Letters from the Polder.
One of our former ‘Get in Touch with Dutch’ teachers, Francesca, has recently moved from Eindhoven to the countryside in the north of The Netherlands. A big change of scenery and an open jump into the unknown. She will regularly write about her experiences & adventures and give us an insight into her new life, how she is surviving over there as an ‘immigrant’ from Eindhoven.
Her posts will be in Dutch. we will include a translation in English.
Welcome to the Get in Touch Blog, Francesca , we’re looking forward to your stories!
Have you ever thought that one day you will celebrate your important event in your life? For me, I never ever think that, but it happens to me.
I have been in Netherlands almost 2 years, and I just got married two months ago in Eindhoven Gemeente and in church in Helmond.
As other Catholic girls, I used to dream that I would have a wedding in a big church in the joy of our parents. My father would take me to my future husband and all people in the church would pray and bless us on our wedding day. There would be two little girls in white dresses like the bride, would come along with me to the Priest. Together with the Priest, two of us would come to Sanctuary and
Happily Ever After
pray. However, I could not make my dream come true when we decided to marry here, in Netherlands, while our parents are living in Vietnam. It is not easy to image that in the most important day of your life there is the absence of beloved people, especially your parents. Surely, some people will ask me that why do not we celebrate in our hometown where our parents can attend. Honestly, we cannot do exactly what we think, we want or we wish because many things happen in our life and it is not easy to control. Although our parents could not be here with us in our happiest day, we still have many good friends who are always with us, encourage and treat us like members in their families.
Life is not simple, particularly when you are not in your home land. We are easy to get stressed and angry, disappointed, bad feelings will come all the time. To cope with and overcome are difficult, therefore, I hope everyone always has a bright brain to manage our life in a good way when we are not in home.
We could also celebrate our wedding in Vietnam 🙂
When I first came to the Netherlands 12 years ago because of my husband’s job, I arrived with optimism, energy and motivation to spare. I was thrilled to be starting a new life in a new country with my husband and our two children, aged 5 and 1. We found a quaint little house in a very Dutch and family-friendly neighborhood, a neighborhood plucked straight from a picture book. During our relocation interview we had been very strongly advised that we should invite the neighbors over as soon as possible, as this was customary and expected in the Netherlands. So, we invited the entire street for a house-warming party within two weeks of moving in. Everyone, really everyone, whom we had invited came. It was a wonderful party with our neighbors sitting in a circle, eagerly and competently speaking English to us. Everyone, children and adults alike, thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Future plans were made and much advice was given.
A trip with Get in Touch
We were off to a perfect start. Visions of friendships, carpools and neighborhood parties danced in my head. And that fabulous start was also the end of it. During the year that followed there were none of the informal neighborly visits that I had envisioned, no invitations arrived to the parties that were being celebrated in the houses around us. As a result we were completely out of touch with our neighbors. Something had gone terribly wrong, and I still have no idea what it was. A year later we bought a house in another neighborhood on the outskirts of Eindhoven and there we were blessed with next-door-neighbors who quickly made us feel welcome. This time around we refrained from repeating the obligatory welcoming reception and we were decidedly more successful in coming into contact with the neighborhood.
Happy with GiT Ladies 🙂
One of the major factors, and I truly believe this, was that another wonderful neighbor sent her 5 year old son to our house to ask my son to come out and play shortly after we had moved in. I will never forget my feelings at the sight of that little boy with his head of curly blond hair and the courage to ring a stranger’s doorbell. The boys became instant friends as did their younger sisters. The whole family opened their hearts and helped us to get in touch with the neighborhood and Eindhoven.
To be continued…