Queen's Day 2010

Hi there! Welcome to my blog and thanks for stopping by!

I’m Hayley, 35, from the UK. I’m an expat living in Hilversum, The Netherlands (since April 2014) with my husband (he’s Dutch) and my cat, Paris. (No, I didn’t name her… long story.)

I like to use brackets and this is my first attempt at blogging.

This blog is mainly about Hilversum and ‘t Gooi area, eating too many bitterballen, getting married in Holland, learning how to be Dutch… and the language.

The Dutchie lived in the UK for 3 years, so now we’re giving the Netherlands a go. Why? Well, why not?

Contact me by email: bitterballenbruid@gmail.com or follow me on FacebookTwitterInstagramPinterest or Bloglovin.

Unless otherwise stated, all images are my own. Please play nice and ask before “borrowing” them. 


Want to know more? 13 random facts about me: 

1. I was once on a TV show called The Moment of Truth with Cilla Black.

2. My middle name is Jane. The Dutchie’s is Jan. (Our parents clearly had no imagination…)

3. My friends call me Monkey because I have ridiculously long arms.

4. I occasionally sleep walk.

5. My lucky number is 5.

6. My favourite ever TV show is Breaking Bad. If you haven’t seen it yet… WHY NOT??

7. My favourite ever film is Clueless, although I often tell people it’s True Romance… because it’s way cooler.

8. Swimming is my favourite form of exercise and given the chance, I would swim every day.

9. I love to cook. My specialities are tapas, anything Mexican, curries and roast dinners!

10. I’m known for being a spelling and grammar Nazi. (If you spot any mistakes on the blog – pleeeeeeeease tell me! I will be forever grateful. *Mwah!*)

11. I love to travel. Next on the hit-list are: Malta, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand (again) and Japan.

12. My guilty pleasure is “crap girl TV”. Currently: Keeping Up With The Kardashians and Love Island.

13. The Dutchie and I met in a field in France at the 24 hours of Le Mans in 2007, but didn’t get together until 2009.

Hayley x 


    1. JA HOOR, now you’ve done it!
      I’m a 48 year old born and raised Dutchie (so my English may be a bit Dunglish…) Been reading your blogs and now I need a shower PMSL!

      Not for one second I realised there are so many differences between our two countries (and there isn’t really that much water between them)! But…. be honest… Jij komt uit dat ENGE LAND? 😉

      And besides that urgent shower, i created an account (been thinking about blogging for ages already, never got to it) But I wasn’t even able to add a ‘like’ to your bloggs without an account. Maybe, just maybe, maybe I’ll really start blogging too 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Hi, just came across your blog and really like it! I’m from Vietnam, lived in Eindhoven and also have a Dutch boyfriend and I just laugh at your little facts about Dutch people.. so true 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This cracked me up. As a 32-Year old Dutch expat from Hilversum in London, I do this ‘pointing out of the silly little differences’ the exact same -yet opposite- way – all the time. I complain about the British incessant queuing, their tendency to plate grill everything with tonnes of oil – I laugh at the Brits dressing up all sporty, just because they cycle to work and more. Reading your blog made me laugh, and homesick. Haha, it made me realize a few things as well. Like our calendars at the toilet – I didn’t even miss them here (now I do). I noticed there’s oftentimes two faucets at sinks and laughed at it – but only now realised that in many Dutch sinks, there’s not even a hot water tap.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I laugh soooooo hard at your blog. I really love bitterballen, and that makes it hard for me to leave the Netherlands (well; Holland, you know 😉 ). I am trying to not eat bitterballen every week (or twice a week….) but I’m failing.

    Hahaha I really laughed at your text about ‘lekkerrrrrr’…. I am Dutch but i have always found it a ridiculous gesture.

    Well, grammar nazi… I’m sorry for my mistakes. I believe I have to learn English a little bit better but I hope you can understand my post 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This makes me think of the book “i always get my sin” which is about Dutch mistranslations.

    Here is something that could be corrected:
    Zeewolf is a(n) (Atlantic) Wolffish.
    Catfish is a Katvis or better known as Meerval.

    Had fun reading 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Just came across your blog today. It’s awesome! I’m a Dutch SAffa living in the UK, planning to move to NL next year. Your blog and awesome photo’s have just cemented the idea. 🙂
    ik ben nu zo lust voor zuurkool en rookworst naar ik de foto’s gekeken het! ik ga zomaar nu een nederlandse winkel online zoeken.
    I’ll be following your travels and posts. Geniet Nederland!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nice Blog.. being a dutch dude (never lived there and only carry the nationality) but lived in Canada most of my young years.. I can relate to some of the funnies.. because I visit my family there all the time.. nice place.. would not want to live there… but i guess its much better than here…. cuz i’m now living in Qatar.. good fun though…

    take care

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Awesome blog. I’m a Dutchie that married an Aussie farmer 🙂 it’s interesting reading your blog because all these things you describe are so normal to me, but here in Australia they would seem crazy hahaha.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Someone posted a link to your blog on my Facebook page, as I am recently engaged to a Dutchman, as of 27 Nov 2014. I am American, currently living in Georgia, and I know the culture shock is going to be huge, and most welcome, from what I can gather.

