You wish you were as cool as the Dutch

Trip Start Jan 17, 2010
Trip End May 18, 2010

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Where I stayed
Matt & Patricia's

Flag of Netherlands  , Zuid-Holland,
Friday, May 7, 2010

I have been staying in Holland for about 7 days now and I have to say that I am extremely jealous of the Dutch.

1) They bike everywhere and with such ease. Plus its so easy to bike here when there is designated paths and traffic lights for bikers. And cars and people do not have the right-away, bikers do!

2) They speak amazing English. Perfect, literally! And not just some Dutch, but for the most part, all Dutch can speak English. No struggling with verb conjugation or transitioning from Dutch to English. Plus many of them know slang words or common phrases, so it doesn't sound like they learned the most proper English from a textbook! No wonder I can't get the knack of the Dutch language, there is no need! And furthermore, they don't really care if you don't speak Dutch, they'd be happy to speak English with you.

3) On top of English, the Dutch know practically every other European language. (I would really like to sit-in on an elementary education class and see how they teach their students.) And from what I learned last night, many Dutch know French, however they never want to utilize it or admit that they can. Because, well, they hate the French (with, as I have heard, a strong passion). Yikes! Maybe I'll mention to people I studied abroad in Belgium or something? haha

4) The Dutch know how to party. Seriously. Matt is a member of a fitness/sports center and has joined a basketball league. Therefore, he gets invited every once in a while to Dutch "sports" parties. Not for international students, but just the Dutch. So he had one last night and was able to get tickets for me, Patricia and himself. We arrived at the club/party at about 11:30pm, where we had to ring a doorbell to get into the main entrance and then enter through two more doors, until finally reaching the main club/stage area. For another half-hour, there was a live band which played classics (for example, Beach Boys). I guess the Dutch love their throw-back music! hahaha And the way the Dutch dance is priceless. There is two basic moves: 1) you can bob up and down with one arm in the air, pumping to the music or 2) you can sway from side-to-side and nod your head to the rhythm of the music. And if it's a really old classic tune, then the "twist" is appropriate. After the band completed their show, a DJ (really bad compared to the states) played music till the end of the party. Everything from Micheal Jackson, Britney Spears, to Spice Girls, more throw-backs and one or two current pop hits (like Black Eyed Peas). And still the same dancing throughout the night! The only time I ever saw America's style of dancing, was near the end of the night when by that time, many of the men were making their last moves to pursue a girl for the evening.

5) Don't ask a Dutch person what you think you should wear out or to an event. Why? Because in their opinion, it's your right to wear what you want, therefore you wear whatever you want! They don't care what you wear, how you dress, hair/make-up done or not done, as long as you have a good time. And girls, it really doesn't matter. Truly a Dutch guy will hit on you no matter how you appear.

6) We finally left the party at 3:45am and there was at least 1/3 of the crowd still going. This is normal. Party to 4/5/6 am?! Of course!

7) Seeing as the Dutch bike everywhere, they bike to parties too. We arrived at the venue to find dozens of bikes outside. So when we left, we just rode our bikes home, completely normal. And we were definitely not the only people out and about on their bikes at that hour; everyone rides their bikes. We maybe ran into 4 people walking home? hahaha (And the Dutch don't worry about being too drunk to bike home, because biking is so natural, it is quite easy for them to bike home over-intoxicated!) hahaha

8) The Dutch invented insurance. Therefore most Dutch don't worry about anything, because it's covered! It is required for each Dutch citizen to be covered for any and every incident.

9) The Netherlands has the tallest people in the world. Highest percentage than any other country. Standing in crowds is not fun for me.

10) Holland has some of the most beautiful countryside I have ever seen! Patricia and I biked to Keukenhof (which is Holland's famous flower garden) and it was wonderful biking through the country-side that has been shaped by canals. And windmills are still everywhere! We even were able to stop and have a picnic next to flower fields. Perfect!

New Vocabulary:
hoi- hello
doei- bye
bedankt- thanks
warmechokolade- hot chocolate (met slagroom- with whip cream)
koffie- coffee (verkeerd- latte [literal translation= "wronged coffee"])
gezellig- cozy
hyggelig (Danish)- cozy
jammer- "what a pity"
wandel- to stroll/to wander
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