1. Called people a whore (to their face). “Ja, hoor!” “Nee, hoor!” “Momentje, hoor!” 3 months in, it still makes me chuckle every time.
2. Arrived at a party at 2pm and left at 6pm. It’s not strange at all to set a time when everyone has to leave your birthday party. (Could it have something to do with the fact that it’s the birthday boy or girl’s job to buy all of the food & drinks for the occasion?) Work in an office? You’ll also need to buy cake for the whole workforce.
3. Electrical work. Most rented Dutch houses/apartments come without light fittings… so you call an electrician, right? Wrong. You save money and risk your life by doing it yourself… no biggie 😉
4. Looked into other people’s houses… curtains are a rarity here, let alone net curtains! Nose away!
5. Cycled, everywhere! Just do it.
6. Accepted ice cream topping as a breakfast food. Hagelslag (chocolate or sugar sprinkles) on bread (normally with lashings of butter). I still don’t do that shit… I’ll stick to my marmite, thanks!
7. Ate Frikandel. Never again.
8. Ate hot food from a vending machine. The Dutch love all things deep-fried and hate queuing. A chain of fast food restaurants called FEBO solves these two problems in one, with their vending machine walls! More about Dutch deep-fried snacks.
9. Understood the difference between Holland and The Netherlands (but still say Holland). Hup Holland Hup. Case closed.
10. Called Boxing day “second Christmas Day” and Easter Monday “second Easter Day”. (Tweede Kerstdag and Tweede Paasdag.) Hell, why make up words when you can be super efficient and just add a 2 on the end? Similarly, the word for animals = dieren, pet = huisdieren (house animals). Is it actually super efficient though, or could someone not be bothered to come up with more words?
11. The lekker hand sign. Eaten something delicious? Frantically wave your hand at your own face. Read more about the Lekker hand sign.
12. Owned orange clothing. King’s Day, football matches, other sporting events… it’s a must. Dress head-to-toe in orange. The sillier the better.
13. Said kunt without getting a bar of soap down my throat. (This actually happened, circa 1992. Bite marks in the soap after I used my “new-swear-word-of-choice” very loudly at my annoying younger brother. Of course, my Mum was standing behind me. Fail.) Anyway, here you can say… Je kunt (You can) Kunt u? (Can you? formal) and my personal favourite Kies mijn kant (Choose my side) without so much as a bat of the eyelid.
14. Heard “fuck” on the radio at 9am. Swearing just doesn’t have the same power here. Motherfucker, Fuck You, Fuck Off: unlikely to cause any offence. Similarly, songs with swearing aren’t “bleeped” out like in the UK… There’s no Cee Lo Green – Forget You, it’s Fuck You. Same goes for Lily Allen. Really want to insult a Dutch person? Tell them they have cancer… horrible… but that’s Dutch profanity for you.
15. Had a calendar in my BATHROOM. Weird, freaky or just super-sensible? Where else in the house do you have time to sit and “do nothing”? Read more about Bathroom Calendars.
What have I missed? Anything else you’ve noticed about the freaky deaky Dutchies you’d like to add to this list?
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