10 things you probably didn’t know about the Dutch and the Netherlands



Cheese market in AlkmaarI lived in the Netherlands for a couple of years, and had a Dutch boyfriend for almost 4 years, so I know quite a bit about this quirky country and its unusual inhabitants (and I mean that in a good way). I’m going to share some pearls of wisdom about the Dutch and their country that I gleaned during my stay, and limit it to 10 because I could easily write 100 and bore you to death. Hope you enjoy.

1. Holland and the Netherlands are not synonymous. Holland is just one section of the Netherlands, largely the western coastal region, including Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Haarlem, Leiden and the Hague. However, other famous Dutch cities like Utrecht, Groningen, Maastricht, Den Bosch and Leeuwarden are *not* in Holland.

2. The Dutch love sprinkles on toast. I’m talking the sprinkles kids put on ice cream, but Dutch adults put it on bread. For breakfast. It’s called “hagelslag”, and De Ruijter makes the best kinds. Another variant, “muisjes” – little mice – are candied anise seeds; also delicious on buttered toast. You can get either pink, female, or blue, male, varieties. I’m not joking.

3. The Dutch will only eat one hot meal a day. If you arrive at a Dutch friend’s house around dinnertime, they might ask, “Heb je al warm gegeten?” which means “Have you eaten something hot already?” If you had a hot lunch, your friend will prepare a (cold) sandwich for you for dinner. You can not eat 2 hot meals per day.

4. Dutch “g” “ch” and “r” are all pronounced more or less the same (although the Dutch insist they’re different) – a harsh, guttural “kh” sound (like you’re clearing phlegm from your throat). So the word “gracht” (canal) combines all three “kh” sounds in one word…that sounds really, really awful: “khkhakht.” This is why “Grolsch” (the beer) sounds like “Khkhols”, not “grolsh”.

5. The Dutch love speaking English. See #4. Seriously, they all speak perfect, although heavily-accented, English. They will pronounce “idea” eye-DEE, and they will resist pronouncing it with 3 syllables in English, no matter how many times you correct them. On a related note, “I have no idea” is “geen idee”, which sounds a little like “rainy day” when pronounced correctly.

6. The Dutch loathe the Germans. Some pretend they don’t, some are openly proud of it, but they all look down on them. An example: I was walking along a beach (Schevengingen) with a Dutch guy, and we saw a guy furiously digging a hole in the sand. My Dutch friend sneered. I asked him why the guy was digging a hole. He said, “Because he’s a dumb German.” I pressed, but what for? Is he building a castle or something? “No, he’s just a stupid German! He can’t help it! The morons just love digging holes for no reason!”
Another story. A Norwegian friend flew down to Germany, rented a car there and drove to Rotterdam. He had parked on the street, and a cop approached him while he was in his car, and told him, in German, that he wasn’t allowed to park there and began writing him a ticket. When he looked at his driver’s license and saw he was Norwegian, he tore up the ticket, said, “Park wherever you want” and “Welcome to Holland!”, all in English.

Rows of tulips7. The country is drenched with rain year round, but the Dutch never use umbrellas. They use raincoats and rain “suits”, but they never use umbrellas (too hard to ride your bicycle with one; plus, it’s *really* windy all the time). The Dutch will happily put up with wet faces and heads. The “wet look” is permanently “in” there.
Another oddity is no matter how much it rains and floods temporarily, all the water’s gone in about 20 minutes. I think it’s because the ground is mostly sand; the water just drains away. The cement blocks used as a road surface are taken out every few years, the sandy ground is pounded flat with this sand-pounding-machine (seriously) and then they replace the cement blocks.

8. The Dutch have strange snacking habits. They eat fries (what they’re famous for) but they’re often drenched in mayonnaise or pindasaus (basically spicy peanut butter). They also love frikandel (all the scary remnant parts of animals they can’t sell elsewhere, pressed into a vaguely hotdog shape, and then deep-fried until dark brown; yes, it looks like a piece of shit), kroketten (deep-fried lumps of dough wrapped around meat, that look like dried-up old turds), and cheese souffles, which are greasy but I have to admit, pretty damn tasty. The most famous purveyor of this junk is a chain called Febo; you buy everything out of an automat. They’re everywhere, especially inside train stations, and open late when you’re coming out of the clubs at 3am.

