“How is your Dutch going?”
It is not going anywhere, until I decide to take it somewhere.
As the legend says, it takes at least a few months for you to really settle down after moving to a new place. Been there, done that, and totally confirm it. Regardless of how flexible, cheerful, versatile you are; this is an inevitable phase of your expat life.
It has been almost two months since I have moved to Amsterdam. And I have finally got really close to “hell yeah I am all set” point. Below is beginner’s check list in a nutshell, if you do not know where to start yet:
- Get a BSN
- Get registered
- Open a bank account
- Get an OV-chipkaart
- Get health insurance
- Find yourself a nice caring doctor
- Deal with taxes
- Get a Digid
- Check to-do’s for your driver’s license
- Get a bike
- Sign up for Dutch course
- Learn how to be alone and away from everything you have ever loved
- Learn how to fix problems and fight against difficulties that happens thousands of kilometers away
- Drink lots of beer in the meantime
When I decided to upgrade from Windows to macOS Sierra, first couple of days were beautiful yet challenging. I was amazed by the brilliance of Sierra yet had to adapt myself to its features. I basically feel the same way about past couple of weeks.
I had to accept the fact that my family and friends, that small group of people whom I love so much, will not be so reachable anymore. But that’s fine. I will visit them, and they will visit me. Emojis will brighten our path, and Skype will bring us together.
Meet ups with new friends will not be so much different than having (blind) dates. All about introductions and getting to know each other. It will take a while until I can openly share how bloated I feel when I outdrink my daily dose of cappucino. But that’s fine. As I find my way through the outskirts of my comfort zone, I will let my body learn how to fight lactose intolerance.
I will need to give weekly reports about the status of my Dutch and cycling skills. But that’s fine. As Maslow’s beautiful triangle states, I had much more important things to focus on rather than my Dutch fluency until now. Empathy is not always a two players game, but rules are rather simple as long as you know the art of taking deep breathes.
I spent last couple of years of my life working on my weaknessess, erasing borders of my comfort zone and improving my Wonder Woman skills. As you enjoy this exclusive playlist brought into life by my inner goddess, I will go enjoy beautiful autumn scenery of Amsterdam.