I read about how the average height of a male is just under 6 feet and a female is 5′ 6 1/2″ ( in comparison a US male is 5’6″ and US female is 5’4″ on average) but to see it everyday really is noticeable. I often wonder as I try to cram myself into teeny tiny bathrooms (know as WC here because they are literally closets and not the walk-in version of suburban Chicago) how do the 6’6″ Dutch men manage???
Even if it’s 40 degrees Fahrenheit they sit in the sun!
Typical Dutch weather
The Dutch people are accustom to crappy weather year round so the second the sun comes out they all flock to the nearest cafe to have a drink. They turn their chairs to the sun and bask in the rays as long as possible. I read a blog comparing the Dutch to sunflowers. They are not unlike Chicagoans on the first spring day above 65. I get it and I’m happy to join in this practice but draw the line at about 55 degrees (the Dutch will sit in cafes even it’s 4 degrees Celsius about 39 Fahrenheit)
The majority of Dutch ride their bikes on a daily basis but in addition to that I see people running, walking, playing soccer, doing boot camp in my neighborhood park, kayaking. Many of the neighborhood kids play field hockey and/or soccer (voetbal in Dutch). There are far fewer obese people but plenty of junk food which leads me too….
French Fry Obsessed (friets in Dutch)
I have always loved fries but seriously the Dutch take it to a WHOLE new level. They serve friets with everything! You will be out for a fancy dinner at an expensive restaurant and they will still give you a side of friets with your 39 euro fish special.And don’t forget the mayo, no one gives you ketchup unless you ask. My girls have wasted no time adapting to this Dutch habit and we happily make a trip to Frietwinkel (fry store) at least once a week.
Fond of Flowers
The gardens here are truly awesome, from Keukenhof Gardens (the Disneyland of Flowers) to your neighbors’rose bushes, they are colorful, beautiful and smell amazing. Not to mention buying fresh cut flowers is dirt cheap! I have bought fresh flowers every week and it makes me so happy just to have them in my house.
Every weekend we see numerous party boats on the canals, roaming bachelorette parties and impromptu BBQs in the park (not matter what the weather). These people are hardcore and the biggest party of them all is Koningsdag (or actually Koningsnacht). Koningsdag is Kings Day a national holiday celebrating King Willem’s birthday of April 27. The night before is referred to as Koningsnacht (Kings Night) and since everyone has the next day off it becomes an all night affair of partying. I compare it to every Chicago summer festival, block party and yard/garage sale taking place in one 24 hour period!!!! This year Koningsnacht was the coldest and rainiest ever on record but it did not keep the Dutch from partying like rock stars. We thin skinned Chicagoans only lasted 90 minutes before we headed home to warm up.
I think everyone thinks they have the “craziest” weather but honestly after living here for 4 months The Netherlands may win.