What I’ve learned in Asia’s biggest slum

November 22, 2017 | 1 Comment

What I’ve learned in Asia’s biggest slum In an area half of central park, more than one million people survive in Asia’s biggest slum. I had seen a lot of poverty in India, and I tried to prepare for the worst. But the slum of Dharavi surprised me. Our guide Raj takes me and Paul,…

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Perhaps I have some Indian in me?

October 21, 2017 | 2 Comments

Perhaps I have some Indian in me? Today marks 5 weeks in India and it feels like I have adjusted well. I prefer the normal spice level over the blend version that foreigners get, I don’t hear the honking train anymore, and I can even quote some TV ads. I also don’t get a mini…

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First impressions

September 16, 2017 | 5 Comments

For the next three months I’m in Bangalore as a volunteer! How did I end up here? Three ways to answer this:

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What can you do about terrorists?

April 1, 2016 | 0 Comments

ISIS has become the scariest threat of this year. But our fear occupies far too much of our minds and politics, and both our individual and political reactions only make things worse. What we need is not more bombs, but more understanding. This is not a war. This is an issue of humans being selfish…

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The best 4 months of my life

August 19, 2015 | 0 Comments

The ultimate Istanbul exchange blog post I was just about to show off my underwear before I was instructed that Turkish people might not appreciate it very much. Another reminder that it’s remarkably easy to offend people if you don’t know about their cultural views. I just wanted to

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Visiting a different kind of Europe

December 12, 2014 | 2 Comments

I can’t believe it’s only a month until I leave this beautiful Istanbul again. For an exchange student enjoying life to the max, a weekend trip to a different city is a must. This time we were heading back to Europe! While Europe is usually associated with a flawless train system, this trip to Sofia would teach us that…

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When Turkey stops living for 60 seconds

November 20, 2014 | 0 Comments

Passports remind me of spy movies. Spies always have a few of them for each nationality. My passport is Bordeaux red and says “Europese Unie – Koninkrijk der Nederlanden”. When you open the leathery cover with two golden lions there is a picture of 20-year old Frank, looking like he just took a mugshot for…

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A typical day as exchange student in Istanbul

October 30, 2014 | 0 Comments

I wake up to my alarm clock and the happy sounds of my 6 year old flatmate eagerly getting ready for school. Before I leave for my own school, I gobble up my non-Turkish breakfast: I just can’t detach myself from yogurt and muesli, because a Dutchman needs his dairy after all. The free shuttle bus my university provides…

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Turkey is beautiful. Thinking is, too.

October 21, 2014 | 0 Comments

Turkey is beautiful. That is probably the most obvious discovery I have made so far. University started a month ago, but it is only now that I’m finally leaving my vacation mood. After our trip to Çeşme and the first introductory weeks of classes, the national holiday of Bayram „forced“ us to take advantage of…

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Toilets, Money, and Vacation

October 2, 2014 | 0 Comments

Three weeks. That’s how long I’ve been in Istanbul, but it feels much longer. Somehow I just really feel comfortable here, despite all the complications that come along with being a foreigner. Hospitality here is legendary after all. But no matter how hospitable a new place is, there are all always these ‘weird’ differences you…

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