Hey there, so few weeks passed since I moved my bags once again. I moved to the Netherlands for the second time, but this time is completely different from what I experienced while living in Amsterdam. While Amsterdam is full of tourists going all possible directions and absolute lifestyle madness, Rotterdam is filled with locals and you can feel Dutch culture way more here.
Let’s start with the city.
I could google all the stats for you, but I rather tell you what I make of it while living here so shortly. Firstly its a city of creative architecture. Probably all architecture students dream, each part of the town differs with eye-catching buildings as well as an interior design that you can see through big windows. Aside of architecture, Rotterdam has a lot of galleries and museums with first class art and exhibitions that is constantly changing, so you don’t feel like going to Tate modern and seeing same stuff for 5 years. I really appreciate the cultural vibe in this town. It seems like art is all around and it never leaves you bored while walking the streets.
Besides lively town vibes, it is the first time I can feel like a real outsider in this culture. It seems that everything I live by is done differently here. From tiny things to more psychological ones. Let’s start with tiny things. Dutch people keep their bread in the freezer at all times, and always eat sandwiches for lunch so they have to defrost it in the morning, so they are able to eat it at lunch. #careforbread
Secondly, Dutch people wash dishes in a sink full of water. And I really don’t understand how it works. You fill up sink with water and soap and then they wash dishes and put them to dry… but its soapy! So for past 2 weeks, I’ve been trying to hack the system of saving water but having not soapy dishes. #blondnologicsorry
Stupid things aside, the biggest difference in the culture so far is work ethics. All my work experiences in Lithuania, Iceland and England has been crazy working hours, a lot of work and feeling like you have so much work you will never finish it. Endless emails, phone call, working overtime, doing other peoples work, etc. In Lithuania especially we are raised to think that you have to do hard work to be great. And even praise someone who worked all day, multitasked and got super tired doing so. Here, on the other hand, is another world. So the first week I came here, I was so lost in the office I didn’t know what to make of it. Everyone was doing their jobs, with no rush and sweat. Everything was quiet and calm. No flying papers, no running all over the place and most importantly no bragging how hard the work is. After first week feeling like an alien, I finally understood what’s going on! Companies are hiring enough people! So marketing doesn’t need to do press, and goldsmiths don’t need to answer phones. Everyone has their own tasks and they are not overflowing with other work because there is no people to do it. This is something new for me. Usually, business owners try to hire as little people so they save money and think that one person can do all of it alone. This was the case in all of my work experiences. Firstly, I didn’t know what to make out of it, since I love work, and multitasking 24/7, but more I am here, more I understand that this relaxed work environment gives you time to be more creative, and to talk to people about life, and make you happier than a pile of papers do. I’ll let you know how it goes but for now, I still can’t adjust to this ‘non-madness’.
After all, I am finally understanding what being an outsider means. I always felt in my place wherever I went, but now I am sitting at the lunch table with people speaking Dutch, and feeling invisible. I wake up early, go to work, go home, cycle, read a book, and try to make the best of this. And I am learning from this experiences more than I’ve ever done from the comfortable environment ones. Because it’s all not like I used to, but it gives me so much to think off.
I don’t know. It’s weird, but it’s happy.
Thank you for reading THOSE SILLY STORIES.