Wednesday, March 14, 2012

2 years on

It feels like it was only yesterday that we packed our backpacks and took off - discovered a new culture, took a few holidays to new places, had a baby and all of a sudden, our 2 years in the Netherlands have come to an end. I keep asking myself where the time went - I know we have done a lot over the past couple of years but I truly don't know how we are this far through 2012 already!

Everyone has been asking me recently if I'm looking forward to moving and the truth is, YES - I can't wait to go to California! I've been ready to hop on a plane for weeks now! But it's not because I am unhappy here. In fact, if it wasn't for the weather (I just cannot live in this climate, it's cold, grey and rains more days then not) I wouldn't want to move on just yet. We have made a life here for ourselves and despite the fact that the expat life in a country so far from Australia is tough at times, I enjoy our life here in Holland. It feels like we've only just gotten settled into a nice little routine and it's already time to leave. The past 2 years have been an experience I'll always hold dear - however there are some things that will always baffle me about this small, densely populated country, like...

... why a carton of a dozen eggs is only ever 10 ...
... why every town insists on testing its air raid sirens on the first Monday of EVERY month at exactly 12 noon - 2 years on and it still scares me! ...
... why 'hole in the wall' food exists!!!!! I have no words on that one, just imagine my face all screwed up in disgust right now. It's a method of fast food I will never, ever understand ...
... why simple grocery items can be so hard to come by (or are sold in really weird places) - like bicarb soda, icing sugar, food dye, just to name a few... And lets not forget how difficult it is to locate the cocoa powder in the supermarket (I've been relieved to know it's not just me that's had this problem!) ...
... why it's so frowned upon to put your Christmas tree up prior to 5 December ...
... why the Dutch don't do engagement rings (only found this one out yesterday and I am amazed!) ...
... why people own so many bikes. Although, thinking about it I can actually understand that one now - because bikes get stolen so often! Actually, I think the time that I felt most integrated into the culture was when our 2 person household owned a total of 5 bikes ...
... how people can text, hold an umbrella AND ride a bike at the same time ...

Despite all the ups and downs of our life here, there are still so many things I'm going to miss - mostly the people (to all of our lovely friends that we've made over the past couple of years, both Dutch and fellow expats - I'm going to miss you!) but also Europe in general and how close everything is... beautiful architecture... tulips... cycling... seeing windmills pop up in random places... the healthcare system (I've had a fantastic experience here with having a baby)... gouda - in particular the komijn version... speculoos... and my favourite, possibly the most awesome thing about this country - STROOPWAFELS! My waistline will be rejoicing but my I am going to miss these caramel wafer treats on top of a cup of tea like nothing else...


Dear Holland, you have treated me well over the past 2 years. Your people have made me feel welcome and at home and I've had so many opportunities to not only see and learn new things, but delve into the past and discover my roots. It's been an amazing journey and I feel like I have matured a lot in my time here - not only have my horizons been broadened but we've made the transition from couple to a family of three. Holland, I may not miss your grey skies and lack of sunshine, but I will miss so many things about the funny little land of clogs and tulips. But, here's to a new adventure -c'mon CALIFORNIA!!!!!!!

4 comments:

  1. Nice read Lu :) Marissa xo

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  2. Good luck in California!! - I will miss reading your quirky posts about life in the Netherlands as an aussie!

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  3. Lovely post Lu! Here is to your next adventure - love lots and will be praying for you all. Love Martine

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Thanks for reading, your comments make my day :-)

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