I find it annoying that you can not bribe anyone in the Netherlands. It has been made quickly clear to me in my first time in the Netherlands that you can not bribe here, so I do not try. But I find it difficult. I’m used to that you can solve any problem with money. In our garden is blown over the fence and broke. We rang the housing association and they came to see. Here we can not do anything, they said. It is not up to us to fix this. “Who needs it or fix?”, we asked. “No idea”, said the housing association, “but we do not”. That they mean it. If we would offer them money, they would not repair the fence. It feels strange. Why Dutch want to earn extra money?

Certificate: When I graduated as a lawyer in Aleppo I wanted to get my diploma. In college I was told I had to wait a few weeks for me to receive my diploma. There was absolutely no way to get my degree before. I gave him an envelope with money and the employee told: “Tomorrow is your degree ready.”

Army: After graduation I had two months before I would have to report to the army. In those two months I was stopped three times by soldiers who wanted to take me. “If you’re only conscripted over two months, you’re two months but with us,” they said. I did it three times to get rid of them by giving them money. Then I fled.

Rules: That fence, I’m fine with it. That there is no way to get my parents and brother in Aleppo to here, is really frustrating. I try to explain to my parents, but that the rules here are really rules that is hard to believe for them.


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