Sunday, August 10, 2008

Twice the Joy or Double the Misery?

The Olympics are off to a flying start, opened with a spectacular ceremony but with the backdrop of censorship, smog and questions about human rights.

Coinciding with the beginning of the games I received an email from the European Expat Panel. This panel is a co-operation between and Ruigrok Netpanel and is charged with surveying expats on various issues.

Last week the panel was interested in expatriate allegiance to national teams in the Olympic Games. For me personally it was quite a thought provoking survey.

I was asked if I would feel proud if the British athletes won medals, and would I feel the same way if the Dutch athletes were successful in acquiring medals. I decided actually I would feel equally proud of both nations. It is a subject I have not given a particular amount of thought to, but it was an eye opener in how attached to Holland as a nation I have actually become.

It reminded me of the fact that I was as gutted as any Dutchman at the end of the Euro 2008 game against Russia which resulted in a 3-1 defeat for Oranje. Not only did I have the humiliation and upset of England failing to qualify for the tournament, I had to deal with the elation of a cracking team performance in the group stages to the disappointment of a poor show in the quarter finals by the Dutch elftal.

Indeed, living abroad has its ups and downs!

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