WELCOME I can say without any doubt that it was the best moment of the whole trip. Just as we had just landed and we were going to collect our luggage, we saw the whole lot of our Dutch partners waiting for us, holding a Dutch flag with the word RUBI written on it. I rushed to take a picture although I knew you are not supposed to make a lot of noise at the airport. I was really moved because we were so close! It was indeed the best moment for me. Cristina
I want to explain something which happened to me the first night I was in Holland. When I finished dinner, Wouter, my partner, said to me: “We’ll meet Marten and Gabi in the first station - under a bridge”. And I answered: “Ok”. Wouter gave me a bike, a very big bike for me -I didn’t reach the pedals and I couldn’t cycle. So, we decided I would go on the back of Wouter’s bike. We went to meet them, and when they saw me, Gabi started to laugh at me because I was small and I couldn’t ride a “normal” bike. When the jokes ended, we started our way to the city, and… two minutes later, Gabi’s bike was broken! At that moment, Marten, Wouter and I started to laugh because now, Gabi had to go on the back of Marten’s bike. It was really funny. I thought: “It’s better to go on the back because you are small rather than because your bike is broken!” I told him, and we made fun of Gabi all the way. We started really well our ten-days stay in Almere. Itziar
BIKES, BIKES, BIKES!!! It happened to me on my first day in Holland. It was night-time and we were going out. We met Wouter and Itziar and I laughed at Itziar because she is small and she couldn’t reach the pedals of the bike she was given. That was why she was sitting on the back of Wouter’s bike. One minute later, my bike broke down, so I had to sit on the back of Marten’s bike and Itziar an Wouter were laughing at me!... It was funny. Gabriel Luengo
My funniest experience was when on Wednesday 25th of March, at night, some people went to the cinema. There, we watched a horror film. We were really scared and our partners after the film, decided to take us to the forest. It was 1 a.m and Marina and some students more were in the forest; we were walking really scared, and we saw an elastic bed, and we jumped a wall and began jumping on it. And everybody was jumping and falling on it. When we stopped, something began to smell really bad, like a....... When Marina looked at her leg, she saw shit on her trousers!!! It was really funny for me!! Everybody laughed a lot. Nerea
When the horror film My Bloody Valentine had finished, some people of our group wanted to go to one mystery island of Almere, to test our fear, in the dark, only with the moon’s light. When we were close to the island, we kept the bikes and then, we started our way. There was a bridge to get into the island but we had to jump one wall which blocked the way. Then, we were already inside. Ana, Marina’s Dutch partner told us the story of the forest which spreads on that island. Every tree which grows in this zone symbolizes every person who died in some important Dutch war and his soul remains there. After the explanation, a cold wind rose rubbing our back and a small chill told to us that we would spend an evil moment. We decided to begin the test, but it didn’t last a lot of time because we were afraid of everything like the shadows of the trees and our own; the darkness; every sound, and the car that stopped close to us. Immediately we started to run, to the bikes, and after this incident we went home, where we should have been three hours before. But it was a fantastic experience, I liked it a lot :D Arnau Floristán Ibáñez
I'm going to explain three of my experiences in Holland. Firstly, one of those strange things I saw there, at home, were the stairs, which were very small, and they were very difficult to climb without falling down. On the other hand, another strange thing were the bathrooms, because the showers were a hole straight on the floor. They were not the same as in Rubí, because you could see all. It's an embarrassing thing, and it is really strange for one of us. And the most common thing in this situations, the timetable for lunch, dinner... In Holland, I only ate a sandwich for breakfast at 7:30, and at 12:00 I only ate two more sandwiches, I was really hungry I'm afraid, and then for dinner, at 18:00, the big meal, but the thing that shocked me the most was that our partners were eating again at 22:00! So I guess they are hungry too with their timetable. Brian
It was the third day in Almere. All of us knew that the activity planned was "survival". I was afraid of that, because it looked as if it was going to be very disgusting. At least we were lucky because it wasn't raining. The first phase entailed crossing a small lake and walking on two strings, one under the other one. The water of the lake was green, and I could see some shoes inside. It may mean that a lot of people had fallen in it. Finally I was lucky and I crossed the lake.
During the second round, we had to jump holding a rope and get to the other side of a muddy place. When I jumped I didn't reach the other side, and the rope swung and brought me back to the same place where I had jumped from. I didn't try it again, because I thought I had been lucky enough, and I didn't want to fall in the mud.
Then we went to a track and we had to race in pairs through it. I did easily the first part, which consisted of climbing. But the last event was crawling through a tunnel... I was the last one in doing it, so the tunnel was covered with mud! It was very disgusting. But that's not all. In our group we were an odd number of people, so I had to do it again!
In the last phase there were muddy tunnels too, so I thought I had had enough disgusting experiences for that day, and I merely stood outside the tunnel, watching the other dirty people.
