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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.

Name: Martina Poulova
Country of origin: Slovakia
Work: Senior Supply Planner at candy factory Cloetta

When we asked Martina where she would like to meet us, she knew it right away: the Vershal at Strijp S. So we scheduled a date to get lunch together. It’s pretty busy when we meet up and between our burgers, fries, soup and coffees we talk about Martina’s life in Eindhoven. “I really love the Vershal. My boyfriend is Dutch, he is a real ‘Eindhovenaar’ and quite chatty. Thanks to him and his talks with the people here, I know a lot about the entrepreneurs and their stories. I’m a big fan of Yvonne of the coffee place Koffie Keuten. She opened one of the first shops here and we are regular customers. And I love the soto ajam of Souppa. And of course, the fresh flowers of Marinella Boertien Bloemen! I like to support local initiatives. We would like to buy a new house in Eindhoven, preferably here on Strijp S. Too bad the lofts here are rental only. We really like the area, it is different than rest of the city.”

“I have a nice life here, but of course I miss my friends and family in Slovakia. And the fact is, a lot of men here are not gentlemen. That’s something I miss too. I know things changed a bit with emancipation, but I really like some politeness. In general, people are pretty direct and open here. And sometimes they cross the line for me. You don’t have to say everything you think. And as a foreigner, I feel like I’m often the one who has to take the extra step, to get in contact. That makes it difficult sometimes. But now I’m settled down, I found my way. These things don’t bother me that much anymore.”

“In Eindhoven there is lots of stuff to do: concerts, museums, design and events. This city fits with what I need in the place where I live”Martina Poulova, Senior Supply Planner

“I used to work in Slovakia for the same company as I do now in the Netherlands. We make all kinds of candies for the European market. In Roosendaal is one of the factories and I work for the planning and logistics department. I lived and worked in Roosendaal before. I got a position in Sweden and now I’m back again. This time I chose to live in Eindhoven because there is more stuff to do: concerts, museums, design and events. This city fits better to what I need in the place where I live. Now I commute every day to Roosendaal by train. That works perfectly.”

“At work Dutch is the main language. In meetings, I can understand most of it, but sometimes I need to get the details in English. I did a Dutch course at Regina Coeli, also known as the Nuns in Vught. It was pretty difficult. You have so many exceptions in your language! Writing is not a problem, so I prefer communicating by e-mail. But speaking Dutch, that’s another thing. I don’t feel comfortable doing it. Especially when the person I’m talking to talks fast or with a dialect. Then it’s so hard to understand and to reply in the right way. But I’m very pleased I can at least understand most of it.”

“In the weekends I love to go to the Stadsfoyer of the Muziekgebouw Eindhoven. Every Saturday between 16:00 and 19:00 they organise the Blue Note Club Session. It’s live jazz and soul music. The atmosphere is so relaxed,  you can have a drink and enjoy the music. And you don’t have to buy a ticket: it’s free! Go early, otherwise, you don’t have a seat. The crowd is nice and diverse: kids, older people, all ages. I also like to go other concerts at the Muziekgebouw. I went to Caro Emerald, Jan Akkerman and Bløf. I also like the Effenaar. There is lots of good music in Eindhoven.”

Read all the internationals stories here.
Photography: Diewke van den Heuvel