There are many idiosyncrasies that sum up Holland (the Netherlands) that many people miss when visiting. However, are never lost on a Dutch person coming home.
After a recent and brief visit, here are a few of my favourites:
You know you are back in Holland when:
- The plane land so far from the airport and you spend 15 minutes being ferried all the way to your gate
- You get off the plane and are met by Tulips, a Heineken café and flashes of bright orange – not necessarily in that order
- You through and outside of the airport with little hassle in all of 15 minutes
- Passport control says ‘welcome home’
- The first beeline you make is to the Friettent – Fries Café, and the first thing you order is Frietje Oorlog, War Fries, Fries with Sate sauce, mayonnaise and raw onion, with a Chocomel (chocolate milk)
- Even the bus stops at the airport are pretty
- The second pit stop is G-star outlet, as serious there are no better jeans, and no better selection here or price
- It’s drizzling in a way that you can’t call it rain, but it seems immune to umbrellas and you’ll be wet and miserable either way
- The taxi drivers are all ruthless thieves which is why you take the train or bus which only cost a few euros
- The buses are all electric and modern
- You have to remember to swipe on and off all public transport
- You outside and get run over by a bike
- You stop outside and into dog poop, or in my case, my friends were warned via the apartment app there was poop on the doorstep – beware those without the app
- You are no longer the tallest person in the room – the Dutch are excessively tall
- Breakfast is sliced bread with an option of cheese or peanut butter – which is why you either take two slices or cut one in half, it’s a tough choice
- When every coffee comes with a koekje (cookie)
- You hope that one food truck the ‘Olliebollen Kraan’, is still around (often only before Christmas), so you can still get a deep friend bit of delicious dough an ‘Olliebolle’
- People are a wee bit bossy and speak their mind without needing to try and be nice about it
- The only stonners you see are foreigners
- You are sad to leave, but also know that a short visit sometimes can be long enough
- You know you’ll be back to visit all the places you missed soon
The last visit was a short one, for an avid traveller as much as I like to visit my country and reminisce and see my favourite haunts. I’ll be honest and prefer to visit new countries and experience new cultures.
But the beauty of living a literal hop, skip and jump of a short plane ride away, is that I can visit, even if just for a day.
If you are planning a trip to Amsterdam be sure to check out my blog post insider’s guide which you can find here.