November 22, 2012

Finding sunshine in a shithole

It's been a rough few weeks.
I packed my bags & moved out of my lovely apartment in Amsterdam to start a 6 month internship at Philips Healthcare in Eindhoven, on the less-than-glamorous end of Holland.
My friends and family gave me skeptical looks when I announced I would be moving because 3 hours a day on a train seemed like too much.
"Are you sure?"
"Of course I'm sure! It'll be fine"
Now I'm not so sure.
Cue rain (it seems rainier here), grey scenery, grumpy people and not much going on in a city that's nicknamed "Eindhoven de gekste" (the crazy). 
At this point, anything 'crazy' would be appreciated, this city is so boring! (Though I'm sure to get more than my fair share of it when the city apparently 'comes alive' for its annual carnival in February.)
Even though I am now only 1.5 hours away from Amsterdam, this new world I'm living in couldn't be more different. It's smaller, less dynamic and doesn't have the same buzz; the people don't seem as friendly and the neighborhoods are desolate. Everyone I've met so far has asked me why on earth I would move from Amsterdam to Eindhoven, not considering the long commute that would have entailed.
Let's call this move a much needed reality check: little island girl who has so far had nothing but luck, good fortune & amazing experiences in interesting places suddenly has the rose tinted glasses taken off and chucked in the bin. Without those glasses I'm suddenly faced with a really difficult, depressing situation and reality doesn't taste very good. 
The point of this post is not to moan or have anyone feel sorry for me (I've had enough pity from all those who asks me where I'm living right now) but rather, to declare that I refuse to let this get the better of me. I also see this as a taste of the life I never want to have and to have a new found appreciation for everywhere else I've lived so far. Every time I've had a negative thought about something I've found myself quickly ending it with "White girl problem." (For those of you who don't know, "White girl problems" = not an actual problem but something trivial relative to actual problems) And yes, it's really a case of mind over matter and focusing on the positive.
I hate where I'm living but I'm so incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to work with an international organisation, gain experience, network and earn decent money in the mean time. I also have great friends to cheer me up on Skype, my bezzies in the Dam who have an open door policy (I'm back there every weekend), family who can give me a push when I need it and a lot of exciting projects coming up in 2013. I'm only here for 6 months and I plan to make the most of it. I believe there is sunshine in this shithole and I will beat these white girl problems, one at a time.
And I will put back on my rose tinted glasses once this is over, thankyouverymuch.

Image via.


  1. You got this mama! I'll be cheering you on from this side of the ocean :)

  2. Aaawww poo!! I miss you - you better come back every weekend to the Dam or I'll come and fetch you.
    Love the image you added to this post :)
    I'll call ya laterzz xx