Stress doesn’t exactly affect my personal life. I don’t tend to get stressed at home, or even on the commute to and from work. That’s why I’m glad I’m in employment and not still at college: when I was following my ND Radio course at Cambridge Regional College, every evening was the time for coursework; as was the cycle or bus journey in in the morning (not that I was typing while riding my Hurricane) and back home in the afternoon; and my lunch breaks were times to obsess over things that my colleagues weren’t too phased by. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have been able to survive the second and third 30-week terms. But when I started my current job, I took a vow to—unless asked for by my superiors—never ‘take my job home with me’. I’ve broken this rule a couple of times, though these occasions have been little more than writing up mountains of Post-its you could render a building with. For the most part, I never take my work home with me: work stays at work and work thoughts shouldn’t be prioritised over my personal and social lives outside of the office.

Stress did affect me a lot at college and it continues to do so to a lesser extent at work; and even less so at home. But that doesn’t mean I don’t like to get away from my flat every once in a while to clear my head. The season ticket I used to get to work every day entitles me to unlimited travel between Haarlem and Amsterdam and it’s not uncommon for me to use the train to get a little piece of quiet; not that my flat isn’t quiet already (except today, Koninginnedag) but it’s full of broadband distractions Arizona City on toast. If I really need to focus on a small project or if I just want to get some good old-fashioned book reading done (I linked that there because you might not have seen a real book before), it’s not uncommon for me to jump on an Intercity into town with my netbook. I don’t even have to get off the train – it goes into Amsterdam Centraal and then after about fifteen minutes, starts its return journey out towards Haarlem. Wat leuk.

Stations on the Dutch railway network do have publically-available WiFi, but coverage onboard is only available on a handful of services. This can be a little irritating if I absolutely must look something up but I can usually live without the citation or other information I need until the next station, where I can connect to the WiFi and so on and so forth.


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