It was afternoon Amsterdam time when I landed at Schipol Airport, headed towards the Immigration window and the guy said ‘Okay, you are good.’ I had successfully stepped into a new country and a new life after a lot of struggle. Finally, it felt like all paid off.
My husband had rented a car to pick me up, so this time, all I could see on the way home is the Highway, some rain ,some sun and some cars. We reached in an hour and quarter and entered our small one bedroom apartment on the 2nd floor. It was very different from the houses in India but for me, I embraced change with agility. I loved everything around, probably I have some extra power to adapt real quick. The next few days passed away fast with the legal and bank formalities. I must mention that this time of the year in Holland was really hot in Holland and I faced no acclimatization problem except for the hot afternoons. The small fan at home was a saviour. I spent the next two weeks arranging the house and tidying it up. Then was the moment of happiness. I joined work. I was lucky to have got a job even before I landed in Holland. I am not really the sit-at-home-relax type. Ever since the year passed by in smiles , happiness, fun, enjoyment, super colleagues and work never felt like a load.
In the last one year, I have seen so many good things around , learnt some Dutch, met some wonderful people, regrouped with some Indians , had fun together and travelled to some great places.
I travelled to work using the public transport, although it took time and involved quite some stress, I have picked up quite a lot of the culture from it. I learnt about people. Most people were helpful, smiling and it was a usual thing to greet the driver while on and off. That in the starting days looked weird to greet “Dooi“ , was a part of my nature now. I also made some friends in the bus to the office. I met them sometimes at the station and caught up with some chit-chat when the bus route stopped a while later.
Then the walk from the nearest bus stop to the office was tough initially and later it became fun with a colleague. At the office, it was nothing but fun even when we had a whole lot of escalations , the tense situation would be relaxed by the silly jokes we cracked. Most importantly, I learnt to be soft, polite, helpful yet strong and opinionated.
We also got a lot of time for ourselves and I was happy to have been not overloaded with nothing else but work. It was a different thing that the household chores always kept me busy. I still managed to find some time and write little blog posts , do some cooking and blog them as well , meet and invite friends.
This year , I also saw the Carnival in my city Eindhoven and I realised that it is okay to be crazy once a year :).I also saw the amazing Glow festival.
Back in India , vacation was an idea we experienced as children when our parents mostly working in the Government sector could manage long leaves of 3-4 weeks. As adults, I have hardly seen people allowed leaves more than 10 days at one go. Even for the marriages, 15 days was a maximum that our managers would approve .The whole concept of vacation had reinstated for me,here. We had a decent Summer Vacation and made complete use of the sun.
What this new country gave me is a whole set of opportunities to not just establish my career but to be a better person, have a better life , learn more about the culture (it’s good and logical), integrate ,take care of health and broaden my vision towards life.
I have loved every day of the last year and I hope it gets only better.