|Een blauwe fiets.|
A blue bicycle.
One thing that I miss but hadn't yet listed was the directness of the Dutch. Expats in the Netherlands reading this might find that shocking! But it's true. Well — I miss it partially, and I'll explain why. Outside of the Netherlands, I have not personally had experience with a culture who is as direct as the Dutch. Looking back, I feel it is honest. An excuse for them to be mean? Maybe. But at least there is no doubt about how they feel. Outside of the Netherlands, there is nothing more annoying than bumping into someone who I know and having that chance that I'll be listening to them go on about how “we should meet up soon” — But when is “soon”? Sometimes it's an excuse... You're safe to assume that “soon” = “never”, not unless you are the one who is always initiating the contacting and making the plans. So, due to my experiences in the Netherlands, I appreciate it when someone is direct immediately, rather than allowing someone to make me read between the lines in order to understand them, or having to tolerate them being a flake. I've already had a few heavily annoying experiences with grown adults in Australia who lack the ability to be honest and up-front about their thoughts or feelings. Regardless of how I try to approach it, they're always going to do it — And they're overly sensitive about it as well. They don't want to “offend” me, and they don't want for it to be pointed out that they are cowering away from the issues — Kind of like how it can be in America, they think that they're just being polite by avoiding the confrontation... And are there flakey people in Australia? Yes, and they're just as bad as the flakes in America.
But what I didn't like about the Dutch directness, while living in the Netherlands, was the fact that the Dutch always will want share their opinion with you — Even if you don't want to hear it and/or haven't asked for their opinion!
A few other things I miss/don't miss about the Netherlands:
· As pointed out by another friend's husband, who is Dutch, I too feel there is a lack of excitement heard on the radio or TV whenever someone wins a prize in the Netherlands. It's as if they're afraid to get too excited... They say in reaction something typically like “geweldig” or “mooi” and without very much enthusiasm. To compare what I'm talking about, think of the Nationale Postcode Loterij ads on TV. They've just won €25,000, but all they have to say is “wow”. Or you should just have a listen to Dutch radio in the mornings or afternoons when prizes are awarded on the air, especially during the spitsuur [heavier traffic hour].
On the other hand, I notice that a great deal of Australians and Americans are very loud in public. I am annoyed by this, especially whenever I visit America again. It's all walks of life behaving like this, talking loudly on the airplane or in a restaurant. Australians are just as guilty of it, and they'll even admit it themselves — It's especially the traveling Americans and Aussies who are the loud-talkers. The Dutch don't seem to do this as much, and they travel just as frequently as the Australians do [or more] abroad to other nations. This is when their reservedness is good. Apart from World Cup and other sporting events, where the Dutch show their true colors, I still feel that the Dutch could use some more enthusiasm.
|Twee dingen in de ramen.|
Two things in the windows.
· I can't miss many Dutch TV programs because they're available nearly everywhere in the world on the internet via uitzending gemist [missed programming].
· I see orange clothes or fun orange costume ideas everywhere now, and I want to buy what I find and wear it on 30 April, regardless of where I am in the world.
· Favorite words that used to make me laugh whenever I heard them said: Rotzooi, verschrikkelijk, sjonge-jonge...
Speaking of which, if you're just beginning to learn Dutch, here are some of the first phrases that I personally feel you really ought to learn first because you'll either use many of these and often -or- you'll hear these things in conversation on a regular basis in the Netherlands — And this list is the clean-version:
· “Wil je een kopje koffie?” - Would you like a cup of coffee?
· “Een beetje...” - A little bit...
· “Wat vies weer vandaag.” - What disgusting weather today.
· “Iemand heeft mijn fiets gestolen.” - Someone's stolen my bicycle.
· “Op is op!” - [Said in the ads for a store.] When it's gone, it's gone!
· “Hup Holland Hup!” - [If team Holland plays soccer.] Go Holland Go!
· “De buurman/buurvrouw is gek.” - The neighbor guy/lady is crazy.
· “Wat een onzin!” - What nonsense; what rubbish!
· “Dat kan niet.” - It can't be done.
· “Even rondkijken.” - [Said to a shopkeeper] I'm just having a look around.
· “...in de gaten houden.” - Keeping an eye on [something].
· “Sjonge-jonge.” - [Sometimes said with an extra “-jonge” added on the end.] Often this is said when someone can't believe something has happened and usually it's meant in disappointment.
· “Mag ik een broodje kaas?” - May I have a cheese sandwich?
· “Dat is veel te duur!” - That's way too expensive! [The Dutch typically don't like to pay a lot for something.]
· “Mag ik hier pinnen?” - Can I pay here with my bank debit card?
· “Lekker.” - Nice; good; delicious. It is used in many different ways to describe something good, whether it be the weather, food, the way a piece of clothing fits, or even a way to describe how good someone feels.
· “Net een kind.” - Just like a child.
· “Wat gezellig!” - [Task for the newcomer to the Netherlands: ask any Dutch citizen what “gezellig” means and they'll give you terrific examples.] How cozy/comfortable/quaint!
· “Ik vind het niet mooi/leuk.” - I don't think it's pretty/nice.
· “Ik vind dat niks [of: niets] aan!” - I don't like that.
· “Ik liever niet.” - I prefer not [to].
· “Dat is niet leuk.” - That is not nice.
· “Wil je nog een biertje?” - Would you like another beer?
· “Ik heb geen zin.” - I have no desire [to do something].
· “Dat klopt.” - That's correct.
· “Volgens mij...” - I reckon...
· “Ik schrok me dood!” - I was frightened to death! [I laugh whenever I think of this one — The person who always said it around me had such a sassy sense of humor!]
· “Geen dank.” - No need to thank me [I got the feeling from some Dutch that they didn't ever want to be thanked, as I heard this repeatedly within the first few years that I lived in the Netherlands from various people...]
· “Niets aan de hand.” - No problem here; nothing's going wrong.
· “Nou...” - Well...
· “Wat vervelend.” - How annoying.
· “Wat prachtig!” - How wonderful!
· “Weet ik veel!” - I have no idea!
· “Schattig.” - Adorable; Sweet.
· “Ik kan er niets aan doen.” - I can't do anything about it.
· “Doe maar gewoon, dan doe je al gek genoeg.” - Just act normal, and then you're already acting crazy enough.
· “Doei!” - Bye!
|Toeristen bij de Keukenhof.|
Tourists at the Keukenhof.
· Lekker Dutch Words and Phrases.
· Easy Dutch.
· 10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About the Dutch.
· Dutch Word of the Day.
· Stuff Dutch People Like.