Expat zone
Posted on: Nov 13, 2013

Winter is coming

Harmonia Coaching

This post is also available in Greek

The more time passes by, the harder it gets for me to write. In the beginning I had the appetite for a rebellion, I wanted to scream out loud whenever I found myself being judged unfairly and I shook my fists against any racist comments.

I don’t freak out any more. Its not like I’ve solved all my problems, its not either that I haven’t managed to solve even half of my problems. It is that after 2 years I learned how to handle my stress and be cool like them. I learned how to dress up warm, organize my paperwork, shop better, control my inner consumer with great success, pay my debts on time, knowing who my friends are, and ignore all the stupid inaccuracies about Greece and about being Greek in the Netherlands.

Another winter just came, I felt him pass chillingly through me while I was waiting at the bus stop. The third winter, the more self conscious one yet. This winter I’ll set true goals. Now I know how the system works and how people think. They don’t think like they used, I am told. They have become cold and money loving here as well. At least that is what I hear from those who lived here for years and had some golden times. The crisis has reached here as well, the hands are in the pockets and the money go in the socks.

I know that feeling, I’ve experienced it in Greece in 2005 when I felt the crisis touching me for the first time. First comes the cold, than the exploitation and at the end you even stop hearing people say good morning. I am not worried about the good mornings part here, its like oxygen. They might strip you down and take everything you got but never without that classic smile that is always accompanied by a good morning and an alstublieft!

Within these 2 years I have been taken advantage of by so many. They got my money, they put me aside, they asked me to work for free and even under the table. You see, this “need” for savings has arrived here as well.

And as the time goes by thing are getting harder. Less jobs, more scams, its times I wonder, have I left Greece?

Its looks like we’ll go through the same stuff here also

I begin to believe.

Its not like this stupid weather is helping anyones mood. We’ll be seeing the warm sun again around June, great. The Netherlands is now full of geese and ducks that are loving this mind and clothes penetrating humidity that doesn’t help anyones mood.

People come and go. Not everyone is made for this place. Sometimes I am not even sure if I am made for this place. I’ve heard so many nice stories about the old days, about how much everybody used to get along. And now, the crisis is looming here also. But we aren’t giving up, we’ve seen this movie once more and the end has yet to come. We open our window, look at the ducks, light a smoke, take a deep icy cold breath and carry on.

All this time there is not a single day that passes by and makes me wonder if we are going to pull yet through one more winter. This is the third winter and for the first time I clearly see the beauty of Amsterdam. Now that my mind is stress free. I put on my coat and watch the lake from my balcony. I always wanted a sea view. I don’t like living away from water and that why I chose to live in this leaky strainer. At least I get to see a lake.

It only takes time after all to open your mind and make the foreigners friends. I wish I had more time to give it from the start.

The photos were taken from my good friend & photo-ninja Thrasos Panou.

Born in Volos in 1980. As a kid was filled many concerns about life. Sports lover, naturalist and big fan of travelling. He has majored in multimedia development and the past few years he's grown passionate for photography and photo editing. His purpose is to offer the world the best images one can shoot and edit. Believes that everybody has an artist inside. It only takes for one to believe in himself. You can find about more at Thrasos website: Thrasivoulos Panou Photography

Mike Klianis
Wild Sage Foods

Designer, marketer & a social media karate kid (No 4). When she grows up, she wants to feed the world with Greek food & Frappe. Admires the yellow angry bird because it strikes its targets with power and precision.