9. You heard about the Dutch using free bicycles provided by the government? Nope – that’s the Danish. The Dutch love using bicycles (called ‘fietsen’, pronounced FEETS-un), but in every city, theft is rife and you have to use 2-3 locks to prevent even a piece of shit bike from being stolen. This is why the average Dutch person doesn’t spend more than $50 for a bike – it’ll eventually get stolen. Junkies in the Amsterdam red light district will sell you a bike for 10 euros (25 guilders before the euro changeover), but be careful; if you buy one and a cop sees you, you go to jail.
There are specially-designated “fietspaden” (bike paths) all over the country, and pedestrians can not walk on them. If you hear a bell ringing–that’s how the Dutch tell people to get out of the way–then pay attention! You’re about to get mowed over.

10. The Dutch are not big potheads. Despite it being legal there (along with “magic mushrooms”), you almost never see a Dutch person getting high. You see TONS of foreigners – Brits, Americans, Germans, etc – smoking out in Dutch “coffee shops” (“coffee shop” means marijuana; “cafe” means coffee, so pay attention to what the establishment calls itself), but it’s pretty rare to see a Dutch person there. The legalization is tied to a very Dutch concept called “gedoogbeleid” which is difficult to translate but means permissiveness-because-there-are-bigger-fish-to-fry. The Dutch live below sea level, so they have plenty of dams & dikes keeping the water out. To relieve pressure on this system, a little water always trickles through – that’s okay as long as they can keep the floods out. This is often why the Dutch are said to not care about trivial drugs like marijuana and magic mushrooms – so they can focus on hard drugs like cocaine and meth (which are very much illegal).

There’s my list. Let me add something that I found in a tourist brochure given out at the Schiphol (SKHIP-hull, not Shiffol!) airport, which I think totally captures the Dutch attitude (I’m paraphrasing because I don’t have it here):

  • Please keep in mind that not all of the women you see in the windows in the Red Light District are really women.
  • If something bad happens to you, please find a policeman/policewoman and explain the situation to us. Please do not be embarrassed – we have really seen it all before. You couldn’t possibly shock us.
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533 Comments »

  1. You could have considerably shortened your article on the Dutch….by simply saying..the Dutch are the biggest idiots in Western Europe.
    This explains why there are so many sayings about the Dutch.”Dutch Courage”,going dutch,double dutch…etc etc.
    The English whipped their sorry arses years ago and threw them out of India and elsewhere.One of the characteristics of
    the Dutch was the cruelty of their colonial period….base brutality against unarmed civilians.

    As for calling Germans dumb….that is a bloody cheek coming from an idiot Dutchman.Germans have only produced some of
    the worlds great philosophy and engineering.Noticeably the well known supposedly great painter ,Van Gogh was a complete madman…
    Shame the Germans didn’t bomb more of the Dutch IDIOTS.

    NOTE:No one likes the Dutch for good reason…they are IDIOTS

    Comment by Dave spart — May 27, 2016 @ 9:49 pm

  2. Come on! FEBO is de lekkerste! Man I travel four thousand miles for the satekroket and the bamiball. Married a grootmokumer 15 years ago and I love Dutch culture and the Dutch. I love how plain spoken they are, not like North America where everyone walks on eggshells. Nope. If they think you’re full of shit they’ll tell you as soon as the thought crosses their mind. No filter. But they can take it too – they just look at you and say “well that’s what you think” and everything is cool. I love it.

    Comment by twinkytoze — May 30, 2016 @ 4:44 am

  3. Regarding Dutch my heritage and of Europe:

    We idiotically invented the slave trade, sailed all the seas to East Indies, invented the spice trades with tea, whittle shoes from a piece of wood, fire blue delft, build huge windmills, frequently win speed skating at the Olympics.

    I personally chopped off one of my ears like Rembrandt, or is it Van Gogh? I can’t “ear” you!

    Some sayings may be “You can tell a Dutchman, but you cant tell him much”.

    It is because we don’t call other races “Idiots” we merely tolerate them. Let the “IDIOTS” build our engineering marvels to accost the North Sea. Let “IDIOTS” cut the jib for ole Master Bourkum Riff, the Dutch Captain with a pipe who has already made bank. “IDIOTS” are thrown overboard any crew as a Dutchman, a “Skip”.

    Comment by Wes Vanderhorst — June 11, 2016 @ 12:46 am

  4. @dave spart, that was indonesia

    Comment by cocu — June 12, 2016 @ 11:27 am

  5. How dare u talk about Dutch people in that way, I am a from the Netherlands and I am top set in nearly all my subjects so ha and don’t judge someone from where they come from,we are all equal so u guys are just being so horrible and u guys ovisoubly have a big ego so stop being so mean and cruel ok!!!!!!

