It’s been six months since I left my Amsterdam home for Newcastlese. When living abroad for a while, you start to miss crazy things about home. Garlic sauce for example, which is not something I’d ever expected to miss… I’ve been learning more and more about life as a British Expat. Some unexpected lessons, other quite welcome (why did I never see that before?). So here we go, my 6 lessons after 6 months abroad.
Heimweewinkel.nl (Dutch online homesick shop)
Seriously, this is an amazing invention! Before I would make my Dutch visitors check in an extra suitcase just for my beloved curry sauce, Old Amsterdam cheese, chocolate sprinkles and lemonade. And now I can just order it online! The Heimweewinkel sells it all. Bastogne, Chocomel, everything is for sale. A genius concept. Tell all your expat friends!
In the Netherlands we say half 9 and we mean 8.30. Here in England it is slightly different, or one whole hour different. Half 9 is actually 9:30. The times I have been waiting, looking at my watch, thinking someone stood me up… From now on I always check. “Half 9 you say? Do you mean in 9:30?”
Skype rocks, and so does FaceTime
I had never seen such a fan of video calling. Only if my love would go abroad would use FaceTime occasionally. Now I can not picture live without. Business meetings via Skype, coffee dates with Mom through FaceTime and face-to-face chats with friends. So much fun!
English and their eating habits
Food is my middle name. If I could, I would eat out every day. Not really in Newcastle though. Unless your game is meat patties, mushy peas, dripping fried fish and bread with uncooked bacon. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like us Dutchies no fine food. But unbaked bread with bacon, really??
As I said, eating out is my favorite. One problem, I usually decide to go on the day itself. And if it is a Saturday, you can forget about spontaneous dinners. No restaurant has availability, not even for 2 people. In fact, yesterday I tried to arrange a table for tomorrow. Didn’t work.
45 minutes is enough
I used to think I’d need at least 2 hours to get from airport customs to the gate. Things change though. And I keep pushing it further and further. 45 minutes spend at the airport is more than enough. That even the tiniest traffic jam could make me miss my flight is taken for granted;) We’ll see how far I can push it ..