The Confession of a Blogger

Hello people… I know I haven’t been writing. I’ve not write for more than 7 days and I misses it. I’m sure as with any blogger, there are time when we are speechless, wordless and nothing seems to come out right. Maybe also because we weren’t going through the best time of our life to want to share with the world. To be honest, I’ve attempted to write since last week but each time I did, I save them as draft and never did publish them. I reckon it isn’t even worth reading and I do not want to waste my reader’s time.

To be exact - 3 Drafts not posted.

Yes, I was going through a phase. A phase that even though I did many things in a week and should feel all excited to blog about it. I wasn’t. A phase that even though I’m living a life I have been dreaming of with the love of my life and should feel all excited about, I wasn’t. Each time I want to post a ranting post, I withdraw. I didn’t think it’s worth talking about. But deep inside of me, there are loads of frustration and I sometimes wish I could just spill them all out. But each time, half way through writing a ranting post,  I would click on the x at the top right of the Google browser (to be exact) and close my lap top.

But all is good now. I decide I have a choice. I can continue my depression by feeling miserable and whine at the drastic changes I had to deal with everyday or to be happy, take control of my life and change myself to adapt to the environment. I choose the latter. I’m not a loser and I’m not gonna live my life feeling miserable everyday. That’s life isn’t it? We fight everyday with the devil within ourselves. And having to adapt to a lifestyle with such vast difference from where I came from isn’t easy for me. I’m gonna have to fight that and walk out alive. This is an adventure and it does not promise a bed of roses with no thorns. I know I make it sound like hell living in the Netherlands. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t hell, Netherlands is nice, the people are nice but there are just too many changes at one time that I’m struggling to adapt. I shall not bore you with the details.

The biggest hurdle for me being in the lowlands is not being able to speak their language. Yes, everyone speaks English but not everyone is willing to speak English with you! It’s frustrating when I have to repeatedly says, “Sorry, I don’t speak dutch.” but they go on blaring in Dutch and didn’t seems to care. Literally, every party I goes, every phone call I made, every person I meet; even in the grocery store speak Dutch to me, assuming I understand them. No I don’t! Not even barely, I completely don’t understand. In Singapore, we call such situation “the Chicken & Duck Talk”

Chicken & Duck Talk

I hate dealing with situation like this, I feel like a fool. I mean, clearly English is good enough to survive international right? So we thought….

Today, I’ve had the same frustrating experience at the grocery store. I was going to cook for dinner, so naturally, I walked to the grocery store, grab the stuff I needed and waited at the queue to make payment.  When I’m nearing the conveyor belt, I started removing the grocery from my basket onto the belt. Out of the blue, this lady from across the other cashier started rambling in Dutch to me of which I could not understand a word. So, politely, I answered, “Sorry, I do not understand you.” She looked at me like I’m stupid and continued to speak in Dutch to me. Next, she push my grocery to the end of the conveyor belt and started putting hers in front of mine. I startled. The cashier did nothing and remain compose.  Well, at the end, I figured, the lady is asking for me to allow her to pay first, maybe she is in a hurry but because I didn’t understand her, she decide to (jump queue) do it anyway.

Experience like this doesn’t happen once, I’ve people looking at me like I’m dumb when they realize I don’t speak Dutch. Although I’ve nothing against them, I feel frustrated with myself. I feel handicapped. I feel like an alien. Now I know why the IND call us (migrant) – an alien.

Well, I choose to live in their country, so I’d better start becoming like them and speak their language.  Allow me to rant people. I need it….

Before I sign out, there is something that at least cheer me up from the grocery store experience, here is a picture of a very cute ham! 🙂

Too cute to be eaten.

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The Battle of The Two J

The alien is now almost ready to fly. If you have followed my previous post, the alien here I’m referring to is just me being a new migrant to the Netherlands. Finally, after 2 long months waiting, the Dutch Immigration department have approved for me, the alien, to make it’s entry to the Netherlands officially.

So, am I happy? Why would I not be right? Clearly, this is the day I’ve been waiting for, for the past 2 years. To be in the Netherlands was what I prayed for. I’ve been longing to live a life with Jos together and not separately. I have to be happy. There is no looking back. This is it, the life I’ve always wanted. The experience I’ve been waiting to have as an expat and no, no longer a tourist.

