Interview with Noeranie Ramdjan
35-44 years old
Dutch, English, German, improving my Spanish skills and a bit of French
I am the COO (Chief Operations Officer) at The Solutionz Group. An agency with a focus on secondment, recruitment and selection of IT professionals. In my role as COO, I am fully responsible for the daily operations of our organisation and management of various teams (Recruitment, Sales, Marketing).
Introducing noeranie ramdjan, a dutch expat in Barcelona.
Why did you choose to relocate to Barcelona?
Because of COVID, the advice of the Government was to work fully remotely and to stay home. My wife and I wanted to upgrade our way of living and discussed the possibility of moving to, in our opinion, the most beautiful city in Europe - Barcelona. Of course, there are many reasons to move to Barcelona; the climate, the way of life, experiencing new cultures, meeting new people, exploring possibilities business-wise and discovering the beauty of the Catalan region.
What was your greatest fear before moving to Barcelona?
The fear that I would never want to go back home. Although, that's not really a 'fear'.
Did you experience any particular elements of culture shock?
Yes! The way of living is much more different. People are enjoying life as it comes, whereas in the Netherlands, you live from weekend to weekend - well we did. If you ask someone on Monday here: 'what are you doing this Saturday?' You'll get the respond: 'Saturday? What are we going to do tonight?' It doesn't matter what day it is, people here enjoy life to the fullest.
What do you miss the most about home?
Actually nothing, maybe the amount of living space. We now live in a smaller place than what we had in the Netherlands, where we had a garden, while here we just have a small balcony.
What were the biggest adjustments you had to make when settling into life in Barcelona?
Letting go of the rushed life we were used to in the Netherlands.
What are the top 3 things on your bucket list whilst living in Barcelona?
1. Learning Spanish 2. Booking a helicopter flight to see the city from above 3. Getting to know the city like the back of my hand
How does the work culture in Spain differ from your home country?
The break and lunch times are different. In Barcelona, people really take the time to enjoy their lunch breaks, whereas in the Netherlands a lot of people eat their lunch at their desks whilst working.
Do you use your native language at work?
Yes, because I'm still working for our company in the Netherlands.
How does the cost of living in Barcelona compare to back home?
Depending or where you're living and what kind of housing you're renting. You can make it as expensive as you want, by eating out everyday, or cooking everyday, or a combination of both. In general, it is cheaper than in the Netherlands.
How did you meet your main community of friends?
In bars, co-working areas, meetups and the gym.
How did you find a place to live?
During the first week we stayed in a hotel and from there we started contacting rental agencies. We planned some house viewings and because of COVID we could act really quick, so after just one week we already found our spot in the middle of El Borne. The perfect spot to experience the real Barcelona vibe!
What is your favourite coffee spot in Barcelona?