Aug 132012

It’s great being back in the Netherlands, where I know lots of people, where all my friends live.

So, you would think it would be easy to fill your days with nothing but happiness and fun, right? Well, it is! As long as you’re willing to plan all your happiness and fun at least a week in advance…

Yeah, let’s meet up! I have time… Two weeks from now on a Thursday between 19.45 and 20.30! Oh, you cant? How about the second weekend of April 2013?

The previous week was my first full week of work. And I’m not used to it anymore. Getting home tired, not a lot of energy to do a lot. So Wednesday I was really happy to have no obligations, just me, a book, tea and a big piece of dark chocolate. Pure bliss!

Thursday I was already feeling a bit better, not quite as tired, but still didn’t feel like expending the energy to actually go do a lot. But if someone would’ve called I probably would have gone along…

Friday I was feeling perfect again. Weekend, time for fun! Send some SMS’ (yes, I still live in the stone-age and my phone doesn’t have WhatsApp…). And lo and behold, replies were coming in quickly!

“I’ve already got an appointment.”
“Sorry, not tonight, but how about next week?”
“I’m in Paris, but have fun!”
“I’m off but would love to hang out some other time!”

And a few more of those…

At which time I remembered: I’m not in South America anymore…

Where my Friday wasn’t the best, the rest of the weekend was perfect. Having lunch with a friend, party, jam session in the park. Such a shame it’s Monday already again…
I love Dutch punctuality, the fact that people actually do what they say and that a yes means yes and a no means no.

But there definitely are some downsides to my home country as well. Such as a complete lack of spontaneity… Meaning that you have to schedule in an appointment with your friends at least a week in advance. Or else you’re stuck home alone on a lovely Friday night. Without even a piece of chocolate because you ate that two days before…

So, anybody got time coming Friday for drinks, fun, games, dancing, whatever? πŸ™‚

  9 Responses to “Friendly appointments”

  1. Mehhhh, my amount of commiseration is less than optimal… You really expect your friends to wait around and wait whether you want to hang with them? Sorry, but if your friends are trying to optimize their “time to hang out with friends”, they had better have it planned out. And that is not an anti-Latin-American thing, that is just a I-am-trying-to-get-the-most-of-my-weekend-kind-a-thing…. (hint: compare the life phases of your LA friends and your EU friends……….)

    • I think in LA it’s more: “I’m doing such and such, come join me!” That includes meeting up with other people. So it might very well have something to do with life phase, but it’s more than that.

  2. Also, you’re welcome to hang out this weekend: playing games and drinking sounds AWESOME!

  3. When I first read this, I thought:
    Living in a place with a “routine” is never to be compared with travelling around…when everyone has time for you and wants to meet you because you are “novelty” or when coming back home, and everyone wants to hear from your experiences abroad…welcome back to “normal” life, the challenge is to be happy with it now.

    Then I thought:

    What about getting answers such as:
    ” I dont know”
    “oh yes, yes..” (and never got another answer back)
    “tomorrow” (meaning in a gazillions of years from now or a point (any) in the near future”)
    Or yes of course, at 9pm (but arriving at 11pm or cancelling the same day half an hour before the appointment because there was something else to do I forgot :S)

    There are downsides in any country. I wont consider us, Southamericans to be soo spontaneous, I do need to make some arrangements to meet people here as well, plans are more vague though and I dont plan one month in advance, but at least one week. I give some ideas and see whether it may work or not: not big deal after all, there are always good choices or different possibilities. I do visit someone if Im in the neighborhood but not all the time and sometimes I go and there is no one at home πŸ™‚ I can call a friend for a drink once in a while, but never expect to get positive replies all the time…so which is the big difference?

    I do believe clichΓ©s are -kind of-true and applicable when generalizing. But Id rather say, we, Latinos, are more “flexible” with time and more “prompt to changes” πŸ™‚ (I m surprised on how PC I tend to be sometimes…ha!)

    Im pretty sure at some point you ll be dealing with the same topic the other way around in some of your posts, idealizing what your home land has, missing the good stuff, complaining about the reality in “paradise” SA. Is that dutch or bastiaans approach or dont we all, humans, complain as well? never content? always looking for something “better”? πŸ˜‰
    (fyi: i do believe SA is paradise together with the rest of the world πŸ˜‰

    We all, “(life) travellers” and people who decide to live abroad for a while or forever, have done that, even the ones who move from a city, town, work… Never happy, always comparing, until some point sooner or latter, after finding yourself in a limbo- where do i belong? what I want in life?, missing many places/ food/ customs/things/people, comparing and idealizing becomes more adapting and realizing that a happier life is not a matter of a location but a choice/attitude, when you are thankful every single day for the things you have, the place you live in and the people around you and specially when you are happy with your actions/ideas and you see that those differences/experiences have made you the person you are right now!

    Miss you and love u! Im really proud of you,I really really like your blog!

    • Never wanted to imply that South America was paradise, I know quite a few things that are (way) worse than they are in the Netherlands. But some things I do really enjoy there and when you are suddenly and sharply confronted with that, it really comes to the fore in a strong way.

      And bitching about something once and awhile is not so bad either πŸ™‚

  4. Je had best op ziekenbezoek mogen komen hoor ;)…

  5. Toeval wil dat ik net wat mensen bij elkaar probeer te schoppen voor stappen in Utrecht komende vrijdag. Doe je mee?

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