Returning home and making observations


My last ride through the Dolomites… for now

Observing my people

I’m standing on platform 15B in Utrecht, waiting for the train that will bring me a little bit closer to home. I just got back in the Netherlands and I dropped off the rental car that I used in Italy to now continue the journey home by train.

However, my train is delayed. Of course it is! Since I remember the trains here always seem to be delayed. Oh wait, there it goes; my Dutch nature is complaining about getting somewhere to late. I actually don’t really care right now if I have to wait ten or twenty minutes to get somewhere, but for some reason I realize it’s pretty typical of us Dutch people to start hurrying and getting annoyed when plans change.


Back in Italy: Keep calm and climb in the back of a Smart

Now I’m not saying that we can’t relax, but I do observe my own country better when I have been away for a while and I always notice the stress. It’s like we’re pushing ourselves to do things we don’t really want to, because why are there so many stressed people at for example the railway station? Does it really matter if you get somewhere five or ten minutes later than usual? We plan and everything we do has to happen on time. Otherwise the next item on your schedule doesn’t fit and you get stress. That’s how I feel it works when I return to the Netherlands.

From friendly colors into darkness

I look across the platform. The colors I see are all grey, black, brown and dark green. I miss the bright colors of the jackets in the winter sport area. It shows more happiness and the only word I can think of right here and now is the word sad. Maybe it’s just my feelings giving me all these inputs, since I’m sad that I had to leave my last destination Italy. However, I do really get a different energy from the people around me here. Not just the colors of the clothes, but also the faces. Some people really look like they need a holiday.

A few minutes later I’m on the train and again I see the Dutch impatience as some guy tries to open the doors of the train by pushing the open-button while the train didn’t entirely stop yet. I mean really? Can’t you walk out that train relaxed with a smile on your face thinking happy thoughts instead of running through the doors with a timer in your hand?


One of my happy places in Italy; Val D’anna

I’m not saying every Dutch person is the way I’m mentioning above, but I am simply describing what I’m seeing today and especially what I normally do not notice when I’m back home for the long-haul. The differences in the way seasons happen, cultures move and lifestyle flows is huge when comparing several countries. I have to say I always find it hard to enjoy my own country the first few days (besides meeting my friends and family), but I like to write down today’s observations so that I can compare it with my more ‘normal’ thoughts in a few weeks.

Have you ever seen what I saw today?

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Ever since I left my home country I felt at home at any other place I went to. I enjoy getting to know more cultures by talking to strangers and hearing their philosophy about life. Speaking with gestures when you can not find a shared language, finding places only the locals go to and learn about their customs and values. Hanging out with local people makes me happy. The experience of every new place is a step out of your comfort zone where I like to wander around until it feels like a second home.
2 Comments on “Returning home and making observations
  1. in Suriname zeggen ze: in Nederland hebben ze de klok en wij hebben de tijd
    in Afrika bestaat tijd helemaal niet
    als de bus om tien uur gaat dan weet je niet of het 10:00 of 22:00 is en hij kan altijd een uur te vroeg of te laat komen
    zo heb ik een keer van 9:00-23:00 op mijn bus gewacht en toen vertelde iemand mij opeens dat de bus kapot was en helemaal niet zou komen
    dat is werkelijk een heerlijke dag geweest:
    lekker de hele dag genoten van de zon en de leuke mensen om me heen
    ik had geen verplichtingen en dus ook geen haast ik kon lekker genieten van mijn vrijheid en omgeving

  2. Ohhh welcome baaaack babe!!!! Wanneer zie ik je (lekker gehaast he :P)
    Ik zit helaas alweer helemaal in ons ritme, wie had dat nou gedacht. Welkom in de wondere wereld van reverse culture shock. Hoe lang blijf je mops?

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