Im a photographer, a writer, a nerd, and a Third Culture Kid who is changing cultures one more time. I was born in the Philippines, grew up in Italy and then the US, moved back and forth a few times over the course of my life, and now I’m moving to The Netherlands* to live with my Dutch geliefde (beloved). I chose this country for a variety of reasons, some of which are practical and some are not, but one of the most common questions I get both here and in the States in tones of complete bewilderment is “but WHY The Netherlands?”.
Carel and I met through work and sometime in the late part of 2009 we fell outrageously in love. We think. Neither of us is quite sure when it happened, but it became obvious at the SF MAAWG 2010. I had found a job around the same time that allowed me to relocate, and so I moved to Groningen, NL that November. I came over in August 2010 to deal with some of the red tape, and while wandering around with Carel giving him my (endless) commentary, he suggested I start a blog in an attempt to answer that eternally repeated question by way of an illustrated discussion of the differences from the cultures that I am most familiar with – the Mediterranean ones, and the United States. The Netherlands, to me, is both oddly familiar and incredibly strange. There are elements that feel like what I grew up with, and others that just leave me agape. It’s not uncomfortable, just different. Most of the differences are delightful. Some are annoying. Some are just plain perplexing (
seriously, no olive oil? okay so I found that this is a personal idiosyncrasy of Carel’s, who has since been converted to the appreciation of really good olive oil since I am able to import it directly from the growers in Umbria, Italy. You just can’t get oil like that commercially!). Come explore with me! It’ll be fun.
*Contrary to most people’s assumptions I am not moving here for the sake of love, though sometimes it is easier to just let that idea ride. I’ve been trying to get over to the Netherlands for quite some time now – 3 years? longer? and this romance post-dates my decision to move by rather a lot. It certainly worked out nicely though, and the one thing that is completely dictated by our relationship is my choice of city. I’d probably have moved to Amsterdam if he hadn’t come along, but Groningen is his city and so I am here.
[Editor’s note: all photos in this blog
are were taken on a jailbroken iPhone 3Gs running iOS4 (now upgraded to an iPhone 4S running IOS5) and are straight off the camera sometimes post-processed a little. With the advent of the iPhoto app for the iPad, processing is much easier than with Photoshop so I let myself play sometimes. I had promised myself I wouldn’t start processing every single photo like I usually do, or else this blog would become a full time job. ]