    Comment by Danker — June 13, 2016 @ 8:23 am

  6. I have never heard the Dutch being called Idiots..But I do know that envy is usally the main reason for calling names.

    Comment by Rene Hurricane — June 18, 2016 @ 5:27 pm

  7. Dave Spart is the village idiot…if you are to speak about any nationality like that, you show how much of an idiot you are.
    There are nationalities I do not prefer due to their beliefs, values, etc. but I do not speak so badly about them. I just choose not to speak about them. Look in the mirror Dave…that is an idiot you are looking at.

    Comment by Frank Uithoven — June 22, 2016 @ 5:57 pm

  8. I am from Holland, and I think that you should add one thing;
    We speak lots of languages, but nobody speaks ours. I have never heard a tourist say things like ´Hallo´ or ´goedemorgen.´
    They just don´t know simple words like that.
    Meanwhile, the dutches prepare themselves by learning some basic words from the country they are going to stay.
    And almost every ´Nederlander´ knows a couple languages like English or French. For instance, I know how to speak Latin, Greek, Englisch, French and German and I am just 14 years old.

    (don´t mind the grammar in this comment, I´m tired)

    Comment by Marit — June 25, 2016 @ 6:48 am

  9. I find it hilarious that the dutch are being called ‘idots’ , yet they are one of the savest countries. They have strict laws agains guns and owning them, none like america where you can buy guns whenever you like. Maybe thats why there arent any mass shootings in the netherlands. Even prisons are being closed because there arent enough criminals to fill all of them. They also have loads of nature and these briges over highways just so that wildlife can cross over without getting hit by cars. Also, yes its rude how 1 guy told germans were stupid for digging a hole, but thats just 1 person out of the 17 milion people living in the country. And as far as the weired accent, atleast they speak english i dont see any americans learning dutch.

    Comment by Louk — June 27, 2016 @ 7:41 pm

  10. heey dave
    Maybe we hate germany because they started a war, and a lot of people died. All the ‘old’ people hate them and than they say to their children that german peolpe are bad and they ‘say’ it to their own children and that will never end….
    okay maybe it will end in a few years but yeah..

    Comment by Maaike — June 29, 2016 @ 8:26 am

  11. Let me clear up a few things:
    3. It’s not because we only eat one hot meal a day. It’s because most people eat the biggest meal of the day in the evening and it’s usually hot. If you had your “hot” meal. You are probably pretty stuffed and you probably don’t want to eat anything “big” so they make you a nice light meal.

    6. This is just a joke. But it is true that mainly germans are digging holes on our beaches. We don’t know why, we are just OK with it and joke about it a little. Sometimes our jokes can be a little rude, but then again we don’t care if you call us cheeseheads “Kaaskoppen” Or potheads or even a little greedy. Ask us why germans are stupid and the most common answers are: “I don’t know. They just are.” and most will just say “It’s a joke”

    Now there are some people who take these jokes way too serious. Even the dutch themselfs.

    7. There are drains everywhere to guide the water to another place and they are extremly well kept. As a dutchie even I think we sometimes go to far, and replace things long before they need to be replaced. We have a lots of other types of sand, but the drains just work really well.

    9. This is true in most cities, but it really depends. Most people use 2 locks just to be sure, but my bike never got stolen and it wasn’t double locked all of the time. I guess locking your bike is almost of a form of art. Never lock your bike to itself. A fence or your friends bike will do.

    Comment by LivingdaLife — July 6, 2016 @ 1:01 pm

  12. Without question the Netherlands is one of the most overrated countries on earth… It’s absolutely vile.

    1. The cities & towns are ugly- slabs of concrete mixed with dirty red bricks, generally very 1960’s looking, as if it were all bombed in WW2 and they had to rebuild within a matter of weeks. Poor selection of shops with no supermarkets other than budget German retailers and their own Monopoly supermarket-Albert Heijn.

    2. The Dutch are generally the most self-righteous, arrogant and rude people I have ever come across in my life. I certainly wouldn’t employ one…, the Dutch will typically justify this by proclaiming it’s them being direct but it isn’t. In meetings for instance the Dutch must be made to feel important and valued where each Dutch person has their ‘moment to talk’, this is very important to them, very false too. To give you an example the Dutch generally will not answer the door to you unless you have scheduled in advance the time and reason for your visit- also if you are lucky enough to get in and it’s Winter time remember to wrap up warm… because they will NOT have the heating on.

