Soooo, after living in the Netherlands for almost 10 months, I thought it would be interesting for me to list some of the things I noticed here that I think ‘the Dutch do better than the British!’
1.Celebrations: Since being here I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing Carnival and Kingsday. Carnival is a celebration within the south of the Netherlands and Germany and because my partner is currently studying in Maastricht I got to go down there and enjoy it! Carnival is a three day event and Kingsday is a one day event in mainly in Amsterdam where essentially, it’s a huge, huge street party where you get drunk and listen to music! So fun, I can’t believe we don’t have such things in England.
2. Cycling and Cycle lanes: My goodness I am going to miss cycling so much. I never realised just how efficient it is. I do intend to cycle more when I’m back in England but the lack of cycle lanes terrifies me – particularly as the drivers in Leicester are so dangerous. Not only that, because it isn’t in our culture, cyclists are not respected. Cyclists rule the road here! I’m happy to hear that protected cycle lanes are being implemented in my home city but I wonder how many years that will take…
3. Attitude to life: Another I have noticed is the mere attitude to life. Dutch are all about living, working is merely to fund that life. Working hours are less, they have lots of bank holidays and shops close earlier. In England, I feel like there is so much emphasis on career and working overtime and tbh that doesn’t sound like an ideal life for me, so I’m siding with the Dutch on this. We’re all stressed, the Dutch are not.
4. Outdoors: Before I came here I read somewhere that the Dutch will utilise the outdoors whenever they can. We have had some delightful weather for about three weeks and everybody has been outdoors all day, everyday. Again, I feel this differs from England slightly, I don’t know why, the vibe is just different.
5. Health and Safety: I think I’ve mentioned this before but I think British have gone crazy on Health and Safety. I feel we aren’t allowed to do anything. You’re allowed to utilise nature and enjoy it here. BBQ’s in parks, swimming in lakes, standing on barely-frozen lakes!
6. Bilingual: Everybody in the Netherlands speaks fluent and perfect English. It’s embarrassing, we only know English and make no effort to learn another languag.
7. Public transport: Another thing I will dearly miss, cycling gives you independence and then when it is that bit too far to cycle or it is chucking it down, the tram, metro and even the bus will sort you out. The public transport is so efficient and just chilled here. Unlike England’s hideous excuse for public transport that they charge extortinate amounts for…
8. Beer cantus: So I’m lucky to have been to two Beer Cantus’s. They’re essentially a big sing along where you have a booklet of songs and then down your beer at the end of the song. It’s so much fun, you get drunk very very fast and sing classic songs.
Hope you enjoyed this! I am going to write ‘what the British got right’ next!