Old Expat tales

Being an expat you have to take the rough with the smooth, I think If you were to ask either expat daddy or myself this week what we think about life in Holland, you wouldn’t get a positive response from either of us. I think that’s normal tho as we’ve been home with our family so you always feel unsettled. The fact of the matter is that neither one of us is ready to go “home” yet, Ireland is in tatters so that would be a disastrous move of epic proportions, England?? Well I don’t want to live a country that refuses to let my son see a Dr because were not asylum seekers just expat’s  with a British passport.

I like it here in Holland, granted the weather is pants but if it’s cold you can layer up, if it’s wet you can put on your wellies and splash around, I say this because while we sat in Brussels airport I was feeling quite nostalgic about Dubai. It seemed to have slipped my mind that it’s now in the 40’s and unbearable outside, that we had No disposable cash to even be sitting at airports waiting to go and visit family that were just an hour away. “But you always remember the good stuff” expat daddy’s say, we’re still trying to settle in Holland so we are going to forget that EPD was stressed beyond belief and would  be up working until 2am most nights, on conference calls in the middle of desert while we’re supposed to be having fun camping with friends. It slipped my mind that here EPD is home for dinner every night, we go to bed at the same time unless the apprentice or match of the day is on, we can afford to send LPV to daycare for a day and that our social life is better especially when Grandma is so close she comes to babysit.

This has all stemmed from reading this article it’s an old one but I had never seen it before, it’s sad to hear stories about badly treated maids and construction workers, once in a while all these articles or Dubai old wives tales surface. You know the one where somebody know some one who got arrested for picking his nose, whatever!! There is government bureaucracy in every country you go to, take wednesday morning for example, I pull LPV out of daycare and miss my gym session to go and sit in a seat while some guys who didn’t speak to me once sticks a sticker in my passport.

The thing that saddens me the most was the arrogance of the holiday makers and expats, I’ve said it before and I will say it again SOME Dubai  expats are just poor excuses for human beings. However he did only pick a handful of people and probably went out on brunch day so all expat are p**sed and arrogant anyway. He didn’t go to the mam’s and Tots groups full of down to earth women just trying to support each other, he didn’t go to the school where I used to Mercatto  and meet two of the loveliest ladies eating tiramisu who supported me through the last few weeks of my pregnancy. Or the school where my two friends work, these are the lovely expats who don’t read about because they’re too busy just getting on with normal life. There are obviously expats here but expat life is different here, there isn’t separate groups like them and us, they’re schooled with the dutch, they’re married to the dutch, Its strangely nice but can be more lonesome.

The fact of the matter is that I’m not sorry I left, I miss my mammy mafia so much my heart aches sometimes, but I don’ t want  LPV to grow up having friends leave all the time, grow up to have never caught the bus or gone on a train or picked up his own laundry from the floor. I don’t want him to have fake friends that can’t even find 5 minutes to say goodbye when you leave *am I still bitter,Oh  I think so!!!*

So in a roundabout sort of way I know we made the right move, it’s just taking longer to realise it, LPV will always have his mafia buds as will I but we’re making room for new ones and well, they’re pretty awesome too!

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Exploring

Being an expat is all about exploring I think, or in the “Expatfamily’s” case getting lost. My neighbour & friends always recommend really cool places to us but we can never farking find them!! Take this weekend for instance a place called Onder de Platanen was recommended by our neighbour as we have been either travelling or  cleaning up after/ getting ready for visitors on our Saturday’s we decided to take LPV somewhere Fun!!

We loaded the car with a paraphernalia, got sort and then………………do have the address? No I thought you had it? I’ll get it off my iphone, this was a mistake of epic proportions. We drove for what seemed like hours, when “arrived at our destination” it was just some random dutch persons house, not an adventure playground with pancake house or farm!! The atmosphere in the car was becoming less family friendly and we were constantly getting told off by dutch bikers. It was the wrong day for me to have started my “I’m detoxing by drinking loads of water” phase. Bursting for a pee we managed to find the right address but then had to drive at least 40mins back. At this point LPV had got totally fed and gone to sleep and I was like a spitting cobra in pain as my bladder was about to burst. Anyone who has had a fetus use you bladder as a trampoline for 9 months will know how difficult it is to hold it in these days.

Any hoo we found it eventually (it being about a 20minute cycle from our house) diving out of the car while it was still practically moving I ran on to the loo. Normal nice mammy personality was  recommenced and we had a lovely time.

There were cows, lambs goats and bunnies for the children to pet, some chickens and pigs also. Of course LPV was only interested in going the opposite direction of where you wanted him to go but still it was fun. The playground was in sand so it was nice and safe and we sat and had a picnic whilst LPV held up the queue trying to decide if he actually wanted to go down the slide or not. *dutch children are not the most patient and obviously haven’t heard about taking it in turns* 

The best part!!! It’s all free, the one thing I will say about living here is that it’s really catered for families, most suburbs have a petting zoo of some sort, and there is a playground on every 3rd street.

 

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