I am a new travel ambassador for Transfertravel.com (how exciting!) and I just wrote my first blog post for them. Here’s the full article on how you can transfer your holiday to someone else if you have to cancel unexpectedly (and I’m sure that happened to quite a few of us):
Amsterdam, Red Light District, three o’clock on a Sunday afternoon. Walking on one of the main streets of the neighbourhood, along the canal, I cannot but notice how quiet, not to say “dead”, the area is. Where are the people? Where are the tourists?
Have you ever noticed how wildlife in and around Amsterdam is surprisingly abundant? I am not talking about British tourists partying in the streets of the capital like only the Brits do (although that can be pretty wild too). I am talking about real wildlife: birds, seals, herons, snakes, that kind of life.
Alice has wondered herself the same question when lost in Wonderland: who in the World am I?
Well, thanks to a kind Facebook user who felt the urge to point out how I was wrongly calling myself an expat while I was in fact an immigrant, I am now to wonder the same.
Am I an expat, or an immigrant?
If you are an expat living and working in The Netherlands, chances are that you found a job quickly, but not in a Dutch company. You might have even moved here because you found a job before leaving your own country. But if you are like me and you just packed your stuff and left, without a job and/or a place to live, you would have had to go through the troubles of finding a job while already living in Holland.
Some of you might even still wonder, what is it like to work in a Dutch company ?
Let me tell you a story. A story about rats in Holland. A few days ago, I was sitting on the tram on my way to work and I noticed, while looking by the window, something moving behind the bushes in the street. Moving really fast, actually. Was it a cat? Was it a bird? Nope. That was a rat. A big fat rat, bouncing around in day light like it was 1805 again.
It’s funny how, sometimes, you think you are so good at something, while the rest of the World believes you are absolutely rubbish at it. For example, I always saw myself as a very observant person… Except for, you know, all those times I walked right past what I was looking for without seeing it. A bus station for example. I guess that’s what one would call being deluded.
However, I am also very good at noticing things that other normal people don’t see. Like a big deer head sculpture on top of a building (Utrecht has many), or a mic suddenly appearing on the right corner of the screen while I’m watching a movie (and that clearly shouldn’t be there). That’s why, when I went to visit the DOMunder in Utrecht and that girl suddenly said « let’s see how well you paid attention on your way here », I thought to myself, « I’m going to nail the answer to the next question ! ».
There is no place like home, the old adage says. I cannot but agree with this. I had the chance to grow up near one of the most beautiful bay in the World, la Baie de Somme. That’s not only me saying it, the UNESCO agrees ; it is a World Heritage site, and officially one of the 30 most beautiful bays in the World.
What Finland tastes like
Finland tastes like a wild strawberry picked on an island in the middle of the Baltic sea. Or chive picked on a hill somewhere in a forest. It also tastes like fresh fish. A lot of fish.
One week in Finland has reminded me what fresh air and nature smell like. Freedom. Not to mention, Finland also smells like burnt wood from all the saunas everywhere.
Let’s get down to the real talk. Let’s talk food. Food in The Netherlands, I mean.