The Netherlands has been so much in the news this past month with the elections and the on-going diplomatic tussle with Turkey, so we thought we would have a browse through some of the Angloinfo Netherlands bloggers news and pick out some top tips from expats living there.
If you want to be prepared for some of the nuances of the Dutch way of life, have a read of ‘10 unique Dutch traditions‘, which explains the 3-cheek kiss, how to prepare for your birthday at work and for your 50th, what to get in your store cupboard in case of breakfast time visitors (hint: hagelslag!), why school bags hang on flag poles and why you shouldn’t look into the windows of ground floor apartments of homes… you have been warned!
To dig much deeper into the Dutch psyche, and reasons why Dutch people seem to behave differently to you, take some time to study ‘Understanding the Dutch’ it is a fascinating read by Ute Limacher-Riebold who blogs on ‘Expat Living in The Hague’ and is a researcher, teacher, writer, and expat coach, living in The Hague.
Ute explains, for example, why timing is so important in the Netherlands: “The agenda plays a very important rule for the Dutch, not only for meetings but also for invitations, playdates etc. Be prepared to plan in advance. If your Dutch colleague or friend says he needs to check his agenda if he is free to meet with you, it means that you’re very important to him and that he wants to make sure that he can commit 100% to this. The same is expected from you. So, if you agree to meet, this is a serious commitment and you’re expected to be punctual. In case you’re going to be late, call and apologize. Punctual means that if you meet at 3pm, you’ll be there at 3pm sharp.”
The musings of life in the Netherlands from the perspective of an American living in the Netherlands, and more specifically, a former Hollywood (California) resident now residing in (Zuid) Holland, include very helpful advice in ‘How to renew an American passport from Holland‘ by the blogger behind Hollywood 2 Holland (H2H).
In South Holland Retail News, H2H reveals when the much-loved Marks & Spencer store is to close in The Hague (Den Haag).
And if you’d like to learn Dutch or any one of 24 other languages during your stay in Den Haag, head to the Volksuniversiteit. Expat Ute Limacher-Riebold explains in ‘The Volksuniversiteit in The Hague’ about the university, its history and what it has to offer anyone living there.