Expatica plays Cupid

Expatica plays Cupid

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Former expats Alec and Helen have fond memories of the Netherlands. They had good jobs, enjoyed a party or two and met each other at an Expatica speed dating event. They were married last year.

British expat Helen Waters dreamed of marrying a man wearing a Scottish kilt — a dream that came true several months ago when she married Alec Bruce. The non-traditional wedding, held at a London jazz club on 12 October 2002, was an amusing day involving refreshments galore and a host of family members and friends, many of whom Helen and Alec, a native Scot, met while working in the Netherlands. The married couple have fond memories of the Netherlands; after all, they met each other while attending an Expatica speed dating event at the Vakzuid bar in Amsterdam in February 2001.

Both Helen, a web developer, and Alec, an IT consultant, had only been in the country a short while before buying a ticket for the Ready! Set! Date! event, which involves six 10-minute blind dates in an hour. Keen to meet new faces, it was not until the end of the night while socialising at the bar that they finally met and a common love of music got them talking. Alec, in particular, was really impressed that Helen had heard of the Scottish band Belle and Sebastian. They talked at length, swapped email addresses and after exchanging a few emails they decided to meet up a week later for their first date, which Alec recently described as a "cracking night".

Romance blossomed and they started living together at the end of 2002 in a perfect old house (with Japanese garden) in Tilburg, not far from the Belgian border. It was about this time that Alec proposed to Helen while they were on holiday. As they walked through Hyde Park in London, he gave Helen a box that he said contained nuts to feed the squirrels. But the romantic devil had actually enclosed an engagement ring. A "lot of cuddles" and — of course — an affirmative answer sealed the match.

But they were not destined to remain in the Netherlands much longer. Alec — who was working on a consultancy basis with an energy company in Den Bosch — was recalled to Britain and the couple moved back across the English Channel in April 2002.

Expatica's Events and Marketing Manager, Mark Batty says the Expat Nights are an integral part of the company's effort to create a bonded community feel among the expatriate population in the Netherlands. "A marriage helped along by a speed dating event is simply a wonderful bonus," he says. Expatica would like to wish Alec and Helen a hearty congratulations!




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