Thursday, February 3, 2011

it's all dutch to me

Here are some random observations from The Netherlands and Europe so far:

1. The Dutch men are really tall. It sounds silly, but this is one of the first things that I noticed! They have extremely long skinny legs, big feet and usually wear fitted pants and dress shoes. I'm pretty sure that some of their legs could come up as high as my waist. Next time we are out and about I plan on taking a picture with the tallest Dutch man that we come across (and we already looked up how to say 'can i take your picture' in Dutch...although our pronunciation might be a little off).

2. In general, everyone is just a little taller and everyone is thin. Maybe we just have a lot of short people in the states, but the only short people that I have seen here have all been under the age of 12.

3. Don't have a car? That's fine. Don't have a bike? Now, that could be a problem. Bikes are a huge part of people's daily transportation. They are not only used for just a bike ride around the city, they are used to get places and to hold stuff. Most of the bikes have some type of compartment on the back and it is not unusual to see another person hop onto someone else's bike while in motion. They are parked everywhere and if not on the street then they can be found behind a building, where there might be a group of 10 big bike racks.

4. The cars, with the exception of delivery trucks and vans, are all very little. They are all about the size of a Ford Focus or even smaller. I have not seen one SUV. There are a lot of Mini Coopers and VWs. I also haven't seen any speed limit signs...or stop signs.

5. Everybody is extremely fashionable. Nobody goes out side in a sweatshirt or sweatpants, instead they wear nice jeans with fancy boots and very high end looking coats. There are some Uggs, but definitely not with only leggings and a t-shirt, like we wear in the States.

6. Target and Walmart are unheard-of, instead there are small shops for everything - one for glasses, one for the newspaper, one for shoes, one for medicine, one for lamps, one for dishes, one for carnival costumes.

7. Staring is not rude and does not give off any ideas. It is normal for someone to just stare at you as they walk by or sit across from you at a restaurant. Fran informed me of this as she and a random man just stared at each other for like a whole minute! Although I am used to the staring...I kind of stick out because I speak very American English and have red hair.

8. I haven't seen one other person with red hair. But, maybe that will change when we go to Ireland.

9. Dogs are allowed everywhere...on the train, in the mall and at restaurants.


  1. HELLO JESSICA!! I love reading your blogs! Keep em' Up! Sounds like you guys are having quite the adventure so far! :)

  2. Hi Jes! You are being an excellent psychology major with your keen observations about people. It's great practice for you to write them down, too. Keep up the good work. =) And of course, keep having fun!

  3. This reminds me so much of the first time I lived abroad...welcome to Europe!!!