Born in South Africa, raised in Italy and now living in The Netherlands. AMA!

May 19, 2017

Hi everyone! This is my second AMA and I'm very excited about it :) thank you for the participation in my first thread, I'm very greatful!

The second topic will about be the three countries I was born/lived in: South Africa (Cape Town), Italy (Venice), and now The Netherlands (The Hague). Ask me anything and I'll reply as best as I can, don't be shy ;)

Thanks for viewing and participating in advance :)

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How do you adjust with these relocations?

May 20, 4:25AM EDT0

Hi w.smith! Interesting question. I suppose I just befriend some people and enjoy wsurroundings as much as possible :)

May 20, 5:02AM EDT0

Where is your favorite place in Italy?

May 19, 10:08PM EDT0

Hello Courtney! Very dfficult choice but I'd have to say Venice :)

May 20, 5:01AM EDT0

What has been the most challenging experience you've had when you relocated?

May 19, 11:20AM EDT0

Hello Tiffany! Well I must confess that the food isn't the same as in Italy. It's actually sad sometimes ahahahaha

May 19, 3:34PM EDT0

What's the carnival like?

May 19, 10:04AM EDT0

Hello david42! Big and extravagant, although I'm not a fan of the huge crowds lol

May 19, 3:35PM EDT0

Did you need to learn Dutch, when you moved to the Netherlands?

May 19, 4:13AM EDT0

Hi Melissa! I didn't need to :) although hopefully I'll be attending a Dutch language course soon enough!

May 19, 9:02AM EDT1

You mentioned born in Cape Town, have you ever been back to your country of birth?

May 18, 10:40PM EDT0

Hi Patrick! I have yes :) will be going back soon as well hopefully!

May 19, 9:02AM EDT0
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What are the local attitude towards the sea of tourists visiting every year, in Venice?

May 18, 7:54PM EDT0

Hello caitlinpatterson! Overall locals don't mind the flux of tourists, although sometimes they simply love to complain about it ahah :) but without tourists Venice is pretty empty so some presence is needed:)

May 19, 9:03AM EDT0

How is the Netherlands education system different from Venice?

May 18, 4:17PM EDT0

Hi Courtney! Well that depends because I'm at a "university" level. Here's a useful link! :)http://www.expatica.com/nl/education/Education-in-the-Netherlands_100816.html

May 19, 9:05AM EDT1

What are the immigration requirements from cape town to Italy then to the Netherlands?

May 18, 1:49PM EDT0

Hello Wanda! this depends on your personal situation. I was born with automatic Italian citizenship (dad is half Italian half British), so it's easier to immigrate in a European country with EU citizenship. Otherwise I know that a visa is required but then you need to return to SA and cannot exit for a while, but they are changing something about this at the moment. They are thinking of tracking every SA's movement (those without any other citizenship of course) and placing taxes if there is also substantial money movements accompanied by such movements (working briefly abroad for example).

May 19, 9:08AM EDT1
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What's the general attitude towards Muslims?

May 18, 3:38AM EDT0

Hi Nicolefinley! The attitude is overall relaxed although there is occasional tension, mainly due to the fact that some individuals of North-African extraction engage in criminal activities.

May 19, 9:10AM EDT1

What is the Netherlands most known for?

May 18, 2:22AM EDT0

Hello Jennifer! I'd say the country, from an Italian perspective mainly, is known for 1) the weed policies; 2) the cheese (especially Gouda) :)

May 19, 9:12AM EDT1
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Is it easier to find healthy food in the Netherlands?

May 18, 1:13AM EDT0

Hi Iprice! I think you can find healthy food wherever :)

May 19, 9:12AM EDT1
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Does the Netherlands have a carnival?

May 17, 11:58PM EDT0

Hi James! yes they do :) since the Southern regions are traditionally Catholic, they celebrate and host their very own Carnival :D

May 19, 9:13AM EDT0

Was it difficult to find healthy food in Venice?

May 17, 1:50PM EDT0

Hi Gail08! interesting question. I think you can find healthy food wherever you are, it's all a matter of adequate food education to be honest :) I never had trouble finding healthy snacks, whether in a cozy cafe or homemade! Hope I answered your question :)

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May 17, 4:43PM EDT1
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Have you ever participated in the Venice carnival?

