A while ago, on a Dutch-American Facebook page that I am a member of, someone posted the question 'What is it that you DO NOT miss about the Netherlands?'
That was a question that got me thinking. I usually think the other way around, but I already did notice that Dutchies that are living here longer than me (or longer than 5 years) also see the downsides of the Netherlands better. I think that when you have just moved to another country, you will glorify the life you led before. That probably has a lot to do with getting used to the new country and feeling homesick.
Last week, when I wasn't feeling well, I noticed that the question 'Why did we move here?' passed by again. I think that's because when I felt sick in the Netherlands, a lot of people could help me out. Here I am on my own (or at least it feels that way). Luckily the kids are both going to school fulltime now, so I could go back to bed after I got them at school. It was just a bit self pity, and I am fine again now. It could also have something to do with the season that will be changing soon, I am not looking forward to winter at all! I like snow, for about a month and than I would like it to be spring.
Every choice that you make has advantages and disadvantages and it is up to you what shines through most of the time. Overall I am still happy that I (we) got the opportunity to live here! It has certainly increased my worldview and self-confidence.
Moving to the other side of the world (well, almost) isn't a small thing. It's pretty big. Someone that hasn't done it, really has no clue what it's like. Sometimes it seems that people on the other side of the ocean think that it's like one big vacation here. (Fortunately some people do get it, sort of). I can't blame them thinking that way, I had no clue before I did it myself either.
But hey, while I was feeling sorry for myself, I thought back about all those things that I didn't miss at all about the Netherlands:
- That everything is so small: houses, streets, parking spaces, gardens, etc.
- The traffic jams.
- The bad weather.
- The lack of costomer service where ever you go.
- Paying for dirty public toilets.
- Paying for (too small) parking spaces.
- Poop on the sidewalk, poop in the grass, poop every where.
- Townhomes, we never ever hear the neighbors here(although I think they heard us more often then we heard them, and we used to live in a semidetached house).
- The rude people.
- Stores that are closed.
- Speed bumps in almost every street.
- That you were not allowed to run through red light, while turning to the right (of course there are way more bikes in the Netherlands, I know!)
- That my groceries were crushed if I wasn't fast enough while packing them.
- The very high gasoline prices.
- No airconditioning in your house (well, you didn't need that very often, because of the bad weather, but still).
- All the Roundabouts.
- Much more expensive clothes and shoes.
Remembering this helps me to feel better. I hope this will take me through the freaking cold winter that I fear already, but I doubt that...
...because my list of things that I DO miss is much longer (and it is impossible to replace people that I miss)!
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