Hallo allemaal. My name is Aline Barbosa, I’m Brazilian, 30 years old and I moved to the Netherlands for Love. I knew a couple of things about Holland. In Brazil we learned about the Dutch in school. How they also tried to build a colony in Brazil, but were expelled by Portuguese and British in 1637.
Cold feet, warm heart
But before I fell in love with a typically very tall Dutch guy, the only thing I knew about the Netherlands nowadays is our common passion: Football (and how the Brazilians beat them pretty good in 1994 – Branco says Hi!).
It has been difficult for me to adapt to the weather here, obviously. But, besides that, there are not too much things that are really difficult. But there are things or not so much that are very different than in my homeland.
Houseboats and Bikes
In Brazil, especially in big cities, we usually just cycle for fun. The traffic is chaotic and we have many climbs. Here I can cycle everywhere (I had to improve my condition to be able to do that). And if I need to travel by bus, they are always on time. In Brazil buses are often late.
I had never seen a houseboat before. I even had difficulties describing them to my family and friends in Brazil, because it is really fascinating. I would like to live in one of those for a while. It looks like a movie thing.
Birthdays and fruits
Birthday parties in Holland are a bit difficult for my Brazilian blood. Most of them don’t have music and when it does nobody dances. Hoe kan dat? In Brazil party is synonymous of dancing. Say congratulations to the whole family is also something weird for me. I think the idea is very thoughtful, but my birthday is the only day that it’s all about me.
The place I most feel home in Leeuwarden is the Friday market. My dad works in a market in Brazil and I used to helped him when I was younger. The market for me really looks like home. But doesn’t smell like it. Fruits doesn’t have the same scent here. When you go to the market in Brazil you can smell mangoes, papayas and watermelons two blocks away.
Brazilians of Europe
I usually say that “Leeuwarders” are Brazilians of Europe. I think they are very warm and kind. Everybody supports me, helps me and makes me feel welcome. It was easy for me to find my own crew. Living in Leeuwarden shows me every day that moving to the Netherlands was a great idea.