Expat Voices: Pankaj Khurana on living in the Netherlands
Indian expat Pahkaj Khurana loves the Dutch weather, the quality of roads, cleanliness, safety, but finds that although the Netherlands is beautiful, there isn't much to see.
Name: Pankaj Khurana
City of residence: Heemstede
Date of birth: 24 May 1980
Civil status: Married
Occupation: Business Development Manager
Reason for moving to the Netherlands: Transferred for Job
Lived in the Netherlands for 11 months
What was your first impression of the Netherlands?
Beautiful 'flat' country with nice canals and beautiful old ‘sinking’ houses--some of which are more than 400 years old--and windmills. It’s something which is very rare to see all together.
What do you think of the food?
Not tried much of it but I think Dutch dishes start and end with cheese, bread and milk. I was surprised to see such a variety of cheese.
What do you think of the shopping in the Netherlands?
Shopping is a bit expensive here compared to the neighbouring countries but you can purchase everything. This country has all the big brands like Zara, We, H&M. Also, all the typically Indian products are easily available as this country has a big Indian and Surinamese population, which makes life a lot easier.
What do you appreciate about living in the Netherlands?
Language is not at all a problem here as almost everybody speaks good English—something which makes life much easier. This country is absolutely safe and has an excellent public transport network. Not to forget the helpful nature of the Dutch and the special privileges given by the government. I also love the weather here, since it's raining most of the time.
What do you find most frustrating about living in the Netherlands?
It’s a rather small country but still it takes a lot of time to cross it because of the existence of so many speed restrictions! Not much to see except the Keukenhof garden and windmills, some old villages and museums which is something which looks all the same; one visit is really enough.
All the letters and communications from the banks, IND, Geemente and other authorities are in Dutch; they don’t have anything in English which is really frustrating.
What puzzles you about the Netherlands and what do you miss since you’ve moved here?
It’s a tough question for which I don’t have any answer.
How does the quality of life in the Netherlands compare to the quality of life in other countries that you’ve lived in?
The quality of life here is much better. They have more taxes, but I think it’s worth it when you compare the quality of roads, cleanliness, safety and other infrastructures.
If you could change anything about the Netherlands, what would it be?
I would like to make public offices have all the communications necessary for expats (including letters and documents) in English.
What advice would you give to a newcomer?
Just pack your bags and come and enjoy the beauty of the country without any fear in mind.
Would you like to add anything?
Just be careful before signing any documents here as they strictly follow the small print. Even if it takes time, make them explain it in your language before you sign.
Joining Expat Voices
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