3 months minus 2 days

It’s been nearly 3 months since I arrived in the Philippines. The Netherlands seems like a vague and distant memory. Sort of like that dream you partly remember but never really think about until you see certain things that trigger a memory or thought.

arnan-rock-name

I don’t miss the Netherlands. Nor do I miss Europe and their bullshit problems. I catch up on the news from time to time. Every few weeks I glance at the ‘front page’ of a news site I used to frequent. I spot headlines like; “School buildings unacceptable”, “Germany lost hope for the EU”, “Immigrants are still coming”, “The economy is getting better but more and more businesses go bankrupt”. Sigh, what a load of bollocks. I don’t care for it anymore and reading those things only makes me annoyed or sad.

Things I’ll probably miss at some point

Changing country is no small feat. Since I’m going so far away it’s not really an option to go back for a short trip or whatever. I’m going to be more than 17000Km away in the Philippines after-all.

I’ve thought long and hard about what I would miss the most about the Netherlands. And I’ve come up with this; Kroketten!

broodje-kroket

I’ll probably think of something else once I ‘loose’ access to certain things. But for now, this is all I can think of.

One thing I won’t miss when leaving Europe

I won’t miss those lousy immigrants and all the buzz around it. I’m not against immigration. I’m against those that come here thinking that Europe will fix their lives. I’m against those who come here illegally. I’m tired of the train of thought of the people around me about the immigrant crisis. And I’m fed up with the stupid governments and local population siding with those criminals. That’s right, I said it.

That said, in a few weeks I’m an immigrant myself. And again, I have nothing against legitimate immigration. The huge difference between me and those coming to Europe is that I’m not a criminal. I consider myself a somewhat educated and smart person. I know there are certain rules and requirements. And as a result I have prepared my trip to the Philippines reasonably well.

I’ve saved up some money. Got a plane ticket. I have a visa. And that gives me the right to be in that country. If after a while the Philippines decides they don’t want me anymore, I’ll go someplace else.
At the same time, I’m not expecting a job, I don’t expect a house or any sort of special treatment. I won’t loiter around or use up millions of pesos in tax money either.

Desperation

They’re desperate to get a better life. So what? The streets are not paved with gold here. What are they expecting to find? Clearly they don’t read the papers… It’s certainly no reason to break just about every law and become a loitering criminal.

If you can pay a vague organisation several thousand dollars to ship you across the border you can also buy a proper plane or ferry ticket and apply for a visa the normal way. You know, like a sane person. Just follow procedure and wait your damn turn. If the country won’t let you in, either make a compelling appeal as to why you are valuable for the country. Or better yet, go back to where you came from and try to make it a better place there.

But no, instead they come here on a overloaded boat, stowed away in freighters or trucks. They break into compounds, trucks and yards, many carry knives as a weapon and cross the border illegally.

You know it’s a sad state if the bus driver has to reassure his passengers to not be scared. This was filmed recently in Calais, France.

And then some…

immigrants-calais immigrants-calais-2

I mean, what the hell France! Protect these streets!

When they finally ‘succeed’ they get free housing, food, healthcare and preferential treatment. Because they’re poor immigrants needing help? Criminals is what they are. And everything they get for free is all paid for with your tax money. Paid for by your local government, supported by the idiot population of Europe that believe that helping everyone is a duty.

Help yourself first

Why does Europe feel the need to help those people? We as a union have enough problems of our own. We don’t need a million plus people extra to take care of. I’d argue that until Europe sorts itself out there is no room for helping illegal immigrants.

You can’t provide them jobs if there aren’t enough jobs for your own people.
You can’t fix an economy by taking in people who don’t have money.
You can’t provider proper healthcare if you keep taking in people.
You can’t improve education levels by letting in more and more uneducated folks.

It just won’t work.

All you achieve by doing that is increase unemployment numbers, make the economy even less profitable and overload healthcare even further. And well, before the immigrants even start to comprehend our languages, culture and customs who are you kidding about education… Not to mention the millions of euros spent on them. That money is better spent elsewhere.

Immigrants in tents
No, this is not Africa. That’s near Calais, France. Where the Eurotunnel is. And there are tent camps all over Europe. Some inhabit thousands of illegal immigrants.

Earn your keep

The common person already living here; Dutch, Germans, French, Italians, Spanish, English (and whoever else…). They’re all getting screwed over. Most Europeans worked for their welfare benefits, healthcare and retirement funds. Most of us worked for what we have. Some of us saw it disappear are a supposed result of the economic crisis. Then some criminals walk across the border and get it all for free. How unfair and twisted is that.

Countries are going to shit because of this idiocy and apparently nobody in power seems to realise that keeping the illegal immigrants out is, for now, the only sensible solution.

