I arrived in Delft (Netherlands) yesterday after a hassle-free journey on Eurostar and Dutch InterCity trains. My friend was there to meet me at Amsterdam Centraal train station, which wasn’t anywhere near as busy or chaotic as I’d expected. I was so tired that I slept like a log last night for 7 hours straight, which is more than I’ve slept for months.
The train journey from London to Amsterdam was 4 hours, but the time passed relatively quickly, as I was very fixated by the places the train passed through in Northern France, Belgium and the Netherlands. I’d never been in the EuroTunnel before and I was looking forward to it with childlike fascination, but it was somewhat of an anticlimax (I don’t really know what I was expecting beyond just a train speeding through a dark tunnel for 20 minutes). The train was comfortable and the only annoyance was the woman sitting next to me who kept couching, but that wasn’t her fault. I took several pictures from the train and of St. Pancras International train station in London. Please excuse the quality, as they were taken on my phone from a high speed train:
I took quite a few pictures of Brussels and Belgium, as it looks like a really cool place with lots of urban decay that I’d love to photograph at some point, perhaps while I’m here as it’s only a couple of hours away by train. There are a ton of places I want to see in the Netherlands though, especially the less touristy places. I also want to do lots of cycling, in a place that is about as cycle–friendly as it gets.
I’ve never even been to the Netherlands before, but my first impressions are good. The countryside is both pretty and modern and functional, as are he towns and cities that seem far better kept than British towns and cities. Delft itself looks like a lovely town and I hope to explore it with my camera later on today, weather permitting. It’s already helped with my anxiety being in a place where English isn’t the first language, as has seeing several people that were taller than me (I doubt anyone will make comments about my height here, as they do in the UK and the United States). I’ve also made friends with 2 cats already;my friend’s cat Tiger and a random kitty we met here in Delft on the way to my friend’s house.
It is good to be able to spend time with my friend S again, especially as my anxiety got the better of me when she came to London a few years ago and I couldn’t spend as much time with her as I’d planned to
My mum emailed me too say that the letting agent in Grantham wanted an email from me to say that I’d left the flat, so I sent it to them. She also mentioned that the lease actually ended on June 2nd, not June 5th, so they might charge me a few days rent. I don’t really care; I’m out of there now and whatever happens from here on in, I have no reason to go back to Grantham or ever even see that town again (if my mum wants to see me that badly, she can come to wherever I’m living or we can meet halfway somewhere).
Apart from the 3 glasses of red wine my mum and her husband gave me last Saturday when I was at their house, I have touched alcohol in over a week and I don’t even miss it or have any desire to drink. Having left Grantham and hopefully being in a place where I can ride my bike again like I did in Rochester, I will stay distracted in a healthy way, rather than a self-destructive, expensive way. It feels good to be away from Brexit and from the issues that were plaguing me in Grantham. In terms of alcohol, I think I’m out of the woods (or rather, the thick jungle) and clear.
I know there are assholes and bigots everywhere and I know that nowhere is perfect, especially for someone like me who will always be a target. But in leaving the UK, I almost instantaneously felt like a giant weight had been lifted from my shoulders and I no longer feel the need to self-medicate myself into an oblivion to drown out the pain and kill time. The same was true during the month that I spent in Canada, but I had no legal right to stay there, unfortunately. I will try to find help, advice and support while I’m here in the Netherlands to see if there might be any option for me to stay permanently, even if Brexit happens and I lose my EU citizenship.