10 Things the Dutch do Different from the Rest of Europe

There are many strange Dutch traditions and habits that you will discover when you move to The Netherlands.  Well, that is, strange to yourself, not to the Dutch.

10 “Weird” things the Dutch do:

  1. Birthday Celebrations; is done by sitting in a circle enjoying a piece of cake and drinking coffee. If you think a birthday celebration can only be considered a party when the music is loud, the police were called because of the noise, and someone passed out in the corner, then you will have to rethink.
  2. Dress up in Orange; to celebrate the Kings birthday, or for that matter, to celebrate everything else, too. Orange is the official colour of the royal family.
  3. Know your Queuing rules; or lack thereof. There are no rules regarding queuing in The Netherlands.  It comes down to everyone for oneself, man, woman and child.  No winners, only survivors.
  4. Wait for the waiter; can be a big mistake. They apparently have lots to do and will do it all before finding time to serve you.
  5. Eat Chocolate for Breakfast; any kind of chocolate on bread, chocolate paste, sprinkles or shavings, just as long as it is chocolate.
  6. And then, eat very salty liquorice; a very strange contrast, loving extreme sweet stuff, and extreme salty stuff.
  7. Eat Mayonnaise on Fries; and lots of mayonnaise. If you do not eat your fries drenched in mayonnaise, you will be seen as an oddity.  Mayonnaise is well-loved in The Netherlands and is considered to be its own food group.
  8. Rokjesdag; is the official sign that spring is in the air. The Dutch ladies will start wearing short skirts again.  It might also be the day a lot of guys have encounters with lamp posts.
  9. Cycling; you can cycle anywhere and everywhere. You do not need to wear a helmet; you might be taken for being a tad bit strange if you do wear a helmet.  The Dutch can even multitask while riding a bicycle, sending a text message or making a phone call. You can find out more about cycling in Netherlands here
  10. The Netherlands is not below sea level; the sea is above Dutch level, and they mastered the sea. Most people living in The Netherlands do not even think about the fact that certain parts of their country are surrounded by lots of water.

Every country has its own habits and cultural things they do that will always seem strange and even weird to people from another country and culture.  Being an expat in any country means that you are now part of that country and you should embrace all those funny little habits and weirdness.



7 Expat Tips and Advice on How to be Happy in Holland

You moved to The Netherlands.  You did all the stuff you needed to do, registered everywhere and everything, you are insured, you are learning the ins and outs of Dutch culture, to minimize that cultural shock while settling down, you learned a lot and will still learn some more.

Try to laugh while doing the silly things, for instance, driving on the wrong side of the road, that was the right side of the road, not too long ago. If you are still looking for an European Removals Company follow this link

7 Tips and advice from expats:

  1. Go and meet other expats; there are many gatherings organized by expats where you can share experiences and gain more knowledge about your new country.
  2. Call your Family and Friends back home; and tell them all the weird traditions you are learning from the Dutch.
  3. And then share some weird traditions from your own country; with your new Dutch friends. You can all have a laugh together at each and everyone’s weird cultural doings.  In the process, you will get more familiar with the people and the land.
  4. Learn new Dutch words everyday and include a weird Dutch word too, in exchange for learning new words daily, you can teach your new Dutch friends a little bit of English weirdness and slang.
  5. Ride a bicycle for 30 minutes without knowing where you are going; learn more about wherever you arrive.
  6. Wear orange whenever the occasion is there; orange is the Netherlands colour and they will wear it with the slightest hint of a celebration.
  7. Always be kind to others and also to yourself; do not have fun at another person’s expense, have fun together. Be understanding of your new country’s ways and they will try understanding your differences.

Try out the things the Dutch like and do, and teach them some of the things you liked to do in your old country.



5 Things you might want to Consider and Take a Closer Look Into Before Relocating to the Netherlands

The Netherlands is a country that feels like an attractive place to relocate to.  They rank 11th on the life-quality index, have a high employment rate, the health service is very good, public safety also gets a thumbs-up, and it is also said that the life satisfaction levels are quite high.  This may be because of the relatively easy-going type of lifestyle.

There are a few things that you should consider, and gather information on before you pack up your belongings and take the first flight out.  Things are done differently from country to country.  Each country has their own culture and will do things accordingly.

5 Things to take a closer look at before relocating to The Netherlands:

  1. The Dutch Social Life and Culture: The Dutch culture tends to be relaxed, multicultural and liberal.  The Dutch are known for the nightlife and café culture that can be found in the cities.  They also have a fine selection of museums.

The cost of living is lower in the Netherlands, but they still offer a good life-quality.  To acclimatise you with the local customs, you can visit the many museums, read up on the interesting facts, and try sampling Dutch food.

  1. Retirement and Pensions: Retirement age is 65, but will rise to 67 by 2022.  Anybody and everybody that is living and has been working in the Netherlands will be eligible to claim a Dutch pension.  This can be an attractive option for expats that will like to retire in the Netherlands.  What is more; you can add any other pensions earned before. More information here
  2. Driving Licences: Rules and regulations around driving are very strict.  You are not allowed to drive a vehicle that is registered in another country.  You will have to exchange your foreign license for a Dutch one.  You have 185 days to do this, or you will be required to take the Dutch theory and driving test.
  3. Social Security Benefits and Health Insurance: All Dutch residents need to pay both social security and health insurance payments.  Long-term residents will be eligible for public health insurance.  Most foreign residents that moved to the Netherlands are required to register for public health insurance in four months time after getting their residence permit.  Dutch health insurance is expensive but of the highest quality.
  4. Opening a Bank Account: This you will find quite easy.  You will need a valid ID, plus a confirmation of residence permit, a citizen service number, and proof of address.  You will be asked for proof of income, too.

These are only a few of the things that you might struggle with, when first starting your life in The Netherlands.  At first, you will find this strange and unfamiliar, that definitely is, true.