Category Archives: expatblog

How do job interviews in the Netherlands work?

… asks Chris V, and answering that gives me a Theme to address, rather than a list of random happenings like the last entry. I think it’s best to write about one thing, it gives a post a sort of cohesiveness, which is good for someone who is usually Queen of the Non Sequitur (thanks, DrBob, for that – it’s my second-favorite description of me). Continue reading

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another reason to heart the schools here… sort of

HUGE DRAMATIC SIGH. Apparently I have two of them: two offspring who think that homework is for lesser mortals, and so they just don’t do it. I had rather hoped the Sniglet would have a little more ambition than his big brother, but no. I had rather hoped they would not bring this less-charming aspect of their personalities to the Netherlands with them, but forsooth. Continue reading


and we liked it that way!

I had one of Those Dads: whenever we complained about something he’d whip out the “when I was your age” speech about how he had to walk to school barefoot every day of the year in waist-high snow uphill both ways.

Apparent non-sequitur: I had a bike in Germany, but didn’t ride it much because both of the houses we lived in were on fairly steep hills, so every journey began with a hair-raising downhill screech, and ended with me huffing and puffing and pushing the bike up the hill, meh. I was really keen on moving here where it’s all flat and bike riding is easy. Continue reading


apple grumble

Darn it. I’ve had some success with traditional Dutch recipes so far. The pea soup turned out well, and the family loved the Hachee. And back when it was winter, y’know, a few weeks ago, a man knocked on our door around 7:30 a.m. and sold me 20 pounds of apples, so I thought I’d try my hand at a traditional Dutch appeltaart (which is not quite the same thing as an apple pie, so you get the Dutch wikipedia entry for that one). Continue reading


asociaal part 2

This time I mean asocial more in the English sense, not having a lot of friends. People here are polite, but reserved. This was covered in my Dutch book too, that they protect their privacy fiercely, and this means a strict separation between your work life and your home life. Upshot = your colleagues don’t want to be your friends. That essentially means that my workaholic husband won’t be making any friends, because work is pretty much all he does. This was kind of bumming him out on his birthday last week. Continue reading


asociaal, part 1

This came up in my Dutch book: asociaal is one of the worst things you can call someone, here. Someone in the book said that in other languages, “asociaal” is someone who doesn’t like to go to parties, but here, it means someone who is not meeting their responsibilities. And in a country where half the land is below sea level and floods are a very real threat, that is a very bad person. Continue reading


And elephants!

We have a new dentist, thanks to the Sniglet’s jaw infection! Okay, boo on the jaw infection, that sucked, but we really did need to find a dentist, and now we have, so at least one good thing came of it.

It’s a chain, called Ivory & Ivory, with elephant heads (metal, or photographed, not real) on the walls, and something I have always felt would improve any dental practice immensely: TVs in the ceiling. Srsly, anything that helps me pretend I’m not at the dentist is a Good Thing. Continue reading