Vyjayanthi Iyer is from India and has been in the Netherlands for 10 years. She runs a Bollywood dance school, would like to meet Rutger Hauer and is glad Dutch companies are finally realising the importance of good customer service.
How did you end up in the Netherlands?
My husband came here for a project and fell in love with the beautiful city of Amsterdam. One fine day he called me and asked me to come and live with him in this romantic city. He was so right, I fell in love with this city too
How do you describe yourself – an expat, lovepat, immigrant, international, etc?
I am an expatriate and Lovepatriate. If it was not for my husband I would not have moved to a different country, where I had to start my career from scratch. On top of that, this was my first ever international trip direct from Mumbai to Amsterdam.
How long do you plan to stay and why?
I didn’t even realise it’s already been 10 years, I have stopped counting now. I love this city and will live here as long as we both are happy and enjoy our lives. Life is very unpredictable, you never know.
Do you speak Dutch and how did you learn?
Honestly, I speak very little Dutch, I understand more. People say it’s a difficult language to learn, I completely disagree. If you put your heart and soul into it you can learn and do anything. In my opinion it’s all based on need. If I need it and must learn the language I will invest time and money. I did some short courses but I am not sure if I will ever be fluent.
What’s your favourite Dutch food and why?
Poffertjes and pannenkoeken, tasty and delicious. My mouth is watering already.
How Dutch have you become and why?
I love my bike. I love to do hardlopen (run) irrespective of whether it is raining, cold, windy or too warm. I can spend hours in a café chatting with friends or be alone doing my own work.
Which Dutch person would you most like to meet and why?
I would love to meet Rutger Hauer, such a talented actor. I have always been passionate about acting. If given an opportunity I would like to talk with him and get to know his mantra of life. There is so much to learn from him.
What’s your top tourist tip?
Keep some change (coins) handy when you enter the tram or bus to buy the tickets. And remember you need to push the green button in the tram to get off at your desired stop.
Do visit the small cafes in an around the city to experience the local culture.
Tell us something surprising you’ve found out about the Netherlands.
Coming from Mumbai and a customer service and public relations background, I was surprised and shocked how this country lacked good customer services. However, over the years it has changed a lot and I am happy they are realising the importance of customer services.
If you had just 24 hours left in the Netherlands, what would you do?
My husband is a great photographer and I love to be in front of the camera. I would like to get more pictures clicked in every nook and corner of the city and then walk hand-in-hand together in this romantic, crazy, awesome city called Amsterdam for the rest of the evening.
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