I have moved house, my new attic room feels very Dutch, especially the climb to get up here.. and i finally got in contact with the ever evasive landlady from the last place, and actually was repaid some money that was owed.
Actually she has ripped me off €400+, but considering i have gotten back 3 times that amount, i am placated for the meantime. I will now chase her up only when i have more time and advice instead of so far it being an urgent and distracting matter. I do wish i’d been warned, but it is all noone’s fault but hers. Here’s a dedicated warning website i found too late, with an almost identical story to mine: http://donotrentmisschang.bligoo.com/relying-on-her-word#comment-1944863
Meanwhile, I have been thinking a lot about migrants to this country. We have been studying the history of migration into the Netherlands in my Dutch Present Day Society class, and also I attended a theatre production in Amsterdam called ‘Niemansland’ – http://www.driesverhoeven.com/ – in which the spectators are given a soundtrack and narrative on headphones and follow their own guide, a real migrant, not an actor, through the neighbourhood. Though it could have been scripted better – or maybe i just didn’t like the choice of narrator – it was a really great experience. Apparently it is coming to Utrecht soon so you should all check it out, and encourage family to too.
But it got me thinking that even though it is a long shot, maybe i can relate better to what some migrants and refugees go through. I already have a lot of empathy compared to some, but i listed all the things going on for me at the moment and felt like maybe this deluge of crap could maybe let me better understand. Because right now, my shoulder is aching (I have an old injury). My father has just died. My mother is not healthy. I am sick from stress. I have been ripped off. I have travelled a long way (to and from Australia twice in 3 weeks). I have no close friends or family with me. I have had to start from scratch. I don’t know the language. Or the culture. My past is a long story maybe too much for new people. I want to be happy but i am sad and feel a bit awkward.. Really I am a very happy person though, and do not resent any of these things, it is just life. But maybe in these ways I can dare to liken myself just a little to a refugee or migrant having left what he or she knows.
The whole issue here is so complicated, what with the ‘guest worker’ beginnings and the difficulty in discussing such matters without tiptoeing or hysteria.
SO, as far as integrating goes for myself – I taught myself the Dutch pronunciation of the alphabet this week, and numbers one to twenty.
And now, back to my essays.