Fas Kuiters is an 67 year old Dutchman, living now in the south-west of Germany , in the beautiful Palatinate area, which is best known as wine country. He was born and raised in Dordrecht- the first Dutch city in Holland to receive City rights in 1220. The inhabitants of this city are nick-named Schapekoppen or Sheepsheads, for which obvious reason he adopted the same identity for the world-wide-web.
My youth in this city was exciting and pleasant and only fond memories remain. In actual fact I believe its still one of the undiscovered-, touristic attractions in the area. After my student days in Rotterdam (Economics, Erasmus University) I worked for five years for the maverick of public accountancy firms in the world, which firm ceased to exist due to "certain issues surrounding the Enron case" after the turn of this Century.
That was fun too, but it was about time for me to leave crowded Holland forever. Since I had married a US lady several years before, I emigrated to the US and worked and lived in New Jersey and San Francisco for some time. Unforgettable for me was my 2 months leasure trip from east- to westcoast taking the southern route across the United States. Gordious country really, but nothing for me.
My career moved me therefore relatively soon back to Europe, specifically to London, UK where I bought a property in "Red Ken" Livingstones, borough of Islington. Having seen a lot of capitals and other big cities in the world, London remains for me, still the number one big city on this globe. Lots of action if you know where to find it.
An example thereof is for instance the King´s Head, right around the corner where I lived, good free live music and pleasant folks. However after 5 years in London I had to leave it again for obvious reasons, another job, but this time as a freshly divorced bachelor, who left all his earthly belongings behind in the UK, except for a tiny bank account balance and moved to the continent- to "Kraut-country"- i.e. Germany.
If you would have asked me in the early eighties, when I was about 30 years old, "can you imagine spending most of your life in Germany?"
I would have pronounced you nuts and no way would I ever be inclined in spending more than a year or so there. Well, I am still there and loving it. Not knowing the towns in South-West Germany except Heidelberg, I checked in there. That was a good decision, my female neighbour moved into my place relatively quick. We got married 2 years later and raised two sons together. I worked my ass off for another 20 years, mainly in financial management positions with a Dow Jones company. Lived in 7 different places during that span to accommodate the travel distance to whatever task I was working on. But at the age of 52, 13 years before official retirement I decided to quit, partially because of health reasons and not being able to get a sabbatical, but also because of a gigantic burn-out.
My hand-picked super-smart young plant controllers, who were functionally reporting to, were quitting one by one for different reasons. Mainly to pursue their fortunes in the "new economy", leaving me with even more burden and work, while adequate replacement was hard to come by. I never had regrets about that decision. Although its like going thru a time wharp by seeing the slums of Calcutta thru your cab window one day and being in downtown Pittsburgh a few days later, to going to a life with walking the dog in the forest and being able to learn other interesting things that I have never ever dreamed of, is kind of special.
I still got my burn-out syndrom though, never was able to get rid of it. I still loath to do stuff that I dislike like taxreturns, which I only file after being threatened to cough up big fines. But I do enjoy creative stuff like writing and learning. In 2004- I stumbled on stem cell technology (which had also something to do with my own cardiac issues) and have been devouring literature and everything which was coming my way on the subject. Really dug into it and here we are- several web presences are kind of the "product result" of it all with some other plans on the drawing board which are very much related to the subject.
If you are interested to learn a bit more about the Palatinate, the short - 2 minute-video below gives you an excellent impression of the area where I live