Monday, February 16, 2009

Jan de Zutter in the Hot Seat - Interview with an Expat

Jan de Zutter has been in the Netherlands long enough to see the differences between his home land and his adopted home. Despite moving just a short distance across the border from neighbouring Belgium, Jan finds that the Dutch and the Belgians are miles apart on some things.

How long have you been living in the Netherlands?
6 years

What brought you initially to the Netherlands?

What is your profession?
An analyst in the law enforcement field

What is the main difference between your country of origin and the Netherlands?
The way people deal with food (eating is no different to going to work or having a shower…) In Belgium, we usually take the time to enjoy good food and we don’t mind paying a little bit more for good quality and taste. We are not so into “bonus-cards”and the idea the cheaper the better -quality and taste are key.

What was the most surprising adjustment you needed to make when moving to the Netherlands?
Almost same language (Flemish – Dutch) but a complete different mentality. At first, Dutch people seem to have a very open spirit / mentality, but after a while, I realised they can be quite closed too.

What would you miss most about the Netherlands if you were to leave tomorrow?
Living near the sea

What do you like least about the Netherlands?
The weather

What is your favourite Dutch word?

How would you describe the Dutch people?
They are straight forward. They have a very organised and structured approach, especially when you look on how the highways and houses are constructed. Dutch people know how to sell; Heineken does not have the slogan “Probably the best beer in the world”, but you can get it everywhere. (I'd rather have a good Belgian beer, in case you're wondering).

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