May 17, 10:23AM EDT0

Hi Barbara! I have yes a few times, especially as a kid. Nowadays I don't mainly because of the noise and chaos ahaha and also because it's usually around my mother's birthday so priorities ;)

May 17, 5:59PM EDT1
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Love the name, WhyNot!! Exactly, why not!!! What was your deciding factor for moving to the Netherlands?

May 17, 7:20AM EDT0

ahahah Hi Cynthia! My deciding factor was getting a degree and potentially making a good career :)

May 19, 9:13AM EDT1

How is your life different, living in the Netherlands?

May 17, 4:05AM EDT0

Hi Steven! Well it's very different from Italy haahah I feel free and the people don't care what you do, say or wear and I really appreciate that :) however, the food is simply terrible lol I took Italy too much for granted and cannot find the same things like pizza, certain types of food at supermarkets, also the cost of living is much higher (in Italy you can buy a roast chicken for just under 2 euros but in The Netherlands it's at least 8 euros +). There are pros and cons :)

May 17, 5:06AM EDT0

Is the Netherlands everything you expected?

May 17, 3:49AM EDT0

Hi Jeremy! Yes and no. I feel free and the people aren't as judgemental as Italians but I feel that their famous "bluntness" is in actual fact rudeness ahaha I'm blunt and direct myself as a person and can see that many Dutch people are just playing rude and masking it as directness/blutness (for ex. refusing to speak English or visibly annoyed at even saying "hello" instead of "hallo", they see you're struggling with heavy suitcases and instead of patiently waiting to board a train, they'll jump right in front of you or actually push you away, you cannot do any wrong with them otherwise they start tellingyou off etc, and when they do it and you do the same they're visibily offended). Very peculiar people, but otherwise I enjoy the country very much :)

May 17, 5:03AM EDT1
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Will you say living in Venice  is very expensive?

May 17, 3:48AM EDT0

Hi thernandez! I'd say it's pretty expensive, especially for basic things such as water or food. 

May 17, 4:59AM EDT0

What is the most common religion in the Netherlands?

May 16, 9:27PM EDT0

Hello Javier! Very good question. I'd still think Christianity is the main religion (Catholic and Protestant), but many Dutch aren't practising so I wouldn't know precisely. I know that the Turkish communities are solid practising Muslims, but they are not the majority.

May 17, 4:58AM EDT1

Is the Netherlands, one of the European countries, taking in Muslim refugees?

May 16, 8:39PM EDT0

Hi Gnewman! I believe they are, I've heard about Syrian refugees being taken in. Now, whether they're Muslim or actually Syrian I don't know, but from what I've gathered there's pressure from the EU to take in more.

May 17, 4:56AM EDT0

What do you miss the most about Venice?

May 16, 7:55PM EDT0

Hi Michael! I miss the serenity and silence, there are no cars or motorbikes circulating around so also some good air hahah but I also miss speaking Venetian with the locals 

May 17, 4:54AM EDT1
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Do you believe Venice is sinking, have you personally experienced any flooding?

May 16, 2:34PM EDT0

Hi Maria :) interesting question. I've experienced flooding many times, one time I woke up in the morning to find myself surrounded by water hahaha but I don't think Venice is sinking, we have special dams to prevent this although we still have the occasional flooding :) 

May 17, 4:53AM EDT0

Can you hold a citizenship of all three countries?

May 16, 2:21PM EDT0

Hi Micheleramsey! No you can't. To achieve the Dutch, or South African, citizenships you need to renounce to your prior citizenship. However, I know that the South African one does allow exceptions for holding dual (you have to write to a specific Minister and ask whether you can hold both citizenships), whilst for the Dutch one you'd have to check your country's legislation (for example mine which is Italian) and see whether they allow you to keep a dual citizenship although another country you're interested in does not allow it. A professor of mine managed to hold both British and Dutch citizenships by doing so, it's all about loophole provisions.

May 17, 5:10AM EDT1

How is fashion different in the Netherlands to  fashion in Venice?

