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Guilt

Anyone who’s ever watched a Woody Allen film will know that guilt is built into the culture of the East Coast Jewish family. The slightest mistake that we make will make us feel guilty, even when,…

A Dutch custom I will never get used to…

When it’s someone’s birthday here in Holland, you don’t wish them a “Happy Birthday,” you say “Gefeliciteerd,” which translates more closely as “Congratulations.” What are you congratulating them for? For surviving?  What makes even less sense is…

Rude Teenagers

Teenagers can be rude. That’s a fact of life, and I would wager that it’s universal, or at least consistent all over the Western world. Some are ruder than others, of course. Most can be quite…

Being in a foreign country …

“Being in a foreign country means walking a tightrope high above the ground without the net afforded a person by the country where he has his family, colleagues, and friends, and where he can easily say…

I’m a fraud!

Okay, I have a website. I have a blog. I set up a Yahoo group for my students. I know how to use msn and Skype and most of the Office Suite and I can make…

Surprise! Romanian kids are just like ours!

Well, I’m back from Romania, and it was absolutely fascinating! I know that what you’re probably most curious about is the answer to the question I posed in my post called “Sexy Romanians.” The answer is: it…

The Polder Model in Action

  Have you ever heard of the Dutch polder model? It’s a political term referring to consensus decision-making. However, here in Holland, it is used within organizations as well. The idea is that everybody in the…

How to be Dutch

Here’s something I wrote about five years ago, but it still applies! How to Be Dutch There’s been a lot of talk in Holland lately about immigrants and about how and how much we should adapt…