Being a foreigner in your own country

I am half Turkish-Dutch and born and raised in the Netherlands, so I never really had problems with the Dutch language nor its culture. Once I worked as a Junior-lecturer at an University in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Once I arrived in the department, I did my work just like anyone else. I was being paid part-time, but I was basically working full-time. So one day I wanted to address it to my boss. However, she felt so annoyed that she said: ” I don’t know how they do it in the Turkish culture, but in Holland we do it like this”.  I felt very humiliated. One day we had a party at her house, and she kept referring me to everyone as [Name] from Turkey. Everyone started speaking in English to me, and I had to explain everyone that I was Dutch actually. I asked her to stop introducing me as [Name] from Turkey. She didn’t listen and even continued doing it. Then, one day, I was scheduled to leave to Vietnam with some Master students and my boss asked me to come to her office. When I was in her office, she asked me for a personal request. She said that her daughter had a clothing store on the internet, and whether or not I wanted to buy some fabrics for her daughter in Vietnam, since “all Turks know about fabrics so well”. Just because Turkish people are successful in the garment industry, doesn’t mean that….. I guess you catch my drift. Once I got another offer from another university, you can imagine, how happy I must have felt….. Being a foreigner in your own country.

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