Stuartís transition from Britain to The Netherlands didnít exactly go to plan. In fact, it wasnít even part of the plan. Thatís what happens when you are a self-declared accident prone Englishman. Originally from London Stuart has spent over the last decade living in the land of clogs and windmills otherwise known as The Netherlands. Language misunderstandings, cultural confusion, bizarre adventures and a few cases of mistaken identity are just a few of the stories you will find on Invading Holland.
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Why did you move to Holland?
Thatís kind of a funny story. It was completely unintentional. Oh, I donít mean that I originally planned to move to another country and somehow ended up in The Netherlands or that I was even considering a move to another country. I mean that when the process started I didnít even know Iíd be leaving London.
Iíd been out of college for almost a year and was looking for a job in the games industry. Iíd not been having much luck until I came across a rather cryptic job advertisement in a magazine. It had no address, no phone number, no real details at all, only a .com email address. It all seemed a little shady at the time to be honest. It was entirely possible that the whole thing was some kind of front for a organ harvesting scam but I decided to risk it and applied anyway.
When I received a reply a few days later there were two surprises. (1) At no point did they enquire about the condition of my internal organs and (2) they were offering to pay for my flight to the interview location in AmsterdamÖ The Netherlands. I was not expecting that at all.
I went along anyway. Iíd never been to Holland before and I was basically being offered a free day trip. I was never expecting them to actually hire meÖ but they did. Iíve been living in the Netherlands ever since.
You can read the full story here
Can you speak Dutch?
My attempts to learn the language were slow at first mainly due to working for an English speaking company but I picked up a few bits of Dutch here and there.
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. Because of this I decided it was probably a good idea to start taking Dutch lessons even if they were far less visually interesting.
Then I quickly discovered that taking Dutch lessons is not actually the best way to learn the Dutch language. My Dutch stayed at a very basic level for a long time until I met my Dutch wife a few years later. It becomes so much easier to learn a language when you have someone you can speak it with everyday.
So yes. I can speak Dutch but I am still learning.
How do you draw the cartoons?
I draw all my cartoons in photoshop, making extensive use of the pen tool and layer system. I first came up with my cartoon style when I started drawing short comics in college but the look has changed a lot since then. I never knew the cartoons were going to become such a big part of the blog when I started writing but I'm happy they did.
If you would like to see more cartoons check out the gallery
... or if you'd like your own cartoon check out the custom cartoons page