Tag Archives: Tulips

Society of the Sojourner – Part III (Moving to The Netherlands)

As I mentioned in part II, a psychic told me I would move overseas – to a place surrounded by water. 

I honestly never thought of living in Europe until I came to the Amsterdam Central train station to meet up with someone. That day it changed my life forever.

Most of the time, I never felt like home. I have this ‘melancolia‘  or ‘saudade‘ as we say in Portuguese. The Dutch have a nice word for it ‘Heimwee‘. I was missing stuff from home.

One day you are riding a Corvette the next you’re riding a bike in Holland. Life is so wonderful unpredictable sometimes.

Working in Holland with a high cost of living and high taxes is not a good reason to move there so there must be a convincing motive ….love. Nothing else, nothing less. I came here for love.

How romantic but romance alone cannot get you far. I always regarded myself as an independent person, and not the marrying kind. But that changed dramatically when I saw Yvs. The moment I look into to Yvs eyes I saw myself holding a ring.

The Dutch always find a good reason to buy flowers for their loved ones. Call me crazy but I fell head over heels in love with Yvs.

The long-distance relationship was not working out. So I packed my bags and moved to Holland.

Holland, a country full of Dutch people. The open-minded, laidback Dutch. The warm, the cozy and the nosy Dutch. The Dutch with their big mouth for such a small country. Strange and different from all of us.

Everything is Holland is so regulated.  And who has to pay for all of this? Me and You. Making more than 55K euros a year means paying more taxes (52%). And before making any money at all, you have to register with the local government called ‘city council’ then get a SOFI or BIN number. They make me felt like a number.  Lost amount creatures from another planet, with different traditions, rules and regulations.

There is a lot of good stuff too. Like public transport. Always on time and well-organized. But how hard can it be in such a small country? And food, how should I put it? They have this very unique Ollie-bollen, or (Oliebollen) or Dutch doughnuts. There are my favorites but only available between Christmas and New Year’s eve.

The Dutch Language? To me and to many foreigners, Dutch sounds like you are spitting up. However, the good thing about Holland, most Dutch speak good English. It is advisable, however, to master the local language.

Dutch or no Dutch. I always say ‘Home is where the heart is‘ and that’s got nothing to do with words. It is a feeling.

The Dutch are not the friendliest people you will ever meet. If you are expecting service with a smile you will get “we are working on it“.

The Dutch like the climate. Sometimes it rains. Sometimes it rains.

I’ve had my moments of doubts but I have no regrets. I enjoy every minute of my new life with Yvs. If I had a chance to go back in time, I’d do it all over again, right now.

Until the next Society of the Sojourner IV -to be continued. Until then…


Anayansi Gamboa, MPM, an EDC Developer Consultant and clinical programmer for the Pharmaceutical and Biotech industry with more than 13 years of experience.

Available for short-term contracts or ad-hoc requests. See my specialties section (Oracle, SQL Server, EDC Inform, EDC Rave, OpenClinica, SAS and other CDM tools)

As the 3 C’s of life states: Choices, Chances and Changes- you must make a choice to take a chance or your life will never change. I continually seek to implement means of improving processes to reduce cycle time and decrease work effort.

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