    3. Their English is awful- annoys me how the Dutch are praised for their English but generally speaking their English is horrendous especially so when combined with the odd/annoying Dutch/American accent. Typically speaking an average 30 year old Dutch person’s English will be on par with a 10 year old child from the UK/US- if not slightly below this level as the Dutch don’t understand expression. The Swedish and Danish have far better natural English.

    4. Without question amongst the worst dressed in the World, zero-fashion sense combined with being cheap results in grown men dressed in green trousers and red sweatshirts whilst the women will wear anything ranging from white ankle boots to machine washable polyester jackets, literally anything goes.

    5. Many Dutch women, particularly those over 35 appear ‘man-like’, 6 foot 2, short-practical hair….should have been men at birth, you know the type. Well the Netherlands is full of them.

    6. Unbelievably cheap…again at first glance it might look ‘cool’ how they cycle everywhere- the truth is they cycle everywhere because it’s cheaper than running a car. The heating will not be switched on no matter how old it is outside, if you go for a drink you will definitely be paying for your own choice of poison. If a Dutch man had to pay for a round I’d imagine they would go into cardiac arrest.

    7. The countryside is boring and flat and has nothing going for it- much of Europe’s mass produced pork products, tomatoes, etc. come from the Netherlands.

    8. Heavy taxation yet no Government healthcare.

    9. The weather is ultra depressing. The default setting is overcasted with a slight to moderate wind.

    10. Schiphol Airport hasn’t been refurbished since 1982 it’s like walking around your own migraine.

    11. By far home to the oldest trains I have ever seen that are still in use.

    12. Huge racial divides-the overwhelming impression i got from the Dutch is that they are extremely anti-muslim….anti-everyone who isn’t Dutch

    13. The food… everything seems to revolve around pancakes or the mixture used to make pancakes, syrup, sprinkles, and herring. Washed down with a beer that is half froth half liquid in a pathetic 200ml glass…

    14. Full of white South-Africans- presumably because their own country can’t offer them work. Not necessary a bad thing however many will be devoid of any personality or charm- ultra serious.

    15. The red light district and weed….clever as the only reason 99% of people ever visit this hell hole is to smoke a joint with the prospect of getting laid for 50EUR…it certainly isn’t for the weather.

    16. Riyadh feels safer than Rotterdam.

    Summary: One to avoid.

    DailyCandor: Why do so many English people absolutely loathe everyone? The more you know someone, the more you seem to hate them.

    Comment by CJ — July 10, 2016 @ 8:34 am

  13. First the Dutch started with free bikes for several years after they have stopped. Then the Danes started. Most Dutch have more than one bicycle.

    Comment by K.Mahadewsingh — July 19, 2016 @ 11:20 am

  14. I have traveled the world several times and still travelling, have seen and experienced a lot.
    The Netherlands is one of the most developed and richest countries in the world. Many can learn from the Netherlands.

    Comment by K.Mahadewsingh — July 19, 2016 @ 11:40 am

  15. @CJ

    “Without question the Netherlands is one of the most overrated countries on earth… It’s absolutely vile.”

    Beautiful, let’s dissect this.

    “1. The cities & towns are ugly- slabs of concrete mixed with dirty red bricks, generally very 1960’s looking, as if it were all bombed in WW2 and they had to rebuild within a matter of weeks. Poor selection of shops with no supermarkets other than budget German retailers and their own Monopoly supermarket-Albert Heijn.”

    I wonder if you’ve ever been to the Netherlands, because cities differ greatly from one another. Amsterdam has the old looks, which goes way back before the 60’s (because it didn’t get damaged during WW2) and Rotterdam has your NYC look with the sky scrapers and modern buildings (because Rotterdam was largely destroyed during WW2).

    As for supermarkets, Aldi and Lidl are the only ones and they are found elsewhere across Europe, including the UK. There’s Albert Heijn, Hoogvliet and Jumbo as the major Dutch supermarkets, and there’s other smaller ones.

    “2. The Dutch are generally the most self-righteous, arrogant and rude people I have ever come across in my life. I certainly wouldn’t employ one…, the Dutch will typically justify this by proclaiming it’s them being direct but it isn’t. In meetings for instance the Dutch must be made to feel important and valued where each Dutch person has their ‘moment to talk’, this is very important to them, very false too. To give you an example the Dutch generally will not answer the door to you unless you have scheduled in advance the time and reason for your visit- also if you are lucky enough to get in and it’s Winter time remember to wrap up warm… because they will NOT have the heating on.”