Fixing Europe

I’m not sticking around for any fixes. I’ve had it. Goodwill, gone. Trust, long gone. I believe that before you can help others you need to have your own affairs in order. Especially if everything these illegals do costs us money. Tons of money. Millions! All that money should be spent for the benefit of Europeans by creating jobs. Stimulate economic growth. Or even to do stuff that allows governments to reduce taxes. Lower VAT, anyone? More bank interest? Yes, please! Better health insurance? Sure.

Governments should help their tax paying people. Those who worked all their life for what they have. Cut them some slack for once. But no, they rather waste their money on helping immigrants who have nothing to contribute.

Revisiting my birthplace

A little while ago I went on a small adventure, going back to my birthplace. As part of a goodbye thing from the Netherlands. But also to see how that felt. Oddly – it didn’t feel like much.
Obviously I have tons of history in that city. My first job, my first girlfriend, playgrounds, the school… My entire first 20 or so years of my life.

Going back

The city was more boring than I remembered. At first glance nothing had changed. Then the memories came back and all shops had been switched around. A bunch of buildings along routes I often took were gone or repurposed.

I went together with Jeanette And along the way we decided it would be fun to photograph every house I had lived in. So here goes.

1. I’m born in this one

I don’t remember this at all. But apparently I’m born in this house.
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2. Early youth

This one I do remember, I had most of the top floor for my legos and stuff. I used to play in the surrounding parks. I lived here for about 12 years.
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And I went to this middleschool. I nearly broke my jaw on the concrete sandbox in front 🙁
school

3. Growing up

It being a smallish rental house, my room got a lot smaller. The city more within reach and I got my first real PC while living here. I started highschool during this period, too. We’ve lived here about 5 years.
clematisstraat

4. My first job

I got my first full-time job when I was 16, while living in this house. I again had most of the top floor. I also had my first real girlfriend while in this house. We’ve lived here for about 5 years. And I moved out with my mom and sister when my parents divorced.
middenweg

5. Moving on

After the divorce of my parents, me my mom and my sister moved to this house. We lived here, again, for about 5 years. I lost my job at some point, decided to go back to school. Got bored quickly and got a new job after a while.
sluisdijkstraat

6. New city

My sister moved out at some point, back to our dad. Me and my mom moved to another city with better opportunities for work and stuff. This, for me, meant a much shorter commute to Amsterdam, where I worked at the time. I now have my own business and work from home. We’re in this house for about 6 years now.
sintantoniusstraat

We visited a whole bunch of places, walked around the town and city. We took the bus everywhere and overall had a good time. But not having been there for years it also felt detached. I’m not going to miss that place, at all 😉

Digital Nomad to be?

Apparently if you don’t have a place in your home country and kinda move around while working you’re no longer an Expatriate but a Digital Nomad.

Digital nomads are individuals who leverage telecommunications technologies to perform their work duties, and more generally conduct their lifestyle in a nomadic manner. – Wikipedia

Fine, but am I one too? Not yet for sure. But later? I’m not sure if I like the term. I consider myself a Freelancer, perhaps even a Entrepreneur. And soon a Digital Nomad too? I’m just Arnan, I have a laptop. And I (soon) happen to reside in a country other than my own from where I also do some work. Nomads live in tents and herd animals.

I guess I need to warm up to the idea. Perhaps I’ll change my mind later on or have some kind of insight I don’t have now. Maybe it’s useful For SEO purposes. Who knows. But now? I don’t really see it.

Make your Facebook a tiny bit less annoying by disabling auto-play on videos

Months ago Facebook decided it would be useful to auto-play videos on peoples timelines as they come into view.
In the few days/weeks after that got forced into my account I was always wondering why Facebook was so noisy. Until I by chance scrolled past one of those vids that was playing. Some people have an option to kill this stupid feature.

It’s in your account settings in the video section;
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If you’re lucky enough to have this tab at all, it will have 2 options (or atleast, I have 2 settings there). One to turn off auto-playing of videos. Last month this option wasn’t there for me. Now it is… Yay!

Why is this annoying?

I just want to browse through my timeline once or twice a day. If, and that’s a big IF, I want to see something I can click ‘play’ myself. Facebook doesn’t have to do that for me. Not to mention the waste of bandwidth for preloading all those vids. 99% of what people post is useless shit I don’t care for anyway. Why should Facebook generate views and engagement if I don’t see it anyway. Utterly stupid.

It’s that time again…

I’m just going to assume that sometime in the next 20-30 years someone will figure out how to fix ageing or invents something to make people younger. Then with that in mind – Life complete: 10%. At most!

If you can guess (or know) my age then good for you. I sort of forgot it was today until Google told me.

bday-google

I’ll be eating cheesy snacks all night while watching a movie till I fall asleep.
Huzzah!

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