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Auteur Topic: Studying in the NL  (gelezen 3414 keer)
Isaac
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« Gepost op: Augustus 21, 2009, 04:18:43 »

I will study this fall semester in RUG and I wanted to know how ace-tolerant the campus and the town are.
Is it reasonable to be out-and-proud from the beginning, or is it preferable to fly under the radar?
Are there regular asexy meetups there or near?
There's a GSA there, would it be interesting to contact them, or it could be worse?
« Laatste verandering: Augustus 21, 2009, 04:38:42 door Isaac » Gelogd
Sismo
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« Antwoord #1 Gepost op: Augustus 21, 2009, 10:47:27 »

I'm afraid I don't understand your questions....
Gelogd

Maak van elke dag een sprookje: red draken en versla verwende prinsessen, kus af en toe een kikker en pluk de rijpe bramen -Loesje-
Isaac
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« Antwoord #2 Gepost op: Augustus 22, 2009, 01:44:01 »

The Netherlands is considered a very open-minded and tolerant country, but I don't know if it's true and if it holds for something so unknown as asexuality. By default I would fly under the radar since it's the easiest and safest. If someone ask me why I'm single, I'm single, period. If they proposed me looking for a partner, I'm not interested, period. If they insisted, it's invasion of privacy, period. Not entering the bottom of the matter. It's what I did before I knew what asexuality is. I wanted to know if studying in the NL may be a good opportunity to break thru this and being out-and-proud since the very first day. Does this attitude bring problems there?

I've only attended one asexy meetup in Spain, the only that has been, and I wanted to attend more. Are there regular meetups in Northern NL? Or near there? Would I be welcome?

I've discovered that there's an LGTB association in the campus which defined itself as "a kind of like a gay-straight alliance". It could be a priori a good idea to contact them, but I know the strong words that some gay people have against asexual. It depends on how open-minded the Dutch are.
Gelogd
Sismo
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« Antwoord #3 Gepost op: Augustus 22, 2009, 11:54:42 »

Citaat
The Netherlands is considered a very open-minded and tolerant country, but I don't know if it's true and if it holds for something so unknown as asexuality. By default I would fly under the radar since it's the easiest and safest. If someone ask me why I'm single, I'm single, period. If they proposed me looking for a partner, I'm not interested, period. If they insisted, it's invasion of privacy, period. Not entering the bottom of the matter. It's what I did before I knew what asexuality is. I wanted to know if studying in the NL may be a good opportunity to break thru this and being out-and-proud since the very first day. Does this attitude bring problems there?
The major problem that you'll probably meet, is that people don't believe you if you tell them you don't like sex. Tell you that you just didn't meet the right woman/man. I never heard of any bigger problems than that.
Citaat
I've only attended one asexy meetup in Spain, the only that has been, and I wanted to attend more. Are there regular meetups in Northern NL? Or near there? Would I be welcome?
We did have some meetings, but as far as I know, there's no meeting planned till now. The meetings we had, were of a small group of active members of this forum.
Citaat
I've discovered that there's an LGTB association in the campus which defined itself as "a kind of like a gay-straight alliance". It could be a priori a good idea to contact them, but I know the strong words that some gay people have against asexual. It depends on how open-minded the Dutch are.
As far as I can read, it's an organisation for gay people, the only thing we have in common, is that we're not like the most. I would say: try! In worst case, they don't believe you and maybe think you're a bit strange.

P.S. sorry for my dutchy English (a long time ago I had to write in English....)
Gelogd

Maak van elke dag een sprookje: red draken en versla verwende prinsessen, kus af en toe een kikker en pluk de rijpe bramen -Loesje-
Isaac
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« Antwoord #4 Gepost op: Augustus 22, 2009, 01:24:39 »

Thanks. I found no mistake in your English, but mine is probably worse. I'll try in September if it's enough for living in the NL.
If the worst responses may be right-person and disbelieving ones, it's not the ideal scenario, but it improves the situation. Here is a list of most common responses and these two are among the less offensive. And there are well-known responses most of us have found.
Gelogd
Ciara
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« Antwoord #5 Gepost op: Augustus 26, 2009, 10:23:34 »

In general, I'd say we're pretty open minded. It all depends on the person really. Ones in a "gay" society will most likely be more open because they faced the same kind of prejudice sort a speak. Although I don't believe you should be shouting it off rooftops you might not get a lot of real negative responses if you simple answer the question truthfully. Again, it depends on the person. You can have firiendly people that have very stict ideas about how love and sex should be where as the more closed person turns out to be very open minded once you get him or her to talk.

