Who are you?
I'm an Englishman in his early 30s with a well documented reputation for accident proneness and bizarre situation finding. I moved to Holland in the summer of 2001 to start working as a designer in the computer games industry. Originally this was only supposed to be a stay of sixth months but the tempting lure of lekkere bitterballen and good beer has turned it into a much longer stay.
My favorite colour is army green, my lucky number is seven and when I grow up I want to be a Ghostbuster.
Why did you decide to move to Holland?
A lot of people have asked me this question and I always have to answer with, "I didn't. It was an accident."
A short while after I had finished college I tried to find a job in the computer games design industry so I could use my education in as an excuse to play computer games all day.
I was not having much luck in my search until I found a particular job advert in a very British magazine, in a very British branch of WHSmiths in the very British town of Bromley. It was the strangeness of the cryptic job advertisement that caught my eye. It had no address, no phone number and hardly any other important detail printed upon the page. All it really had was a dot com email address to which I applied. Given the formentioned Britishness of it all I simply assumed that the job itself was in Britain.
I awaited a reply while wondering if this could lead to a situation where I wake up in a bath of ice in a basement somewhere having fallen victim to a gang of black market human organ dealers using a games company as a front for their diabolical scheme.
A few days later I received an email which included three surprises. Surprise number one was that in no part of the email did they enquire about the condition of my internal organs. Surprise number two was that they were offering me an interview and surprise number three (which was the biggest) was that they were offering to pay for my flights to the interview location... in the city of Amsterdam... in Holland!
So, not wanting to turn down a free day trip I went for the interview not really knowing what to do if I was offered the job... which I was.
All these years later I am still living and working in Holland. Plus I still have both my kidney's which is a bonus.
Can you speak Dutch?
"Ik heb geen idee wat u zegt," (which translates as: "I have no idea what you just said") was a sentence I used a lot in my first few years of living in Holland. My attempts to learn the language were slow at first mainly due to working for an English speaking company.
I first learned to count to ten in Dutch by listening to the phone numbers for porn chat lines being read out by barely dressed excitable young ladies on late night TV. This is why I can count in a very sexy voice. However, I later found out there was no need to moan between each number. I decided it was best to start taking Dutch lessons but sadly these turned out to be far less visually interesting.
My Dutch coworkers quickly filled me in on how to order beer, swear out loud and get slapped by a lady (not necessarily in that order). Most of them had learned to speak English by watching the A-Team as children. However I have yet to hear any of them, "Pitty the fool."
A need to eat taught me how to say, "uitsmijter met ham en kaas." But the tolerance of Dutch waiting staff taught me how to pronounce it correctly before I starved.
For the first couple of years my Dutch stayed around this level but it's amazing how much obtaining a Dutch girlfriend can suddenly accelerate the learning process. Luckily I did not attempt the beer, swear, slap technique taught to me by my coworkers when I first met her so I am still receiving daily Dutch lessons which are more visually interesting again.
How do you draw the cartoons?
I draw all my cartoons in photoshop, making extensive use of the pen tool and layer system. Let me show you:
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