Hi All, Hallowies, 大家好!
I’m Rong Hua, born in Haarlem, North Holland province and can claim “I am from Holland”, The Netherlands. Haarlem has been the historical centre of the tulip bulb-growing district for centuries and bears its other nickname ‘Bloemenstad’ (flower city) for this reason. As a teenager, our family moved to Gouda, South Holland province, famous for its Gouda cheese, stroopwafels and smoking pipes. Became an entrepreneur, restaurant owner, in between lived for a year in The Hague, royal capital, government seat, and International Court of Justice. In the meantime, raising a family, sold my business and moved closer to my husband’s work and choose Leiden. Little did we know then that our stay would be very short. It houses the oldest university in the country Leiden University, famous for science, arts. Home to world-renowned painter Rembrandt. But also international visitors like John Adams, one of the founding fathers of America. I like to mention this historical fact because I only found out after I moved back to Leiden.
Moved back? Before 2000, my husband, Leshen, received an offer as a Telecommunication project manager destination Taiwan. One year contract. Without blinking, I packed up our stuff with four kids and followed him into an adventure, discovering our ancestral roots to live in Asia, Taipei here we come! We embarked on a family journey, calling Taipei home first; after that, Singapore and New Delhi followed. We were calling southeast-Asia home for ten years. We moved back to Leiden, discovering the city and reconnecting. The first few years we were still travelling up till three years ago we’ve opened a ‘Gastrohome’. A hybrid bar-restaurant is serving comfort food with authentic flavours from Sichuan, Guangdong cuisine. Next to introducing popular dishes from our travels through the southeast-Asian region.
As an expatriate/repatriate, I understand the struggles of living abroad and coming home. Therefore, I have become active in the local International community. Diversity is the best and makes life colourful and exciting, with so many things to learn and discover. So many stories to share, information to exchange, life discovery enjoyed together. In our
small community hub we host meetups for now online but hopefully soon we will meet again.