Sunday, 19 May 2013

Welcome to Holland..You'll never leave.

Welcome to Holland!

"WTF! Holland? I ain't supposed to be in Holland?!"

"Where were you going love? Italy?"

"Hell no! I was going to Thailand. Me and my hubby. We were going to chill on sun kissed beaches, go to some full moon parties. We were gonna drink 80% proof whiskey out of a mini bucket and backpack around the islands. The locals are all very friendly, it's very chilled out you know?"

"Ah, gutted for you honey. Cus you're in Holland."

How the hell did I end up here? I must of blacked out during the flight! Maybe some one choked on a peanut and they had to divert...I'll just sit here until they call my flight again and then I'll be on my way...

What? I can't leave? But I don't know shit about Holland! I don't even know if it's Holland or the Netherlands?! Everybody says different! I don't speak the language. I don't know the culture. I don't like riding bikes! what am I gonna do in Holland?!

But if I've gotta stay in the land of the Dutch then so be it.

The first thing I noticed about the Netherlands is Dang, Holland is expensive! You put the words Dutch in front of anything you can charge triple for it, it's the law! Dutch clogs, Dutch tulips, Dutch weighted blankets..bang for your buck! Within 6 months of being in Holland I was bankrupt! 

Gotta downsize! But my gosh the houses in Holland are so slight that they're just not big enough to accommodate the 12ft trampoline and 8ft climbing frame!

So I seek out some help...I'll go see some Dutch experts to advise how best to live in Holland. Did you know the Dutch people are internationally renowned for speaking many languages and not a one I can understand! All the Dutch jargon had me baffled, it was quite literally a foreign language...I can just about manage dankeval and that's it! Making myself understood seemed an issue to so eventually I stopped trying!

I know, I thought, I'll immerse myself in the cultural highlights of the Netherlands! Historical figures such as Anne Frank (the worlds first historical Beliber!) and Van Gogh...but none of them seemed to reflect the people my newly Dutch children would be! I turned to the Dutch themselves, the people who were Dutch from birth...but they don't really wanna know if you're not Dutch yourself! So I'm a foreigner in my own land now!

Get out and see the tulips and windmills they tell me...but my daughter eats the flowers and Cody isn't keen on things moving by themselves so that's not a big hit!

Psst...they said, there is a way to leave Holland! You just can't eat the Edam do you live in Holland and not eat Edam?! My family are destined to stay...

So we start to live like Dutch people...we ride bikes, we saunter down the canals, we smoke pot in cafes and put mayo on our fries but we never truly feel like we belong..

Until we stumble across other ex-pats! 

Welcome to the neighbourhood they say...our little corner of England tucked in the dyke's of Holland! We talk about our lives in our native country. we talk about the places we were visiting before we ended up in Holland. And as much as we appreciate all that Holland has to offer, it was never where we were meant to be. We will always have the photos out of our childhood, always perusing the holiday brochures. 

You see welcome to Holland is a great tag line...

And I like Holland most of the time, the pretty landscape, the cheese! But I will never really understand the language, never truly smoke pot like a local! I'll gaze at Anne Franks house, enjoy a Van Gogh but never really know how relevant they are to a Dutchman...I'll never know the importance of the tulips and windmills because I'm not Dutch.

It's where my children will grow up, they will be Dutch, have a Dutch passport and eat Edam but I will forever be the ex-pat who will never leave!

No Dutch we're harmed in the making of this blog.


Oya's Daughter said...

That's a beautiful analogy - amusing too, but I totally get what you're saying here. Well written!

Nannyviv said...

Glad people get it....shows your brain and intellect are still well honed despite the crap autism has thrown in there x

Aunty D said...

My Dutch boy is now a very cool young man. Im still floundering trying to fit in to his country, and he is not too sure he wants me or most of the visitors who pass through his world, but he tolerates them anyway. He is happy, he has learnt to communicate with the tourists in a fashion and is making his way into other counties, one step at a time. Sometimes he panics and goes back to Holland where its comfortable and we all have to play be his rules and sometimes he stays away for a long time from both Holland and any country Im in. But thats Ok. Hes a good kid and he's making his way in the world, as best he can.

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