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How Americans see the Dutch

(Nederlands vertaling beneden) A couple of weeks ago I posted about how the Dutch see the Americans. It wasn’t particularly complimentary, so I promised to write the opposite post: how the Americans see the Dutch. Here’s the problem: the Americans don’t see the Dutch. What I mean is that America is big and Holland is small,…

Watching the World Cup … and enjoying it!

The Dutch are absolutely fanatical about football (soccer, for American readers), and perhaps even more fanatical about supporting their national football team. You can always identify the Dutch people in the stadium: a small sea of orange (the royal family of the Netherlands is the House of Orange); their faces painted, often in red, white…

10 Things the Dutch Think about Americans

You’re not like most Americans.” A student of mine, a trainee English teacher, said this to me.  I laughed, and the conversation moved on to other topics, but I’ve been thinking about what he meant by this. What the Dutch think about Americans – and I dare say this applies to other Europeans too – is…

Do you live in a low-status city?

My friend, Carol, lives in Amsterdam, a bit more than two hours from Groningen, where I live. She used to live in Assen, which is only 20 minutes away. Yet I see her much more often now than I did then. Cities have status. I didn’t realize this until Carol moved away. When she lived…

a house in Lutjegast, Groningen province

Advice for Expats: 12 Tips

There are two kinds of expatriates: the kind who move to a foreign country to seize an opportunity for a job or education, and the kind who move to a foreign country for love. The temporary vs the accidental expat The temporary expat generally sees it as just that: temporary, a step on a career…

Bicycle baptism

We just wanted to get out of the car while it was stopped in traffic. The plan was to walk to the restaurant two blocks away while my husband went to park the car. It made sense. I stepped out on the right side, but not before saying to the kids in the back seat,…

Watery hubris

[:en]That’s part of this admirable hubris: complete and utter self-confidence. [:]

Is Black Pete racist?

[:en]To state the patently obvious, it’s terribly racist in this day and age for a white person to dress up in blackface and play a comic character.[:]

Driving, Dutch-style

[:en]One culture chooses to flout law #1 and obey law #2, while another culture obeys law #1 and flouts law #2.[:]

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