After being back in the UK for less than a week, I'm off again. This time for work - a week in the Netherlands. I'm starting to feel a bit like a vagrant. But no, it is not at all bad. This trip is part of an ongoing visiting position at a regional Dutch university. I spent 6 weeks here last year - so coming back seems a bit like coming home. I even get to stay in the same apartment as last time. It is familiar enough that I feel a little put out that the room is arranged differently - who moved that chair??
I love the Dutch. Is it strange that as an Australian I feel more at home here in the Netherlands, where I speak very little of the language, than I do in England where I have lived for four years and have a partner and a house?? For some reason I feel there is some sort of affinity between the Dutch and Australians. At international conferences I always notice that we are drawn together - and it is not just that the Dutch speak English fabulously (I never feel that drawn to Americans). It is something to do with a shared sense of humour, that and perhaps a need to escape the last symposium of the day and gather in the bar.
At any rate, it is a chance to get some work done, a chance to avoid all of the students back home that are trying to change in and out of my classes that start in a week's time, and a chance to sample some good old dutch food - stamppot anyone?