Things you learn

(Disclaimer: Some, or most, of this is sarcastic and a joke)

The Dutch are the tallest people in the world (on average)

You can live in Holland and not make friends with a single ACTUAL Dutch person

If you have curtains in your windows the Dutch probably think you’re a creeper

You can be out in the middle of a week day and see a large number of people sitting at cafes and children playing in the street but they swear they work all the time and the kids are always in school

The Dutch eat deep fried gravy and meat in a cylindrical shape called a kroket

The Dutch listen to a lot of early 2000s R&B and you’ll more than likely hear it in the supermarket

The US military is the world’s police force

Apparently Turkey borders China

America is the ONLY country that does a lot of things and they like to make that known (at least my professor does)

Cobblestone messes up your shoes- fast

Europeans do drink as much as we think they do- only difference is I’ve seen a lot less Europeans act like a fool while intoxicated than Americans

Only God knows what’s at the bottom of these canals

Sometimes on the way home at night you’ll meet high schoolers drinking in the street on a Thursday night that will stop and talk to you and ask you how to become famous in America

No one really hates Americans as much as they say they do

Everything exciting I do is preceded and succeeded by hours of boredom

You’ll never REALLY get over that the euro is worth more than the dollar

The excuse “it’s okay I’ll never see these people again” is perfectly acceptable

The Netherlands is beautiful

If you don’t have boots and a chunky knit scarf you aren’t cool

White tennis shoes mark an American

FYI if you like George Bush it’s best not to mention it

Apparently carbonated iced tea is good (no it’s not)

Dutch milk is better than American milk

If you just so happen to be lactose intolerant, Jewish and have a wheat allergy don’t move to the Netherlands (milk, cheese, pork and bread are staples here)

You can learn to live without a cell phone, microwave, car and television

Everyone really does ride a bike in the Netherlands

No- not everyone smokes pot and sleeps with prostitutes

Dutch is an easy language to learn- according to my Dutch professor “it’s either easy or simple”

Trains are relaxing

It’s possible to forget you’re actually in school

If you’re sick in the Netherlands- suck it up because they don’t have isles of medicine in their stores like the US does

Dutch candy (Lion Bars and Mars Bars) are delicious

On that note- chocolate really does taste better here

Art is important and encouraged here

Unfortunately the Dutch like Justin Beiber too

It’s possible for people of completely different cultures to become great friends not to mention fun

Apparently when many Europeans think of America they think of Texas

It’s football not soccer (oh wait, that’s one of those only America things)

Europeans are really missing out on Pandora and Netflix- we should let them experience it

They don’t bag your groceries for you in Holland

Dutch people can manage 1 kid on the front of their bike, 1 on the back, bags and an umbrella all at the same time

Amsterdam is a great place to kick your boot off in the middle of the street

The first day you get to Holland you might get called an idiot by your cab driver

More times than not you don’t tip at a restaurant

“It’s okay I’m American!” will be said a lot

Dutch kids are really cute

It’s possible to bike uphill in a monsoon

People can run into lampposts on their bike

Dutch ferries are fancy shmancy

Chances are if something gets scheduled it’ll probably get canceled

Dutch customs is fairly lax

You can put anything between cheese

Wine is very cheap in the Netherlands

Apparently fake letterman jackets are in style

There’s an H&M on almost every corner

There’s a European President

Coffeeshop and coffee shop are two completely different things

Absence really does make the heart grow fonder

I love America and I want to see more of it

Things like sodas, peanut butter, jams, candy, etc are less sweet in the Netherlands than in the US

Somehow Nietzsche will be mentioned in every class

Just because it says NY pizza doesn’t mean it tastes like NY pizza and it’s okay to be upset about that

It’s likely you will reevaluate your beliefs and why you hold them

Not having class two days a week rules

You can get on the wrong train, and then get on the wrong train again trying to get back to the right train

Random drunk guys outside of Amsterdam Centraal will inform you that Antonio Banderas is from New York

Wikipedia is a reliable source (again, no it’s not)

A Dutch guy may tell you that American culture is stupid and pointless

BUT, you must keep your cool and understand that people are entitled to their opinion even if you don’t like it

You may play soccer in the courtyard of a friend’s apartment complex

I learned that because I suck at soccer so much I’m immune from being the ‘monkey in the middle’

When walking back to your residence late at night you may see fake plastic boobs on the ground… don’t be alarmed

An old, passed out, drunk guy in a bar is just as sad in every country

Stroopwaffle McFlurries are amazing

Dutch frat houses are just as dirty as American ones

Debates at 2 am aren’t fun

Dance offs in bars between an American girl and a British guy are hilarious to watch

Being without a microwave for so long popcorn becomes a precious commodity

Dutch male models are quite nice to look at

Volunteering with friends is fun in any country

The majority of Dutch people are very understanding of the fact most of the world does not speak Dutch

The cashier at the grocery store down the street might think you’re addicted to milk or at least she may think I am

History class is more fun with a professor who has ADHD

Try not to be upset when you realize that many of the people you meet only think of you as an American

We love Frank!

There will be many, many train fiascoes

Germans walk around with beers… cases of them in fact

Schnitzel is better when eaten in Germany

Alsters/Radlers are delicious

Delirium in Brussels is SO MUCH FUN

Belgian beer is fantastic

Belgians know how to party

Cologne is beautiful

You can never have too much chocolate

Life-size rock paper scissors is only the coolest game you’ll ever play

There’s no shame in taking pictures in front of holiday decorations outside of random peoples houses

Prepare to buy new shoes if you live in Europe for an extended period of time

As a matter of fact, prepare to buy lots of band aids and long for a foot massage as well

Apparently “too much Lady Gaga” is a pick-up line

Dutch culture is distinctly different from other European cultures

Passing out like “old ladies” is acceptable after 4 days of nonstop travel and shenanigans

Going to a bar with your professors is normal and basically expected

You’re professor may see you pick up a cute American boy in a Belgian bar

It’s likely he won’t judge you but rather be secretly impressed with your skillz

2004 beers is too many to choose from

I’ll add more as I think of them!


About Ivy

I'm Ivy. 23 years old, resident of the great state of North Carolina. Lover of music, tea, unicorns, traveling and daydreaming. I have one blog about my semester abroad in the Netherlands. The other is a compilation of things I've written.
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