Thursday, May 21, 2009

We Are In The Netherlands

Author: Hong Ting (Sam) Chiu

After being in the planes and airports for 18 hours, we were finally landed in the Amsterdam, Netherlands. With people to talk to, stay together, and taking many pictures, the overall flight experience was not too painful (especially I was managed to take over a row of three seats during the Newark-Amsterdam flight).

We can see another flight in sight.

Aerial view.

Aerial view.

Aerial view.

The plane we were on from Newark to Amsterdam.

After landing in Amsterdam, we bought the tickets, rushed to the platform, and figured out which train to take to Delft, Netherlands. We figured out that the first train we didn't get on was the train we needed; but, in exchange, we learned how to read the schedule and figured out another train to get to hop on. This train experience in the Netherlands is unique and fun. As I was selected to be responsible for the team's transportation arrangement, I believe that I would learn a lots more about the transportation system and trip planning.

Train station Schiphol.

Ticket machine.

Before buying tickets.
(L to R: Duncan, Dipesh, and Michael)

After missing the train.
(L to R: Dipesh, Robert, and Wendy)

The first thing we did upon arrival was to visit UNESCO-IHE and to settle down about the housing situation. We were greeted by Dr. Gary Amy and had a short, yet productive, meeting in regarding the logistics for the next 10 weeks. With his warm welcoming, I just can't wait to start working there. After that, we moved into to the dorm and started to settle down our stuff - especially trying to figure how to connect to the Internet.

Finally, we then decided to take a walk to the central market in Delft. On the way, we can see that there are SO MANY bikes. The transportation system also has the specific bike lanes and sophisticated signal system. According to the UNESCO-IHE package, there are twice as many bikes as cars. The architecture and the canals are also amazing. We have bought some daily supply (such cheese, egg, fruit, detergent, etc.). Dr. Yeh and Robert also tried the Dutch haring tradition.

So many bikes.

Traffic light for bike.

Locals are riding in the bike lane.

The canal.

Kaas (Cheese).

Michael and Wendy were shopping for kaas.

Dr. Yeh and Robert were trying Dutch haring tradition.

Michael bought some bread.

The first day at Netherlands is pretty amazing. I guess the first thing that I need to work on a little is the Dutch language - because I honestly have no idea what people said and written in Dutch.

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