Home » Tantrums & Rants » Have I Been Living in The Netherlands Too Long?

Have I Been Living in The Netherlands Too Long?

A friend shared this article on Facebook earlier and the list made me laugh a bit because a fair few of them really do apply to me!  Some not, but many… oh hell yes.

I’m sorry, I just had to stop at number 81 and come back up here to say that this is quite possibly the most ridiculous NL list I’ve ever seen, but since I actually GOT to 81 I am too stubborn to stop, and therefore, I insist on still sharing it with the rest of you.  I should have read the entire thing before running to my blog to post it but I didn’t, I read the first few and was all “YAY this is great!”.

Not great, not great at all.


1/ You have a bike – I do!! I haven’t been riding it much lately though. :/

2/ You even know how to brake using retropedaling – My bike has brakes on the handlebars. So, no.

3/ Walking from your faculty to the cafeteria has become unimaginable. You take your bike, even if it’s for 50meters – This one would have to be a no too.

4/ Eating 7 slides of bread for lunch doesn’t scare you anymore – Eating even two slices scares me, but that’s my low carb diet.  I can’t deny that the Dutch are a VERY HIGH carb country!  It’s all about the boterham!

5/ By the way, you stopped eating warm lunch. You just eat bread – I do eat warm lunches but it’s not the norm here.

6/ You know what a kroket is, and you learned to avoid the orange ones – Yep, but I avoid them ALL.

7/ It doesn’t surprise you anymore to eat at 18:30 – This one is very true! If we haven’t eaten by 7pm we are starving.

8/ You drink beer – No country will ever make me do that. Yuck.

9/ You got used to trance and electro music – Even though my husband loves it, I still hate it.

10/ You don’t cheat on the train, because controllers are EVERYWHERE – Absolutely, it’s not worth the risk!

11/ When the cafeteria is crowed, you line up neately with the others – It’s just the right thing to do!

12/ You used to use cash all the time, but now you have a pin card – I am always the one at a dinner with friends who smacks my forehead and says “I forgot to get money out, I’ll have to pin!”

13/ You think ducks are cute – I always did.

14/ As soon as the sun pops out, you make a barbecue, even if it’s 10°C outside – If we had a garden, I totally would.

15/ You think 15°C is warm – I’m Canadian, 15 degrees is warm!

16/ You know winter stops in May, and not March as everywhere else – Oh this is rubbish, April is beautiful in the Netherlands!

17/ You don’t remember what a moutain looks like – I remember, I also remember there’s an N in it. MouNtain.

18/ You still don’t know how to speak Dutch. But your English has improved – I speak… Dunglish.

19/ You know what Surinam is. And where it is – Yeah I know where it is, because I just Googled it.

20/ You never go out without your bike lights – I don’t take my bike lights usually, that would require actually taking my bike too!

21/ You think butter in a bottle is normal — Wtf? Are we talking about the same country?

22/ You know that all the guys are in Delft. And the girls, everywhere else, especially Leiden – I’ve been married pretty much since I got here, I dunno where the guys are.

23/ You go to Leiden on Saturday – No, I don’t. Should I? What is in Leiden on a Saturday?  Is there something I should know?

24/ You’ve been to a flower park, and thought it was cool – I admit it, I’ve been to Keukenhof once. Ok twice. FINE THREE TIMES!

25/ You’re ok with having only one flavour of ice cream (the white ones) – I most certainly am not!

26/ You don’t even bother to ask “do you speak English?”, you just speak English right away – Isn’t this something you do more when you first get here, rather than when you’ve been here too long?  This isn’t true…

27/ When you go to the cinema, you are ok with being told where to sit – I kind of prefer it, to be honest.

28/ And you wouldn’t dare sit anywhere else – Not after seeing people being told to move that time, I wouldn’t.

29/ You have finally accepted the fact that Gouda is cheese – I don’t get it… when was it not cheese?

30/ Paying 6€ for a meal in the cafeteria seems normal – I don’t eat in a cafeteria but if I did I don’t think I’d kick up a stink…

31/ You know how to repair a bike – Yes, by saying “Honey, can you fix my bike?!”

32/ You eat potatoes at least once a day – No, but I think a lot of the Dutch do!

33/ You always check the weather before leaving home – Yes, and usually regret it because it’s rarely ever right anyway and changes every five minutes.

34/ You know what it is being late and having to wait for a boat to cross the bridge – I live in Rotterdam Zuid so yeah, had my share of moments waiting for the Erasmusbrug to close!

35/ You can drink milk at any time of the day – Can’t everyone?

36/ Sometimes, you only drink milk as lunch – What weirdo wrote this?  I’ve never seen anyone have only milk as lunch.

37/ You have tried karnemelk at least once – No, I still haven’t. I keep meaning to but never get around to it.

38/ You start liking dropjes – Blech, I tried loads but still am not a fan.

39/ For you something sweet means straubwaffels – I have never tried a straubwaffel but Stroopwafels are great!

