When I was living and working in Chandigarh (India) for a few months back in 2011, I was also writing a blog series (www.dennisversusindia.blogspot.com) in which I kept track of the competition I started against India and its people (I am very competitive). Every time I got frustrated with something ‘typically Indian’, India would score a few points. Every time I managed to turn a negative situation into something positive or I did something out of my comfort-zone, I scored a few points. In the end I won, of course, but it was a tight game!
Looking back at my recent stories as an Accion Ambassador and comparing these with the ones from India, I feel I have been very informative about what I’ve learned about microfinance, but not so much about the cultural differences I have been experiencing. I consider myself to be more mature now than in India and the Paraguay experience has been mainly professional, whereas in India partying was definitely a central theme as well. Reading the last sentence aloud makes me realize I am also more boring now. Anyway, for the readers that need a break from the microfinance stories (I am one of them), here is a little sneak peek into three different cultures from a Dutch perspective.