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9 Signs your Erasmus in the Netherlands turned you into a Dutch person

Joana Alves

Joana is one of Uniplaces’ booking stars, coming back to Portugal after having studied in the Netherlands. This is the tale of her reverse-culture shock – how many do you recognise?

You know you’re Dutch when…

#1 You fearlessly stride across pedestrian crossings without looking out for traffic

So true! When I came back to Lisbon I nearly got hit by a car 6 times within the first week.. My dad feared for my life. I still get a daily close-call on my way to work.

#2 You use the word ‘gezellig’ so much it has no meaning anymore

Gezellig

Gezellig was actually the first word I learned when I arrived in the Netherlands. I still use the word to prove I speak Dutch to everyone I meet (lies..) – works every time.

#3 You love to remind Americans that New York was once called New Amsterdam

Indiana Jones

#4 You bring drop, potatoes and Dutch bread with you on vacation

Hell yeah!

Eeeww, I really don’t like drop.. my Dutch friends made me try it daily, it’s so bad. I did ask them for a jar of pindakaas when they came here though!

#5 You prefer to hold your pee instead of paying €0.20 for the bathroom

#6 You’ve spent more money on your bike lock than on your actual bike

My bike was stolen 3 times within the first month I arrived. The 4th time was when I decided to buy a proper bike lock, but of course I got ripped off for that. Tip to everyone: bike sellers always magically find you when you’re really drunk..

#7 You don’t give a tip at restaurants

#8 You can simultaneously talk on the phone, eat, and carry a bag of groceries in one hand while riding your bicycle through traffic. With your friend on the back. Geen Probleem. I’m invincible!

Except for that one time my friend and I fell in the mud because we nearly got hit by a tram… Also typically Dutch: everyone was laughing at us instead of trying to help.

#9 You know that Santa Claus traditions are inspired by Sinterklaas

Santa

Because of this and many other things: I love the Netherlands!

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