Originally from Alaska, Kathy moved to the Netherlands less than a year ago to join her partner and lives in Sprang-Capelle. I asked her for her view on life with the Dutch.
How long have you been living in the Netherlands?
Since April 2008
What brought you initially to the Netherlands?
It was for my partner, a Dutch national.
What is your profession?
In America, I am a Certified Medical Assistant. Here in Holland, I am a housewife!
What is the main difference between your country of origin and the Netherlands?
Aside from the language, it seems a bit "old fashioned" in certain ways. My Dutchie would like for me to stay home, and for him to take care of me. The shops are closed on Sundays. Sundays are days of true lounging! I find it wonderfully refreshing!
What was the most surprising adjustment you needed to make when moving to the Netherlands?
The food! So much is cooked in butter or deep fried!
What would you miss most about the Netherlands if you were to leave tomorrow?
Besides my family here? The music. I really like the music here.
What do you like least about the Netherlands?
The weather! Can we change it please?
What is your favorite Dutch word?
How would you describe the Dutch people?
Overall, standoff-ish... A good example is my next door neighbour. She's fairly young, in her early 30's at the oldest... I've lived here for 9 months, and she's spoken to me once. I used to think it was because she knew I didn't speak Dutch, and her English was not good, but the one time she did speak to me, it was in beautiful English... with neighbors this close, one would think that you could at least say 'Hello'. I've made a promise to myself that whenever I see her now I'm going to say hello to her! Too bad if she doesn't like it!
Do you have any blogs or websites that you find enjoyable about the Netherlands for people living here?
I troll the Expatica forums. I take everything said there with a grain of salt though, it seems most use them for complaints to their fellow expats, who would understand. I've done it myself! I believe that each of us needs to make our own life here, in our own way. But it IS nice to have someone to complain to!