When I almost lost my belongings In the morning, we were doing a sort of nature activity, called survival. When we were there, the staff wanted us to keep all our important things like the mobile phone, the iPod, or the wallet, together in a box. So, as everybody can imagine, around 50 teenagers, with their iPods, mobile phones, wallets, sunglasses, or whatever, kept in the same box. Because I wanted to be careful, I put all my things into another plastic box, and this box inside the big box. After the survival activity I went home to have dinner, and after that, I realized I'd never recovered my belongings. For a moment I thought I'd lost all my important things, included the money for the exchange. My reaction was completely moody. Lucky me, my partner was more calm than me, and immediately he phoned Judith, the Dutch teacher, and asked about my things. Fortunately, she knew about them: she knew that Laia had collected my box. I met Laia, and she gave me all the things I'd lost. I thought I had been really luck, but the fact is that I had lost my black trainers too, but I am not worried about that, because I didn't say it to the teacher, and I'm quite sure that they're aware of that while they are reading this anecdote. Carles Fornas
One of the things that surprised me the most were the steep stairs. I thought that these kinds of stairs were only in “my” house, but in the night I met the other Spanish students and they were all talking about the stairs. I almost fell down a couple of times. Another anecdote from Holland is that one night, Marina, our partners and I were going by bike and Marina passed over a frog and killed it. She didn’t believe us when we told her that she had killed a frog, so later my partner and I came back and took a photo of the dead frog. Aleix López
I'll talk about my great anecdote in the Netherlands. Of course, I can’t forget the day we went to see the recycling biomass plant. It was really nasty and disgusting but impressive at once. It was the biggest mountain of rubbish I had ever seen. I had to leave the place because I couldn’t resist the smell of waste. This is a picture that we made before going inside the plant. You can see the name BAR CE LO NA in the suits. It was really funny, I think! On the other hand, we went to an indoor swimming-pool with water slides. It was really funny. I remember that the water was good and you could get out while you were in the water. Finally, the Netherlands were the best and I think that everything was good. Carles Lara Costa
My anecdote happened the last days we were in Holland. During all the days that the Dutch students were in Rubí we did a presentation “Power-Point” about the sustainable energies. We showed it to the teachers the last day, and it was a bit hasty, because we couldn’t prepare it well. When we were in Holland we were supposed to do another presentation with Dutch and Lithuanian students, but as soon as we talked to the leaders of the group and we showed them our presentation they told Laia and I that it was enough. So we didn’t do anything else during the time we were assigned to do the presentation, only our little part.
Finally the day of the last and important presentation to very important people, Laia and I had to sit in a very big circular table, and in theory we had to debate about sustainable energies. At that moment we realized that we didn’t know anything about the final project that our group had made, so we had to sit for three hours in the circular table listening to people talking about things that we didn’t know. We were so bored that we made some photos to spend the time. Joan Sampons
BITTERBALLEN We were really surprised to see how tasty can these little balls be! They’re similar to our “croquetes” but here in Holland they order them while they’re having a beer or just while they’re walking around the city. Now a must: They have to be really hot! You have to be careful not to burn your tongue! You always eat them with some mustard and six bitterballen may cost you around 4€. Laia Ferrera
The Curse of Amsterdam It was Sunday. All of us had planned to go to Amsterdam in the morning. My partner and I were sleeping and the alarm didn’t ring. We missed the train that went to Amsterdam. Sunday I could not go to Amsterdam but I could do other things. It was Tuesday and the weather was really good and on Monday I had gone to the swimming pool. This morning I fell ill and I stayed all day in my bed. I could not go to Amsterdam again. This is my experience in Holland without visiting Amsterdam. Amsterdam is a curse for me. Jordi
BICYLES I had a wonderful time in Holland during the exchange. I saw things different from the ones in my country; typical Holland houses, different kinds of food, different climate etc. But the most curious thing that I saw was the use of the bicycle. Everyone rides a bicycle there, every day you can see the people going to work, shopping and, of course, children going to school on their bicycles. Even when the weather’s rainy you can see people with their umbrellas on the bike. It’s possible because all the country is under the level of the sea, and this makes Holland a very flat are without any mountains and it is the ideal place to use this means of transport. On the other hand I think that it is the best way to practise sport and to avoid pollution, and the Spanish people should do the same. Nuria
A VERY SAFE DISCO The truth is that many things happened to me during the exchange, but I will never forget the moment we entered Nox, the discotheque in Almere. In Rubí when you go into a disco you only need to show your DNI to the porter and then you’re in. But in Almere there are a lot of security measures; first at the door of the disco, you need to show your ID to the porter, and then you need to pass through a metal detector (the same thing as in the airports) and another porter checks the things in your handbag. All the Spanish people were very surprised. At the end I was also surprised at the fact that in that disco you didn't pay for the drinks in the bar, first you paid for your drinks in another place and they gave you chips and you changed your chips for drink. For Spanish people these things are very strange, just as strange as going everywhere on a bike. Gemma
THE PARTY This photograph, for me, expresses joy, nervousness and great excitement because that night was the black and white party. We met at seven o’clock, half an hour before the party to practise the dance. We were very nervous because some people were missing and because we did not know that to do. We rehearsed it many times and finally, it came out well. But while we were rehearsing, we had an unforgettable time – we had a great laugh!. When we were ready to start we were all excited, and we all started to sing… “TENGO EL CORAZON CONTENTO…” . When the song was finished, our partners shouted “RUBÍ, RUBÍ, RUBÍ…”. All the people broke out clapping, jumping, screaming… I think that tonight will remain in the memories of everyone of us. Marta Capelles