Well hello from the Netherlands! Remember how I said it would be two weeks, well it was not! It was a serious nightmare getting all my stuff from UK with the shippers (see the side note).
On the plus side, I am back and ready to blog. I have 67 comments on the blog that I have not moderated yet (I love reading your comments so yay.....lol).
New blogs will resume tomorrow and we can get all serious and scientific :)
My Random Tidbits on The Netherlands
Fun fact: Did you know that it is actually The Netherlands and not Netherlands? I keep saying Netherlands though for some reason.
Natural Hair: The hair scene in Netherlands (Eindhoven) so far is not much natural hair at all. I see a lot of braids and weaves on Black women.
English: There is a myth that people in Netherlands speak English quite well. It is a myth. The truth is that the level of fluency really fluctuates and when it really matters (i.e you have to fill out an official form or get a work contract) it will always be in Dutch. I have the advantage that my husband is fluent in German and English and technically Dutch is a mix of the two so although he cannot speak it, he can actually read it extremely well. If you want to live in Netherlands, learn Dutch - you really need it for your tax refund at the end of the year (and with the level of taxation here, you want your refund!).
Weather: Many Dutch people think that their weather is quite miserable. I guess it is a matter of perspective because if you are from UK, this weather is fantastic, warm and actually quite dry (trust me when we say it sometimes rains all day in UK, we actually mean ALL day for 24 hours with no pause).
Green Points: Bikes, bikes everywhere.....it is very nice to see. Also, the type of bikes here are called Holland bikes and people ride with their backs quite upright. I cannot ride a bike (no natural balance, do not want to fall off in practice) so I am seriously getting myself a trike (yep like a kiddy trike but for an adult - driewieler fiets volwassenen:))
Money Matters: Netherlands is overtaxed and overpriced. You can save yourself quite a bit of money by going to amazon.de. Ordering from Germany (including delivery) is usually significantly cheaper than ordering locally especially for anything that costs 200 euros or more.
Side note: In case you are wondering, I used Anglo Pacific to ship. I read many negative reviews online but ultimately chose them because they offered substantially better pricing. If you have to start work in your new country or if you are relying on your shipment to start work, I would tell you, please never use Anglo Pacific. The UK part of the service is excellent (you get a good quote, you get free heavy duty boxes, they will load your goods for you) but that is where the service ends. Never ever request anything retrospectively, it will not be done and whatever arrival date you get, plan for at least 3 more. Plan to call the company internationally several times and never expect a phone call to be returned. Additionally, plan for bruises because although the delivery to your door is supposed to be on a palette (i.e all boxes wrapped together), some vehicles used cannot offload the palette which means you have to physically off load the boxes yourself.