Interview with local Kim & expat Marco

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An interview with local Kim and expat Marco.

Kim Hoogendoorn and Marco Iachello recently moved from an apartment in the centre of Eindhoven to a rustic house with a garden in the “green” Veldhoven. Was it a good choice?

Without hesitation, Kim: “Although living in Eindhoven was great, we definitely feel at home here. We have a garden now and live in a green area, so we ended up fine. Our street is a mix of internationals and locals, and our neighbors immediately introduced us to an app, specifically for our street, with Q&A’s and helpful tips. Furthermore, we are within walking distance of the Citycentrum, with a great diversity of shops and convenient for the daily groceries as well.”

Marco, smiling, adds: “What I certainly don’t miss are the parties at the neighbours’ till the middle of the night, then again, that is kind of normal when you live in the centre of Eindhoven amongst students.

Buying a house

Initially I thought that the preparations for buying a house would take a lot of time, but looking back, it all went smoothly. Fortunately we had a good mortgage consultant, who was really helpful, and took us step by step through the process. I can recommend that to everyone.

Purchase agreement, appointments with the notary f.i. were handled efficiently, but of course, changing houses absorbs a lot of time. So we have not been “outside” enough in recent months: we like running and cycling, and we regularly went to the gym. Unfortunately, there wasn’t too much time for that, but we certainly will be picking up those activities.

When Kim and Marco met two years ago at a meeting of InterNations, they had no clue  about how fast things can change. “As a host at InterNations I meet a lot of people and that night I also spoke briefly with Kim. Later in the evening we met again and only when the bartender told us it was time for the last round, we looked around and we saw that a lot of people were already gone. So we obviously had more than an average chit-chat. “

From a pizza date to living together

It resulted in a “pizza appointment” and from there things went fast. Marco, again with a smile: “It felt good and within weeks Kim had a key of the house. It worked both ways: Kim lived in Venray and had to travel 30 miles every day to go to work in Eindhoven. Now she had to drive only for 10 minutes and we had more quality time together.”

Although Kim loved her job in hotel management, it was not an ideal situation. Kim: “The travelling time was a problem, but more importantly, our working hours didn’t match. I had to go to work sometimes at 6.30 AM, or returned late at night. I also worked a lot of weekends, and had a day off during the week, but then Marco obviously had to work. Therefore Kim changed jobs, but kept working in an international environment at a listed company, meaning their working hours are better in balance.

Volcanoes and earthquakes

Especially the free weekends were a bonus, as both like to go on a city trip. Prague, Lisbon and Copenhagen are no longer on the bucket list and a visit to the island of Lampedusa and to Bari are already booked. And of course, Marco’s family in the Catánia region (Sicily) must be visited every now and then. Especially the first visit Kim will remember for the rest of her life. Kim: “The night after we arrived I heard a rumbling sound in the middle of the night and I tried to wake up Marco. Still half asleep he said, “I guess it was an earthquake” and fell asleep again….                                                                           The next morning we found out that the Etna volcano had erupted, triggered an earthquake and closing down all air traffic.

Future plans

Asked if a career switch in the near future is in sight: “Never say never” they agree, but both are obviously really comfortable with their present situation. And although adventurous in nature, for the moment they love living in “small” Veldhoven. Marco’s work at ASML offers many challenges, and he loves living and working in a country that is well organized, has no corruption and good education

Concluding: it is safe to say that in their case two cultures mingled nicely, and that the delicious bite that is offered (Dutch cheese in combination with Italian sausage) is a good metaphor for how two elements from different cultures can strengthen each other.

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caitlin

caitlin

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