On 17 May, members of the International Women’s Networking Group Rotterdam gathered at Alfredo’s Taqueria to celebrate the end of the work week with delicious tacos and great conversation! This was more than just a women’s networking event – it was a dinner for international women to share their common experiences and offer advice.

the International Women's Networking Group Rotterdam has an offline networking dinner at Alfredo's Taqueria

About Alfredo’s Taqueria

I am always skeptical of Mexican restaurants in Europe. When I crave tacos, I want corn tortillas packed with fresh flavor. Sometimes, however, the tacos are too busy, or just don’t taste like much. But Alfredo’s Taqueria delivers both flavor and freshness.

For our party of 10 women, we started with chips, salsa, and guacamole, followed by grilled corn. When then had three rounds of tacos: two vegan and one chicken. And we finished with their horchata for dessert.

one of the bes tacos at Alfredo's Taqueria: the fried plantain taco (which is vegan)

When I made the reservation, I didn’t think that Alfredo’s Taqueria would make exceptions for our vegan and vegetarian members. I expected just to trade tacos with them – I eat their chicken tacos, and they eat my vegan tacos. But when I arrived, the staff asked which members were vegan/vegetarian so that they knew which guests would receive alternate options during the chicken taco round.

That evening, we joked and ranted about the lack of customer service in the Netherlands, but Alfredo’s Taqueria does not fit that stereotype. When we were ready for the next round, we notified our waitress and the next course was up within minutes.

But it only took us seconds to devour our tacos! The fried plantain, the chicken mole, and the hongos were all excellent choices and very filling. I had eaten at Alfredo’s Taqueria before and was very confident that this would be enough food. By the time we all finished our third taco, we were quite satisfied. But then dessert came, and we indulged just a bit more.

International Women's Networking Group Rotterdam enjoy talking after eating tacos at Alfredo's Taqueria

International Women Sharing Experiences

At dinner, we all had things to celebrate in one way or another. One member, who moved to Rotterdam in April, had a job interview earlier that day. Another member was about to register her consulting business with the KvK the following Monday. And a guest of a member had just placed second in her jujitsu tournament!

While we all had our own reasons for being in Rotterdam, we also shared stories about our common experiences. Some were light-hearted, like our straight-forward interactions with Dutch customer service. And some were a bit more serious, like our experiences being treated as an outsider. But that’s why this women’s networking group exists: to share our stories openly and freely with women who have had similar experiences.

We also learned that some of us should get some hobbies! We learned that a few of us enjoy board games, and we may organize a board game event in the future. If not an event, then maybe just a casual evening of dinner and games with friends and family.

Sometimes we’re a bit shy when we first arrive, hiding behind the menu to figure out what to talk about. But we remember that we’re all here for the same reason: to make friends. Everyone sitting around the table has chosen to leave the comfort of their homes and talk to strangers. And not just because we want to, but because we need to. We need to have good female friends in order to thrive in our new lives in Rotterdam.

We love to host events, but we want to do so much more! Will you help us become a stichting?

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Sterling Schuyler
sterling@iwng.nl
Sterling Schuyler moved to Rotterdam in June 2018 from Bavaria, Germany, but she is originally from the United States. As a result, she has restarted her career three times, and currently works as a freelance marketing consultant. Whether you want to know more about her professional development, have questions about her own struggles, or just want to grab a coffee, she’ll be happy to hear from you.

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