Blandness Best Describes the Netherlands and its People
Submitted 4 years 7 months ago by Aleksey.
The red light district and the "coffee shops" that legally sell marijuana are the only argument against blandness, but I see those more as tourist gimmicks than really Dutch elements.. My observations of Dutch people: Tall and attractive; very wooden, stoic, and somewhat unfriendly and rude; very robotic (no offense), and the women seemed somewhat snobbish and unfeminine. The women don’t wear jewelry or make-up, or brush their hair and baths are usually taken once a week.
The Dutch think they are very sociable and inclusive – but sadly they lack all empathy on that front. For most Dutch people, it is family first, second and last. Relationships on the whole tend to be extremely superficial and no conversation goes into any depth as they lack depth. And worse than that, they have not learned the art of social conversation. They are so full and ready to voice opinions, but only the safe ones, the real one is whispered behind everyone’s back. In the Netherlands, you are considered lucky to have one or two real friends.
Another characteristic in the Netherlands is superficial tolerance. Unsurprisingly, discrimination is widespread in the Netherlands. Dutch tolerance is fine for same-sex relationships, attitude towards drugs and prostitution, but there appears to be a blind spot, or better said a black spot when it comes to Zwarte Piet.
Confrontation – best ignored because it really upsets a Dutch person and thus does not get you anywhere. They simply cannot handle it. And it is either met with an attack back at you, tears or whimpering away into a corner.
If you start working at a Dutch company, do not expect anyone to care about you. They are not interested in you, do not have the ability to put themselves in your shoes. Friday after work drinks…. Dutch prefer to share a beer (paid by the boss) from a crate on the kitchen (or meeting room) table. One beer and off they go (if work finishes at 5 they are off at 5.30 on the dot. There is always someone waiting for them at home. And no evening can be skipped or missed. They are stuck in a rut. And if they tell you about the great weekend they had, you can be rest assured, they have had a few birthday parties to attend from relatives – great or small – Opa, Oma, Niece or Nephew, same family all sharing birthdays in the same month, well they will go again next week, not a problem. Same crappy food (crisps for the kids and little crackers with filet american and brie for the adults) – same non conversation about football practice, swimming diplomas, holiday plans, school results, local dramas of bins not having been collected etc. too dull to mention.
Street fashion: the Dutch street fashion is in general….boring. Most Dutch women wear a leather jacket, jeans (preferably white or light-colored) and brown boots. Sounds stylish, right? Dutch men have a lot of gel in their hair (bleah!) and wear jeans and some very ugly (and usually also very old) brown shoes. Thankfully, there are a lot of expats that add flavor to the street fashion and you get to see some interesting outfits now and then.
Since I moved here the new thing I started doing is: checking the weather daily and learnt a lot about wind speed, humidity and rain probabilities. I even have a mobile app that predicts rain probability in the next 2 hours. You can check the amount of rain per each 5 minutes. It is very handy when you have to leave the house and it is raining…you check it and then you see that in 10 min it will stop raining…so you can better wait
It is a bit difficult to become close friends with the Dutchies. In general, they are somewhat unfriendly and boring but you will not have problems with chit-chat conversations with them. But building a true friendship is difficult as you need to build a lot of trust, plus most of them already have a big group of close friends that they know since childhood…so you can imagine it not so easy for you to fit in. Best approach: get a Dutch boy/girl-friend.
The Dutch are very self-centered and ignorant. In spite of lots of classic British comedy being shown on Dutch television, sarcasm appears to be beyond the abilities of most of the locals. Instead of sarcasm, a primitive combination of rudeness and bluntness is deployed like a caveman wielding a club. Some actual examples are below.
“You must love it here in Holland, I’ve been to your country and it’s quite backwards”
“It’s nice that you made the effort to learn Dutch, but you speak it so badly that we should just speak English”
“you expats always go out and drink after work because you have no real friends here”
Dutch people are happy to be bland and boring and this leads to an apathy toward new ideas/things. A number of surveys have shown that even with the largest employment agencies in the Netherlands, that when people with identical CV’s apply for jobs, that those from non-EU backgrounds are not offered the same opportunities. Dutch people are probably the most ethnocentric people in Europe. The women feel like empty but beautiful storefront window dolls being mostly bland, boring and cold. However, the International dutchies seem more travelled and interesting.
Dutch people are just happy when something works and they don't bother looking for a better way of doing things. Because of this they are slow to adopt new technologies and ideas. For example, dutch people still use outdated internet tools like zoover and marktplaats despite the obvious superiority of Ebay and culture Whiz.