40/ Spring means flowers blooming and construction sites opening up all over the place – Yes, and home renovations, so our flat is always noisy.

41/ Being tall gets a new meaning – Yes, it’s called being a giant.

42/ Blonde is back to being a hair-color, not a concept – Yeah, it’s sort of the norm here.

43/ you have 4 seasons in one day – On a GOOD day!

44/ you can start a mail to your teacher who happens to be a doctor by “yo, wassup doc” (exaggeration can get the message through) — Huh? This doesn’t make any sense…

45/ You think that paying to use the toilets is normal. – It is normal here, it also ensures a CLEAN toilet, so I can live with it. I know the fact that I said that proves this one.

46/ You know that kapsalon is not a typical turkish dish, but a hairdresser – Okaaay…

47/ You start to think that the strange position of the hole in the WC is not that disgusting – I’ll never stop being disgusted and annoyed with the shape of the toilet bowls here.  I would always rather that than some of the toilets (ie… holes in the floor) I’ve been forced to use in France though!

48/ You find it easier to find a good joint that a good coffee – I don’t look for joints or coffee.

49/ You have the AH bonus card – Doesn’t everyone?

50/ Your windows have no curtains, and you don’t care – They do, and I do.

51/ If your windows have curtains, you don’t use them, and just don’t care who might be looking at you – I have them and I care.

52/ For you, light rain is not rain – Rain is rain…

53/ Professors write a “well done” comment in your assignment and still grade you with a 6 – This is starting to make more sense to me, I’m starting to think it was written by some college dude. Explains knowing where all the girls are at.

54/ You can drink beer in the cinema (good) — I suppose I could if I wanted to, which I don’t.  Yep, definitely a college dude.

55/ 10°C is warm enough to wear a short or mini skirt – Nobody wants to see me in a mini skirt.

56/ You can ride your bike in the rain, wind and even snow — I don’t ride it in the sun, I’m not riding it in any of that shit.

57/ guys are very cute – A gay college dude?

58/ you can ride your bike wearing skirt (if you’re a girl), a suit or even high heels (if you’re a girl) – Enough with the bikes already!

59/ When you start having strong opinion even if you vaguely know the topic — I suppose so..

60/ When you “wash” the dishes with soap without rincing them – I don’t know how to rince dishes.  I rinse them though… with water.

61/ “alstublieft and dank u wel” are the only dutch words you know – Again, how is this something that says ‘in the country too long”???

62/ You aren’t surprised anymore that the disco closes at 4 (but it still pisses you off) – I WAKE UP at 4…

63/ You learn to bike without using your hands on the handle – Again with the bikes.

64/ You go to the market and you only buy the stuffs that fit in you bike – *sigh*

65/ Riding a bike and driking coffee/smoking/eating lunch at the same time is not a problem any more – We get it, BIKES. If you like bikes, you’ve been here too long BIIIIIIKES.

66/ You reformulate the saying “if you drink, don’t drive” by “if you drink, don’t ride” – I have never said that but I guess I would in the right circumstance.

67/ You’ve been asked where the coffeeshop is – I may have at some point, I don’t remember.

68/ You start wearing orange during soccer events, even when you’re not dutch – Guilty!

69/ You get used not to use napkins when eating. You just eat dirtily. – Is this English? Wtf…

70/ You know what GVD stands for – I do.

71/ You can never predict the weather and can not believe the weather forecast anymore – We already addressed this one didn’t we?  Someone ran out of ideas at 45 I think!

72/ You wait for the light to go green before crossing the street, even if there is no car – It’s the rules!

73/ You sometimes eat only with a spoon – Dutch people are more weird than I thought. I never heard of this.

74/ You tried fried fish from the caravans at least once – No, and I never will.

75/ You clap the lecturer (just because he’s been speaking for 2 hours) – Yes, at photo club meetings. If someone does a presentation isn’t clapping polite?

76/ You run to Albert Heijn at 21.55 to get some beer for the party that night – Oh yes, all the time. *sigh* COLLEGE DUDE. This is a “You know you are 19 in the Netherlands” list, not you know you’ve been here too long list.

77/ Trees planted in straight rows/ aka the forest/ seems normal – Huh?

78/ You think you understand why they don’t serve coffee at coffeeshops (but you’re not sure yet) – Again, a newbie mistake, no? Not that you’ve been here too long.

79/ You steal a bike at the station because the night before someone stole yours – Whaaaaaaa?

80/ You think it is okay to eat multicoloured sprinkels on bread for breakfast – No, I don’t.

81/ You use 9292ov.nl to go to the supermarket – Yes, because that’s something people do when they’ve been here too long?

82/ You know that the wind blows in your face regardless of the direction in which you are biking – No, only when I bike into the wind.

83/ You don’t even try to park in an unauthorised area just to ‘pick something up in 5min’, because you know you will get a ticket in 30secondes – I don’t drive, but this spelling is starting to drive me mental. UNAUTHORIZED!! SECONDS!! Spell check much?!

