Utrecht is home to many nationalities. Every week, DUIC features an Utrechter with a different background. The concept was inspired by ‘180 amsterdammers’.
“You can just see that this is an old continent”
Doménica has lived in the Netherlands for a year. “The toilets are so small! And why are there basins in the bedrooms?! That took some getting used to.” She and her girlfriend Alice live in Wittevrouwen. “Wittevrouwen is a lovely area, but our house is tiny. I think that the houses here are small anyway; I’m used to having space around me. But I have to admit that the buildings are beautiful. You can just see that this is an old continent. Some of the buildings are two hundred years old. Compared with this, Ecuador is a new country.”
“I love biking. It makes me feel autonomous. Of course I´ll never be as proficient as the Utrechters. I see women biking with one child on the front, one on the back and bags of shopping on the sides. I´d never dare to do that. Or people dragging a Christmas tree behind their bike. Through the rain! Respect!”
Doménica first came to the Netherlands at Christmas in 2015. “I was in Scotland for a few months studying on a grant, and a friend invited me to come and spend Christmas with her in Utrecht. I first saw Alice in the Bodytalk. A few days later, we started chatting at a gay party in the Basis. She told me I was pretty and I kissed her. Alice is quite shy so I had to make the first move.”
They soon developed a long-distance relationship. The scholarship conditions meant that Doménica had to work in Ecuador for at least 18 months after graduating. “Luckily, Alice was happy to wait.”
So Doménica finally arrived in the Netherlands in autumn 2018. “As a couple, you have to think like a team. It’s easier for this particular team to live in the Netherlands. Alice is still doing her PhD research. I’m already a qualified dentist.” In order to practise in the Netherlands, Doménica has to arrange her BIG registration. She is working hard to learn Dutch. “The job is exactly the same, but I need to learn to do it in Dutch.”
She doesn’t need to think twice when asked what she misses most about Ecuador: music, dancing and the food. “When we go out, I’m often the only one busting my moves on the dance floor. I feel like a tornado. And let´s be honest, Dutch cuisine (stamppot) is fairly dull. And the Dutch like their bread, although admittedly, the bread here is very tasty.”
“There are advantages and disadvantages to every country. The traffic here is safe, well-organised and fairly quiet. Cars stop for pedestrians. You wouldn’t see that in Ecuador; they just knock you down. And the people are polite and helpful. I’m no good with maps, for example. I can get lost even if I’ve got Google Maps telling me where to go. I was on my way to Overvecht recently and I’d been contemplating the cows and meadows for some time before I asked an elderly woman for help. Her English wasn’t very good but she took the time to explain how to get there.”
Name: Doménica Donoso
Place of birth: Guaquil, Ecuador
Date of birth: 11 August 1987
Motto: ‘Try everything once. Well, nearly everything…’
Allemaal Utrechters is a series of interviews with people who moved to Utrecht from another country. We ask them about their background and their impression of Utrecht, revealing the true diversity of our city. The ‘Allemaal Utrechters’ series is a collaboration between DUIC and Culturele Zondagen, and has been made possible with help from Stichting Dialoog and the Municipality of Utrecht. We hope to showcase every nationality in Utrecht.