Tag Archives: dutch

Culture shock; disintegration stage

It’s been a while! and I do feel guilty.
My excuses?? I’m tired, which is a common phenomenon after an international move; finding new routines and getting used to the new environment is exciting but also exhausting. 
But that’s not the main reason for not writing my weekly blog.

The moto of the International Feelgood Academy is “enjoying our differences”, well I’m not enjoying all the differences here comparing to my life in Qatar; Regularly I’m flabbergasted about the Dutch, their ways of doing and I feel very irritated.
I can’t think of anything possitive to write about without becoming nagging and complaining. Even if I think I’ve got very good reasons to be irritated and why I think it should be different (at least it would my life a lot more easier).

Because it’s my profession, I know that this is an important aspect of the disintegration stage and it’s necessary to let go of the old habits and routines and become aware and open to new ones.
When I’m in a calm and wise state of mind I can put in perspective and I know I will get there, but the reality of life makes that I’m not always such a calm and wise person. However, this is a stage that will pass and that I’ll get used to it and find routines that will suit me. I’ve done it so many times now.

Emotion wise this stage is not a very comfortable stage, emotions like anger and irritation -and maybe the need to fight them- , do cost so much negative energy.
On the other hand this stage is irreplaceable in personal development; The irritation and the anger you might feel about certain topics and ways how things are being done, do show things you value, things you appreciated -or not-, ways you like -or not-. 
Things you would never discover when you would stay in the same good old comfortzone.

a very simple example is -in my case- camping. I hate the smell of others poo, the dirty toilets and long hairs in the drain (everybody bold!!), it made me realize how much I don’t like to be confronted with things other people leave behind and interfere with my sense of smell and touch (ever had long hair stuck between your toes??). So I realise why I do prefere a clean environment. 
That doesn’t mean we won’t be camping anymore, but we will choose a campground with personal sanitary.

I won’t bother you with my irritations and opinions about life in the Netherlands but I’ll keep you posted about the process and the things I’ll learn from it.img_0116



Dutch elections

Last week the Dutch (people from the Netherlands) elected their parlement.
Being Dutch, I hardly dared to look at the outcome the next day. I was so afraid for the shock in case one of the right winged parties would have won; Like the shock of Brexit, like the shock of Trump. The shock that so many people are that narrow-minded that they think ugly shouting men are the solutions to their frustrations; That they don’t have faith in democracy anymore.
The ultra right winged parties didn’t win, that was a relief but still they gained!

I’m thaught to live through my fears so I started to explore and try to understand the people who make such choices and I start to understand why.
I do understand it’s frustrating;
When your child needs extra support in school and there is no money for extra support for your child but there is for immigrant children;
When you can’t get a decent, cheap place to live and refuge families get houses,
When you don’t believe in the idea of a united and solidair Europe.

I do understand as well that the people who are in charge have to keep an eye on the big picture;
That children who can speak, read and learn in the local language can become useful citizen (i.e. tax paying citizen) and that kids in school don’t cause too much trouble to society;
That immigrants/refugees have to live somewhere too, they don’t have another choice then live in cheap houses;
That the more immigrants mix into Dutch society the more chance of integration, besides autochtone people are able to pay a bit more for housing than immigrants do;
That it’s good for the Dutch economy, who’s depending on trade to have free boundaries in Europe.

I got it.

What I do not understand is that apparently it is too hard to listen to what people are trying to say and take their concerns seriously or make the effort to explain in a language that a majority of people understand to explain why the decisions are been taking that way.

If you can’t explain decisions in a normal understandable way how should people trust you?

Politics in western societies seem to be stuck in procedures rather than solutions for the problems the people are facing.
I call that intellectual arrogance and I hope, I really, really hope that western leaders have had their wake up call.
The world is much more complicated and changing so fast, it’s asking for fast solutions as well.
A problem asks for a solution not a procedure which is probably out dated by the time it’s finally implemented!