You're Coolblueians now, but where are you from?Pablo: Argentina.Rafael: Brazil.Pat: Australia. And you decided to leave these sunny climates because . . . ?Pablo: Well, the original plan was to find work in Colombia with a couple of friends. Unfortunately, the name Pablo didn't really work in my favor. In the end, two Dutch companies invited me for an interview: De Telegraaf (a Dutch newspaper) and Coolblue. After having seen both offices, the decision was easy. Rafael: My cousin's husband told me there was a big demand for PHP developers in the Netherlands. I started my search on LinkedIn and immediately found Coolblue. I thought to myself: "wow, what a cool company," and I immediately sent them my résumé, without ever having visited the Netherlands before.Pat: Together with my family, I wanted to experience what it's like to live and work in Europe. My father's family has some history here, so it's really interesting to actually see all the places behind those stories. Are you impressed with the Dutch cuisine yet?Pablo: What's with those HEMA sausages? I don't get that. And the sandwiches ... why just one slice of cheese?! I like speculaas, though. And oliebollen.Rafael: On my second day, we hosted the Hackathon. Instead of rice, beans, and meat, they served bread with hagelslag. I've developed a taste for it now, but only for breakfast.Pat: I heard that kapsalon is a dish that's traditional to Rotterdam. It's deep fried and tasty. But licorice... I don't get licorice.
And what about the Dutch themselves?Pablo: They seem very pleased with their agendas and meetings.Rafael: I was warned beforehand that the Dutch would be very direct. So I kind of feared that at first, but now it's a characteristic I very much appreciate.Pat: Everyone is very tall here. Do you own a bicycle yet?Pablo: Yes. A very ugly one. I learned that you should spend more money on a lock than on the bike itself, but mine is so ugly that I don't even have to lock it.Rafael: Yes, but I can't ride it while holding an umbrella, yet. Also, everyone's a lot faster than I am. Even grannies.Pat: I had one, but it was stolen. According to my colleagues, this almost makes me a bona fide Dutchman.
And do you know any Dutch words yet?Pablo: I've replaced doei, dag and doeg with “Groenteboer.” That's what I say whenever I leave.Rafael: Gezellig and lekker. But I'm only supposed to use them together, right?Pat: Top. Werk ze. I know quite a few words now, since I took a Dutch course. Any Dutch hobbies yet?Pablo: Being stuck in the metro and remodeling my house.Rafael: Ignoring the rain while cycling.Pat: Swearing in Dutch. What seems odd to you at Coolblue?Pablo: The culture of openness and honesty was a bit of a shock at first. But hey, I'm like that as well now.Rafael: The snack box. Why do people run to it in a frenzy? They're vegetables. Plus, colleagues don't seem to greet each other with words, but strange noises.Pat: Nothing really. Although Rafael makes a good point about the snack box.
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