Tuesday, 30 December 2008


Every once in a while, I will feel like an unhealthy lump of lard and decide to cook more simply. Today, we had fresh pasta with store-bought Arrabiata sauce, carrots and paprika. It was OK lah but I miss my meat.

One of my favourite things about living in Europe is wine! Cheap wine to be exact! You can easily buy drinkable wine for 2-3 euro per bottle. For dinners, we usually buy wine in the 3-6 euro range. Tonight, we had Chianti, produced in Tuscany. It was 3.99 euro from the Albert Heijn (supermarket). The Dutchman and I usually drink red wine with food. He hates white wine. We both adore rose but that's only for the summer (or so they say!).

When I have girls over at my place, I serve prosecco (Italian sparkling white wine).

Life is simple here in The Netherlands. Taxes are incredibly high and wages are low but there is no need to save for your children's education or for rainy days. If you lose your job, you get welfare. I have never taken money off the Dutch government (in fact, I am paying them!) but it's nice to know I have a safety net if something happens! Despite high costs, we somehow still manage to have a pretty good life- dinners at restaurants at least once a month, good food at home, a new car (Most people don't buy new cars here), a nice apartment in the center, health insurance... I think I'm used to such things now and can't fathom going back to Malaysia anymore. I love Malaysia and that's where I feel comfortable most but life here is safe and the working hours here are amazing (full-time means 40 hours, not even a single minute more).

I only wish I could bring my parents over (healthcare only 100 euro per person per month mah). Perhaps later, when I have a proper job. I don't think they want to come though because despite the security and the better standard of living, The Netherlands lack one thing: friends and family. The individualistic culture here means that people are expected and do take card of themselves. I miss the warmth of my family and friends back home. Of course I miss the food also lar! :D

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