Instead, I have been running all over the Netherlands. That might be a slight exaggeration but this week alone I have been in 8 new to me train stations as I have been making my way around the country for various work commitments. Since it is my goal to stop at every train station that NS (the Dutch train service Nederlandse Spoorwegen) serves, I am making pretty swift progress this week alone.
I spent the day today with my new team digging deep into everyone’s Meyers Briggs profiles. This was a pretty amazing exercise and I really got to see the difference between Dutch colleagues and American colleagues. And I realized during the day that coming here was an excellent step for me work wise. I am finally going to get a chance to work with people in the way that I work best, collectively and with open dialogue. I was paid a pretty big compliment today, I was told that although they didn’t know me very well or even at all, they felt that I was best described as “authentic”. I liked hearing that since it is an important value to me. And I also liked hearing a bio break called a “Plas Pauze” or literally a “pee pause”.
Yesterday I was invited to speak to students at a Dutch college. Luckily for them, in English. I am definitely going to do it because I believe so strongly in the value of an education. I am also incredibly thrilled to be asked.
I had worried, a lot, that when I got here I might not be able to get along with people because I definitely have some quirks and social anxieties. But I seem to be doing okay. And that’s a big relief.
I realized too that one of the things about being here that I like so much is hearing people use expressions and tones of voice that my mom did. Even though I don’t know anything about the people using it, it is comforting to hear that some things remain the same. I was reminded of my mom when I rode in the silent car yesterday coming back from the conference. The last time I was in a Silent car on the train was with my mom, Jo and her mom on our way to celebrate birthdays at the Frankendael Park and Hortus Gardens in Amsterdam in 2011. The conductor busted my mom and aunt for talking out loud in the Silent Car and after he finished lecturing, my aunt was quite upset. And continued to talk. I remember the look on my mom’s face, it was that smile she got and twinkle in her eye when she was up to no good. Inside she was cracking up. My brother, Rupert, gets that look from her.
I’ll be posting some pictures over the weekend, I think. In between laundry and walking the dogs. The furniture won’t be arriving before the beginning of December so the camping will have to last a bit longer. Sitting on wooden floors makes your butt numb, in case you were wondering.