Koffie and the City – Touch the Dutch heart

What a coincidence, Liza. We also arrived at the airport on a cold morning earlier this year. To me, it was cold enough to cause shivering.

Looking at the gray sky out of the windows, I started to put on my crochet hat, scarf. And of course how could I forget my smart gloves! So I managed to stay warm and quickly get free wi-fi to send my family a message, "We arrived safe and sound". Now, my life as a semi-expat has begun.

In the past six years I met quite a few expats and their families in Taipei, Taiwan. They were from so many different countries. I gave them Chinese/Taiwanese culture & language training. In return, they greatly broadened my view and enriched my perspectives. And one of them changed my life. I had an interview in his office in May, 2012. Six months later, I lost a client but got a Dutch boyfriend.

The next year on my birthday, he was on his knee and I had tears of happiness on my face. I said, "Yes, I do."

I know that diamonds are a girl’s best friends. But once we get married, my husband is supposed to become my life-long partner plus best friend. So I guess that probably means I don’t really need a diamond wedding ring.

What about the three-color gold ring? Don’t people also say gold lasts forever? It sounds like another good option to me. Yet, out of my surprise, rumor has it that there will be all kinds of arguments in the marriage because the three rings scratch one another the whole time. That is no doubt an ominous sign to our future marriage.

But just before I was about to give up this idea, my fiancé shrugged and said, "Look on the bright side, honey. The rings will get to keep all the scratches (arguments) and we the good time." As practical and Dutch as he could be, I found it very romantic and sweet. At the moment, I was certain that he was my Mr. Right.

Before those expats families started their journey to Taiwan, some of them couldn’t find it on the world map; some of their friends thought they were moving to Thailand.

It is my turn this time! I made the same decision as you did ten years ago, Liza. I travelled all the way from the east to the west in order to be with my husband. Now we are back to his hometown, Eindhoven, to start our own family here.

In order to make myself feel more comfortable in my new home-country, I did some homework and tried to connect Taiwan and Holland.

Size-wise, they are almost the same, but Taiwan is surrounded by mountains and Holland is flat, flat and flat. When it comes to cycling, Taiwan is proud of the notable bicycle brand, Giant and Holland of Gazelle. Being nothing but another normal beer brand here, Heineken is no doubt a lot of Taiwanese people’s favorite, while so many foreigners give their heart to Taiwan Gold Medal draft beer.

Looks like the first impression is very well presented. I know I will have to learn the Dutch language, but as a language instructor, I would like to take the challenge. What’s more, I have my Taiwanese "Ta-Tung" rice cooker with me; and Liza, I would assume there is one standing in your kitchen as well, yea?
So, let the adventure begin, shall we?


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