    Never heard of national pride? The majority of the countries have this. It is not something new. Also, the Dutch don’t need to feel important. It IS Dutch directness and we like to share their opinion, unlike other people who tend to say nothing and expect everything to be ok, such as the Brits who’d rather bite their own lip.

    The Dutch will answer the door, but it is polite to call the person before knocking on their door, so that the person knows he/she’s expecting somebody and can make some preparations, like a biscuit and tea/coffee. Also, the heating being off? Where in the world? The heating is off at night, because that is logical and practised AROUND THE WORLD, BECAUSE YOU’D WASTE ELECTRICITY THIS WAY, but other than that, the heating tends to be on. Unless the people inside the household aren’t cold, in which case there’s no point for them to have it on. Have you… have you ever travelled to the Netherlands?

    “3. Their English is awful- annoys me how the Dutch are praised for their English but generally speaking their English is horrendous especially so when combined with the odd/annoying Dutch/American accent. Typically speaking an average 30 year old Dutch person’s English will be on par with a 10 year old child from the UK/US- if not slightly below this level as the Dutch don’t understand expression. The Swedish and Danish have far better natural English.”

    This depends on who you’re speaking to. If you’re speaking to a person over 50, they weren’t taught English in the level that people are nowadays, it is worse for those who are older, because it wasn’t considered, at the time, a priority. The same applies to English speaking people not being taught an additional language.

    As for who speaks better English? Does it really matter? And where are your facts? Your sources? Aside from that, generally speaking, the Dutch are multilingual, as they get taught German and French as well in secondary school.

    As for accents? Every other person who isn’t English speaks with an accent. The Swedish certainly do and so goes for every other Scandinavian country. Heck, people in the UK have all sorts of different accents themselves and let’s not even look at the US where there’s plenty of accents, from NYC to Texas.

    “4. Without question amongst the worst dressed in the World, zero-fashion sense combined with being cheap results in grown men dressed in green trousers and red sweatshirts whilst the women will wear anything ranging from white ankle boots to machine washable polyester jackets, literally anything goes.”

    What? Once again, have you ever been to the Netherlands? And have you seen people in the UK?

    “5. Many Dutch women, particularly those over 35 appear ‘man-like’, 6 foot 2, short-practical hair….should have been men at birth, you know the type. Well the Netherlands is full of them.”

    Okay then, buddy.

    “6. Unbelievably cheap…again at first glance it might look ‘cool’ how they cycle everywhere- the truth is they cycle everywhere because it’s cheaper than running a car. The heating will not be switched on no matter how old it is outside, if you go for a drink you will definitely be paying for your own choice of poison. If a Dutch man had to pay for a round I’d imagine they would go into cardiac arrest.”

    Bogus and lies. People cycle everywhere in their LOCAL area, because it is easier. Parking in a town centre is impossible, whilst cycling will get you anywhere.

    Heating is switched on during the winter, you lie.

    The Dutch buy rounds all the time, but they expect you to buy rounds as well, so you lie once again.

    “7. The countryside is boring and flat and has nothing going for it- much of Europe’s mass produced pork products, tomatoes, etc. come from the Netherlands.”

    Sorry the country does not have any mountains, nothing can be done about that. There’s plenty of historical architecture though!

    It has nothing much going for it, but most of the trade comes from the Netherlands. Love your contradiction there, buddy.

    “8. Heavy taxation yet no Government healthcare.”

    If you’re referring to the NHS in the UK? No. But then again, the NHS is not that free either, as people still pay towards the NHS. Anyway, there is the WLZ in the Netherlands, which is insured by the government, but people are expected to take out their own basic healthcare.

    “9. The weather is ultra depressing. The default setting is overcasted with a slight to moderate wind.”

    The weather is fairly similar across Europe. Sure, it is not Southern France, Spain, Italy or Greece, but the weather is similar to the UK and Germany and it certainly is warmer than the Scandinavian countries.

    “10. Schiphol Airport hasn’t been refurbished since 1982 it’s like walking around your own migraine.”

    Departure Lounge 2 is being refurbished, it was announced TWO YEARS ago and Departure Lounge 4 had already been refurbished. What are you blabbering on about!?

    “11. By far home to the oldest trains I have ever seen that are still in use.”