Some people will laugh, say you haven't met the right person, others will think you're crazy (how can you Not like sex??) others will simply not care. It might be something they gossip about when you're not around, then again they might never think of it again. Here, almost anything is possible. People and their opinions are very diverse, so you can expect diverse reactions.

By the way, if they ask why you're single, the answser "I haven't met the right person yet" would be the truth, without going into any personal details. Although in general we are quite open minded, most do not find it necessary to just let anyone and everyone know about everything personal, that's for friends only.

As for Northen NL, it's not a very good place for meetings. Everything happens in the south, Utrecht mostly. I find that frustrating, but there's not much you can do. People from the south (the ones I know that is) refuse to travel north for a meeting, so mostly it just doesn't happen. But íf you'd really like one maybe we can setup a Northen NL AVEN meeting ^_^

Anyways, Goodluck, and have fun!!!
Gelogd
Sismo
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« Antwoord #6 Gepost op: Augustus 26, 2009, 11:17:12 »

Citaat
People from the south (the ones I know that is) refuse to travel north for a meeting

 Huh Most of the time, a meeting is organized somewhere in the middle of The Netherlands and Belgium together. I don't think anyone has ever refused to go North! (maybe someone I don't know...?  Undecided )
Gelogd

Maak van elke dag een sprookje: red draken en versla verwende prinsessen, kus af en toe een kikker en pluk de rijpe bramen -Loesje-
Isaac
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« Antwoord #7 Gepost op: Augustus 26, 2009, 05:26:31 »

Thanks for the replies. Ans as for what Ciara sais, I wanted to know if it's true Descartes’ claim that the Dutch are people more careful of their own affairs than curious about those of others, where one is enabled to live as solitary and retired as in the midst of the most remote deserts without being deprived of any of the amenities of modern urban life. (Discours de la méthode, ending of part 3)

With respect to Utrech, I've observed that it's a fine railway hub, so it's a good place for Dutch meetups. Planning trips from/to airports, I've found that the North is very isolated and a connection in Utrech region is a need. Probably the negative of people of Holland or Utrech to coming to the North is tacit rather than explicit. I've heard no negative to a Spanish national meetup outside Madrid from people from Madrid, but it's tacitly discarded. (And I'm in the same situation in Spain with respect to Madrid as in the NL to Utrech.)

It could be a good idea to do regional meetings. I've proposed it in Spanish AVEN, but each Spanish region has the size as the whole NL.
« Laatste verandering: Augustus 26, 2009, 05:32:26 door Isaac » Gelogd
Ciara
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« Antwoord #8 Gepost op: Augustus 28, 2009, 03:18:36 »

Citaat
People from the south (the ones I know that is) refuse to travel north for a meeting

 Huh Most of the time, a meeting is organized somewhere in the middle of The Netherlands and Belgium together. I don't think anyone has ever refused to go North! (maybe someone I don't know...?  Undecided )

wasn't about anyone from here, but I've seen it happen often enough to piss me off. So yeah, probably folks you don't know. But since we are discussing it, maybe others are up for a Northen meet?
Gelogd
Isaac
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« Antwoord #9 Gepost op: September 04, 2009, 07:05:49 »

I'm already in the NL, and my impression is very negative. I'm very disappointed with the mythical open-mind-ness of the Dutch. I haven't had to deal with any issue about sexuality, but about the very basics of living and surviving. The only signs of tolerance I've seen are a proud lesbian couple in my first walk (in Barcelona I see a proud gay couple in my first walk) and that I've seen rainbow flags in housesat a height accessible by homophobic vandalism. In Spain sensible flags (like rainbow, but also the national flag and many regional flags) are put either high enough to be inaccessible from the outside or behind the glass of a window.
Gelogd
Jovi_Hobbes
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The name is Hobbes, Jovi Hobbes


« Antwoord #10 Gepost op: September 04, 2009, 07:29:03 »

Isn't it a bit soon to draw any conclusions? Here in the Netherlands there are all kinds of people just as in any other coutnry. There are open-minded people and people who aren't.