The truth is, I am also sad and scared. There are two J within me right now. And every night, the two J would be engaged in an argument discussion process. Fighting among themselves, trying hard to over right the other’s feeling.  It can be so noisy that it keep me awake for a very long time. And after a long fight without conclusion, they would both fall asleep.

Tonight, the conversation went like this:

The Battle of the Two J

J 1 – Oh Yeah! We are leaving in less than 2 weeks! How cool is that?

J 2 – I’m sad. A little confuse. I’m not sure if this is what I wanted.

J 1 – What’s wrong with you J2?  I thought we both agree this is the path we chose? We have jointly agree to choose to live our life with one man above all the rest.

J 2 – Yes, but…. My life was here. My family is here, my friends are here and my livelihood is here as well. All these I am going to leave behind for one man. It is inevitable that I feel a little sad and scared.

J 1 – Well yes, but stop being emotional! Everything will be just fine. You know it.

J 2 – But…..

J 1 – No buts. We came so far, we know this is what we wanted.

J 2 – I won’t see my family on a daily basis. And my friends, will I lose them as friends eventually? Will they still love me?

J 1 – There are skype! Whatsapp! Tango! Come on, there is technology to connect us. And yes, your family and friends still loves you.

J 2 – But I will miss them very much.

J 1 – Of course we will, but they will be very happy for us because they know we have choose the life we wanted. And not forgetting, our family and friends will have an excuse to visit Europe!

J 2 – Why are you so emotionless? How did you do that?

J 1 – Well, then just stop thinking and let me do the thinking. Only positive thoughts can bring positive results.

J 2 – But, u are selfish and cold!

J 1 – That’s how life is, we have our life to live and so does everyone else. No one owes you a living, we have to plan our future happiness.

J 2 – 😦 tears rolling ….

J1 – OK, forget it. Let’s just stay where we are and forget about the move.

J2 – *Tears stop* I can’t do that! I want to be with Jos and continue our adventure!

J1 – All right then, I rest my case….

J2 – 😦

So yes, every night, the conversation between the two J battling within me. There isn’t a clear conclusion of what should be and not be. This is the time of a feeling commonly known as “the mixed” feeling. You feel happy on one hand and on the other you feel sad. This is also commonly known as “we cannot have the cake and eat it too”.

The two Jess

 

If I should search deeper within myself,  I do know what I had struggled for all this time and what I really yearn for and yes, moving to the Netherlands is part of a life time experience. Besides having the blessing of being with the one I love, I have the opportunity to see and learn new experiences. The different culture, the language and most of all, I’d really like to travel the whole of EU, if at all possible.

I know the battle of the two J will go on and on until the day I land in the Netherlands. By that time, I reckon, they would be too busy to have any time for arguments, all they want might be to fall asleep quickly so that they are awake fresh next morning for a brand new day of adventure.

Good Luck J and all the best to the new chapter of your life.  Love, J

Alien in The Waiting Game

What can be worst than waiting indefinitely for “D-Day”? No, I’m not waiting to be pregnant. I’m not waiting to deliver a baby, maybe not even in anybody’s context consider as an important day. But to me, this day is so important I even dream about it. I’m really referring to the day I can fly back to Netherlands and begin my new life there. I’m eager to start experiencing something, maybe not new since I’ve been to Netherlands many times but experiencing being an expat and no, no longer a tourist. I cannot wait!!

The reason why I said I’m waiting indefinitely is because the IND has not approved my entry visa and will not give me a definite date on when it will be ready, as such I cannot plan, I cannot book my ticket, I cannot decide when Jos should come to Singapore and escort me back to Holland. I have to just – wait. The reason for the delay was because of the “holiday” season, the delay can take up to 2-3 weeks. So seriously, I pray for the Dutch to get over the holiday mood and start working. It’s OVER!

As an “Alien”, I have to first wait for a Entry Visa is approve and when it is approved, the local dutch embassy to call and arrange for me to pick it up from them. oh yes, I’m referred to as an Alien in the Dutch Immigration Department’s context since I’m a foreigner.

Hello, I'm an Alien...I prefer to be a cute one.

