just as the kitchen, but then the living room, dinning room and bedrooms are all together in one room. This means that there’s no kind of privacy, unless you close yourself inside the bathroom. After the first month, I was already tired of this situation and desperately praying to have my own bedroom back. This made me realise that I’m perfect to live by myself, alone, and not actually share an apartment (unless it means having my own bedroom). But then I think that maybe this wouldn’t be that bad if I actually had normal roommates.

I’ve had two different roommates (including the current one) and they were both from South America, which means sunny countries as Portugal. I don’t known if it’s a latina thing, or if both of them are afraid of the dark, but they can’t keep the freaking curtains closed during the night. It’s the most annoying thing, waking up at 5am with the sun rays in my face. It’s awful. I really like to sleep in dark environments, thank you. Then we would think that girls are tidy and clean. NOPE, not at all. Well, at least not these two. I seriously loved when my current roommate commented once that she can’t live in a place where the floor is dusty. Yeah I would get that if it wasn’t for the fact that she always leaves the kitchen and bathroom an entire mess after using them; and let’s not speak about the mess that is her side of the room (papers on the floor, shoes and clothes all over the furniture and floor, etc.). The bright side, it’s only four more months.

I wanted to share some photos just not to leave this post with a gigantic text, and because I had no idea of what to put here, I decided to take photos of tiny details of my part of the apartment.

Leiden 54 Leiden 55 Leiden 56 Leiden 57 Leiden 58 Leiden 59 Leiden 60 Leiden 61


4 thoughts on “Holland: Life in Leiden #4

  1. JSC says:

    Os holandeses são bem diferentes dos outros países do Norte/Centro Europa, acho que não podes generalizar dizendo países do norte da Europa. Sinceramente, não são muito acolhedores, mas são assim para toda a gente, mesmo entre eles. de qualquer maneira, são simpáticos para uma conversação esporádica. Pelo menos, eu nunca notei que dissessem mal abertamente de Portugal (e se não gostassem eles diziam, cortesia não é algo que eles pratiquei muito bem eheheh), aliás há muitos que dizem que já visitaram ou visitam Portugal e que gostam, especialmente Porto, Lisboa e Algarve.

    Cumprimentos também da Holanda, mas um pouco mais a Sul :D.

    P.S.: Não li nenhum dos teus post anteriores acerca de Leiden.


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