Settling in Holland Attempt #6 (and 1-5): FAIL

So when I came back to Europe from my adventures in Argentina en Chile, I thought about staying in Spain, but three weeks in Spain were enough to make me think that this was not a good idea (no jobs), and that perhaps the time had come to go back ‘home’, for real this time. For real meaning finding a job, a house, renew the old friendships…in short, start to lead a normal life in my own country, like everyone else.

Yeah. Right.

I don’t want to get into too much detail about why it didn’t work out. Maybe because I don’t know why it didn’t work out. It just didn’t. And this time I really wanted to give it a go, so what does that tell me? Nothing that shocking, just something I’ve always known but have never wanted to really accept: my country is not for me. This doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with it, and that I don’t miss things when I’m not there. Or that I don’t like or miss my friends. I do. Holland’s great, it’s rich, well-organized, and efficient. I love our directness, our sense of humor, I think Dutch bread is the best bread in the world, I love drop, HEMA, stroopwafels, pindakaas, and that I know exactly where to go for what. But who cares about these things when it’s not enough to make you happy? Well, I don’t.

So back in Spain I am. Barcelona, like my plan in January. With a job this time though. A job at a Dutch company. I’m working at the emergency centre for lots of different insurances, the ANWB being the main one. Basically my job consists of helping Dutch tourists that get car problems while in holiday in Spain or Portugal and call us for help. It’s only a summer job, and apart from me about 20 other people got hired just for the summer. Who would move to Barcelona for a job for 3 months when the economy is in such a bad state? Right, people like me! And this is the best part about my job: I work with people that are in the same situation and understand my thought and feelings about career, the future, etc. It’s great to finally not have to explain why I’m doing what I’m doing. As you can imagine, we’ve already spent many an evening drinking wine and worrying about/discussing our plan for when our contract ends. We also share a fear of commitment, and the inability to make decisions. Planning something for next week is about the most you can ask of us. September is still a big question mark.
Scary? Sometimes, but for us it’s not nearly as scary as the feeling of ‘is this it?’ and routine that we get from a more ‘normal’ life. Maybe there are more and deeper lows in our lives, but the highs are high and sometimes really unexpected.

A long story to tell you I am in Barcelona and feeling happy. But now at least you know why I’m here, since my last post was written in the Netherlands.

Now that I’ve updated you a little about the bigger picture, my next posts will hopefully be about random Barcelona experiences. Like how I love using Bicing, how I’m learning to read Catalan because at my gym they seem to think it unnecessary to put the instructions in any other language, how I bumped into someone so hard that my tooth went through my lip and I started crying, how I love spending my day on a beach chair at Sitges Platja, the interesting phenomenon that travelling Dutch-Moroccans with car problems always also have headaches, or sick children. I bet you just can’t wait for all these great stories!

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3 Responses to Settling in Holland Attempt #6 (and 1-5): FAIL

  1. Kristel says:

    Hey Elsje, ik lees net je blog, en het is alsof je mijn gevoel omschrijft! Dat zei je ook, dat er bij de anwb people like you waren, die zich vastleggen enger vinden dan de onzekerheid over waar en óf je werk hebt de volgende maand. Ik ga m copy-paste doen, want het is precies hoe ik het ook ervaar! Chica, kom me opzoeken in BCN, want ik ga zsm terug..om various reasons off course! Dikke knuffel, xx Krism

  2. Susanne says:

    Hai Elsbeth,Voordat je terug was, was je al weer weg. Hoop dat Barcelona & Sitges je wel happy maken. Heb een beetje door je blogs heen zitten lezen & snap de gevoelens die je hebt wel (gedeeltelijk). Voor het eerst sinds ooit (?) kan ik echter oprecht zeggen dat ik gelukkig ben op dit moment in dit landje waar het nooit lang lekker weer is; en waar mensen inderdaad veel waarde hechten aan materialistische nonsens zoals auto's. Neemt niet weg dat mijn droom ook nog steeds is om een Bed & Breakfast in de omgeving van Girona te openen. Maar nu eerst nog 2 weekjes werken, en dan heel binnenkort kindje baren. Zien we daarna weer verder.Houd ons op de hoogte van je reilen & zeilen en van je gedachtes en emoties, vond het heel leuk om je weer's real life gesproken te hebben in Holland, en als ik BCN aandoe, geef ik zeker een gil.Heel veel liefs & veel plezier daar! Susanne

  3. Anonymous says:

    liefie give me some stories! the dirty ones. mis je heel erg!

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