Could I return to my home country after 12 years in Thailand?

It was long overdue but Dec 2011 we finally went back to my home country to spend Christmas with my family and see many old friends. It was 4 years ago that I was for the last time in Europe so it took me some time to "adjust" again.

The first adjustment was that hotels & restaurants in the Netherlands are ridiculous expensive, for that kind of money you could have a private villa on the beach in Thailand and eat the best seafood you could find. But well at least the service was very good and that is something that is lacking sometimes in Thailand.

But well talking about service .... public service has gone down to almost zero. At the good old Central train station in Maastricht used to be about 10 service counters. Well not anymore, just 2 counters and 1 is only for international. So I informed about tickets to Austria and I could get all the information but I could not buy them. That only could be done at 3 other far away places in the Netherlands.

So we had a stop-over of 45-min at Utrecht train-station .... time for dinner! Too bad that there is no restaurant! Well Jenbach train-station in Austria was not better where at 19:00 in the evening everything was closed. No food, no information counters, no staff at all. Are we really in rich Europe?

We arrived late in the evening in Rotterdam centre and the next morning I needed to buy a Dutch sim-card. But guess what until 11:00 in the morning Rotterdam centre is a ghost-town and all shops and restaurants are closed.

Another thing I had to get used to that there is a new way of paying for public transport all over the Netherlands. You need the get a electronic-card with a deposit of money to check-in & out of any public transport. Must say that the public transport has improved a lot over the years here.

Then driving a car in Europe is so boring because all the regulations of speed and whatever. It makes me crazy! And just when I thought I had seen it all my sister told me about the garbage service. We have 2 garbage containers, 1 green and 1 black. They are parked 2 meters away from the road but we have to place them right along the road at the right side and about 50cm from each other! And you have to place them there on Friday but not before 7 in the morning.

Any good things? O yes, hotels & restaurants might be expensive but the service and quality was always great. Just as from the car-rental company. That are ways of professional service that you are not used to anymore in Thailand. Here it is always "mai pen rai". And highly respect for staff in a restaurant doing a job alone where here in Thailand 3 people would do and they would do it worse.

But the lousy government service and all the regulations (only for the people that can be caught)... I would say it is time for an revolution in Europe! Living in the Netherlands again would drive me totally crazy I am afraid, but to come back to my orginal question "Could I return to Europe after 12 years in Thailand?" .... well if I have to I can and will but it will be hell!

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