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Crossing Borders ‘Expat Stories from the Netherlands’ ft. Min Zheng

December 19th, 2023

Get ready to dive into the fascinating world of expat life in the Netherlands. In our blog series "Crossing Borders," we're sharing short personal tales straight from the hearts of those who've embarked on this incredible journey. From cultural quirks to conquerable challenges, delightful discoveries to career twists – it's all here.

In this edition of ‘Crossing Borders', we are sharing the story of Min Zheng, who recently relocated from the China to the Netherlands.

Could you please share some words about who you are and what enthused you to move to our country?
Hello everyone! I'm Min, and I recently relocated from China to the Netherlands to embark on a new chapter as a Trade Manager with the Investment. Accompanying me on this exciting journey is my husband, Hua, as we immerse ourselves in Dutch life and culture.

What were your first thoughts when you touched down in the land of tulips and windmills? Any amusing culture shock moments?
Before our departure, I took the time to familiarize myself with the distinctions between the Netherlands and China. Arriving in September, during early autumn, I quickly discovered the accuracy of the tales about the country's penchant for rainy and windy weather. The Dutch climate showcases a delightful mix of sunshine and rain, always accompanied by a gentle breeze. Looking ahead, I'm eager for the upcoming spring and summer seasons.

We've heard about Dutch cycling culture. Did you embrace it right away, or did you have a "wobbly" start?
The Netherlands is renowned not only for its tulips and windmills but also for its vibrant cycling culture. Coming from China, where cycling was a prevalent mode of transport in my childhood, I find it intriguing to adapt to the Dutch cycling norms. It's evident that both children and adults here pedal with impressive speed.

Tell us about a funny 'slip of the tongue’ you had while trying to navigate the Dutch language or customs.
I have taken the initiative to learn some German words, finding the pronunciation similarities with Dutch quite interesting. I believe that delving into a country's language is the best way to understand its culture. Admittedly, mastering certain sounds, like the elusive "G," poses a challenge, but I'm committed to continuous practice.

What's something about the Netherlands that brings an instant smile to your face? It could be a local tradition, a picturesque spot, or even a quirky habit!
As a devoted dog person, my heart lights up when I encounter fellow commuters with their canine companions on the tube or train. There's something heartwarming about observing dogs enjoying the beach with their families; it exudes love and tranquillity!