The colorful wolf

June 26, 2010

Coming to terms

Filed under: Dutch,japan,Thoughts — randy @ 0:28

I’ve been here almost two weeks now, and I’m starting to come to terms with the idea that I’m going to be here for quite some time. In my mind I’m already thinking ahead to the next step, wanting to move on as quickly as possible, but the truth of the real world is that things just don’t move that quickly. Even if I manage to find and enter a uni before September, I’ll still have a lot of free time on my hands. Time that I’ll be spending in Holland.

I admit that I very much disliked Holland when I first came back. I didn’t like the food, the weather, the countryside-ness of the place I live, but most of all I didn’t like the people. Coming from Japan I’ve gotten used to everyone being friendly, positive people. Holland is pretty much the opposite. A shining example of this was my encounter with an old man in the train. I was bringing my bicycle in the train on the way home, and when the train arrived at a station I moved my bicycle out of the way to let a woman and her pram get out of the train. In doing so, I temporarily blocked an exit. An old man was waiting to get out, and rather than simply waiting for the woman to get out of the train and me to move back, he shouted at me in Dutch, in a rather rude way: “Hey, you’d better move that bicycle, or else!”. I, freshly back in Holland, immediately thought that no Japanese person would ever do that.

Ok, it’s only one encounter, but for me it immediately drove home the point that Holland and Japan are two very different countries, with very different people and very different lifestyles. I think I dislike Holland more than it deserves, and I can’t really explain why. I don’t have a lot of rational reasons to dislike this place, it’s just a general feeling that I’d rather be somewhere else. Despite that, I cheer loudly for the Dutch team at the world championship football 😀 I’ve come to realize that it’s not really Holland that I dislike, it’s the feeling of standing still in life and not making the most of things, of not proceeding in the direction that I want to go. Every time I’m back in Holland I get this feeling, but it really has nothing to do with the culture or the people. I just take it out on them because I’m not feeling as happy here as I want to be.

I’m Dutch. I live in Holland. I have to take care of bothersome Dutch matters that I don’t really want to think about. Mandatory health care insurance. Care allowance refunds for unemployed people. Receiving money from the government to study. Using a digital passport called ‘DigiD‘, which is supposed to be safe and secure but really isn’t. Having to think about all these matters is only impressing on me more the fact that I’ll be here in Holland for a while, even though I’m already making plans to leave again.

In the end though, no hard feelings towards Holland. It’s the place I was born and the place I’ve lived for most of my life. I treasure it as I would treasure my first PC, my first car, and a lot of other firsts that were great at the time but now a little bit outdated. It was fun while it lasted, but it has to end somewhere. I’m the kind of person who would rather admire (observe) things from a distance, rather than be a part of it. That way I’ll be able to leave a good memory in my head, remembering only the good parts and forgetting all the bad parts.

(On a practical note: I’ve been extremely lazy and have only been watching Battlestar Galactica the past few days. I promised myself that I’ll be more productive next week… >_<; )



  1. Welcome back in Europe from Japan.

    Even Japanese can be rude – in a way we’ll never detect.

    And Dutch compared to Germans are angels – I grew up in Germany.
    But I do know French who say Germans are much more polite than French, at least more than the inhabitants of Paris.
    Now, let’s find somebody who thinks French are more polite than Japanese.

    Comment by t4roam — June 26, 2010 @ 17:30 | Reply

  2. Oh,you have been lazy and Battlestar Galactica !

    I have some idea changes you productive this week.

    The one is to make a new other blog in Japanese.
    The other is to do Japanese SNS,,,Mixi,Gree,Facebook,Hangame,and so on.

    I think you will enjoy them with new friendly people.

    From a japanese,fumi : Thinks we(Japanese) are too much polite.

    Comment by fumi — June 29, 2010 @ 22:06 | Reply

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