Work Like the Dutch

Ever wondered why ’em Dutch people are always hard to catch for personal meetings? Their reason is always that they are busy. At first, I found it such an exaggeration. People can’t always be too busy that they needed one month of prior notice before they can accommodate a friend who is only coming for a cup of coffee. Anyway what do I know? From where I came from, everything is spontaneous. And we always have time to hang out with friends and relatives. We don’t schedule as much as the Dutch does.

Well lately, I must say, I am beginning to understand what they mean. Since I got my residence permit which allows me to work, I’ve been slaving myself off. My work hours are approximately 60 hours per week, including freelance jobs as a writer and news correspondent. In addition to that, I also do my part in keeping the house clean, washing the clothes and the dishes, ironing and other house chores. And not to be neglected are the romantic responsibilities. I feel like a machine in the last two weeks, stopping only to change oils.

It’s becoming harder to schedule a dinner with a friend or a call to my mother. There are always things that needs my attention, whether it is the simmering braised beef on the stove, the magazines that are eternally lying on the floor or an article that is past its deadline. Work just keeps on piling but all you want to do is rest.

I miss my window shopping and lazily drinking coffee while watching the traffic flows in Rotterdam. Reading a book and the ability to finish at least one in a week. Sleeping at 10PM and waking up without rushing to the office. I couldn’t even remember the last time I was able to drink coffee that lasts more than 10 minutes.

Yes, I am complaining, not because I have so many things to do. I am thankful for the opportunities that this country is showering me. I just wish a day has more than 24 hours. I can really use an additional 3 hours to be with myself or sleep a bit longer.