    Actually, it has some of the more modern trains. Maybe take a train ride in the UK and decide for yourself. Still… Once again – have you ever been to the Netherlands?

    “12. Huge racial divides-the overwhelming impression i got from the Dutch is that they are extremely anti-muslim….anti-everyone who isn’t Dutch”

    There’s a far right wing group in every nation. It is not exclusive to the Netherlands.

    “13. The food… everything seems to revolve around pancakes or the mixture used to make pancakes, syrup, sprinkles, and herring. Washed down with a beer that is half froth half liquid in a pathetic 200ml glass…”

    The food is a vast variety of different cuisines. Fries more so than pancakes for that matter. And Dutch beers tend to be pilseners and it is common practice to server a pilsener with two fingers of foam. Not the half/half you referred to. And yes, you get smaller glasses than the pint glasses in the UK, or the steins and mugs you get elsewhere.

    “14. Full of white South-Africans- presumably because their own country can’t offer them work. Not necessary a bad thing however many will be devoid of any personality or charm- ultra serious.”

    What?

    “15. The red light district and weed….clever as the only reason 99% of people ever visit this hell hole is to smoke a joint with the prospect of getting laid for 50EUR…it certainly isn’t for the weather.”

    If you travel for a country for the weather in Europe, it is only going to be the Southern European countries, so I don’t even know why that is a point you’re raising. And generally speaking people go the Netherlands for its history and culture, what the majority of tourists do either way.

    So yeah.

    “16. Riyadh feels safer than Rotterdam.”

    Clearly never been to either then.

    “Summary: One to avoid.”

    Summary: you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about.

    Comment by JB — August 5, 2016 @ 11:40 am

  16. “You could have considerably shortened your article on the Dutch….by simply saying..the Dutch are the biggest idiots in Western Europe.
    This explains why there are so many sayings about the Dutch.”Dutch Courage”,going dutch,double dutch…etc etc.
    The English whipped their sorry arses years ago and threw them out of India and elsewhere.One of the characteristics of
    the Dutch was the cruelty of their colonial period….base brutality against unarmed civilians.

    As for calling Germans dumb….that is a bloody cheek coming from an idiot Dutchman.Germans have only produced some of
    the worlds great philosophy and engineering.Noticeably the well known supposedly great painter ,Van Gogh was a complete madman…
    Shame the Germans didn’t bomb more of the Dutch IDIOTS.

    NOTE:No one likes the Dutch for good reason…they are IDIOTS”

    Dutch courage is based around drinking Dutch gin and was used by English soldiers to keep warm, or how Dutch soldiers became more brave and vigurous after drinking Dutch gin.

    Double Dutch is a slur towards the Germans, not the Dutch themselves.

    Going Dutch is a fair idea where people pay for themselves.

    As for the English whipping the Dutch out of India. The Dutch never controlled India. Indonesia they controlled, but it was lost when the Japanese army took control during WW2 and they were only politically involved. As a matter of fact, the Dutch have fought and won wars against the UK and have also fought alongside the UK and helped the UK take down the Spanish Armada.

    One of the characteristics of any colonial period is brutality. Unless you think the Egyptians having slaves was fine. Or how about the Greeks and their slaves? What about the crusades? Or was that fine? My point is, it is not a Dutch characteristic. The Atlantic slave trade was done by the Britsh Empire, Portguese, French and Spanish too. In any way, the Dutch don’t look back proudly at that.

    As for calling the Germans dumb, the Dutch call the Belgians dumb. The English call the Welsh sheep shaggers. Most nations make fun of their neighbours, like the Americans and the Canadians. Gee, take a joke. Oh wait, the Germans don’t have a sense of humour!

    The Dutch have other famous painters, Van Gogh was just one painter. He does not represent a country, for the same reason the SS does not represent Germany.

    Shame the Germans didn’t bomb more of the Dutch? Dude, that is a cold awful thing to say. No country deserves that. You have serious issues if you get this upset about one person making a comment about a German person on a beach.

    The article is misleading either way, the Dutch used to hate the Germans, because of WW2, despite the Dutch being neutral and Germany invading regardless. However, nowadays the Dutch people hardly care. Seriously though, seek help.

    Comment by JB — August 5, 2016 @ 12:10 pm

  17. Responding to comment #1…. You’re a fucking idiot. Yeah the dutch had a dark colonial period but compared to the British and German “colonial periods”) they were pretty mild. For such a small country they have accomplished a lot and Germans aren’t perfect since they’re arrogant bastards but they have a lot to be proud of too. Also, you speaking like an English man I assume you’re from England, so let me tell you that the English right now are the dumbest fucking people in the world for leaving the EU. Your country’s history also has a lot to be ashamed of so don’t go hating on the Dutch you bloody wanker.