    It’s an interesting experience, and I just thought the other day that I may start a blog as well, just for the sake of documenting this journey, as well as sharing the experience with friends and family. I look forward to reading what you have to say, as I am wanting to learn as much as I can about Dutch culture, etc. Thank you for taking the time to share with us! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I stumbeld across your blog via facebook and noticed your struggle with the difference between Holland and the Netherlands. To be honest a lot of Dutchies cannot explain the difference, so I want to share a youtube video that explains the difference in a realy funny way.


  10. ‘Great to find your blog! I’m an expat entrepreneur, living in Maastricht since 2008, medtech businesses formed, blogging along about the experiences. Its a fun journey, and always interesting to get other perspectives and experiences, tips and photos. I enjoy what you’ve been writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hello! My German mom showed me your blog, and I have to say, as a Dutchie it’s really cool to read! Your blog is also very handy for my cousin from Canada who is going to visit me in April 2015. I don’t know how well your Dutch is, but if you can you should totally read “Taal is zegmaar echt mijn ding” from Paulien Cornelisse. And her second book “En dan nog iets”. They are hilarious! Thanks again for your blog! Really cool to read about Holland from a foreigners perspective 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Just came across https://bitterballenbruid.com/2014/07/28/15-things-i-never-did-until-i-lived-in-the-netherlands/ and now going through the rest.

    It’s quite interesting to read about what people from other countries think about us Dutchies, some of the comments below that particular blogpost are very funny.

    Ps. Has anyone told you about “Flodder” yet? If not, you should watch it. There are 3 movies and a tv series. Typical Dutch comedy, well, from a couple of decades a go but still funny.
    Ps2. Original website name, I’m probably the only Dutchie who doesn’t like bitterballs at all….

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Nope, never liked them and as far as fried snacks go, I prefer the frikandel specia(a)l (=mayo+curry+onions), XXL version of course 😛

        I’m just a bit out of the ordinary with some things (having some wires crossed upstairs will do that)…. It’s the same with the haring and onions, don’t like that either. When it comes to fish, fishsticks and kibbeling are as far as I’ll go.


          1. Just now I finished going through your entire blog. Found another typical Dutch thing I do not like 😛 : erwtensoep.

            And I just thought of another Dutch event you might haven’t heard of. Guess what thousands of Dutchies do on newyearsday wearing only a swimsuit and a Unox-hat? Watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zRNFJvVP4I&t=3m32s
            That happens every year, even when it’s freezing. Now I like cold (the Netherlands is too hot for me), but jumping into freezing water wearing almost nothing is just a bit too much I guess.

            Last newyearsday, there where about 46000 people doing that.

            Liked by 1 person

  13. I absolutely love your blog! I’m from Holland and now studying in the UK. When we talk about cultural differences, I never really now what is typical Dutch. Now I do! Thank you for blogging about it, you’re giving me insights and a LOT to laugh about!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. A friend of mine is also married to a Dutch guy, living now in Zwolle with him and two kids. Would love to read some more of your stories – from what she’s telling me, it’s not always so straight forward, getting used to the Dutch way of doing things 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. We are twins: Clueless is my favorite movie (even I don’t say it out loud do often) and crap girl tv is heaven…. I’ll be around! Love in here! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I totally relate to everything you write about, I have been with my “Dutchie” for 7 years and we live in Utrecht. I still sometimes experience culture shock even though I have lived here for almost 10 years! Did you do the drawings yourself for the strange Dutch words article? They are adorable! Your blog is a joy to read! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Great blog! I can relate to SO many things, and you say it so accurately. Also I wanted to say I adore your profile picture, the one with the blond Amsterdam plate. Was it custom made? I only ask because when I married my Dutchie 10 years ago, the only appetizer I asked for were bitterballen. And it’s a long standing joke with my husband and I, how I stood for a good 30 mins at our wedding reception with a huge plate of bitterballen in front of me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Hello Hayley! I had a great laugh while reading your Blog. So freakin’ funny…I don’t like Frikandel either! Reminds me so much of the early days when I was getting to know these things about Dutch. Those quirky habits still cracked me up but along the way I’m living with it. But no, I still and wouldn’t eat Haring and Drop, I tried Hagelslag but I just can’t eat that everyday. Imagine how I smirk everyday in our breakfast while the Dutchie starts the ceremony of his love-affair with Hagelslag.
    I will tell you a secret : We have 4 boxes of Hagelslag in our kitchen. Courtesy of my in-laws.Making sure the Dutchie has a daily dose of it. 🙂 But my daughter surely loves it..all kids!
    Looking forward to follow your Dutch adventures!

    Liked by 1 person

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