– ELO (Hold on tight)
Reasons to be happy
Just about hit my 7th week in (not so sunny as it was a few weeks ago) Holland and am a little more optimistic than I have been in the last few years. I just managed to land my first voluntary job at a very nice organisation (ACCESS), in Den Haag – and can’t wait to start, next week!
The work is related to foreigners, new to the Netherlands, and I start on their Help desk. It just seemed so easy to find the organisation, contact them and get them to take me on, in comparison to my previous experience – (yeah you guessed it) – in Denmark 😉
Ok, so it’s not yet paid work, but… …. I am optimistic that it will help a lot, with my search for a “proper” job. I definitely could use the experience of being back in the office, getting out and about more, regaining my confidence and increasing my network circle here. The people I met were very nice, the city is pretty cool and their office looks cosy and comfortable. Will see if I’m a hit their soon enough, but am just glad to be given the chance to feel useful once again!
Also, I have now started using a really efficient online course, to help me with the Dutch language, which should help me start to stop thinking Dansk when the Dutch speak to me 🙂 The course is not free and details can be found HERE.
Technicalities & Frivolities
I still haven’t got all my paperwork sorted out yet and am hoping I don’t need to involve a notary or solicitor! It’s all about the name change I did back in 2003, on a night of much wine and the film, Thelma & Louise… but that’s another story. The fact that I’ve lived with the name for 10 years should be sufficient enough, to be honest
The search for paid employment is tough and I’ve now heard from a few other internationals here, who are having similar problems But, at least there are actual jobs I can apply for occasionally. I should start writing pleas to international organisations and beg them to hire me! Another project to look at soon, I guess…
I have to confess, am getting panic attacks with the travel system here – just about the checking in / out when I board / leave the trains. They seem very strict here and my travel card does get checked more than anywhere I’ve been to in Europe. The trains are very frequent and efficient but I worry about ‘checking out’ with my ‘OV-chipkaart’ every time I leave. There are financial penalties if you fail to check in or out – and my memory is not similar to one of an elephant.
I have found a little gold mine of a shop here – called the Woodleaf shop. It has a few nice things from back ‘home’. Though to be fair, the Dutch seem to have enough choices in the shops to distract me from missing Brit stuff. Most of the stuff they eat here is very similar to us anyway. I even managed to create a few traditional Brit dishes without having to shop around, for the stuff needed! :O
Cycling is still scary. I am a little more confident on the bike, and the motorists have been kind to me, so far. I just need to push myself a little bit further and step out of my ‘known routes’ comfort zone now.
So, life is a little more positive overall. I just need to keep pushing myself and get noticed more and more! Lets just hope it leads to gainful employment and more experiences, without the need to return to Old Blighty.