    Comment by Lucas de Block — August 11, 2016 @ 1:01 am

  18. You should have removed the hater comment, normally articles like this are followed by interesting or funny comments. Now not so much:( It’s a bit of a killjoy after your observations.

    I think it’s been a few years ago you wrote this, FEBO’s are called different on train stations, mushrooms are banned and somehow the Germans stopped digging holes on the beach. Dunno why they did, dunno why they stopped. That was just a fact your boyfriend stated, in my childhood they dug like crazy.. A running gag with a bitter undertone is asking a German when he’s going to return your grandpa’s bicycle. (They plundered everything not bolted down, without the bikes the long treks to find food during the ’44-’45 famine was extra hard.)

    The parking ticket story sounds like a hoax, playing on the assumption that the inhabitants of Rotterdam must still hate the offspring of the bastards that levelled the city in 1940. Please, the ones that remember are very old, and why I know it’s a hoax for sure? Try finding a cop speaking both German and flawless English, lolmao.. And they can’t shred a ticket, it’s digitally printed and before that they had to match numbered carbon copies..

    PS
    Jim Jefferies does an excellent comedy story on his visit to Amsterdam, highly recommended.

    Two books with a humorous outsider perspective:; the Undutchables (classic by now) and Why the Dutch are different ( that guy explored my country more than I did). Google has some chapters you can check for free, that’s how I found them.

    Comment by Bas — August 24, 2016 @ 7:27 pm

  19. Why do people seem to forget that slavery has always existed throughout history. The Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Ottomans, kalifeits of the middle east. The Europeans were the ones who ended this.

    Comment by Wout — August 25, 2016 @ 4:43 pm

  20. Well at least we bother to learn English, take Spain for example. If you don´t speak any Spanish or at least brought a dictionary you won´t get nowhere. We understand your every word. I mean, have you ever bothered to learn a foreign language when visiting? (maybe you have, idk you´re probaly a nice peson but for those who didn´t). And our ¨terribble accent¨ might have something to do with the fact that we´re foreign.. and what is it with people going ´Oh the people that lived 200 years before you killed a pregnant woman so you´re all automatically assholes´.. I´m not calling y´áll homophobic for only legalizing gay marriage recently, am I? (just an example)

    Hey, just defending my idiot country..
    Don´t blame me I just can´t seem to pick a new netflix show and I ran out of books to read so, oh well.
    btw we´re biking because we don´t wanna get lazy and fat but you all don´t seem to mind..

    Comment by Yonne — August 28, 2016 @ 2:10 pm

  21. Well Dave spart forgot about chatham…the biggest defeat of the british navy… and if you imagine britain was 50 times more bigger than the dutch republik in those days than who are the biggest idiots? yes the british. they made a mess of every country they took over.
    they started apartheit in southafrica, started murdering the indians in america, the aboriginals in australia and new zealand and dont forget india and the rest of africa .
    Im not saying the dutch ancestors did have clean hands, no .. infact im am born int he netherlands bir am not considerd dutch as im born in the deep south. Holland was and is far away, our culture is different were in between belgium and germany. were not fond of the hollanders thats why we have our own languages.

    and even modern inventions are dutch, wich one ?
    – cd/dvd bluetooth, wifi , compact casette, laserdisc. ambilight,blue ray , and even the lightbulb. and many more.

    so who are the dunbasses of europe ? the british and they prove i with brexit ! and they only speak some kind of english wich nobody understands.. esp when they are drunk and they are that a lot of times.

    Comment by J. — September 5, 2016 @ 5:09 am

  22. Hmm, I have to disagree on a few things.
    The Dutch don’t hate the Germans, yes there is some rivalry in sports and we call them names, but it isn’t really all ghat serious.
    And only 1 hot meal a day? Can’t have 2? Sounds like you were in some farmers village,last time I’ve heard that being said was 20 years ago…

    And the only spending 50 Euro on a bike only happens in the big cities like a’dam, r’dam and den haag.

    And the r sound nothing like the ch or g, you use the r with the front of your tongue and the g and ch with the back of your throat.

