Interview with an expat

Where do you come from and where do you live in the Netherlands?
I am from England and live in Noordwijk.

What’s your job/business?
I work in a restaurant of one of the hotels here in Noordwijk.

What was your first time in the Netherlands?
I came as a child with my family on holiday.

What is the nicest thing about the Netherlands?
The Dutch are friendly and always seem to be in a good mood, plus they don’t mind speaking English!

What’s the worst thing about the Netherlands?
The landscape is flat, unlike the rolling hills in England.  It’s very green but I miss the English countryside.

Do you have Dutch friends?
Yes, from work and my neighbors

What do you like about Dutch people? What don’t you like?
The Dutch are almost always in a good mood and smiling.  They can be direct, which takes times getting used to.

Do you have a favourite restaurant in your city?
Yes, Coco Saigon is a great Vietnamese restaurant and also La Galleria on the Boulevard is a fantastic Italian restaurant.

Where do you prefer to relax in your city?
The beach!  The coast is very long, so it’s easy to find quiet spots to relax.

What’s your favourite Dutch store?
There is a lovely cheese shop on the main shopping street in town.

What do you like to do in the weekend?
Leiden and The Hague are very close, but when the weather is nice the beach and nearby dune areas are nice for relaxing.

Who is your favourite Dutch person?
I enjoy art, so I would have to say Van Gogh and Rembrandt.

What would you recommend a visitor to do and see in your city in the Netherlands?
There are several bunkers in the dune areas that were used by the nazis during WW2.  There is also a museum dedicated to the Dutch resistance fighters who first fled to England but returned undercover to the Netherlands to be a part of the resistance.

What is your favourite Dutch food? And what Dutch food do you dislike?
Strompwaffles!  Especially the ones made to order in street kiosks.  I’m not crazy about the raw herring and though the frites are good, they don’t compare to English chips!

Do you celebrate Dutch holidays? What is your favourite?
Fortunately I was here last year and was able to experience King’s Day and Liberation Day, but this year there were no celebrations outside.

Where do you like to go out?
Normally, before the corona lockdown friends and I would go to a nice pub on the main shopping street here or over to Leiden which has many places to have a pint or two since it’s a university town.

What famous Dutch place should you really go and see?
The windmills at Zaandam, the Binnenhof in The Hague and of course Amsterdam

Best kept secret in your city?
Freddy Heineken lived here and is buried in the municipal cemetery.