I have been in Leeuwarden for more than half a year now, but when I first got here, there was a lot of stuff that surprised me. For example, at the beginning it was quite awkward because at the time of introducing to someone, everyone shook my hand! In Spain, the normal thing to do is to introduce to someone giving to kisses in the cheeks, and that’s why every time I met someone I got closer with the intention of kissing them, but they gave me their hand to shake it. At the beginning it was a bit uncomfortable to me, but now shaking hands is the normal thing to me.
Another thing that got me shocked when I arrived was the lack of pedestrian walks. There are a few in the rounds but mostly there are none all over the city! It was a bit scary at first because you never know when to walk or when to stop, but you get used to it. In my city there are crosswalks everywhere, so it was a bit confusing not see any. What also got my attention related to the traffic is the absence of traffic lights all around the city. You can find them in the big roads outside the city, but not in the streets. Now I just know that I have to be careful and look a lot before crossing!
Motorcycles in the bike lanes
One of the most known things about the Netherlands is, of course, the bikes. But when I first got here I got so surprised because on the bike lanes there weren’t just bikes, but also motorcycles… and they weren’t even using a helmet. It was really shocking to me because in Spain is mandatory to every motorized bike to use the road and to use the helmet, but a friend of mine explained that the smaller motorcycles have to go through the bike lane, and they don’t have to use a helmet.
There are a lot of things in Leeuwarden that are different from my home town, and of course I had to get used to them, but I wouldn’t change it for the world!