People from many different countries live, study and work in Eindhoven. Every week, E52 has a talk with an international about what brought them here and what life is like in Eindhoven. Read all the stories here.
Who: Tamara Pharadashvili
Country of Origin: Georgia
Work: Communications Officer at Bambi Medical
HighTech Plaza, a building on the High Tech Campus, is the buzzing work location of a diverse group of start-ups. One of them is Bambi Medical, the company Tamara works for. We meet her in the early morning at her already full and busy office. “I joined Bambi Medical via the Expat Spouses Initiative. Fabio Bambang Oetomo, CEO of Bambi, contacted me and asked me if I was interested in working for the start-up. I’m very happy he asked. This product has so much great potential. It changes the lives of babies and their parents. When I joined, there wasn’t really a lot and look at where we are today: working on prototypes and there is lots of interest in the Bambi Belt from all over the world. It has been quite a rollercoaster in such a short amount of time.”
When we are talking about Tamara’s life in Eindhoven, it turns out she is a very active person: “I enjoy a healthy lifestyle. That’s why I like to go to the gym on campus after work. And also to go on bicycle tours with my husband or friends. We discover nice places around Eindhoven and visit the villages. Of course, we like to go out, for instance, to have drinks at the Drinkers Pub and Van Moll. Did you know you can play board games at Van Moll? I think it makes it extra fun to go there with friends and have a good time. And they have lots of different beers on tap and I love to try them.”
Currently, Tamara is learning Dutch at the Volksuniversiteit: “Everybody in our group is very motivated to learn Dutch and we practice a lot. My husband and I have been here quite some time now and learning the language is the first step to proper integration in society. When you only speak English here, you miss a lot of what is going on in daily life. Now I can understand what is announced on the train station or what the cashier in the supermarket asks me. Understanding Dutch breaks down a wall for me.”
That being said, Tamara points out that there is one threshold for her when it comes to our language: “I would love to visit the theatre more often, but most of the time the performances are in Dutch. It’s difficult to understand when you don’t speak Dutch fluently. Some theatre shows in English would be nice! My favourite cinema is Natlab. They have all the new art house movies. During the day, when I’m not working, I like to visit places where I spent time drinking coffee and reading in a peaceful setting, like Coffeelovers in bookstore Van Piere. Also, I would love to see a bigger variety of places like that.”
It looks like Tamara has embraced her life in Eindhoven: “In a nutshell, this helps to become accustomed to the Dutch life: get a bicycle to get around the city, learn some basic Dutch and upgrade your planning skills. The Dutch plan very precisely and 4 years ago when I just got here, I thought that was very funny. But now I’m doing it too,” she concludes laughing.