Carolyn Vines, who has been in the Netherlands for 15 years and likes to be known as a lovepat.
How did you end up in the Netherlands?
I moved here with my then Dutch boyfriend.
How do you describe yourself – an expat, lovepat, immigrant, international etc – and why?
A lovepat because I love the way it sounds. It always makes me laugh when I see or say it.
How long do you plan to stay?
Do you speak Dutch and how did you learn?
Yes, I speak Dutch rather well. I taught Spanish as a second language when I was in graduate school in the States so I know how to learn a language. When I first moved here, I was required to take an inburgeringscurssen that provided me with a solid basis. My Dutch improved by leaps and bounds when my oldest daughter went to school. Since none of her friends spoke English, I had to speak Dutch.
What’s your favourite Dutch food?
What do you miss about back home?
The International House of Pancakes, grocery shopping whenever I want, space, warm and sunny summers, hearing the American accent and of course space.
How Dutch have you become?
Well, at one point I had three bikes. One I kept at Utrecht Centraal for when I worked. One nice bike that I used to transport my daughter and my groceries and one ratty old bike for leaving at the train station. I play field hockey – even in the rain and I’m into soccer. I think that makes me pretty darned Dutch, don’t you think?
What’s your top tourist tip?
Pick a big city and take a canal tour. It’s the most beautiful and authentic way to see Holland.
Tell us something surprising you’ve found out about NL?
That the Dutch place such a high value on multilinguism.
If you had just 24 hours left in NL, what would you do?
Sit in my back yard and enjoy the flowers.
Carolyn Vines, 46, is a certified professional coach and the author of Black and (A)broad.
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl
The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.
DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.