Change

It is a big move to leave home and your comforts behind, Iris, and I know exactly what you are talking about when you talk lovingly about your Dutch husband and coming to his home town. I’ve done the same! And we are not alone in this, I think the further you walk into your journey here, the more you will find people like us. People in similar situations, whether they’ve been here for a short time or longer, we were all once “new” here. Words that used to sound so foreign to me come out almost naturally, after a few years of living here.

The influx of foreign nationals into Eindhoven has changed dramatically in the past ten years. I have come to realise that when I walk along the shopping street. There are at least five conversations I over-hear of the Dutch speaking English with foreign friends or colleagues that are out to lunch, or a Dutch-Asian couple arranging meeting places (where man says ‘I’ll meet you at the pub after you’ve done your shopping’, and woman happily nods and disappears into the crowd). This says a lot about the business that happens just in our neighbourhood. The companies at the High Tech Campus, the many other international companies across Eindhoven and the university, just to name a few. Eindhoven has become a meeting point for Industrial Designers, Hi-tech Intelligence, and also fair to mention, artists emerging slowly and gaining recognition here. Eindhoven seems to be a breeding ground for all these talents now. It has come slowly but surely.

Just like you, I miss a bit of landscape and some hills in the distance in Eindhoven. In all fairness, Eindhoven has a lot to offer. There is so much to see and so much to do. If we just keep our eyes and ears open, there is something for all ages. Visiting a museum, taking a stroll through Strijp-S or going to one of the food markets on a Sunday.

Finally I realise, it’s time I’d let my hair down and do what I’ve had so much joy in doing.

Back in my home country, I worked as a headhunter for the last five years, particularly for the IT industry. I worked long hours because the competition was tough, and it was a race to meet deadlines. There was no middle ground in working three or four days a week. You had to work five days a week, nine or ten hours a day. I worked so hard, and there was barely a weekend to speak of. Saturdays were to recover from the week, and Sundays were for coffee mornings with the family and then filling up stock for the family for the whole week.

My husband and I took my son to school, and the next time I’d see my son is lying in his bed, almost always asleep. After some time, you can imagine, I started to look forward to change. More time with family, more time to do other things than sitting in the office. Loosen my ‘quite’ stiff formal dress code, and just do something new. Something creative!

I took the ticket to come to Eindhoven, with hopes of change: to spend more time with my son, and to wear a pair of jeans or anything I was comfortable with and bake and cook in my kitchen.

Right now, in Eindhoven, you can find almost everything in Asian tokos, if you were to cook anything in your kitchen and mine. The specific names of ingredients needed are sometimes difficult to understand and cannot always be found on the internet. But, a bit of research and speaking to your local butcher or supermarket is always helpful.

I guess what I am trying to say is that Eindhoven is ready for new things to happen. The market is asking for it. Establishments want to see something different. People want to taste something they haven’t yet tasted.

Yes, Iris, you caught me red-handed in my kitchen. I have been standing in front of my pot of chicken adobo, a chicken-pork stewed in soy sauce, a bit of vinegar, and lots of garlic, which has been stewing for three hours, cooking for a family who made a small order from my kitchen, Little Women.

I’ve put some aside for you to try when we meet again soon. I am curious what you might be making whilst here in Eindhoven. Share your recipes, Iris! I’d be more than happy to sample what you treat yourself to every now and then.

Liza

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