    Comment by Arno — September 13, 2016 @ 12:16 am

  23. Wow our english is bad?
    You guys speak dutch, french, german and englisch ?
    Becaus a dutch 14 year old does.

    Comment by Anna — September 16, 2016 @ 1:05 pm

  24. I was in Italy last year fun to see the english and americans struggle caus there to selfish and arrogant to laern another language

    Comment by Anna — September 16, 2016 @ 1:16 pm

  25. I find this comments so funny to read!
    First of all you don´t know what a country is like until you go there and live there!
    I also want to say that why judging Dutch people on their english? They are supposed to speak dutch? I would not judge an american or german etc. on how he/she speaks dutch?! It´s not their first language. Who cares. At least they are able to learn other languages, which some people in the world can´t because of poverty. I think everybody should be proud of their country. And we shouldn´t have any preconceptions about countries we don´t live in. We don´t know what it´s like.

    So love you all.
    Sorry about my tremendous english!
    I live in the Netherlands and i´m proud of it!
    Hell yeah!

    Comment by Chelsea — September 25, 2016 @ 8:29 am

  26. I met a boy from Amsterdam in Spain in 1967 and he was my first love. He had to go into the Arrmy and have his Beatles hair cut short….not the done thing then, but I still loved him…..and although we didn’t marry in the end, although I was proposed to, we are both divorced and still in contact regularly and.both seventy next year,! Aah….and I love his Dutch accent and he loves everything about England, especially the sixties music!

    Comment by Sandra — October 8, 2016 @ 2:23 pm

  27. Hey Dave…you are so wrong that the english beat us…..we won 3 wars (AgainstgFrance,England,Spain at the same time….)
    So go die in a fire, if you would even know one dutch person you would know we are nice people and so your going with the nazis should bomb more of us?? you are officaily retarded
    do you know more swearwords then idiots?? depressing, and by the way we did not make the sayings dutch courage and some of the others you noted, they were made by others… wich is saying something you cant blame us for things 300 years ago.

    and about indonesia the english didn’t free th,m you retard… they were no longer a colony,and the dutch aren’t dumb not by a long shot, you probably support trump and are on heavy medication… or else your just neonazi anti social and drunk….
    and we dont call germans dumb they are now our allies…

    Comment by Dundar — October 21, 2016 @ 9:09 am

  28. I wrote earlier about my first love in 1967…a Dutchman, Johan from Amsterdam, whom I met in Spain and we are still pals. I went over to Amsterdam for weekends quite a lot and got to like the “sprinkles” for breakfast, loved the museums and Anne Frank’s house very sad.
    Johan would often take his father for visits to Germany and couldn’t understand why I was surprised that they liked the Germans so much, saying the War has been over a long time. But as my father was a 17 yr old Paratrooper at the battle of Arnhem I did get annoyed that his father never fought for his own country…and how many Dutch did…but my dad was risking his life for another country’s safety and was one of the lucky ones to get back home alive.
    The last time I visited Amsterdam, about ten years back, I couldn’t believe all the immigration and everyone smoking in restaurants etc…but then the last time I visited London I found it difficult to meet a real Londoner, all moved to Essex, and the city taken over by other nations, thus losing our identity….the way of Europe now I guess…
    But I think the Netherlands is a well balanced country and has a lot going for it…good living standards and health facilities, but yes, on the whole, they don’t waste money!!?

    Comment by Sandra Johnstone — October 22, 2016 @ 1:53 am

  29. Funny to read how foreigners see my lil’ country. Think most are pretty accurate, eventhough I think the (stupendous) hatred against Germans for what happened in WW2 is a thing of the past.

    Never really knew it was a Dutch thing to eat only one hot meal a day.. it’s true though. You seldom eat 2 hot meals a day, don’t even know why that is – maybe because a sandwich is easy to make and cheap.

    And yes, the heavy accent. I’ve been speaking english for decades but somehow I can’t seem to get rid of it.

    Comment by Djoop — October 28, 2016 @ 7:48 am

  30. My experience tells me that you can never trust a Dutch person, I met so many Dutch people in my life , at work , friends ( not really) even lovers and finally I´m so sorry about it but I have to say that you can not trust them.

    Comment by Jesse — November 20, 2016 @ 8:27 am

  31. How Dah F can you decide that all dutch people are not trustworthy, you know nothing, you probably agree with the idiot up there that we shoulda suffered more losses, 1 in 38 0f our people died.
    You are probably a child that wants attention or a adult that voted for trump or his like in where ever you live.

    Comment by Dundar — November 28, 2016 @ 2:43 pm

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