1 You are neither surprised nor offended when young children correct you.
Dutch children are encouraged to be self-aware and opinionated from an early age, and while opinions on this particular topic are divided in the Netherlands, adults will generally listen to a seven-year-convincing old’s arguments. And if the adult believes the child is mistaken, he will attempt to educate him rather than correct him.
2 Your compliance with the rules leaves much to be desired.
You respect authority and rules, but only when it serves your interests. After the smoking ban was implemented, a significant portion of all bars continued to place ashtrays on the tables inside, risking hefty fines with the motto, “It’s our business and no one else’s.”
3 While you do not wish to minimize the significance of bicycle helmet use in other countries, you would never wear one yourself.
You consider your bicycle an extension of yourself. Your bicycle is your primary mode of transportation; without it, you are nothing. You commute to work on your bike, drop your children off at school on your bike, and have mastered the art of cycling and texting while navigating crowded intersections and ‘accidentally’ passing stop signs without causing accidents.
4 You have a tendency to complain.
Even if you live in one of the world’s happiest and wealthiest countries, there is always something to complain about. If it’s not the weather, it’s the health care system, the government, the guy who invaded your personal space on the overcrowded train, and especially all the other people who are always complaining.
5 You lack the desire to make bold fashion statements.
Even on a night out, you are frequently spotted wearing jeans and sneakers. But behind the scenes, you’ve taken care to select the perfect combination of jeans, shirt, and sneakers, hoping to impress with your casual-yet-trendy ensemble.
6 You prefer to always leave your curtains open.
You are not easily embarrassed and you don’t mind if people observe your living room activities. You have nothing to conceal, correct?
7 On the birthday of your boyfriend, you congratulate his parents.
Congratulations on the birth of your son,
Future mother-in-law: “Congratulations on your engagement to your boyfriend,” followed by three cheek kisses. On to the next member of the family, friend, or acquaintance. Before you sit down to enjoy the party, you personally congratulate each of the guests who arrived before you.
8 You would never expect your date to pay for your meal.
You go Dutch and split the costs. As a student, you prepare a meal with your friends and distribute the costs of the ingredients evenly, down to the cent. If you forget to transfer the money into their account immediately, even if it is only one euro, they will call you out on it.
9 You’re not nationalistic. Except when watching football
Generally, you consider yourself a ‘global citizen,’ except when you’re watching the European or World Championships in football, during which even your cousin, who normally dislikes sports, becomes a rabid ‘Oranje’ supporter, yelling and screaming.
10 You never refuse something that is offered for free.
You dislike spending money, so nothing makes you happier than an unanticipated discount. Unless you can obtain something for free. The fact that you don’t like mints is irrelevant; you pass the girl who is handing out a new brand of peppermint-flavored candies twice to add another “happy” bar to your day.
11 You have no fear of expressing your opinion, even if it offends others.
You wear your emotions on your sleeve and have been labeled ‘rude’ on multiple occasions, but you prefer to think of yourself as ‘direct’ or ‘honest’ and wish more people would appreciate that about you. You’re also known for having an opinion on everything, including topics you barely understand.
12 You are pleased with the Netherlands’ liberal stances on marijuana use and prostitution.
However, you are not interested in smoking marijuana and you do not wish to be discovered dead in the red light district. You are also aware that the government’s recent efforts to shut down as many coffee shops and red-tainted windows as possible are a ruse.
13 You revere the sun with fervor.
Even if it’s only 12 degrees Celsius, at the first sign of sun in March you pull a skirt from your closet, hop on your bike, and meet your girlfriends on a ‘terrasje’ to celebrate the end of winter with as many glasses of wine as it takes to make you forget the goosebumps on your bare, white legs (because in reality it’s still freezing cold).
14 You do not place a high value on marriage, but you believe that everyone should be able to get married.
Church weddings are more of an anomaly than the norm. Marriage is primarily viewed as a means of organizing the legal documentation for a partnership. On the other hand, the majority of us Dutch hold the firm belief that everyone has the freedom of choice and lifestyle — so long as they do not cause harm to others — and should therefore be allowed to marry.
15 You would rather start an argument than allow someone to cut in line.
If it’s your turn, it’s your turn, and you would rather engage in a heated argument in a crowded store than allow someone to cut in front of you in line. You anticipate that many will try, so you keep a close eye on everyone.
16 Your pocket journal is one of your most cherished possessions.
Planning is key. In addition to your work, you must remember your fitness schedule, yoga class, next week’s sale at your favorite store, your best friend’s birthday, an evening of “quality” time with your boyfriend, Friday night dinner with your coworkers, your high school reunion, and your weekly Vegan meetup. You wish to go out for a drink? Yes, I am available between 5 and 6 p.m. on Thursday of the following week between 5 and 6 p.m.
Topic: 16 Signs You Were Born and Raised in the Netherlands
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