For sure what I read, being in Romania, about Netherlands, is shaped in better words and greater pictures. I don’t know how to be gentle about it, but in the last year I felt that I had too many expectations when I moved and most of them due to how the west is presented in the east.
Of course, it is normal, after a while, to find things that annoy you. But it left me heart broken. I never imagined that I would see and hear about the masked slavery from Netherlands. In Romania the same things happen because of corruption and we all know the image the country has in Europe: poverty and lack of civilization (which is true ~50%). Reading about the west on forums, on expat websites, I never thought I will find the same thing here. I am curious how come the government lets the companies to make contracts with 2h/week when the work is 40h/week (you pay tax for 40h/week, but in case of illness or holiday the days are calculated based on the initial contract). I heard so many sad stories in the last 2 months, about people with university degree, searching for the better future that is presented in newspapers, but having low jobs because of their nationality or color.
When I was at the interview the HR girl asked me if I am sure about my decision of moving. She explained that most of the expats have depression, because of the weather and of being away from home. I thought it will not be my case, I moved from home at 18 at 500 km away, I fought with depression in Bucharest so it’s not something I couldn’t handle. But the last 2 months almost defeated me. The lack of sun and light and the stories I was hearing about the injustice of the system simply put me down. And add to this the fact that I didn’t liked the company I was working in. Too many reasons; I’ve even started thinking about moving back. But I know, I simply know, that what I remember about Romania at this moment are only the good moments and, due to homesick, I have only the best parts in front of my eyes. So I decided to quit my job.
One year ago we entered the apartment from Amstel. The big windows were revealing us an unknown world: people on bikes at each second, people living on boats, smell of weed and laziness of the tourists. We managed in 8 days to find an apartment to rent in Haarlem (after we drove crazy the rental agent), we got back in Romania to take our cat and to deliver the boxes with our old life packed. After D. assembled the Ikea furniture, the apartment started feeling like home. The cat accommodated with the new location in about 2 weeks, the first 3 days were the hardest: she was crying and staying under the stairs, in the dark corner. Day by day, the new life started to have a shape. What I enjoyed most of this year is the fact it is easy and cheap to travel around. And after a while you start to get how things work.
One year ago I was curious how it will be to work in a foreign country. Now the same feeling is around me, since I will work for a pure dutch company. But this time I know: don’t have expectations, take things as they come. The safest way not to be disappointed.