A Vietnamese in Utrecht

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I love Utrecht.

There should be a marketing phrase there!

But it is a place that is easy to fall in love with, as proven by the number of people who choose to stay in the city having moved here for work or University. It would be interesting to see how many Ex Pats we have living in Utrecht and why they choose to do so.

To answer that question, we have a new weekly series where we will ask a variety of people some questions about the city and themselves. Today we open with:

A Vietnamese in Utrecht

Hi Claire. Where are you from?

  • I’m from Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam.

Tell us about yourself:

  • I am Claire, my Vietnamese name is Trang. I’m a student in creative business at HU. I have been living in Utrecht for a year now and I am still in love with it.

What brought you to Utrecht?

  • Of course, it’s the study itself. However, I chose Utrecht but not Amsterdam or Rotterdam because of the vibe that Utrecht brought me. Its very “chill” and old.

Where is your favourite place in Utrecht?

Claire laughs as she says it was her first place she found to live as she found finding one so difficult!

  • After that is the DOM tower because its iconic and then Tivoli or some pubs in Utrecht.

Does Utrecht inspire you?

  • Yes, a lot. Like I said before, I really am in love with the vibe that Utrecht brought me. And I am a bit artistic so yea, I find it very attractive and inspiring.

What is the main difference between the Vietnamese and the Dutch?

  • I would say it’s the transportation system. It’s so much in order and environmentally friendly. In Vietnam, we have waaaay too many scooters and motorbikes. You might think its cool, but its not because when everybody has their own vehicle, they will use it and in rush hours, traffic is a mess.

Do you miss anything about Vietnam?

  • I miss good food the most. Well, not that I’m saying that Dutch food its boring but it doesn’t have as much flavour as Vietnamese or Asian food.

Do you think there is a Dutch way of life?

  • Well, yea, I guess. I think people in the Netherlands are very healthy and green actually. Because they use their bikes. I am way too lazy to bike although it only takes me 15 minutes to bike to school, but I never do that. However, I will try to.

Do you know many expats in Utrecht or do you prefer to make friends with the Dutch?

  • Of course, when I came to the Netherlands, I decided to make friends with Dutch people to get to know their culture and their habits, it is very interesting to me. But I have more friends who are expats and internationals than Dutch friends, not because Dutch people are mean or something they are super nice to be honest, but with internationals, I find it easier to connect with them in a way. We have similarities, so it is easier to empathise.

Do you think you fit in to the Dutch way of life?

  • Ermm, I cannot say that I can fit, but I can go along with it, like I can adapt to it. I am open minded and very easy going but I cannot 100% blend in. I think only 60-70%.

Do you think the Dutch could learn anything from the Vietnamese?

  • Well, everything is cheaper in Vietnam haha. Well, to be honest, all the stores here close pretty early so it’s kind of sad in the evening

Will you be staying in the Netherlands?

  • It is actually a hard question for me to answer. If everything is going well, I mean if I graduate and get a job, I will stay. Otherwise, I will go to my home country to fulfill my dream of opening a restaurant.

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Jon Wilkins

Jon Wilkins

Jon Wilkins is Welsh and lives in England. He is a writer. A Europhile and Remainer, he is a regular visitor to Utrecht and has set his crime novel series in the city.

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