Coming to the close of my seventh month in the Land of Dutch, I have noticed that I have picked up a few Dutch behaviours which I’m not sure whether I am ashamed or proud of. Regardless of how I feel about it, the truth is, I do all of the below. Regularly.
- Saying ‘Ja’ instead of ‘Yes’ when asked a question. This also includes saying ‘Dankje’ instead of ‘Thanks’ and ‘Lekker’ when something is yummy or nice.
- Riding your bike everywhere. And forgetting what its like to be in a car.
- Being capable of riding a bike one-handed, whilst holding an umbrella/shopping bag/texting on your phone whilst dodging traffic and pedestrians – all while carrying a friend/child on the back
- Thinking you own the road as a cyclist, demanding everyone stop for you and get out of your way, including cars and trams.
- Also thinking this as a pedestrian.
- Pronouncing your ‘e’s like an ‘a’, your ‘i’s like an ‘e’ and your ‘a’s like an ‘ah’.
- Thinking bread is acceptable to eat at every meal time
- And you can put whatever you please on your bread without judgement – chocolate sprinkles included.
- You decide you only need an umbrella if theres a torrential downpour. Any other rain is simply not worth it.
- You think its perfectly fine to use a postcard as a birthday card, especially the free ones you find in restaurants.
- Stroopwafels and Speculoos are staple foods.
- You will never eat hot chips with tomato sauce again. Its all about frites with mayonnaise and satay sauce. Life changing.
- Albert Heijn is the answer to any question regarding food. Albert knows best.
- You don’t hesitate to say what you really think. The more blunt you are, the more Dutch you’ve become
- You’re content with leaving the curtains open, showing the world your private space. I mean hey, they can admire all your cool stuff as they walk past.
- You know that even though the sun is out, its still cold as hell and blowing a gale
- But you should take advantage of any moment of sun because it could be raining/snowing the next day
And finally, my favourite –
- You’ve at last nailed that weird, throaty noise you have to make when saying anything with the letter ‘g’ in it. And pity others when they can’t do it.
From the faux Dutchie who can’t really ride a bike and doesn’t really eat bread. But would eat lekker Stroopwafels all day, everyday.