Monday, April 19, 2010

Expat Experiences: Netherlands - Stuart

Who are you?

My name is Stuart. I'm an Englishman in his early 30s with a well documented reputation for accident proneness and bizarre situation finding. I moved to Holland to start working as a designer in the computer games industry. Originally this was only supposed to be a stay of sixth months but the tempting lure of "lekkere bitterballen" and good beer has turned it into a much longer stay.

My favorite colour is army green, my lucky number is seven and when I grow up I want to be a Ghostbuster.

Where, when and why did you move abroad?


I moved to Holland in the summer of 2001 but it was not really planned. It was kind of an accident but a happy accident none the less. A short while after I had finished college I tried to find a job in the computer games design industry so I could use my education as an excuse to play computer games all day.

I was not having much luck in my search until I found a job advert in a computer game magazine. It was the strangeness of the cryptic job advertisement that caught my eye. It had no address, no phone number and hardly any other important detail printed upon the page. All it really had was a dot com email address to which I applied.

I waited for a reply while wondering if the strange cryptic nature of it all could lead to a situation where I wake up in a bath of ice in a basement somewhere having fallen victim to a gang of black market human organ dealers using a games company as a front for their diabolical scheme.

A few days later I received an email which included three surprises. Surprise number one was that in no part of the email did they enquire about the condition of my internal organs. Surprise number two was that they were offering me an interview and surprise number three (which was the biggest) was that they were offering to pay for my flights to the interview location... in the city of Amsterdam... in Holland!

Since there had been no address in the advertisement or any indication of its location upon the globe I simply assumed the job was in Britain (since it was in a British gaming magazine). Not wanting to turn down a free day trip to another country I went for the interview, not really knowing what to do if I was offered the job... which I was.

All these years later I am still living and working in Holland. Plus I still have both my kidneys which is a bonus...


1 comment:

Miss Footloose said...

"It was the strangeness of the cryptic job advertisement that caught my eye."

This made me smile. I'm Dutch but have not lived in Holland for decades although I visit there regularly. I'm able to see my people more objectively and recognize what foreigners see in our character: blunt, get to the point.

By now you must have learned about that Dutch no-nonsense, practical character trait. How else could we have ever managed to build all these dikes and keep from drowning?

We teach them young. Here's a story of my little (Dutch) nieces which demonstrates this perfectly, and may amuse you.

Coincidentally this was my post for this week.