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Assya, Bulgarije

“I like colors and I work for a paint factory. What a coincidence is that?” Assya laughs. “Shall we take the photo in front of this poster of Banksy? It's one of my favorites.”

“I have been in the Netherlands for 20 years now, just as long as I lived in Bulgaria. First, I studied marketing in Maastricht, later I stayed there to work. I was tired of that job after ten years, so I looked further. I applied for a vacancy at AkzoNobel for which I actually didn't have the qualifications. Because I prepared well, I got it! That was a bit of a panic, because I didn't want to leave Limburg. But the job was in Sassenheim so I had to move here.”

“That was almost six years ago. Now I don't want to leave here anymore and I bought a house this year. Sometimes I think I'd rather be an event manager after all. But now I finally have mature responsibilities so a new profession is not a possibility anymore. I have a permanent employment contract and a mortgage. And I thought I'd be 20 years old forever," she winks.

“One little problem is my boyfriend. He is my everything. What we have is eternal love. But he can't leave our homeland because he has to take care of his sick father. So, we'll do it like this, a two-and-a-half-hour flight apart. We see each other a few times a month, even though it was a bit more difficult with corona. And of course, we make video calls every day.”

“At first he didn't feel like it. We had been best friends for a while but he didn't want a long-distance relationship. However, I just knew for sure. And so did he, deep down in his heart. So, I prepared a PowerPoint presentation for him completely in my style with all the considerations and steps we had to take. I sent it to him by email and convinced him like that,” she laughs. “Now we are inseparable, even though for part of the month we are not together.”

“I am there more often than he is here. I don't mind at all, because I always get my hair done in Sofia – the city we come from. That is the only disadvantage of the Netherlands. The hairdressers are not as good as they are there. The Dutch are less picky about this. But apart from this, everything is perfect and I never want to leave here! I'm just happy here.”


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