To answer your question about Descartes: a typically Dutch motto is: just act normal, that's weird enough. Generally, Dutch people let other people be, people are allowed to do watherver they want as long as they don't bother anyone. The downside of this is that this may come across as if people are not interested in you. That is not necessarily true, but if you really want to get in touch with people you have to be prepared to take the first step.
But once again, there are all kinds of people and they all act and react differently. The things you've heard and read are stereotypes. Of course there is some truth in it, but don't expect everyone you meet to be open-minded about everything you throw at them. Generally speaking, Dutch people might be slightly more open minded than people from other coutnries, but this also depends on the region of the country. Amsterdam is way more open-minded than certain small villages.

I hope you will enjoy your time here. What are you studying?
Gelogd

Is there anybody out there, just like everybody out there?
Just one somebody out there, just like me?
Isaac
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« Antwoord #11 Gepost op: September 04, 2009, 08:43:33 »

Yes, Hobbes, it's too soon to draw a conclusion, but I compare it with another countries I've visited and the Dutch don't realize that many of their singularities are not universal, despite being a small country which receives lots of visitors. I hope to change my opinion. For me it's not a problem that people act if they were not interested in me, but a blessing. My complaint is that they impose their way of living in the most subtle and effective way: they allow you to do but make it materially impossible. And I find everything very ill signalized, and this creates the need to ask people. And it seem that they have never travel, since only the foreigners have understood what arriving with a suitcase and a backpack means, neither people whose task is welcoming newcomers. And I've avoided many of the major issues by reading blogs written by Spaniards in the NL.
Gelogd
Isaac
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« Antwoord #12 Gepost op: September 04, 2009, 08:55:18 »

And I'm finishing a PhD, and my dorm-mates a also graduate students from outside the NL, so they are people with much in common with me.
Gelogd
Ciara
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« Antwoord #13 Gepost op: September 05, 2009, 02:12:45 »

Sounds very negative. From what I've experienced we don't impose, much the opposite. We travel alot, but we are used to bikes, so we travel light. Only when traveling far does one have big suitcases and such.

If you want help from the Dutch, in general, you're gonna have to ask. Most people will be happy to help, but will never offer to do as such. Don't ask me why, we find that intrusive or something, but mostly we don't mind helping at all when some one askes. 

As to bikes, the cheapest way is an online p2p sort of thing called marktplaats. If you want to sell it back, stores could be nice, but if you buy it of a student you have a bigger chance of getting the same amount of money for it by selling it to yet another student when you leave.
Gelogd
Isaac
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« Antwoord #14 Gepost op: September 05, 2009, 03:54:06 »

When I said "arriving with a suitcase and a backpack" I meant with these as your only personal belongings, not as a big luggage. In fact, they were very understanding in this point; they were like, "do you come from Schiphol? OK".

Everybody I've found seem to think that everybody comes with a bike between their legs. In some places there's no sidewalk, but only bikelane.

I hate when people offer unrequested help, thus this Dutch trait is a blessing, but I hate more that you need to ask something that should be clear in signs. I've had bad experiences asking Dutch people I've met, I felt like the man in the balloon of a classic joke. He was lost, descended and asked a fellow in the land "may you tell me where I am?" and the land guy asked "you're in a balloon." Correct, known and unhelpful.

And the Dutch impose their habits, specially times, when you find materially impossible to do what you need in another time. For instance, lunch time and closing time of stores. There are strict peoples with strict rules which you are anyway forced to follow. Among the Spaniards is well-considered to innovate ways for bypassing rules; we call it picaresca. I've observed that the Dutch gives you theoretically much freedom, but materially your choices are fewer than in the other systems.
Gelogd
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