This MVV (Machtiging tot Voorlopig Verblijf) is a temporary residence permit for any “Alien” who wish to reside in the Netherlands for more than 3 months. So, me being a Singaporean are considered an Alien. But humans from USA, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand are not considered Alien. The do not need a MVV for entry into the Netherlands, they are allow to enter the country and then apply for a resident permit concurrently. This isn’t fair! Agree? Anyway, points accepted, I’m an Alien – *suck thumb*. Why are Singaporean considered an Alien is unknown because it’s a human language, an Alien like me will not/never understand, it will remain a mystery.

Just to elaborate on the process, a MVV is a sticker I need to obtain from the local Dutch Embassy when it’s approved, have it stick on my passport and travel with it for entry at the immigration at the Schipol Airport. With this MVV, I have 3 days upon my arrival in the Netherlands to visit IND at Rijswijk and register my arrival. And then submit my application for a resident permit and for this, I’m uncertain on the time line. But then, that can come later.

I'm dreaming for this to be on my passport!

Additional note, on applying for resident permit, an alien also need to legalize their birth certificate and it needs to be original. So if anyone are going through the same process, please legalize your birth certificate way before the MVV is approved so you save some time there. I’ve did mine. I cannot use my actual birth certificate because mine is laminated. So i had to extract original birth certificate from Singapore Immigration Department, Legalized it at Ministry of Foreign Affairs first and then to the Dutch Embassy to also have them legalized it. And of all the endorsement, the dutch embassy charged 100 percent more.

Alright, enough of ranting. I don’t mind the process, I just dislike the waiting. But I guess, the wait will be all worthwhile.

Alien signing off~ Thank you for allowing me to rant.

Online Purchase = Blind Purchase

To get ready for the nasty winter in Holland, I’ve decided I should purchase a UGG boots. The problem is there isn’t a UGG store in Singapore so the only option for me was to order online and I did. I’ve surfed on the website, did some research (“so I thought”) and found out that Whooga appear to have the cheapest UGG boots. I also read on a blog hollyjean.sg and was convinced. Although the price difference isn’t alot, approximately about EUR20.00 different. I decide to go ahead and order with Whooga anyway.

The ordering process was really easy and I could even track my order online on the number of days it will take to be delivered to my home. So I wait….

The fateful day arrived….. but I was extremely DISAPPOINTED! The parcel came in with brown box packing from a address in Southern China via a cheap courier company. Somehow, I feel sad because I read that UGG boots should be 100% manufacture in Australia but Whooga boots are manufactured in CHINA! That I overlooked.

It isn’t the fault of Whooga, they have clearly stated what they are on their website but this clearly isn’t what I was looking for. I will pay more to just get an authentic UGG brand boots and not Ugg type boots made in another manufacturer’s name and ship from China. Price paid, mistake learned. I’ve got a pair of ugg whooga boots, made in China, at a price of EUR115.00 which is equivalent to SGD190.00. Let’s now hope the material is genuine and the comfort level does not compromise.

I’ve on a few occasion purchase clothes online from local Singapore Online Shop and have never once purchased something close to what it’s mentioned on the website. But those are really cheap item, you know even if it does not fit, you don’t mind trying.  And the truth is, none of those online dresses I purchase online is something I would wear them. And all went to waste.

There was also another incident I had to purchase a Dildo online for a friend because I just didn’t have time to run to the sex shop in Amsterdam. I’d look at a pink bunny vibrator which appear to me that it must be a tiny one since the price of it was EUR24.95. I will never be able to purchase a small dildo for SGD50.00, my friend bought one for SGD79.00. So I’d thought this must be it, alittle cheaper than buying from Singapore. To my surprise, the Dildo arrived in a big box. I told myself, I never knew a small toy need to be packed in such a big box. ONly when I open the box to realize its a super sized Dildo I almost fainted.

Small Dildo in a Big Box?

I’m not sure if my friend would find it useful anymore since she requested for a really small one and I’ve given her a super sized one. But again its another online purchase fail even though this one is value for money. A dildo size like this will cause more than SGD200.00 in Singapore!

The only thing I successfully purchased online and feel happy about was books from online bookstore.

So, I should know by now…. I should never trust online purchase. If I don’t see it myself with my bare eyes and touched the product with my bare hands, I will never ever purchase anything from online shop except books.

My 2 cents worth….