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I need to cheer up a bit.
I'm in Haarlem too. The only real problem here (and probably elsewhere, except for the big cities) seems to be a lack of supports for those of us from the Americas and elsewhere that isn't in Verdoink's sphere of "concern". We're kind of sinking or swimming on our own here...especially judging from my first imburgerings class yesterday, in which I was shoved into an existing classroom of people who had all been together since last spring!
I've been really lucky; I guess because my Dutchie is a musician, and all his friends are musicians...Perhaps I know only the rebellious, non-conforming, rock and roll Dutchies in Haarlem?? My fiance does remind me of that fact regularly...lol
Anyways, your feelings are totally normal at this stage. The waiting is the worst. I didn't recognize myself at times. And Rod, nine months is pretty average right now; I filed a complaint with the IND after six months...got approval six weeks later, then had to wait three more months for the stupid card, and only received it after our contact at the gemeente played telephone rugby with the IND for over two weeks!
But in the end, it DOES work out...One thing this country teaches you is patience...Perhaps more of a teeth-grinding, cussing under our breathe kind of patience, but...
Home is where you are allowed to prosper.
I understand so much how alone you must feel, I had the same when I arrived in Amsterdam...
Now, my dutchie and I are living in Haarlem too, and I'm also starting to learn dutch (just had a 5 hours test in the Nova College. Thanks actually for the tips, I did think about learning dutch by the LOI... but I won't!)
I am a 29 years old french girl, and I'm not working for now so if you want to join me in the centrum for a drink, we could talk and maybe, some other girls could join us?...
Here is my email adress, we can discuss about where and when and who...
kimiliky @ hotmail.com
Good luck anyway, and if you want to talk, you're not alone!
Ne reste pas seule, je connais tellement ce sentiment que je ne le souhaite ÃƒÂ personne.
- Expat Focus Administrator
Even though this reply is a bit late and I have already met Stephanie via our Expat women's group so I am hoping that the group will help "cheer" her up some.
Just know that everyone goes through a period of time where we feel completely lost and alone. It is hard at any age to make a move of this type, but I do think the younger you are the harder it can be on someone. I do believe that if I had come to Holland when I was much younger, I am not so sure I would have been able to integrate much at all. Or maybe I would??? Its just one of those things that we all feel..lost, disconnected, and depending on someone else to live and those are huge hurdles to get over. But just know that there are thousands of expats here and all have gone through this and some have left and a lot are still here. It just takes time to feel "comfortable" and even a little "at home" in a new country. AFter almost 2 years, I am just beginning to feel like I have a "life" of my own here somewhat. It just takes time......
- Frequent Poster
> I have met people like the above poster that have had terrible
> experiences and are very, very bitter about Holland. (... though
> I think it's a bit much to be gone 2 years are still feel the need to
> come to these forums .... >and
> complain) My advice - seek help.
> As God is my witness ... I cannot understand this bitterness and why > I'm not infected by it ... but I'm very thankful I'm not.
Well given the energy with which you seek to discredit me as an "infected" crazy and bitter person in need of therapy, your reply ironically constitutes a psychological reaction. As God is your witness? Isn't that a bit drastic for just saying that you're ok with Holland? (It's a rhetorical question;-)
The reason why your reaction was of psychological nature was because if I actually was damaged (and frankly I was, no doubt), shouldn't your approach be one of compassion and understanding rather than the derogatory slur of "go seek a shrink" painting me as a crazy person?
Such an uncalled for ad hominem attack is a very strange behavior against someone supposedly in need of help. How Dutch of you.
One could almost suspect that either you are Dutch, or you are actually the bitter one but are in deep denial about it. So you seek to kill the messenger of what is really bothering _you_.
> Like I always say - it's not 'where' you are .. it's 'WHO' you are.
Interesting. So every atrocity any society ever committed is really the fault of the victims. I see.
As for the question whether I'm bitter about my Dutch experience? (Does emptying a can of hairspray in the morning to boost global warming count?:-) Well it's hard to say if I'm bitter because I'm so happy it's over! But this _was_ a seven year chunk out of my life and six years of it felt like what I imagine being in jail would feel like. I guess I integrated too well, learned the language too well, understood too well what they're really about.
The 'energy' in which 'I' protest? I wasn't protesting - you were. I'm not Dutch, though it's interesting you would think so-
It's also interesting that you think anyone thats okay with life here is either Dutch or .... 'fooling themselves'. Really??
There are 45,000 expats in Den Haag alone. Heel vreemd.
(Talk about overkill.)
What an interesting forum. This is really what these forums are about...everyone sharing their opinions and experiences.
I've been living in Holland for 6 months now having moved here from beautiful Sydney Australia to live with my boyfriend.
I think my experience is very different from the rest of the posters here because I live in the jolly south of Holland in Sittard Limburg province. We are not completly removed from the racial issues here just because we are in the country but from my experience they are no worse than in Australia.
The dutch people here have been very nice to me. But as i like to say you get back what you put out. Smiling even when you can't understand what the hell is going on appears to help with just about any situation and i've masted the Dutch sentences "I'm sorry but I don't speak Dutch could you please speak english" and "I'm sorry I don't understand it" Dutch people seem to be delighted when I say this in their language and they're more than happy to speak english. The Dutch have to learn French as well so you may find some that speak your language well.
I've made my own friends (all of them expats as well!) from attending some dutch language courses at some adult education institutions just across the border in Belgium. Perhap you had a hobby or sport in Canada that you can start again here in Holland. its really the best way to meet people. The nice thing about sharing my boyfriends friends is they can be helpful with work opportunities, sharing information in the culture and just being their when my boyfriend travels.
And yes as the others have mentioned it does take a minimum of 9 months to get a visa these days...I'm still waiting for mine even though I've written a letter to the IND to show that I've already made an effort to integrate into the culture by searching out and paying for my own Dutch language lessons and I have someone who wants to offer me a job the moment i have a visa but none of it makes a difference. Also getting married makes no difference either so don't rush into that unless its what you both really want.
As beebs pointed out people have negative expat experiences in any country around the world...even in Australia!!! But I would like to point our again that you always get back what you put in. So you may need to take some risks, be out outside your comfort zone (yes even further than you are now) and really get out their to see what this country and the people have to offer.
It's hard there is no doubt about it but if you thought it was going to be easy then I'm sorry to say you were deluding yourself. Give it time and keep a positive mind. You have your health and you have your love and thats so much more than many other people have.
Im very new to this forum although was blown away by how useful and interesting this forum is for people like me who are moving or have recently moved to holland.. i move there next year may after visiting my mum's side of the family over there.. i was lost for words on just how much i loved the way of life and culture there in the netherlands.. my mind was made up.. but i find it very interesting reading these stories of people who have done what i will soon do.. and steph.. ill meet up with you when i am feeling the same way yeah? haha
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