At Coconuts on Stadhuisplein, ‘the tropical heart of Rotterdam’, the freshers are taught a salsa workshop by the Erasmus Dance Society. “Some of them were really keen to join in, particularly when they had to dance with a partner. A lot of people really like that,” said one of the female instructors, looking approvingly at the dancing pairs.
One of the pairs enjoying the dancing features a guy whose surname is Döner, while his female dance partner’s second name is Taco. They are incredibly amused by the coincidence. Döner, who is half Turkish and half Romanian, spent last year in Amsterdam. “I think Amsterdam is a great city, and I’m a genuine Ajax fan. But I have to say that the clubs here in Rotterdam are much larger, which is a good thing.”
American IBEB student Julian, too, has no idea what’s hitting him here in Rotterdam. Since he’s not yet 21, he is not allowed to go out in the USA. In other words, this is his first time clubbing. “It’s a bit of a culture shock. Normally I’m always home by midnight, but here people keep partying until 5am,” says Julian. “And it’s great that they’re offering such a multi-cultural experience. It helps you sample many different aspects of the party scene here.”
On the way to its next destination, Club Nora on Coolsingel, the group makes a pit stop at Albert Heijn. “Because drinks are cheaper here,” says the guide, Vivian, with a smile. This is a clubbing tip the freshers will definitely appreciate.
Nora is already heaving with energy when the group enters. After all, the karaoke event has been going on for a while, and everyone is having a great time singing well-known party hits. For the Dutch attendees, the popular songs are Het is een nacht by Guus Meeuwis and Ik neem je mee by Gers Pardoel. The international students grab the microphone when Toto’s Africa, Britney Spears’ Baby One More Time and ABBA (obviously) come on.
At the top of his lungs
Although Indonesian IBEB student Axel didn’t really join in the salsa dancing earlier, he, too, gives it his all during the karaoke session. His fellow group members are terribly amused when he starts singing Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ at the top of his lungs. They are all looking at him in amazement when he suddenly enthusiastically joins in the singing. “Rotterdam nightlife is very lively, and the music is very good,” he says, explaining his sudden vim.
The two Finnish guides, Jenni and Vivian (both IBA students), are very happy with the evening programme. “It’s a good thing that students get to experience different aspects of everything Rotterdam nightlife has on offer. This will give them a good idea of the things they can do here,” says Vivian. Jenni nods her approval and adds: “This also allows you to do things you wouldn’t normally do on your own, and you’re in great company for a proper exploration.”