‘Wait, what country do you live in again?’
Ah, The Netherlands: a beautiful country in western Europe, known for many things: canals, flowers and being as flat as a pancake.
Living in a country like this has its perks, but I doubt that foreigners know them all, so that’s why I’ve tried to compile a list with some of them:
1. Climate change
If the sea level rises just a little bit more thanks to the wonderful thing called climate change, one thing’s for sure: we are so, so, so screwed. A big part of our country is below sea level and, surprise, that part is the most densely populated. Oh well, I hope everyone’s swimming skills are up to date…
17 million people, 23 million bikes. Wait, what? No, that wasn’t a typo, it’s true! We Dutch people have mastered the skill of gracefully cycling in the pouring rain while balancing a screaming child and two heavy grocery bags on our handlebar quite well over the years. Tourists always seem amazed by these circus-like scenes and are often eager to try it as well. Sadly, cycling in the city centre of Amsterdam when you’ve never even touched a bike seems more like a suicide attempt than a fun thing to do. Every time when I try to make my way through the city centre, I come across dozens of flocks of scared tourists whose faces shows nothing but fear.
Pamela’s pro-tip of the day for tourists: the tram is your enemy and when you hear its bell it means that you have exactly 3 seconds to move out of the way before you’ll be as flat as our country.
Chocolate sprinkles on toast. Sounds weird, right? What’s even weirder is that pretty much everyone eats it. Yes, even grown ups. Do you want chocolate sprinkles? We have it. Fruit flavored sprinkles? We got you covered. Licorice flavor? We’ll proudly pass it on. Conclusion: we Dutch people love our sprinkles
Soft drugs are legal here and, when you’re walking through certain parts of Amsterdam, you’ll be amazed by the number of coffeeshops (don’t get these confused with coffee bars where you can actually buy coffee) and stoned tourists you’ll encounter. However, it’s a myth that all Dutch people are stoners. Just because we have unlimited access doesn’t mean we’re high 24/7, well, maybe some are.
5. We have the best swear words
Smeerlap, afgelikte boterham, doos, flapdrol, klerezooi. The list goes on and on… The Dutch are pretty creative when it comes to their swear words. Period.
6. Birthday calendars in the smallest room
In the digital age, lots of people scroll through their Smartphone when visiting the smallest room. We Dutch people however, look at our calendar. Yes, pretty much every home has a calendar with birthdays hanging in there. So, when you’re taking your time, look at the birthdays and figure out you just forgot your mother-in-laws’ birthday, that’s a perfect time to yell ‘shit’ .
Ah, the Netherlands. Lovely country, right?