Expat Voices: Daniel Foster on living in the Netherlands
British expat Daniel Foster is frustrated by 'a general absence of service and the apparent obsession with processing edible products.'
Name: Daniel Foster
City of residence: Amsterdam
Civil status: Married
Occupation: House Husband
Reason for moving to the Netherlands: Wife working at Schiphol WTC
Lived in the Netherlands for: 6 months
What was your first impression of the Netherlands?
Lovely place – friendly people
What do you think of the food?
Expensive on average if you eat out but OK if you do it at home, once you’ve worked out where to obtain the raw materials.
What do you think of the shopping in the Netherlands?
Expensive but once you know where to look it is OK. My expertise is in supermarkets: what to buy and what to avoid.
What do you appreciate about living in the Netherlands?
Fantastic people, rich culture, proximity and ease of travel to other European countries.
What do you find most frustrating about living in the Netherlands?
That would have to be the Kafkaesque bureaucracy, the general absence of service and the apparent obsession with processing edible products.
What puzzles you about the Netherlands and what do you miss since you’ve moved here?
It amazes me how such a hard-working and well-respected people can put up with the general inconvenience brought about by poor service across the board.
How does the quality of life in the Netherlands compare to the quality of life in other countries that you’ve lived in?
Quite well on balance – one has to swap the various slings and arrows experienced in the UK with those you’ll run up against in NL.
If you could change anything about the Netherlands, what would it be?
Expectations of service
What advice would you give to a newcomer?
When you ask a question in Netherlands don’t expect the answer to contain what you really need to know unless you have pre-conceived and structured it to cover all permutations. If you simply ask if a train goes to a station the answer may come back in the affirmative but that doesn’t mean it will actually stop there.
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