Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Greetings from Zwolle

Well, I finally got out here and it transpires that I'm not working in Amsterdam at all, but in Zwolle, which is about 80 miles out (only an hour and a half on the train, mind). The Netherlands is a completely different experience and it's all still a bit dis-orienting at the moment - the traffic system is insane and crossing roads really throws you because everything's back to front.

At the moment I'm being kept in a hotel until Grontmij Maunsell can sort me out some digs. There's apparently lots of work, but at the moment it's a bit slack so Simon (the guy I'm here to replace) is showing me around their system. It's a slightly different approach to the whole signalling design method, and they run their CAD system in ways I wouldn't even consider. Still, I'll put them right about that later.

Oh, yeah, and the food is fantastic. There's no dress code in work, so I'm the only guy in a suit (well, you've got to keep the British end up, haven't you?), and the whole work ethic is much more relaxed than in the UK - people are playing radios and CDs all day. Subsidised canteen and free vend drinks too.

There are quite a few British out here, but you only really run into them at the Irish pub in town, which will have to be more of a weekend thing or it could get really expensive.

Anyway, best get on and do some work now.