‘It’s only a 20 minute walk’


When I moved to Budapest to do my Erasmus 2,5 months ago, I knew I would miss lots of things from home: most importantly are of course my friends and family, but also the cheese, HEMA (a store that sells literally everything you’d ever need) and even complaining about the weather (turns out I’m doing that here too). But I wasn’t sad at all when I put my bike in my parents’ garage for the last time and closed the door behind me. I wouldn’t have to worry about biking through the crazy Dutch weather that we always complain about for the next 5 months. No more biking through the rain. No more messy hair and make-up all over my face. No more struggling with my skirt in the wind and no more arriving all sweaty when we finally have some nice and warm weather.


But the enthusiasm about my non-biking days quickly became a thing of the past when I arrived in Budapest and realized what would be the alternative way of transportation: walking. Walking for me is something that you do in your spare time, something you (or at least your parents) do on the weekends or on holidays. In the Netherlands I never walk for more than 5 minutes. If it takes longer than that to get somewhere, I’ll just go by bike. So, I was really surprised when I met some non-Dutch people in Budapest and heard them say: ‘We can just walk there, it’s only a 20 minute walk’. ONLY 20 minutes…

Hearing this you might think I’m just lazy, but that’s not the (main) problem. The problem here is that I’m the most impatient person on earth. I get easily annoyed waiting in line at the supermarket; in a restaurant I can’t wait to get my food once I ordered it and when my bus or train is even one minute late I go online to check for delays. So for me, walking as a way of transportation just takes too long. I never thought I would say this, but I actually miss my bike.


But if I miss biking so much, why not rent a bike in Budapest? I thought about this, but then I saw people riding a bicycle in the traffic here and I don’t think I would make it out alive. So, for the next few months I will just try to enjoy walking. Maybe it will help me be more relaxed and stop me from hurrying all the time. I’ll just wait until I come back home to ride my beloved bicycle again and I promise, from now on I won’t complain about it.

Turns out that even if I’ve never smoked weed (I swear..), I’m still a stereotypical Dutch girl.


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