Koffie and the city – Introduction

In this new column Iris and Teresa come together with pen and paper and have an interesting exchange over a hot cup of Taiwanese chicken soup, bottomless Dutch drip coffee and lots to talk about on their up-and-coming column together.

"Coffee with Iris and Liza", a weekly journal in their journey of getting to know the Dutch culture from one that is very different from their own. They will talk about personal encounters on language, work, living in Eindhoven, food, and sometimes missing home.

Who are Iris and Liza?
Iris and the Netherlands just passed their six-month probation period. Before moving to Eindhoven, she worked as a Chinese language & culture instructor for years. In her hometown, there is the world’s fifth tallest building, Taipei 101. But living on the other side of the planet, she is unable to see it anymore. Thankfully, with the help of technology, Iris shares her life overseas with her family and friends through pictures and words via Internet.

Currently, she would like to continue helping people with their Chinese language learning. In the meantime, while giving cultural awareness training to the westerners, she also benefits from understanding various cultures and further, learning to appreciate all of them. American musical composer George Gershwin said, "Life is a lot like Jazz; it’s the best when you improvise." Iris enjoys the idea of having a little something to be happy with every day. Perhaps, her thoughts would give you a knowing smile of the day.

Liza is from Manila, in the Philippines. Having lived in Eindhoven since 2003, she has since fulfilled the Dutch phrase, "huisje, boompje, beestje", plus an addition of a son who she regards as the "sunshine of her life", especially when the sun doesn’t shine in Eindhoven.

Liza has worked as a recruiter in the past fifteen years but her fervent love for working in the kitchen and enjoying good food has brought the corporate attire to retirement in exchange for an apron. She started her catering company "Little Women" (from the book by Louisa May Alcott, which she read as a young girl). Petite framed, she sometimes struggles to reach the higher shelves of her cupboard. She jokes: "thus, the (catering) name Little Women!" Nevertheless, she is able to toss together a giant wok for you to serve you an authentic Asian meal and always eager to cook a feast for guests. "Such a happy place to be a cook! she concludes".

Besides the recruiter and kitchen outfit, Liza has lent time to copywriting in Manila, and fed articles to "Fit Factory", an American company on diet, exercise, and well-being. Recently, she started her own "Love letters from Eindhoven", where she mails handwritten letters to family and long lost friends about her life in Eindhoven, as well as the city’s new, up-and-coming stars in the cultural, design, food, and even technical arenas.
These are exciting times for anyone creative and inventive with the growth of international communities combined with Dutch interest and curiosity.

Iris and Liza

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