84/ When you move out of your apartment, you know you might have to take the floors with you – This one still boggles my mind.

85/ Stepping in doggiepoo on the sideawalk becomes almost a daily thing – Don’t even get me started!

86/ You end up eating super greasy food at 5am at FEBO or ALEV (Delft) — No I can’t say I’ve ever done anything at 5am in Delft, I live in Rotterdam.

87/ And after that, you manage to bike home still completely wasted and go to class at 8:45 – Oh FFS did someone get this list from a TU Delft forum or something?

88/ You need an appointement to talk with your friends. Or your mother. – I make appointments (NO E) yes, but I’m starting to like it that way.

89/ You enjoy making tourists jump off the bike path – Umm, no, not usually.

90/ You paid more for the lock of your bike than for the bike itselft – Doesn’t everyone?

91/ Real bread? You’ve made your peace with it. It doesn’t exist – What is the bread we eat made of? Lego?  Clearly this person has never experienced Wonderbread.

92/ You know that the Netherlands doesn’t have a special dish. They just fry everything – Hello, Stamppot??

93/ You know getting a couch will be difficult because it doesn’t fit through the door. Windows maybe? – This happens in every country.

94/ You’re ok spending Queen’s Day in the train because people are walking on the rails – No, I’d never be ok with that.

95/ Yap, Joost and Jeroen are the names of most of the Dutch guys you know – How does this say I’ve been in NL too long?

96/ when the sun pops up all your Dutch friends are wearing beach flip flops – Uh, I guess..

97/ Dutch people ask you why don’t you speak Dutch? – They do that no matter how long you’ve been here.

98/ You still don’t speak Dutch but watch silly Dutch TV shows like Take me out and Single – Yes, I’ve done that from time to time.

99/ You have been in a relationship with at least one Dutch person – I’ve been in a relationship with a Dutch person since the day I got here. Again, nothing to do with how long I’m here.

100/ You are used to people bumping into you abruptly on the street, yet never saying sorry – Nope, still not used to it.


What a stupid, STUPID list this is… I almost feel ashamed for even posting it but I am because I spent the time writing those answers.  I’d love to know who wrote this list, I get the feeling it was that drunk college dude from Delft who just biked home at 5am after seeing all those girls in Leiden.

Mother of GOD, I have seen some silly shit in my day but this is bad.  Actually I take it back, this couldn’t be a college guy. There’s no way they’d let the person who wrote this into college… no way.

About Tammy

A Canadian living in France with her Dutch hubby after 17 years in the Netherlands. A total TV and movie junkie who is never not knitting. She also enjoys other crafts, nail art, cuddling her dogs and general geekery. Otherwise just working on getting by and making a life for herself in her 'new' country.

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  1. Hilarious! Definitely don’t feel ashamed for posting it – I love your answers on this, as well as the responses here. It’s been so long since I’ve been able to catch up on your blog, and I’ve got a lot of reading to do, but it was great to stop by & catch this hilarious one! Whoever wrote it originally, truly if they’ve been in the Netherlands for so long, they’d know more than just alstublieft and dank u wel, and they must be a student who has only been in there for about 6 months. Anyway, I loved the assigned seating at the cinema too (they have it down here in Australia as well, thankfully). And beer/wine at the cinema. I even sometimes miss living in the Netherlands. Will you & your husband ever make a move to Canada for at least a while, I wonder? What would you miss the most about the Netherlands if you did? I’ll catch up with more of your posts soon. Until then, take care! Groetjes uit Australië :-)
    A Touch of Dutch blog´s last post ..Expat Living: Before and After the Netherlands

  2. 15/ isn’t true either, I’ve seen people with scarves and mitts on when its been 20C out!
    32/ If my ex had it his way we would have… freaking potatoes, even now I’m tired of them.
    55/ that’s because they are probably going shopping and the stores have the heat set to 38C.
    77/ ya.. I’ve seen that there. LOL

  3. 44–have never–and would never–recommend starting an email with “yo, wassup” At least, not if you don’t want to fail
    Jules´s last post ..Day of Cats

  4. No.46 seems inverted, but still wrong. Kapsalon isn’t Turkish- it’s typically Rotterdam!! Sure, you can get it at Turkish snack bar, but I can tell you from experience they don’t have it in Turkey!

    And yes, indeed, what’s with the bike fetish?! I think more telling than the bike is the crappy way most Dutch drivers get around. Blocking intersections, not checking blind-spots, going the wrong way on a one way street and bitching about the other cars coming the right way, etc.

  5. hehehe, I LOVED reading your list, even tho it is stupid. The wonderbread made me spit out my coffee, the straubwaffel and rince…hehe Nobody could answer this as well as you did. thanks for the laughter today (my son thinks I am nuts)
    Tera´s last post ..Working Together

  6. A lot of these apply to Belgians too actually…
    calliope´s last post ..The Circle of Life

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