Birthday calendar

5 Peculiar Things You May Find In A Dutch Bathroom

Don’t worry, no toilet humour here. I’m not going to let this get (too) gross… just pointing out five things that you may find in a Dutch toilet or bathroom that you’re not quite used to…

1. Old faithful, the Toilet Calendar

Toilet Calendar

Go into any Dutch person’s toilet and the thing you are most likely to see is a calendar hanging on the back of the door. This is not any ordinary calendar. It is the Dutch birthday calendar or verjaardagskalendar

Never forget a birthday again! What with the Dutch being so tight I mean, thrifty, this calendar is perpetual so it doesn’t have any days of the week or years. That way, they can use it year after year without the need to replace it. After all, people’s birthdays don’t change – so it’s very Dutch, very logical.

And why in the bathroom (or toilet!) I hear you ask!? Well, without going into detail… it’s a place where you go every day and have some time and space… Kinda makes sense, don’t you think? Forget the hallway or kitchen – toilet calendars are the way forward!

2. A tiny sink with only cold water

Thriftiness strikes again. Dutch toilets are often separate from the bathroom, and they’re tiny. You have just enough space to squeeze in, spin around and plonk yourself down. No square metres are wasted here.

Do your business, then wash your hands… in the tiniest sink you’ve ever seen. Wanna kill bacteria? Get pumping on that handwash! You sure as shit aren’t going to kill any germs with the water… there’s no hot tap.

3. Inspection shelf toilet

Ok, this is a bit gross. But before you ask… I am sooooo not putting a picture of one of these on my blog. So if you wanna see a photo (you sicko) then just Google image ‘inspection shelf toilet’.

Otherwise, use your imagination. Think about the bowl of a toilet. There’s the ‘normal’ hole filled water but instead of being in the centre of the bowl, it’s at the front. At the back of the bowl, instead of sloping upwards gradually – there’s a porcelain shelf.

So you go to the loo, it lands on the shelf. Then when you’re done ‘inspecting’ – you flush it off the shelf. Apparently a German invention… and quite frankly, not one of their better ones!

4. Scheurkalender

IMG_3188a

In addition to a birthday calendar, you might also find a scheurkalender  (literally meaning tear calendar) which comes in the form of block of single sheets, almost like a notepad, for you to read and then rip off every day.

These calendars are normally funny and entertaining… or at the very least educational 😉 The idea is that you learn something new every day… or at least get a laugh…

The Dutch obviously like to keep busy when they’re on the throne!

5. Washer and Dryer

I’ve seen this in Norway too and I’m sure other countries do it… but Dutch people often have their washing machine and tumble dryer in the bathroom.

Often they’re stacked on top of one another to save space. Typically, in England, you’d find this equipment in the kitchen, but I like the Dutch way much better! Means there’s more room in the kitchen for an oven and dishwasher!

So, anything missing from this list? Are there any other strange quirks you’ve noticed about Dutch bathrooms / toilets?

Hayley x

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Being Dutch – Part 3: The Bathroom Calendar

Go into any Dutch person’s toilet and the thing you are most likely to see is a calendar hanging on the back of the door. This is not any ordinary calendar. It is the Dutch birthday calendar or verjaardagskalendar

Toilet Calendar

Never forget a birthday again! What with the Dutch being so tight I mean, thrifty, this calendar is perpetual so it doesn’t have any days of the week or years. That way, they can use it year after year without the need to replace it. After all, people’s birthdays don’t change – so it’s very Dutch, very logical.

And why in the bathroom (or toilet!) I hear you ask!? Well, without going into detail… it’s a place where you go every day and have some time and space… Kinda makes sense, don’t you think? Forget the hallway or kitchen – bathroom calendars are the way forward!

Forgetting a birthday is a major no-no in the Netherlands so this handy calendar relieves you of making such a huge faux-pas. And speaking of… NEVER EVER write your own name on the calendar (unless specifically asked) as this also constitutes an enormous sin in the Netherlands.

You’ll be able to tell if you’re considered a good friend / member of the family once your name has been entered on the birthday calendar. A proud moment! And if not… unfortunately you’re not considered a keeper (yet!) 😉

Hayley x