May 16, 2:05PM EDT0

Hello Courtney! Fashion is quite different ahah :) I'd say that in Italy, Venice especially, people opt for cozy-fitting clothing and like to match things and look 'classic'. In The Netherlands, fashion is very 'sporty' with bright, often mis-matched, colours ahaha 

May 19, 9:15AM EDT1

I find moving to be such an emotional experience, How did you move, did you ship your belongings?

May 16, 12:51PM EDT1

Hi Tanner! It is in its own way, but when I first moved to The Netherlands I wasn't emotional strangely enough. When I moved to Italy I was a toddler, so there wasn't much to ship so some memorabilia is still in Italy ahah :) when I moved to The Netherlands, I gradually brough stuff with me (maybe just a tad too much lol) but will be bringing some back soon :) I considered getting my things shipped but: 1) I lived in a massive student building and wasn't sure about whther my package would arrive safely (quite a few people had their mail stolen somehow); 2) it's really expensive to ship stuff, especially if it's heavy :)

May 16, 1:19PM EDT1
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Pizza is my favorite food, how will you rate the pizza in the Netherlands?

May 16, 6:47AM EDT0

Hi Felicia! I'm glad about that, pizza is pure magic in my opinion hahah! However, in The Netherlands, particularly in The Hague, I still haven't found the perfect pizza and overall my score to the pizza I've eaten is 2/10. Doesn't taste good, texture is all wrong, flavour options are highly questionable (chicken or beef + BBQ sauce, something you'd never see in Italy hahah but tastes I suppose).

May 16, 10:39AM EDT0

Have you adopted any Netherlands mannerisms or habits?

May 16, 6:00AM EDT0

Hi Kelly! Interesting question. I've always been a direct and blunt individual, you will always know at any time what I think about something or someone (even in their face haha), and the Dutch are supposedly known for this as well! I haven't adopted any Dutch habits or mannerisms but I do already share some traits with them I suppose hahah

May 16, 10:40AM EDT1
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Hi! I think your life journey is great. How do you cope with changing residences and going across countries?

May 16, 4:14AM EDT0

Hi w.smith! Very good question. Most of the times I really don't think about it, I like to enjoy the moment. However, I've had moments of wanting to leave Italy at one point because there were always people pointing out that I wasn't welcome, or that I was a host of theirs (which is not true because I have the citizenship they have hahah so pretty pointless). But I mean I do miss Italy occasioanlly for all its faults, but The Netherlands are also beautiful :) One day I'd like to also go back and enjoy Cape Town as well :)

May 16, 10:43AM EDT0

How many of the small islands have you visited while living in Venice?

May 16, 3:06AM EDT0

Hi amysullivan! Just three ahaha: Torcello, Murano and Burano :) there are other islands, such as the Armenian one, but you have to book a visit etc. and personally I've never been super tempted to visit them haha

May 16, 10:45AM EDT1
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This may seem like a personal question, I apologize in advance if I've over step....Do you have children , where were they born? Thank you!

May 16, 1:06AM EDT0

Hello twatson! Don't worry about that :) I don't have any children. But I can tell you that I am the child of "quickpinkfox" ahaha the lady hosting an AMA on Cape Town and living in Venice ahaha 

May 16, 10:46AM EDT0

Do you drink coffee, if so where have you had your best coffee?

May 16, 12:14AM EDT0

Hi Charles! I try to avoid caffeine and theine as much as possible but I can tell you that with a traditional moka coffee machine and some good Arabic coffee you can get the best coffee in the world! I recommend a Bialetti moka coffee machine :) So my final answer would: the best coffee is the one made at home eheh

May 16, 10:49AM EDT0

Having lived in Venice and now in the Netherlands, how is the attitude different towards women?

May 15, 11:12PM EDT0

Hi qtapia! very interesting question :) I've noticed a difference in attitude when it comes to women. I think Italy still has a sexist attitude towards women overall whilst in The Netherlands there's a good balance in terms in treatment overall. Also, women in Italy sometimes do feel the necessity to objectify themselves in order to achieve something because let's face it, Italy is a counry of sex maniacs ahaha so I think both sides are in fault, but in The Netherlands the situation is better and more equilibrated.

May 16, 10:53AM EDT0